This summer, I went to my favorite bakery, maybe my favorite in the world, in Orleans on Cape Cod. In the case amidst the cookies, brownies, pasta salads, and sandwiches was a tray of nut-and-flax-type bars that looked delicious and like they wouldn't set your body back much. The sign in front of them cheerfully listed their name and price. The price I can't remember, but the name I sure can--Anti-Inflammatory Bars.
Around the same time, Season 5 of The Next Food Network Star was airing. Katie Cavuto, a personal chef and dietitian was a contestant proposing a healthy eating show for the network. Only problem was, every time she made a dish, all she could talk about was "antioxidants" and "fiber," and the judges kept saying that those things just don't sound delicious. They were right. She went home.
This weekend, I was in Brattleboro, Vermont. Strolling the town, I noticed an organic cotton and hemp clothing store. The name of it made me keep on walking--Save the Corporations from Themselves. Now to be fair, I later learned online that upstairs from the shop is an "Activist Attic" that houses literature and resources about sustainable living. But still, I doubt I would have gone in. It's just too....too....un-fun-sounding.
Perhaps this is just a phase in the consciousness-raising process, when we put aside the need to talk about why the good things about healthy living are good--we still need to work to convince people that healthy choices are necessary alternatives to the bad stuff that bombards us every day. Free radicals are trying to attack your body! Eat foods that are high in antioxidants. Synthetic fabrics are filled with toxic chemicals! Wear organic cotton clothing. My joints ache! Have an Anti-Inflammatory Bar.
But though all of the above are true, healthy living should ultimately be about the joy of high-quality, mindful, authentic experiences, from exercise in the fresh outdoor air to food that's lovingly grown by a real person (or yourself) or otherwise made with real, pure ingredients to a home that's furnished with materials that are both easy on the eyes and kind to the planet.
Shouldn't it? What do you think - do you find the healthy living culture to be more cranky than inspiring? Or have I just been in the wrong places at the wrong times lately?
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