5 min read

HitPoint Health Weekly 9/3: BG3 Update, Processed Foods, Food Deserts, and more

HitPoint Health Weekly 9/3: BG3 Update, Processed Foods, Food Deserts, and more
Photo by Johannes Plenio / Unsplash

Good morning, happy Sunday! It's been an extra week or two, but I hope this finds you well once again. We had a hurricane scare down here in Florida, and it gave me some time away from work and play to sit down and write a bit. As you'll see below, I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time playing Baldurs Gate 3, it has absorbed me just like I thought it would, even more so. It's almost everything I could have hoped and quickly has become my favorite game of all time. I hope that it causes a CRPG revolution and continues to push the genre past its previous limits.

Stuff I Did This Week

Baldurs Gate 3 Update

As mentioned in my intro, I have been playing the ever Loving crap out of this game. I have over 200 hours in it so far, although I have only beat the game once so far. It's addicting to create new characters and start new games, just like it is in dungeons and dragons table top. And I think that is one of the most appealing aspects of this game, how closely it can replicate the feelings I've had playing tabletop D&D.

This game is as close to perfect as any I've played before, this and Disco Elysium, which both happen to be within the same genre. Maybe I just have a penchant for CRPG games.

This game makes me feel things, and also really awakens my inner strategist. Starting to play a playthrough on tactician has proven difficult but quite fun, even more so than the balanced games I've played through. And playing this game with friends in a 4 player party is like playing a completely different game. There is so much that this game has to offer, and I want to take it all in.

Plus, Larian studios, the devs, are continuing to pump out support, new content, and bug fixes at a pretty rapid pace, which is something that I love to see. Larian hasn't let me down before and it appears that they don't intend to with this game either. (if you haven't played Divinity Original Sin 2, you should, another incredible game.)

The main takeaway from this, from this game and all of the gaming industry reshaping debate that has come out of this, is that, this game is incredible. And the business model is too. $60 for a complete product, no microtransactions or DLC, you get what you pay for, a finished, quality game. Just like the gaming industry used to be. And that's just a part of the appeal of Baldurs Gate 3. I highly recommend this game to anyone, 10/10.

HitPoint Hacks

Processed Foods

While spending so much time playing BG3, I realized that I wasn't getting in as much movement as I'd want, and even ended up staying up late playing it, either alone and in awe, or with my friends, having a great time. Either way, both of these things actually lead me to notice that my hunger, and desire for carbs and processed foods increased. That's par for the course when it comes to both lack of sleep, and lack of movement.

So, what is there to do? Aside from the obvious, get more sleep, and move more, I would also suggest removing all processed foods from your space. At the very least, most processed foods. My general rule of thumb for foods to completely avoid and skip buying, is to look out for any of these ingredients:

Seed Oils, such a Canola, Vegetable, Safflower, Sunflower, Rapeseed, etc. These oils are likely treated in high heat, destabilizing them, causing them to be dangerous for consumption. Not that I necessarily have an issue with these fats in general, but when combined with the food processing, they become toxic quite quick. Plus, it's just a good indicator that the ingredients in the product are cheap and of low quality, which is something to avoid as well.

Sugar. Everyone knows that sugar is something to be avoided like the plague. Although, I will say that having some forms of natural sugar, something like honey or even maple syrup once in a while could actually do more good than harm, anything in the ingredients that looks like corn syrup, or any other unnatural forms of sugar, is definitely to be avoided.

Those are my top 2 things to look for in an ingredients list that will prevent me from purchasing an item. Although there are other things, such as any chemical sounding additive that you can't pronounce, food colorings and dyes, and stuff like that, but the main 2 that I look out for appear more innocent than those other things. Even something like "natural flavors" can be misleading, and potentially toxic.

In the end, it is better to avoid processed foods altogether, but I know that isn't exactly something that is realistic. So, best to just be more picky and not to cut corners at the grocery store when looking for things to snack on!

Food Deserts

If you are familiar at all with Dr. Mark Hyman's work on Food Fix, or have an understanding of the political climate around food and food production, then you might have an idea of what a "food desert" is. A dood desert is an area where residents have limited access to affordable and nutritious food, often because they are far from a supermarket or large grocery store. These areas are typically characterized by a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and other healthy food providers. Instead, residents may have access only to fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy food options. In other words, the people who live in these areas (often low income urban areas, or rural areas) only have access to processed foods.

This is harmful and complex issue to address, as often times, markets won't move in due to a perceived lack of benefit to them, as they may end up losing money there. But this is by design, as getting these residents hooked onto these toxic foods only makes them crave it more and less likely to move on to healthier sources of food to consume. So, what are some solutions, if any? This is an even more complex issue, as convincing a healthier store, such as a Whole Foods, would be difficult in a rural or low income area. Changing this would likely have to involve changing the entire food system, which is no easy feat, and in our current climate is close to impossible. However, change can also happen on a local level, by inspiring people and communities to grow their own food, start their own gardens, and buy from local farms, cutting out the middle man often makes prices more affordable and the food is typically healthier to boot.

The easiest route to a better food system is education on the matter, and showing people how to be food independant.

Walking down the Wildcat trail in Monument Valley opens up this magnificent view to everyone. Amazing weather and good light helped us with this picture.
Photo by Ganapathy Kumar / Unsplash

Thank you for reading this week!

I hope that you got something out of it, and that you enjoyed some of the content. I'll be back next week, and I'll cover the importance of expressing creativity, and provide some tips on how to enhance your creativity, and embrace it even when it is hard, sometimes.

So I hope that you enjoy the rest of this long weekend, and I'll talk with you soon!

Until then, to your HitPoints!