“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
— Benjamin Franklin
While driving home from Dallas this past weekend, my family and I stopped at a small rest station near Huntsville. We stretched our legs by walking through a wooded area around a small pond at the rest stop. At one point, we found others who were at the water’s edge with a bag of fish food, and they were throwing it onto the water to feed the fish and turtles in the pond. They were kind enough to share some, so my daughter got to “feed the fishies” and I got to enjoy the sounds of her laughter and delight in watching them.
This got me thinking about how important it is to be prepared to “feed the fishies” at any moment. There are a few things in this act that are beneficial to our health. First, the act of feeding fish can be a relaxing and even meditative activity. It is an act of absolute kindness with no pressure to receive anything back. It is highly unlikely that I will ever eat a fish out of that pond. But in feeding them, I’m doing something kind to something that will never be able to repay me. Would those fish survive without us feeding them? Yes, but they wouldn’t have gotten the same nutritional value that the fish formula provided.
Secondly, being prepared to feed fish forces us to think outside of ourselves. There is comfort in knowing you are prepared for any circumstance. In my wife’s car, I have purchased a small roadside equipment bag in case she is ever stranded on the side of the road. It helps me feel more secure when she is traveling. Studies have found that having a plan or even being prepared for unforeseen circumstances can improve anxiety, stress, and improves our strategic thinking skills and self-discipline. If anything, the past few years have shown us how important it is for us to be prepared for the unknown.
Finally, in feeding the fish, I like to think that you are helping to improve your own health. Fish is wonderful source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, B2, magnesium, zinc, iron, and iodine to name a few. Feeding the fish when you get a chance helps to improve the overall ecosystem of these wonderful creatures that are rich sources of nutrition. I could go on for another 2 pages on the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. They help with inflammation, pain, concentration, as well as some studies show they can improve heart health and decrease risks of cardiovascular disease. If I could add them to the water without making our water taste like fish, I would. The FDA recommends consuming at least 8 oz of seafood per week. If fish isn’t to your taste, find a good fish oil that has at least 1,000mg of combined DHA and EPA per capsule.
To end, I’d like to reference (and change) a quote from the Disney movie “Finding Nemo.” Fish are friends AND food. Stay healthy and well.