Growing up, I remember always hearing “Everything is fine in moderation”, and being a kid I just understood that as having limits on things like fried food, soda, candy, etc however, being a child, I did wanted to exceed those limits. Now that I am adult, I think that I value moderation a bit more considering how many more food additions there are to my diet as I am a vegetarian and that can go wrong very quickly. This is where I feel I fit in to the section of “not very moderate food that feels moderate”.
When I had first decided to become a vegetarian a few years ago, I justified all the high carbohydrate food items that I ate because I was a vegetarian so I could eat everything just without the meat. I was a college student at the time so not buying meat was easy for my budget but so was buying the cheaper, unhealthy foods. To elaborate, I ate a lot of pasta, ramen, potatoes, bread, veggies, etc. because that was all I thought I could eat being a vegetarian. Through the year of getting more accustomed to the lack of meat (and protein for that matter), I realized that I was consuming a lot of foods that were not exactly healthy for me. I justified eating all of these under the idea that it was In moderation and that there was no meat in the meal. Some weeks were better than others – meaning there were more veggies in dishes than there was just a large bowl of pasta.
I know that I am not the only one who is guilty of misusing the term moderation – even in the article, they use the example of a glass of wine or two or three every night was okay but in reality, it is not or when someone eats only salads and water for a week straight and then treats themselves to a pizza and a few beers once Saturday comes around. When you eat a pretty consistent diet, your body gets used to it and is used to the nutrients that come from those foods but if you are consistent only for a few days and then add someone drastic to it (like a pizza and several drinks) it can cause a lot of shock onto your body because it is not the same nutrients. I feel like this is a concept that we as consumers are not super familiar with and that’s why moderation becomes a back-burner concept to a lot of us. We know what it is and what it generally means, but whether we actually apply it to our everyday eating habits is different. I think as consumers, we understand the concept of “not too much and not too little” compared to “in moderation”.
As a consumer myself, I want to be more cautious about moderation and become more understanding of the term when it comes to the food that I put into my body. It is something I do want to take more seriously because there are so many discoveries being made about the foods that we eat and we need to be more cautious about what we eat. Moderation only works in our benefit if we are consuming the right foods.
This week we talked about food and there were a range of topics that I read through last week from the articles provided and some other research that I had done. I found it really interesting how much extensive research is done on nutrition, food, and the effects of all of it on our bodies, short term and long term. I am very thankful that science has advanced enough for us as consumers to be more aware about what we are putting into our bodies.
Through my readings and research, I had come across some words that I feel like as consumers we should know – especially when it comes to food. I think that we should be aware of more terminology around the foods we purchase and eat. One of the words I came across and I am familiar with is GM or genetically modified. Genetically modified foods have been around for years and have constantly been a topic of discussion. GM foods are constantly being questioned on if they are healthy for us and what the new genes can do to our bodies. When I first learned about genetically modified foods, I was so shocked that people had found a way to alter a food’s genetics to cause the food to grow larger, have a different taste, or grow more. I also was concerned that they would be altering the genes for the worst, and the effects of those genes could have been harmful to our bodies. In addition to foods changing, there was a reaction I came across called the Maillard Reaction. I had never heard of this before but once I looked into it more – it rang a bell. The Maillard Reaction is the chemical reaction that gives browned foods like seared steaks, burnt marshmallows, etc. its flavor.
Another topic that I am happy we are talking about this week is moderation. While reading about moderation, I came across a term called moral licensing. Moral licensing, when it comes to moderation, is how we justify the amount of food we eat or when we eat. For example, if you eat really healthy all week and then binge eat a whole pizza with five beers as a “reward” for eating healthy or under the justification that you had eaten healthy all week and a cheat day wouldn’t hurt. Moral licensing is how we judge ourselves on our consumption decisions.
- Moral Licensing: doing something that helps to strengthen our positive self-image also makes us less worried about the consequences of immoral behavior, and therefore more likely to make immoral choices
- GM or Genetically Modified: also known asgenetically engineered foods or bioengineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering techniques allow for the introduction of new traits as well as greater control over traits than previous methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.
