Happy Valentine’s Day!

byron2

To be honest, Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. It was literally made up so companies like Hallmark could make money.

Yesterday my husband had some time to kill, and ended up parked in front of a drug store for an hour. He said he watched one guy after another go into the store, and come out with flowers or something. I suppose it’s sweet, but it also shows the commercial aspect.

But I really feel bad for the people who dwell on their aloneness on Valentine’s Day. It makes romantic relationships seem more important than every other relationship in life, including the all important one you have with yourself.

I’ve found that being in a relationship only works, when you are comfortable with yourself. And when you are comfortable with yourself, you are also comfortable not being in a relationship. It’s a catch 22, to be sure, but the holiday turns your priorities upside down. You don’t need to find THE ONE or your life will be miserable. YOU ARE THE ONE. Love yourself. You can be happy with yourself and by yourself.

Sure, we all need support in our lives, friends or family who are willing to be there for the good times and the bad times. And if you don’t have an adequate support system, you should work to assemble one, even as you learn to be your own best support. Some people also need medical help for their mental health, and you should seek that out if you do.

But binding your needs to the unrealistic Hollywood idea of THE GREAT LOVE, who will be everything for you, and make everything snap into place, is unhealthy and unhelpful. Staying in a bad relationship because you’re afraid of being alone, can be tragic. Your partner should be willing to work on your relationship, and keep it moving in a good direction. If they are not, you may want to find a way out. And even good relationships are not all sunshine and lollipops, lol.

So today, be kind to yourself. Be the greatest love of your life. Discover what makes you happy, and what makes you you. Find things you enjoy doing by yourself. Maybe you don’t think there are any, but you are wrong. You just have to be open to the possibility.

When you love yourself, maybe someone else will, too. But even if you don’t find THE ONE, you are complete. You can have joy, fulfillment, and happiness.

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In the USA we have a love affair with salt. But it’s an unhealthy relationship, and it wouldn’t have to be this way.

I was always a heavy salter. When I get French Fries, instead of tossing a little salt over the top, I put some salt on the plate and then rub each fry in the salt before I eat it. And I still do, I just don’t eat fries as often.

When I tried to switch to a lower salt diet for my blood pressure, I found many obstacles. I also found that how much salt tastes right to you, has everything to do with how much salt you usually eat. And I found that low salt foods, may not be marked as such in the grocery store.

Here are some of my own observations:

If a food tastes great without salt (or with little salt), the package will not loudly proclaim “No Salt Added” or “No Sodium” or “Low Salt” or the like. Why? I assume it’s because less people will buy a food that says no salt, since people think no salt means no flavor. This is true even for foods that never contain salt in traditional recipes, so taste completely normal without it. If you read the nutritional label, you’ll see the sodium content–you just won’t see it mentioned on the front of the package. Of course reading every nutrition label as you shop is time consuming.

If a reduced salt food tastes horrible, the label WILL loudly proclaim “No Salt” or “Low Salt” or the like. Because if something tastes terrible, the manufacturer knows they have lost the majority of shoppers–so they are now specifically marketing only to those people trying to cut salt. This leaves people with the impression that having to reduce salt, means you have to eat things that taste terrible.

How much salt you’re used to, dictates how much salt you want. After eating a very low sodium diet for just a couple days, say below 1300 mg, I found many foods I normally eat are waaay too salty. In fact some of them actually made my tongue sting! The truth is just about everything you buy in the store that has salt, has twice as much as you’d need to be tasty. But, because every other food maker puts in a lot of salt, if a particular company didn’t, their food would taste bad by comparison. So unless they all reduce salt at the same time, we’ll continue to have this culturally high level of salt.

If you do your own cooking, you can get used to a lower level. Personally, I hate to cook, so I don’t try to stay at a 1300 mg level. But I find that if I can stay under 2000 mg, my blood pressure is normal.

Young, healthy bodies can usually tolerate a higher salt level, but that doesn’t meant it’s good for you. The average person in the U.S. consumes 3400 mg of sodium a day, which is much more than you need.

If you’ve never tried reducing your salt, you may want to give it a shot. It may not be as bad as you think.

My Relationship with Salt

If someone tries to sell you a magazine, ask if they need help.

Human trafficking takes many forms. I never would have guessed that someone doing something as benign as selling magazines, could have been forced into labor. But some of these young people are in trouble.

Human trafficking: Mag crew kid at your door could be victim – Al Jazeera America
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/24/human-trafficking-victim-mag-crew-kid-at-door.html

For Youths, a Grim Tour on Magazine Crews – NYtimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/us/21magcrew.html

Polaris Project http://www.polarisproject.org/ the resource hotline is 1-888-373-7888

Do magazine publishers have a responsibility here? Could they refuse subscriptions from these companies?

Years ago, a young woman came to my door, and sold me a magazine subscription that I have not yet figured out how to cancel. I should have asked if she needed help.