Three Short Articles Worth Reading Today
This week was a big week! I started the blog up, sent out my first newsletter, and wrapped my head around the year to come. Now as I prepare to start another week (and am taking advantage of an airport delay) I wanted to highlight three articles I’ve enjoyed this week that have to do with better living in kitchen, body, and mind.
First, a quick update a surprising challenge to My Year of No Sugar. It turns out that sitting in an airport for a few unexpected hours is a great way to confront my biggest alcohol and sugar loopholes: bad travel eating. I’ve tended to look at travel—something I find anxiety producing and inconvenient—as a time when I can indulge without consequences. A woman sitting next to me patted her husband on the back, handed him a bag of Twizzlers, and said, “We deserve some treats right now, right?” I mean, pass a few Twizzlers, please! It’s true that I’ve historically treated myself during travel days, and with sugar and wine off the table, well, chamomile will apparently have to cut it. We’ll see how I get through the next few hours!
Why eating less meat is the best thing you can do for the planet in 2019 from The Guardian. Not only does eating meat (especially beef and pork) tax the planet, I’ve learned while researching for my new book that a meat-heavy diet preferences the growth of carcinogenic producing bacteria in our guts. The bottom line: Less meat and more vegetables equal a healthier planet AND a healthier you.
What Do 90-Somethings Regret Most? by Lydia Sohn. In our youth-obsessed culture, this is a reminder that a 90 under 90 roundup might teach more lessons on how to live life than the lauded 30 under 30 list. And, as someone who struggles with being a workaholic—often choosing my work over seeing a friend—this is a reminder that relationships are what matter in the end.
How Being a Workaholic Differs from Working Long Hours — and Why That Matters for Your Health from Harvard Business Review. Yes, I just called myself a workaholic, but I’ve read surprisingly little about how this issue affects health. The scary truth is that the health risks of being a workaholic are real—even for someone like me who is intrinsically motivated and loves their work. If you can relate and have a hard time turning off the work thoughts or “cannot remember the last time [you weren’t] feeling stressed or anxious about work” it’s worth reading this article in full.
From the article: “Unlike people who merely work long hours, workaholics struggle to psychologically detach from work. And we know that ongoing rumination often goes together with stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems, and it impedes recovery from work. Stress levels in workaholics are therefore often chronic, which leads to ongoing wear and tear on the body.
Here’s a quick explanation of why: To cope with stress, the body activates several systems (e.g., cardiovascular, neuroendocrine). So say you’re facing an important deadline. As you approach it, your stress hormones (e.g., cortisol), pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., interleukin-6), and blood pressure would likely go up. But after the deadline, these would return to their original levels, known as the “set points.” When you’re working an excessive workload and continually pushing your system beyond its range, you may re-set your set points. Elevated blood pressure may become chronic, and cortisol levels stay elevated. When your biological systems keep working around elevated set points, you have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and even death.”