- Maillard Reaction: a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned foods its distinctive flavor.
I took on this challenge because this is is something I do every day because I too agree that people deserve to be complimented on anything that stands out to the people around them. Compliments also make people feel noticed and valued so I think that randomly giving them to people can make a huge difference. I will continue to do this every day because I believe that the slightest act of kindness can make a difference in someone else’s life and that is something that I strive for every day.
Here are the things I did over the last three days:
Day 1: I sent a good morning text to one of my friends who I know is going through some rough times right now and they had responded a few hours later saying that my little message had made their morning better. And I have been doing this since I became friends with this person because every day is a different situation for them and I want them to have a good start to their day.
Day 2: For Haloween, I went out with some of my girl friends and at the bar that we were at – there a bunch of people in costumes. I complimented every girl that I saw who was with her friends or by herself and they all responded in shock and then thanked me. I think that woman always look to get affirmations from men and always forget that other woman can be and are genuine as well with what they say.
Day 3 (today): I told my coworker that I was proud of her for accomplishing a project that she had been working on for a very long time and it was very difficult. She went silent and then smiled and thanked me and said “that really means a lot.” She was doubted a lot as a child and by her peers so I think that telling her that I was proud of her meant a lot.
After reading through the finance articles and slides this week, I had come across a few words that I was not super familiar with and thought I would share. I think with finance in general, there are a lot of big words that we come across and never really think about or try to understand but they most likely play a role into our financial education and decisions.
The first word I came across was Envelope-Stuffing Schemes. The name seems self-explanatory but I did not know that this was the term used for “get rich quick schemes”. It also seemed like another form of a pyramid scheme almost.
Envelope-Stuffing Schemes: you send your money, you’re likely to get a letter telling you to get other people, even your friends and relatives, to buy the same envelope-stuffing “opportunity” or another product. The only way you can earn money is if people respond to your solicitations the same way you responded. The promoters rarely pay anyone.
Definition Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0112-envelope-stuffing-schemes
The second word, one I am familiar with because a lot of people my age take part in it, is Pyramid Schemes. Pyramid Schemes are when one person at the top makes all the money while the people below make little to none and the fight to reach the top is rather difficult.
Pyramid Schemes: a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.
Definition Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme
The third word is settlements which I came across while reading the article about Fandango and Credit Karma. Settlements, to my understanding, are how much money the “winner” receives after a lawsuit. The settlement can range for any dollar value and it is settled through the clients and the lawyers.
Settlements: a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case, reached either before or after court action begins. The term “settlement” also has other meanings in the context of law.
Definition Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_(litigation)
Being a young adult, financial health seems to be something I feel not only myself but other people in my age bracket are struggling with. I think that there are several factors as to why young adults are stuck when it comes to their financial situation and I think that not all of these factors are taught in schools or talked about home, or if they are, then they are not taught properly.
One thing I know that is a big conversation is financial aid. Schools promote financial aid all the time and how to get it and parents always speak about how their child should apply for it once they get the chance to. However, what I feel is never talked about is what happens when that financial aid is not given to you or when the school year is up. Financial aid can cause the student or the family to accumulate debt rather quickly due to the amount of interest that can occur once the student graduates. If the debt is not paid off quick enough, the more consequences occur. Financial aid is beneficial when helping a student pay for school – but there is a lot of fine print with it. Also, with the prices of college increasing every year, financial aid can either increase, decrease, or remain the same. I believe that politicians should work to lower interest rates, provided more financial aid when necessary, or work to make community colleges free or the first two years of college free. That way there is an opportunity for everyone to get a higher education without having to dig themselves into debt.
