Coffee mugs, egos and interesting books

I do believe I’m getting a bit of a reputation at work…We’ve had a few new starters and they clearly have not been on-boarded with regards to the usage of my mug.

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I’ve spotted a couple of them using my mug (on separate days) but decided not to mention anything. But they are quickly informed of their error by the other members of staff when they see them using it. Apparently I seem to strike fear in my co-workers. Can’t be a good thing…or can it? Winking smile

Speaking of work, on Thursday night after work we had a little light-hearted fitness competition of running 100m. In the end it was four of us competing for the title. Three men (all either in or close to their fifties) and me.

Now, I love running (did you notice??). I pretty much thought I had this in the bag. These men weren’t terrible unfit, far from it for example, one of them does triathlons and one is a regular runner. But still, I’m practically half their ages, in the prime of my fitness and youth. I’ve got this.

I really didn’t.

I came last. Not even close to third. Within 10 seconds of the race (after Usain Bolt would have finished…) I realised I had lost. They were long gone. Yep, I was pretty embarrassed. Needless to say, the one who does neither triathlons nor regular running won. Jeeze.

Well, what can I say! I’m an endurance runner not a sprinter. Let’s leave it there shall we?

So I thought I’d do a review of a book I just finished called Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss.

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I was hooked from the moment I started reading. It was so interesting and definitely enlightened me to ‘the stuff behind the scenes’ that we, as consumers, might not be aware of.

Why read it?

  • There was loads of information from interviews with food industry ‘insiders’/experts/scientists/etc. giving first-hand accounts of what actually goes on in places like Kellogg’s, General Mills etc. and some of the techniques they use to get us to buy and ultimately eat their food, which I found fascinating.
  • It makes you realise just how much influence these big businesses have over the government and nutritional advice. Scarily so.
  • It explains why salt, fat and sugar are used within processed food and what happens when they’re taken out.

Negatives

  • I disliked how pretty much the whole way through it was emphasised how the food industry was pushing all this nutritionally defunct food to the consumer and that the consumer was purely the victim. It gave the impression that the food industry is making us obese through no fault of our own, which I disagree with. It’s all about choice. As consumers we are as much, certainly if not more, responsible for what we eat than the food industry. If we stopped buying the food the industry keeps churning out than they’d have to find a new way to make money, i.e. make nutritionally sound food.
  • Fat is demonised. In general, I disagree. Saturated fat is making a come-back and doesn’t seem to be as terrible as once assumed (check out THIS article). It seems the real bad guys are the hydrogenated oils, but within the book fat is mainly just scooped up under the saturated fat heading which I don’t think is justified.
  • You can get a bit lost in all the anecdotes and he sometimes strays from his points.

I’d definitely recommend it if you like this sort of stuff. I’m a big fan of these sort of things but you can get a bit bogged down with one side of the picture.

Anyway, it’s Friday – hurrah! This weekend is the Marwell Zoo 10k run (on Sunday) which both Ben and I are running so we’re quite excited. Ben’s mum and my parents are going to cheer us on and then we’re off for lunch somewhere nice. And Ben will finally be able to have a glass of wine after his 8 weeks of not drinking. He’s developed a nervous twitch Winking smile

And I get to wear my running club vest to this race, which is quite exciting!

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I am proud to be a Hedgie! Smile

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

What have you got planned for this weekend?

What’s your next race (or sporting event)?

What good books have you read recently? I’m a huge fan of reading and don’t have any particular genres that I stick to so I’m always open for recommendations!

15 thoughts on “Coffee mugs, egos and interesting books

  1. I get really peeved at nutrition-type books that get some things right and some things really really wrong. Like the whole fat debate. I’m pretty sure everyone acknowledges now that fat is not the bad guy, and like you said– even saturated fat has been found to have tons of benefits. Too bad because the information about the cereal companies sounds really interesting.

    Too bad about the competition. That would have rocked if you had won. Maybe you need to do a long distance race next! You’ll beat em for sure 😉

  2. Oh someone using your mug is not cool! I hate it when someone else uses my mug but luckily my manager at work had words with the person that used it, it might sound daft but it isn’t is it 😉 That book sounds interesting, I think your review is very balanced and I agree with what you mean about us having to take responsibility as well x

  3. Wow I love your proper club vest- so cool!

    We don’t have our own mugs at work, and it always makes me laugh when supply teachers check that they can use any mug- obviously in some schools it is like your office!

    That book sounds really up my street, I have read quite a few by Michael Pollan- he is american so some of the things don’t apply to the UK (the power the sugar lobby has over Washington for example means that there is no RDA/ limit for sugar, whereas there is for fat etc- if you ever see american food packaging they always have % of adults GDA except for sugar. Anyway, interesting reading.

    • I felt like the member of a team when I ran, it was brilliant!
      That’s an interesting point about the RDA. I didn’t realise that. To be honest I’m definitely keen to read more.

  4. Haha, I got a great laugh over your coffee mug story. I’d be terrified to use that mug if I found it sitting in the break room—especially if I was a new hire! You definitely have some bold co-workers in your midst. Or maybe they’re just severely sleep and caffeine deprived? 😉

    Huge props to you for competing with the boys after work. Even though you didn’t smoke them in the sprint challenge like you’d hoped, I have no doubt that you’d leave them in the dust if you challenged them to a 10K. Do it, girl! 😉 Like you, I’m an endurance athlete, so sprinting makes me look like a headless chicken. :-p

    Salt, Sugar, Fat sounds like an intriguing book. I read something very similar a few years ago called The End of Overeating, which discusses how our brain chemistry has been “hijacked” by foods containing stimulating combinations of salt, sugar, and fat. The author makes the same assertion that Michael Moss makes—that we, the consumers, are the victims, and that we barely stand a chance against the food marketers. I agree with you, though. I think as informed consumers, it’s ultimately our decision what we let pass our lips. However, I also think that there are too many people out there who are undereducated about food. These people *are* victims in that they don’t really understand what they’re eating and how its affecting their body. So, I guess what I’m trying to say (a zillion lines later..haha) is that I think the solution lies in better nutrition education! 🙂

    I hope you had a fantastic run today! Happy Sunday! <3

    • Sprinting just sucks for me! But I know my weakness now I guess.
      The book you mention sounds quite intriguing, I might look it up. Yes I know what you mean about being undereducated and this is a fair point. There is a huge risk of the big companies ‘hoodwinking’ consumers into thinking their products are healthy by emblanzening their packaging with things like “contains wholegrain” and “real fruit” when in reality it’s a very small part of it. I do agree from a young age we need to be educated on what good nutrition actually is.

  5. Love the mug 🙂 I’m also reading that book – it’s very enlightening. I’m working my way through it slowly but will post a review when I’m done. Another one I have queued up is ‘Fat chance: The bitter truth about sugar’ by Dr Robert Lustig, sounds very good 🙂

  6. Haha I love that you have your own mug at work! Those newbies will learn soon enough 😉 It’s too bad about your race, but like you said you’re a distance runner not a sprinter! Also I LOVE reading books like that one…those studies have always fascinated me and I love reading about the science behind why we enjoy eating certain things. I’m adding it to my book list now!

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