You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat: this is a statement I heard a lot growing up. Eat a bunch of donuts and you will be slow and lethargic. Eat some celery and carrots, and you’ll have the ability to do magical things. Not really, but you’ll be more focused, remember shit with ease, and will be able to see better. Everyone always talks about the benefits of a physically palatable diet but no one ever talks about the benefits of a mental diet.
Defining A Mental Diet
A mental diet is defined by the editing what you expose your brain to. Eat a lot of shit and you feel like shit doesn’t just apply to food. If all you watch on television is ratchet reality television and all you read is Donald trump tweets and if all you listen to is American Top 40, this is the equivalent to eating nothing but fast food your whole life.
Time begins to addresses this concept slightly in their online article entitled “Social Media Is Making You Stupid.” The article states, “[Social networking] could be making you dumber by supplying answers and insights without requiring any actual thinking, so that your analytic powers begin to waste away like an unused muscle.” Not only are we not exercising our brains when we spend all of our time on social sites but on top of that, my theory is the more we indulge in entertainment and neglect other aspects of our brain, the more we stunt our mental and personal growth. If you aren’t eating your vegetables and instead gorge on nothing but Hot Cheetos and honey buns, don’t be surprised when you have greasy hair and a smelly vagina. It’s time to trim the fat…and the sugar
A Balanced Mental Diet
A balanced mental diet consist of all the parts of the food group.
You have your veggies: self help materials. Self help materials include anything that has you reflect on yourself and your growth as an individual. Self help books, psychiatry podcasts, motivational speeches, etc. these things, like your kales and your carrots, are essential to ingest on a regular basis. How can you grow as a person if you’re never reflecting upon yourself and opening your eyes to your flaws and ways in which you can improve upon them? (Personally, I suggest Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, it’s like the spinach of brain veggies…I’m a big fan of spinach).
Fruits: fruits are sweeter. They share many of the same benefits of veggies but our bodies like them better for some reason that a scientist would know. Your mental fruits are your self love materials. I make a distinguish between self help and self love because self help is to look at yourself from a critical lens and to dissect what makes you tick, hoping to fix it. Self love on the other hand is just living you for you. Yes you are growing as a person but you need to love yourself at every single stage in that process.
Good carbs: good carbs aren’t as great as the chips and the pastas but they’re still pretty tasty and they’re necessary to our development. This is where the politics come in. we have to understand our place in this world and in order to do that we have to understand the world. Brush up in your current events, understand what these politicians are up to and ways that you can use your voice to change the narrative in whatever level that may appear. Politics are carbs because yes it’s super important but too much of this shit and you’ll drive yourself crazy.
Protein: learning new things. We have to take the time to add something new. Growing means exposing yourself to knew things in the world. Take a dance class, learn French, finally master trigonometry. Not only is it never too late to learn something new, it is mandatory. Life is short so expand your bubble!!
Sweets and Fats: And now we have our sweets. Go on and indulge in that Kardashian whatever. These are sweets and fats because these things do not nourish you. No matter how you look at it, you’ll never gain too much from anything on VH1 except the same sick satisfaction that a Snickers gives you.We always need that little pick me up. Go ahead and eat your Snickers but know when to stop.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to improve ourselves. Being the best possible version of yourself does not start and stop with your bank account or your physical appearance. It starts with our brains and our mentality. We can only accomplish what our minds are willing to allow us to push for and if our brains are stuck on stupid then we will be too. No one is perfect. I watch enough Netflix and Hulu to fill a whole twenty-four hour period without stopping but it’s a process. We try Keto, Paleo, and all the other diets to keep our bodies healthy, how about we try something for our minds?
Question for my readers:
I didn’t include religion because I’m still figuring all that shit out for myself but I acknowledge that it should be somewhere. Where do you think religion or spirituality would fit in the mental diet? I don’t think I get enough comments to be asking questions but 🤷🏿♀️ gotta shoot my shot!
DISCLAIMER: I’m not out here trying to get sued or anything. So I must say that although I talk about Polaroids, I’m really referring to instant film cameras only. I don’t know jack shit about the actual Polaroid company or their business.
I remember when I was six or so and I was sitting at the dinning room table of my old household eating a bowl of soggy Corn Flakes with an inch of sugar at the bottle of the bowl and my sister walked in with a big ass camera.
“Look what I got today!” She was ecstatic.
She held it up and snapped a picture of me shoving a spoonful of the cereal and sugar down my gullet.
“Stop!” I yelled.
“No look,” she held up a faded pic of the picture to me. Isn’t this so cool?!
Cut to a couple of months ago when I was celebrating the birthday of a close friend of mine in Saratoga Springs, New York. She took out this little pink plastic camera and said, “let’s take a selfie!”
We posed and she clicked the button and instantly, she was holding a faded little pic of us looking…well, faded.
“Isn’t this so cool?!” She beamed.
The problem is, it wasn’t cool.