Another factor is credit cards. I think that growing up and hearing my parents and other adults around me talk about credit cards or even the term “credit” created this idea that I needed to start building credit once I was old enough to – and that is what I did. At 18 years old, I applied for a credit card and I have had one ever since. I have done well, thus far, at maintaining my credit score with my credit card, bills, etc. but I feel that some other people my age may not be so fortunate. There is an assumption that one needs credit in order to do any other “adult” purchases or decisions and therefore, that is why young adults open credit accounts at the first moment possible. But then they are not educated enough on how to fix the issue once it gets out of hand. I think that there should be courses offered on how to avoid financial issues like this and how to resolve them. As mentioned in the slides, education and counseling about credit can be extremely beneficial especially to young adults.
The third factor, that I actually struggled with personally while living on my own in a college town, is landlord and tenant issues and the fees that came with it. A few years ago I was living in a house with five other young adults in Bellingham going to Western at the time and we had run into a number of financial issues with our landlord – more specifically, our management company that was overseeing the paperwork for our landlord. While the lease was rather detailed, there were some things missing from it. We got random “noise compliment” charges or “extra garbage bags” fees and none of these minor fees were laid out in the lease. Being college students, we are all slightly limited on income so being hit with random fees ontop of rent was always really annoying. Long story short, we eventually all left the house because our management company was going to keep draining our wallets. However, during the process, we did not get any of our security deposits back when that was promised. That was the biggest concern of ours, was getting our $500+ back into our pockets – but the check never showed up. In situations like this, I wish that more help was available to us when we needed it and I wish that we had all taken the proper legal actions to protect ourselves as tenants so that we did not have to pay endless fees.
I think that parents or about-to-be parents are vulnerable to buying a lot of products or purchasing services that are not always going to be beneficial for them – especially younger (millennials) parents. I think that the younger generation of parents are more tempted/likely to buy products that they believe is better for the family or for the baby because they believe that anything will help. I think this because the age group for people having children seems to be decreasing every year. For example, I am 21 and about 60% of the people I know in my age group are having children or are expecting.
Younger parents have more access to research the kinds of products or services that they may need for their new life – but with that I feel they will try to get everything that they can get their hands on. More people in this age group are preferring the natural and organic products, however, those products come with a really high price that may not be ideal for the new family. With that being said, they will purchase the cheaper option because financially – that makes more sense, but it may not be the safest option. Cheaper products can have chemicals or preservatives that can affect the health of the parents and the child.
I think that parents or soon-to-be-parents should talk to people around them who have had kids or ask all the questions possible to their doctor. Parents or soon-to-be-parents would probably like to know more about how much it will cost to bring a child into this world and how much it will cost to raise them, what to do for each age of the child and how to prepare for them, and what products or services are truly going to benefit the family as a whole. Parents always want what is best for their kid and therefore should take the time and effort to do so.
While reading through this weeks’ post n Early Life, I stumbled across some words that I feel like I have heard in general conversation or not heard before at all. While reading the article on Cord Blood Controversy, the word cord blood itself was one I have not heard of. Cord blood can be stored in cord blood banks in many places in the US and the blood is stored in case there as ever an emergency that the parents would need it for their child. Cord blood cannot be used for adults because the amount of stem cells would not be beneficial enough since an adult would require more.
Cord blood: Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord after childbirth. Cord blood is collected because it contains stem cells, which can be used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders
Cord blood is saved for medical purposes – to save a child if they develop an illness early on.
Another word that I came across while reading the VBAC article, was obstetrical care. I have heard the word obstetrics through many child development classes but never really understood what it meant.
Obstetrics: is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
This word came up in the VBAC article because they were talking about the differences between vaginal birth and cesarean birth and how each birth method affected the mother.
The other word, that I know most of us are familiar with is cesarean or c-section as we know it. It is another method of delivery for a baby that requires surgery. This form of delivery is normally done when or if a vaginal birth could cause harm to the newborn or the mother, or by choice of the mother.
Cesarean: A c-section, or cesarean section, is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.
After seeing the post for this challenge, I knew exactly what I could write about. This topic is something that I talk about with everyone in my life because I am constantly concerned with what goes in or on our bodies.
- Deodorant – First of all, deodorant is not a natural normal use. A lot of people choose not to use deodorant because it can have negative affects on the glands and skin due to the chemicals put into it.
