Over the past few years, I have worked hard to make healthier changes for myself, my family and the environment (I do care about all the little critters out there). Improving our diet has been the biggest adjustment. I have read a handful of books and countless articles on what foods are good for me and which are bad.
How do they know what is good for me? They can’t tell how food makes me feel. Isn’t that the most important thing? Brussel sprouts may lower my cholesterol, but my cholesterol doesn’t need to be lowered. Plus, they aren’t my favorite. While most articles are backed by science or research there are the few (or myriad) that report sensationalist information that I try not to react to— oh, but it is hard not to react. Anyway, it can be quite daunting that’s why it’s good to laugh sometimes.
I’ve read some humorous blogs lately poking fun at the health-food movement (while living it fully). Everyone is an expert and everything is bad for you. I couldn’t help but laugh at one in particular; I mean, I have totally fallen in love with the movement (insert apology to husband and certain friends who are not on the healthy-food bandwagon here). Chemicals disguised as food additives, and pesticides and frankenfoods— you know, GMOs— aren’t all these things to avoid as much as possible?
Haven’t we all realized that fast food, processed food and refined, sugary and high sodium foods aren’t good for you either— not that everyone cares. I’m sure it’s okay occasionally, and, to each his own, or whatever cliché fits in here. As for me, I try to eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible, which is a good thing since processing takes all the nutrients out (then again so does cooking) so that companies have to enrich foods with synthetic vitamins to put the nutrients back in to the food.
There is so much conflicting information out there and aren’t doctors and scientists knowledgeable, but what if they don’t agree? Who is right? What to do…what to do…
Here is what I think— and I’m not an expert, just a mom who wants the best for her family— I believe that whole, traditional foods are good for you. Traditional foods have been eaten throughout the world for centuries . While there might have been heart disease and cancer around, way back when, they were not the top reasons for death that they are today; and diabetes and obesity were not epidemics. Sure, a hundred years ago people would die from infectious diseases that are easily curable with antibiotics today, but those people weren’t trending toward diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Furthermore, what about autoimmune diseases, which have only been around, maybe 50 years? So, modern eating is bad for us. Why not listen to your body?
My husband and I eliminated (for the most part) gluten and his health has vastly improved—he had doctors telling him to do surgery instead of talking about diet changes; don’t worry he never went back. Can you believe that by eliminating wheat his life-threatening asthma and severe seasonal allergies have all but disappeared? It has completely improved his health. As for me, the brain fog that kept words from coming to my mind has lifted (of course I just had to ask my husband, “what’s the word for—”), and my elevated energy level has me motivated to get off the couch (and my irreverent humor is back too). As you can see, giving up bread and pasta was a small sacrifice; especially with yummy recipes from Comfy Belly.
One shouldn’t forget to enjoy foods, after all, but a pink slime burger on a bleached bun isn’t the answer—go ahead if you want to, but once you do give it up it’s easy to stay away.
I love cheese, chocolate, ice cream, coffee (mmm, coffee ice cream is my favorite), avocado; I‘m not skimping on fat and protein. (Of course, there is that problem of excess animal protein increasing calcium in your urine causing you to lose it too quickly— or not). I eat plenty of vegetables, although not enough lacto-fermented foods. I am far from what any expert would say as having a perfect diet.
Who knows though, in a month’s time I might be on the GAPS diet to “cure” my autoimmune disease.
Look, I don’t have it in me to be a stay-in-the-kitchen-all-day-long person. Then again, there is the other side of me that daydreams about baking, canning, dehydrating, freezing my winter’s supply, cheese making and raising chickens for eggs. I really do want a bigger garden and chickens for next year.
I have read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions book, it is a great reference tool, the information in there is astounding, however the recipes… well, the recipes… don’t whet my appetite. She, and the Weston A. Price Foundation, are avid proponents of eating meat— raw or fermented even. While that looks good on paper, picturing myself eating fermented fish, has well… made me lose my appetite. On the other side, you have the vegan and raw plant food diets. I saw Food Matters, and that was amazing too. Some blend of the two works for me (as if it could be that simple)— a theme for me, somewhere in the middle. Really, though, I trust most things that Dr. Mercola publishes, his opinion has a lot of influence on me.
What’s your take on the whole-food movement? Maybe you eat completely wholesome, or maybe you eat everything out of a box. While I’m probably not going to change anyone… although, I do see signs that a certain handsome man I know intimately is listening… I would love to see more people aware of the dangers of food today; that’s very important to me.
Finally, because I am only occasionally funny and I do love to share the laughter, here is the funniest thing I have read all week: http://www.nwedible.com/2012/08/tragedy-healthy-eater.html