I’ve been in all sorts of turmoil the past 2 months when it comes to FOOD. It’s all around us, we have to eat it. We make choices all day every day about what we are going to put into our bodies. We all worry about weight and carbs and calories and sugar, but there is so much more to it than that. Or is there?
Since my weight loss two years ago, I’ve been more conscious about what I eat than ever before in my life. I simply didn’t want to gain the weight back. I’ve fought tooth and nail with my daily decisions, and have for the most part been happy with the results. But I’ve started these mind games with myself that just aren’t healthy. If my scale is up a few pounds, I’ll eat very minimal and “good” for a few days, til it is back down to my happy place. Then I’ll eat lots of cookie dough, feel ill, and eat more junk because “I already had a bad day, so why not?” Then I’ll see the scale go up a few pounds and the cycle starts over.
Why can’t my favorite batch of homemade cookies be ok? Why do food decisions have to be so hard?? Is it really just about weight gain?
I have never had any food allergies or intolerances, and neither have my kids. I feel very blessed that my body functions well on whatever I eat.
About 2 months ago, my husband started reading a book called: The Big book of Health and Fitness. Subtitle: A practical guide to diet, exercise, healthy aging, illness prevention, and sexual well being. I mean, who doesn’t want THAT kind of practical guide? Seems like the answer just from the subtitle.
My husband is a very fit individual, always has been. He will eat treats here and there, but (unlike me) knows how to stop himself. Despite his fitness, he’s had some issues with inflammation in his knee’s/achilles for years. It’s prevented him from doing the exercise he loves (cycling, running). This book issued a challenge to help reduce inflammation by not eating breads, pasta, rice, any carbs as well as processed sugars for two weeks. It wasn’t about weight at all, but about inflammation. I said, “sure, I’ll join you and support you, I did no carb/no sugar for 6 weeks back in my “cleanse” days. I could stand to lose a few pounds, I’m in!” As an athlete, he’d always done the “carb load” for more energy, but he’d actually found that without breads and pastas, he was doing better with his exercise, had more energy.
Well that seemed to coincide with a conversation I had with a friend who has some auto immune issues that she really does have to change how she eats or she gets sick. She’d told me of studies she’d read, how her friend (who is a cancer survivor) is writing a book all about food and our health. My friend says that she feels lucky that her insides were affected by how she was eating because she was kinda forced to change her diet. She believes that at some point in all of us, how we eat will manifest itself in some way or another (illnesses often in more aged people: heart disease, diabetes, cancer). She also talked about how even whole grains in the US are produced in such a way that even it’s been engineered to not be that great for us. Produced different in the US than other countries (that one I need to research more).
I left that conversation kinda gloomy.
Another night, we were on a double date with that same friend, and when they wanted to order dessert, my husband and I (on our two week cleanse) figured we should just get something so it wouldn’t be awkward. Because….it’s not very socially acceptable to not have a treat when others have a treat. We all know it.
I know too much.
I can’t go back.
Do I really need to change how I eat, even though I don’t feel currently affected by it, but at the possibility that later in life it will benefit me?
In our family, we moved forward having more veggies and no sauce, pastas, or rice with our meals. I was surprised at how actually easy it was to cook when I wanted assembling dishes. Cook meat. Cook veggies. Serve fresh fruit. Done.
Then variety became an issue.
But what about our kids breakfasts (cereal or pancakes)? What about lunches (bread, granola bars)?
Everything that I’d always done was suddenly in question.
I felt lost.
I feel Confused.
Not sure what to do.
Is it all just hype? Trendy? Mis-information?
I think there is something to it. GMO’s. Gluten. Packaged food.
Organic milk? eggs? fruit? veggies? meat? We’ve always laughed at the organic craze, but there seems to be something to it. At this point, I haven’t invested in organic milk, meat, or even fruit.
Do I go cold turkey or allow myself to ease into it?
I started searching out Paleo websites and cookbooks, and just last week heard about #whole30
Clean Eating is a different definition for different people.
Some say whole grains.