- Lotion – Lotion has preservatives and chemicals in it that allow it to last a very long period of time and provide a certain scent. Lotions are absorbed into our skin and can have long term health affects as well.
- Perfume – there are numerous chemicals that are in perfumes to smell like a flower or citrus. These chemicals are soaked into our skin and the rest of our body and can have negative affects long term.
- Nail Polish – Everyone knows that nail polish comes with a very strong smell and that smell is never something that should be inhaled. Hence why nail technicians wear face masks while working.
- Candles – Candles are filled with artificial scents, like perfumes, to create a certain aroma when lit. Candles also can burn for a very long period of time in a closed environment – then that scent is inhaled.
For those five products, here are my alternatives:
- All natural deodorant – there are deodorants made out of plant based or all organic products that may not have a long shelf life but are better for your skin long term. They also tend to smell better because they are made with natural ingredients.
- Homemade lotion or shea butter w/coconut oil lotion – homemade lotion requires some oils and a few other organic products and ca n last a life time. Same for shea butter and coconut oil – plus it makes your skin glow and very soft.
- Essential oils – essential oils can serve as perfume as well and a little goes a long way.
- No nail polish at all – means no mess, no smell.
- Essential oil difuser – it create a more natural scent in the air and it is better for you and your body long term instead of inhaling chemicals all day.
The area that I chose to focus on for consumer health and this weeks topic of protection and regulations is within the automobile industry. I personally have dealt with this issue with Ford. I have a 2012 Ford Focus and I bought it in 2015. When I test drove the car, there was no issue during the that point in time. Then six months down the road, the car started to stutter when I would drive.
To elaborate, the newer models of Ford Focuses and Fiestas are made with a transmission that is automatic but acts as a manual (if that makes sense). It would shutter because the transmission would not move into gears quick enough – for example, as I would accelerate, the gears would not change quick enough to allow for a smooth transition. This was one of the first recalls that I had received for the car was for a faulty transmission.
To date, I have received five different recalls for my car since I purchased it in early February 2015. I have received two recalls for the transmission, one for the emergency breaks, one for the door latch, and one for one of the many computers that control the basic functions of my car. The recall for the computer was a pretty significant one because it was the computer that controlled the transmission and it had died. My transmission had over heated which caused my car to break down on the freeway in the evening and I was by myself trying to make it home.
As a consumer, I would have liked to know if there were any issues that I would face or if these issues were to happen, the issues would be fixed beforehand. Granted, all of the issues were fixed and covered by Ford – however, these issues could have caused larger issues. For example, what if I had caused an accident or anything along those lines? I think that as a consumer for an automobile, I should be told all of the information for the vehicle before hand because then I could have purchased another vehicle. The law that would have been beneficial to know is the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” I feel that this law would have showed me that my life would have been protected since the car had so many “unknown” problems at the time.
I have heard the term CBO before, but never fully understood what it meant until now. CBO stands for the Congressional Budget Office and they are a federal agency within the legislation branch of our government. To my understanding, they are responsible for a lot of the budget conversations that our government is having and with that being said, their current conversation is around the new health care act that they are trying to pass.
The new health care act created by the Senate is said to increase the amount of uninsured US citizens to be about 22 million by the year 2026. In addition to that, the number of uninsured individuals is going to keep rising. The number will continue to rise because the funds that would normally go toward Medicaid will start to decrease – which leaves more people without health care. There will also no longer be a penalty to those who do not want insurance, which means more people are not obligated to have it.
Also, the article mentions that people purchasing health insurance varies based on the market of health insurance. This also plays a role in our current situation, in my opinion. I live in a household of 4 people total – all under the age of 30 and only half of us have insurance. However, insurance does not cover as much as we would like because of our income.
From this article and our current administration’s views – I would like to know exactly what they are going to do when a large portion of the nation is no longer covered under Medicaid. I would also like to know if they would ever work towards free health care since we are one major country that does not offer free health care to all.