This Saturday’s guest post is from my good friend Jane Duea. Jane is an energetic and insightful life coach who is helping women define what is most important to them, build a mission around their core values, and create steps of action to see their mission through. One of the things I like best about Jane is that she “calls it as she sees it.” We all need people like that in our life.
Jane and her husband Dave live in Gig Harbor, WA, and have two teenage children, a golden retriever named Chelsea, and a whole lot of fun! You can find Jane on her website at www. Jane@lifetothe10th.com.
You’d think for must of us, it would be the latter. But no. According to a new study, most American consumers don’t pay as much attention to food product nutrition labels as they claim.
Researchers asked 203 people to look at nutrition labels for different grocery products displayed on a computer screen, and asked them to report HOW THROROUGHLY they read those labels.
Guess what. They lied. While 31 percent said they looked at the calorie count, only 9 percent actually did. And while 30 percent said they looked at fat, trans-fat, and sugar content, only 1 percent actually did! (The study appears in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.)
Do you know what that means? It means we aren’t looking at the things that really matter.
The more I learn about healthy eating, the more I am looking at labels. What I’m looking for are natural ingredients that will best fuel my body (Heads up: those ingredients are usually easy to recognize, understand, and spell J). From those pure ingredients should come energy and health—bottom line…good stuff.
The other day I took this a step further: as I was in line at the grocery store, reading the labels on the items in my cart, I thought to myself, “If I had an ingredient label on my back, what would it say? Would the list consist of things that are nourishing—life giving to myself and others? Would I be proud of my label?”
Character qualities are kind of like the ingredients in a person, don’t you think? I mean, I want to be genuine, for example (like genuine crab versus imitation crab). I can certainly pretend certain attributes, but there is NO comparison between authentic and fake. And don’t we all want to be the real deal?
So what might be the ingredients on our label?
Kind or selfish?
Authentic or superficial?
Joyful or grumpy?
Patient or irritable?
_______ or __________?
(You fill in the blanks.)
I’m not saying “perfection” is the mark—we all have moments! But in general, what are we made of?
Who we are at our core—the substance of our person and character—is going to either bring life and fulfillment to us (and the people around us), or it is going to drain us and pull us down, as well as others. The great thing is that we get to choose our ingredients.
Paying attention to the “labels”—on our food and on our character—can mean all the difference in the world in helping us to have (physically) healthy lives, (emotionally) healthy relationships, and a (socially) healthy impact on our community.
The choice is not always easy, but we can do it. The choice is ours and no one else’s, no matter what our life circumstances may be. We can be intentional about how our labels read. Choosing well definitely equals hard work. The kind of characteristics we likely hope for take a determination to acquire. Yet again, it is our choice, and that is a gift.
What’s on your label today?