I am on a health kick right now in an effort to loose as much weight as I can. I did this last year, in the summer, and managed to loose just over sixty pounds. It did not feel, nor look like it, to me but other people seemed to notice and there is nothing that beats a, “Hey Ricky, you look good. Are you loosing weight?” It makes all the miles ran and the calories counted seem worth it. Outside of the fact that it is good for my health to better, it is always nice for some self confidence to spark my motivation to keep going. I stopped that diet and went back to eating Chinese food and drinking beer. I did not gain all sixty pounds back, but I felt that I was starting to put a few back on over the last couple of months. I am still below two hundred pounds but I feel like I am a giant.
So I got back on the diet band wagon and am eating a lot of almonds (I hear they are high in the “good” kind of calories and are packed with other nutrients) and a ton of grilled chicken and fresh fruit. And I have to say I wish I had discovered the joy of fruit a long time ago. I know that my taste buds have changed over the last few years, but I am hooked on strawberries, blue berries, grapes (red and white but only seedless), pineapple, and kiwi. I am actually hooked on a new kiwi called the “gold kiwi” which is a much sweeter version and offered almost twice the nutrients that you can get out of a bowl of whole grain cereal and two navel oranges. (Those little suckers are juicy.)
But on this diet also includes an abundance of fish. And that is good thing because I absolutely love seafood. I like shrimp, catfish, Tilapia, trout, crab; the list goes on and on. The best thing about seafood is that it is low in calories and is somewhat affordable compared to chicken. (A bag of frozen chicken is just under $10 when I can get a bag of Tilapia for $7. I am on a budget, so it makes sense to eat the fish.)
However, on my way to work today, I heard a disturbing story on National Public Radio. I am an NPR junkie and it makes me wish I had a longer commute to work so I could listen to more of the news. The great thing about NPR is that they do not focus on local news, and sometimes on national news, rather focused on how our government is handling issues in foreign countries. It gives a very unbiased point of view when you heard it from both sides equally. But on NPR this morning they were discussing an increase in mercury in fresh water fish. In the recently published research study, over three hundred creeks and streams donated fish to be tested for this mercury contamination. But before you panic, listen to what some of the experts were saying.
A spokesman from the U.S Geological Society states, “But while all fish had traces of contamination, only about a quarter had mercury levels exceeding what thesays is safe for people eating average amounts of fish.” So according to what this organization is saying we are safe to eat as much fish as we want.
But, on the other hand, take a look at where these fish are coming from. These scientists did not run down to the corner grocery store and grab some fresh cut salmon to test for this but rather from fish that were caught in their back yards. When was the last time you went out back and grabbed a fishing pole to catch dinner? Sure, you will argue that you might be in the woods hunting or that your local pond has an abundance of fresh fish. Well, that’s all fine, but I am not going to be rushing to the nearest creek to catch my dinner. I buy nearly all of my fish frozen (meaning that it might be imitation fish and not actual fillets) so I do not think I have to worry as much as some of you outdoors men do.
The best thing that is coming out of this study, however, is that the EPA will be forming a task force to aid in cleaning these streams and creeks as well as making an effort to raise the awareness of pollution in our waters. The next time that you throw that empty can of beer off the side of the boat, think about that nice big piece of sea bass you had for dinner last night.
But if you feel the need, and you absolutely have to litter, fill the can with water first so that it sinks to the bottom. I do not want to see your cans floating on top of the water wen I am trying to enjoy a day out on the lake.