Americans found to be deficient in Vitamin P

Submitted by Heather Rudalavage of Intuitive Nutrition

What , you say- you never heard of Vitamin P?? Okay, so it’s not a real vitamin, but most of us are deficient in it. It’s called Pleasure. I heard this play on terms somewhere and it got me to thinking. Especially when a good friend of mine started to talk about how “the kids” were killing her marriage. “Honey, the Kids are Killing Us”- The Prequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. We both agreed that our marriages were in need of some romance, joy, fun, (you know, like in high school) maybe this lack of pleasure has something to do with the extra weight I am still trying to shed. Could it be that if I went out dancing or if my husband and I ran around the high school track and then collapsed in a fit of giggles and started making out under the stars, these last few pounds would budge?

It’s ironic isn’t it, that we Americans have more choices, more income, more food, more house, more car and more STUFF than any other nation on the planet and yet we are not the happiest or the healthiest. Could it be that we have begun to look towards food in an attempt to find pleasure? But, in a sad twist, have effectively taken pleasure out of our food and reduced it to numbers- how many calories does it have, how many fat grams, how many carbs, is it healthy, is it good or bad, should I or shouldn’t I. And now, we keep eating more food and still not getting any pleasure from it. Take for instance, wine. When we realized that the French have less heart disease, but eat more “rich” foods and drink more wine than we Americans do, we figured it must be the phyto -chemicals in the wine, if we could just bottle up the those chemicals in the form of a pill, we would have less heart disease too. Right?? Here’s the vital piece that may be missing. Maybe it’s not the chemicals in the wine, maybe it’s the fact that the French linger over their meals, sipping wine, chatting and laughing with friends. Over here, on this side of the pond, we are far too busy to linger over dinner. We rather shovel it in as fast as we can and then take a pill to make up for the rest. We have to take the kids to baseball, soccer, dance, spanish, piano…

What if we began to find more ways to add pleasure to our life, not in the form of accumulating more stuff, but working less and spending more time with our selves, our spouses our families our friends? What if we worked less and had less money to spend on after school lessons, but had more time to play a game of tag in the yard or go for a bike ride. What if we made a date night with our significant other at least once a month? What if we began to say grace and offer gratitude for our abundance? I wonder if these acts of attempting to add more pleasure to our lives would have an affect on our waistlines? I think it would, but even if it didn’t effect our waistlines we would still be better off.

Recently, I read about two different families who didn’t spend any money (other than necessities, groceries and entertainment) for a year. Both families saved about $10,000. As much as I would like to not see that credit card bill every month, I just don’t think I could do it. What about birthdays and Christmas how would I explain to my kids that Santa had to cut them off the list this year due to the recession? But, maybe it doesn’t need to be this extreme. Maybe I could find small ways to spend less and add more joy. Remember that friend of mine who said the kids were killing her, I mean, her marriage? She and I decided to swap babysitting services for an overnight. That way, we can each spend a night alone with our hubby’s and we don’t need to spend a dime, unless we wanted to go to dinner or something. Let the pleasure begin :)

Anyone have any thoughts they want to add? Anyone have any ideas on how to get off the hamster wheel?

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