The Polaroid Plummet
I’m a 90s baby, so growing up Polaroid cameras were a big ass deal, dominating the camera industry. They were a household name: everyone was shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Then, when the digital camera came, they just…disappeared. Now I know the argument is, they didn’t disappear Polaroid has a big name in the digital industry and blah blah blah but as a consumer I went over (or under, idk math) 15 years without hearing about the thing that made them cool: the instant print picture. With the age of digital cameras everyone was so obsessed with the quality of the pictures and having their pictures right where they could see them at all times, that we forgot about the awesomeness of the Polaroid instant picture. We went from instantly holding a picture of a chubby kid eating soggy cereal to pictures on a camera: having to go to a local Walgreens and sit in one of those uncomfortable ass plastic chairs looking at a little screen and clicking the pictures we want to print; praying to God that it doesn’t freeze on that one blurry pic of our tits. Or, if you were lucky, you had a printer at home that did it for you. But that’s besides the point. My thing is, where were the instant pictures?! What happened Polaroid?!
Here’s My Theory
I think Polaroid got discouraged. I think someone in the office said that digital was the wave of the future and they just went with it. Didn’t put up a fight, didn’t see the importance of their product.
They stopped believing in the thing that made them great.
Could you image how lit our iPhones would be today if Polaroid has kept their instant pictures and just advanced with the times? Now, to give Polaroid some credit, they did make a come back and you can buy an attachment thing that makes your photos instant for you. But still. If they had done this all along, I wouldn’t have to buy an attachment and I sure as hell wouldn’t have a shitty quality photo of me at a party in Saratoga Springs.
This is Why You Shouldn’t Be Like Polaroid
Polaroid didn’t stand by their shit. They sat around and let the next wave take them away from their awesome product. Instead of saying hey digital cameras with instaprint, cellphones with instaprint, they just jumped on whatever was popular. Don’t do that.
Whether it’s an actual product, an idea, or something in YOU that you think is dope and that you like, don’t let that thing go just to do what is popular.
Popularity and clout are about having something dope, KNOWING it’s dope, then telling those around you. I didn’t even know there were different types of yogurt until everyone started talking about Greek yogurt. It’s a cool yogurt and now every yogurt brand and their mama has a Greek cousin but that’s because someone knew that Greek yogurt was the shit and told others. Whatever your “thing” is, if you know it’s the shit, OWN THAT SHIT! Make sure people know your thing is the shit. Don’t abandon it when something else comes along.
And If You DO Abandon It
Bounce the fuck back! This blog post was about instant film yes but the real Polaroid company was bankrupt like three times! Them mofos are the bounce back, come back Kings and Queens! Pick yourself back up, take a look at the thing or quality that you know is awesome, dust that bitch off and TRY AGAIN.
For actual information on the Polaroid camera, go here.
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Should we treat ourselves like we treat our favorite food?
And here’s why:
So I’m sitting at home in my underwear munching on chocolate covered almonds after a very odd date. I don’t even know if I can call it a date…it was more like, an encounter. So I met this loser on OKCupid and he was all let’s go out, let’s go out, blah blah blah. Day of (today) he’s like, we’ll grab something to eat around me. So I park the car a few blocks away from his location and go to meet him there. We meet and I say, where are we headed? He says, let’s walk.
So we proceed to walk….a silent(ish), awkward(ish) walk…in the direction of my car. “Oh we’re not going to get coffee or something?” I ask. “Yeah, yeah” he says as we get closer to my car. He then “gets a call” where he tells the individual on the other line that he will be “home soon.” So I say “Alright” and he says “have a nice day!” And he heads on off.
This man met up with me. To drop me off. At my car.
Now as I sat in my vehicle sucking on my vape all I could think was, what the fuck was that?! So I start going down a list of all the possible things that could be wrong with me that he could have witnessed in that fifteen minute encounter to have warranted such an abrupt end.
Then it hits me: I (and you-we) should treat ourselves the way we treat our favorite food.
So one of my favorite foods are these yummy chocolate covered almonds I just devoured. Let’s say you offer these almonds to a friend: you want to share this delightful treat with someone else. This person says “I don’t like em” naturally your reaction is surprise: “what that’s crazy, these are the best!” You insist. “Nah, not a fan.” Your friend replies. So, you leave it at that. “Your loss” you shrug and continue to eat that yummy snack.
Now, let’s say you’re like me and always think you’re right. You’re gunna argue with this person “hey man, chocolate covered almonds are the best and here’s all the reasons why. What makes you not like them?!” you ask. “They’re too chocolatey or they’re too almondy or I don’t like sweets” your buddy responds. And with that, you shrug your shoulders and keep it moving. (We’re gunna call your friend Bob)
Your love for chocolate covered almonds didn’t decrease because Bob said he didn’t like them. You didn’t suddenly hate how chocolatey the almonds were because bitch ass Bob had a problem with them. You like how chocolatey it is. It’s not “too chocolatey ” it’s just right. And you didn’t try to make the almonds less chocolatey to get Bob to like them. You didn’t get them to be less sweet or less almondy you just counted it to Bob’s loss.
And you know what else you didn’t do? You didn’t stop offering it to those you wanted to try it just because Bob didn’t like it.
So why do we do it to ourselves?
Why is it that when we find out someone doesn’t like our hair suddenly we feel weird about our hair?
Why is it that if someone comments on our body suddenly we are considering altering our bodies?
Why is it that when one person rejects us we decide , you know what, I’m not even gonna bother any more.
Why the hell do we keep trying to feed the Bobs of the world our fucking nuts?!
We need to treat ourselves like we treat our favorite food. Have conviction in the things that make us awesome. Believe that we are awesome and stay believing it no matter what anyone else thinks.
Because just like our favorite food we will find that person that says omg I love chocolate covered almonds.
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