The Edge

Photography by Terri Pouliot

The Edge.

It can be a tricky place, at times.

In an effort to ‘have the edge’ over other humans, whether those ‘others’ are the competition, peers, co-workers or humankind; often leads us to a slippery slope. That slippery slope may take us to extremity. Hanging out near the edge can often spell d-a-n-g-e-r.

I was thinking about this week’s headlines regarding Coconut Oil. Nothing creates more confusion than conflicting reports in the world of health and nutrition. The question is; Why were we putting the stuff in our coffee, our oatmeal, cooking with it and eating it right out of the jar to begin with?

We have heard from well meaning pushers of Coconut Oil that it is antimicrobial and contains lauric acid. We were told it was an aid for Alzheimer’s patients and those suffering from epilepsy. The white stuff contains these amazing things called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) and that they can aid in fat burning and weight loss. We’ve heard these MCT’s also can provide energy. We were sold the idea that our brains loved this stuff and so does our skin and hair.

There it is. That edge. Why did we rush to the store and buy tons of this stuff to begin with? To gain the advantage. To run faster. Be leaner. Have shinier hair and more beautiful skin. To focus better at work. To perform better at the gym. To have the upper hand; which often drives us to do some pretty crazy things without batting an eye.

I’m picking on Coconut Oil only because it has been the latest ‘darling’ of the health and wellness world. There are shelves and shelves of supplements, diet aids, contraptions, and nonsense that we fork over our hard earned money to help us find that ‘edge’. In a world that capitalizes on our imperfections; we need to find a healthier way to achieve superiority over our rivals. We need to take a more radical stand and stop falling for ‘hype’ at the expense of our health. Humans are hard-wired to compete. It’s a survival skill. What we may not be so good at is doing it in a healthy manner.

There is a plethora of product pushing aimed at our weaknesses. It hits us right where it hurts. Where we feel vulnerable. Social media, magazines, newspapers, and TV, all take part in this pushing us to the edge to gain the advantage. We fall prey to TV personalities telling us we need to go out and buy this or that. Misinformed friends, relatives and yes, sadly, people in the health and fitness industry, provide information without research. All too often, this advice teeters on the edge of being harmful.

We must become better informed prior to falling for the latest fad. Ask questions. Dig deep. You know that saying, just because it’s in print, doesn’t make it true? Pay attention to who, what, when, why and where.

I admit, I have a jar ( a big one!) of Coconut Oil in the pantry. I was curious. I tried it in my coffee and almost threw up. I tried cooking with it and smoked up my entire kitchen. I blopped a spoonful in my Oatmeal (another experience with feeling ill) and I’ve rubbed the stuff on my feet (that worked!).

We need to stop being so gullible and believing that these things will provide the upper hand we’re looking for. Better yet, why do we think we need to have that superiority to begin with? Our brains are programmed to try and take the lead.

By the way; that Coconut oil has been moved from my pantry to my cosmetics cupboard. Soon after buying in to the Coconut oil fad, my cholesterol shot up to unsavory levels. Prior to the Coconut oil; they have always been in an optimal range. But I love this stuff for my feet!

Authenticity, passion, and believing in the power of wholesome food will get us there faster than Coconut Oil or whatever the next fad will be. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night, keeping hydrated with fresh, filtered water, eating food that elevates mood and energy, taking brisk walks; these will give us that edge we’re looking for. Let’s do it right.

Thoughtful Insights for Living,