Some say no grains.
I’m actually not even missing the pastas and breads. I was on an outing with a friend and kinda mentioned all this, as I skipped the spaghetti noodles and just had meat sauce and veggies. She’s like, “wow, you really are serious about this.” When I have hamburgers I go bun-less. I actually think there is so much more FLAVOR when the delicious meat is not masked by the bun. When I was at a lunch with friends and went bun-less on my burger, people took notice.
It makes people feel uncomfortable, because it starts to make them question how they are eating, and no one really wants to do that. So I have mostly kept it to myself.
In our church, we adhere to the Word of Wisdom. It’s a health guide, which says to stay away from alcohol and other harmful drugs. My husband and I have faith in it’s teaching and principles. About meat, it suggests to eat it “sparingly.” So does that mean not every day? I eat meat every day. It also says that grain is the staff of life and good food for man. So does that mean I should eat it or can I cut it out?
I feel like there are doctors that say we should “eat clean” or we’ll get cancer or heart disease or something from inflammation to our insides. Then there are doctors that say to eat it all in moderation. So does that mean if we don’t gain too much weight, that’s moderation? What is the litmus test here?
I’ve been reading an interesting book called Eat the Yolks about the misinformation of fat. Egg Yolks are actually GOOD for you! Cholesterol is GOOD for you.
Interesting reads. I would have laughed at myself a year ago for even picking them up at a bookstore.
I haven’t cooked from them yet, but I’m THINKING about it, and gathering supplies. I’m mostly excited to try the baked goods and waffles and such that are now considered grain in my current diet, but they are grain free from these books.
I can live my life without pasta and breads, but I love waffles and muffins and cereal.
I think I’m aiming for a half and half diet right now. Half of my old ways. Half of the new ways.
I feel guilty now when my kids have cereal every morning, but not sure about scrambled eggs each morning either. We’ve eaten a LOT of eggs lately. They want me to make pancakes again, but I’m not sure if I use white flour, wheat flour, oatmeal, almond flour, coconut flour, gluten free bisquick, or what.
I need some clarity.
If not a granola bar, then a Lara Bar? Z bar? Some kind of convenience food??? I can’t start making granola bars…or maybe I can and just have to push myself a bit more.
I’ve been prayerful, I’m hoping I’ll feel some peace regarding the issue.
My husband is in less turmoil than me, taking it slow, not sure we need to omit all grains, but not sure he wants to eat an over abundance of meat, either. He knows how easily persuaded I can be, and it’s true. But now I’m just fearful about what I do now affecting my future, and I’m trying to have faith over fear, once again.
I saw this quote in a comment on a blog, and it struck me, ” It’s hard to eat this way in a world that doesn’t. It’s hard to cook for a big family — either all eating this way, or them eating this way and me not eating what they’re eating. It’s hard to stick with it day in and day out. It’s not too terribly hard for a few weeks, but it is hard as a lifestyle. I feel anti-social. I know my eating habits put a damper on others’ enjoyment when our eating out choices are dictated by my “can’ts.” I know I’ve offended more than one gracious hostess with my polite, “No thank you.” And I do miss crafting a perfect loaf of artisan bread or making my grandmother’s homemade pasta.”
I’ve started reading labels. Looking for whole ingredients.
I’m not saying I’m cutting out treats and such, or even all packaged items (I could never swear off Cheetos forever) but I’m going to be much more intentional than I have been in the past. Make my daily living more whole, more healthy, more clean.
If you’ve got anything for me, I’d love to hear it! It seems like everyone has an opinion about food.
Do you think:
- Everything in moderation. Who cares where meat, milk, veggies, and fruits are grown or fed? No need for this organic business. Exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and all is well.
- Eat Organic with whole grains. Brown rice and pasta’s are good for you, grain is necessary for digestion and good health. Range free chicken, eggs, meat.
- There is something to this Paleo/Whole30 thing (grain and gluten free), grains are not meant for our bodies and mess with our insides. Later in life we’ll pay for it if we are careless.