Feel good. Be well. Be happy.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about stuff like alcohol, drugs, chemicals and being human.
Cheese with that Whine?
America is trending in wine society. Wine is the popular way to relax these days. One glass of red wine daily strengthens your heart, more than a few drinks per day will leave your body constantly trying to recoup. There is some evidence that drinking any kind of alcohol in moderation provides coronary benefits.
A friend of mine used to happily indulge in Happy Hour several times a week, then the next day complain about how worn out he was. I listened to him, empathizing with his feelings of dragging butt.
So how do we choose? What advice do we listen to? My mom always said, “Be your own doctor”, meaning you have to know your own body and how things affect it to make the choices that are right for you.
Fried Eggs and V8
I know that illegal drugs are bad. I have heard the D.A.R.E motto, the Just Say No ads, and I even remember those fried egg commercials from my childhood, “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.” I get it. Drugs are bad.
But I had to learn through my life experiences and those of others that the definition of drugs extends in gradual proportion to pharmaceuticals, alcohol, over-the-counter medications, caffeine, and any chemical of any kind. They overwork and fatigue the body. Even uppers make you crash.
Similarly, consuming too much caffeine takes its toll in weariness. There is some research indicating that some coffee is good for the brain. Like wine, here again we each have to find our own healthy balance.
The bigger gas stations in my town have an entire fridge dedicated to energy drinks. You need a degree in chemistry to understand what all those ingredients are, but I still succumb those times I need a boost to make it through the day. I know I should pick something like V8 or more water instead, but I feel that if I have to live by too many lifestyle rules, I will lose my humanness.
Smoke and Mirrors
People who smoke often have lower energy than those who don’t. The body makes energy by combining blood glucose with oxygen. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes reduces the amount of oxygen available.
It sucks, but once you start smoking, you’re hooked and it’s more addictive than cocaine, heroin and alcohol. It’s laughable to think that Big Tobacco used to have doctors and dentists touting the “health benefits” of tobacco. I sympathize with anyone trying to quit. I have seen more than one family member fight the battle and pay an unfathomable price for smoking. And then there are centenarians who smoked their whole lives.
Meds that Make You Think
Those packets of printed pages they staple to your prescriptions at the pharmacy may not look like enjoyable leisure reading, but it’s worth it to skim down to the part about possible side effects. Many prescriptions—antidepressants, blood pressure pills, pain and sleep meds, and myriads of others—list fatigue as a common side effect. Oftentimes, there are several different types of medication for a certain condition, and changing to a different type of blood pressure pill, for example, can still lower your blood pressure without the unwanted effect of tiredness.
Be well. Feed good. Be happy.