Many people make New Year's resolutions, although few keep them. The most common resolutions always center on health, diet and exercise. This year, financial housekeeping also will be high on the list for many Americans.
Last week two related, although questionable, recommendations came out of Chicago.
First, Chicago's health commissioner wants the city's residents to become vegetarians, at least for the month of January.
This marks the fourth year that Terry Mason has campaigned for a meat-free January, he says it's an attempt to improve people's health citywide. That's a pretty black-and-white recommendation for what is the most complex of all human factors — health. But in keeping with human nature people like to oversimplify things.
Mason, is a physician with a urology practice, who spent seven months on a vegetarian diet, reports the Chicago Tribune. He says he plans to make it permanent. "If it walks, runs, hops, flies, swims, crawls or slithers, I won't eat it," Mason told listeners to his radio show on Chicago's WVON-AM. "I'm going to focus on eating a healthy and delicious variety of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, and I want you to do the same."
Also, out of windy city last week, the Jan. 8, Oprah show featured personal-finance expert Suze Orman, who suggested everyone stop going to restaurants for a month. She challenged millions of Oprah viewers not to spend any money for a day. "Don't use your credit cards for a week, and don't eat at restaurants for a month," she said.
Not surprisingly that suggestion didn't set well with everyone. Several visitors to a www.Oprah.com message board questioned Orman's restaurant advice. "Why would Suze Orman single out restaurants to be avoided?," said an independent restaurant owner. "I am not a millionaire. I am not the enemy. Why would Suze Orman treat me like one? There are so many impulse purchases... Our economy needs stimulus, not a trusted financial guru telling people to avoid one industry for a month."
Food too often is looked upon as the problem or solution to much more complex human challenges.