Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Musings #2 - Food

Food is something no one can live without. Regardless of how much many of us would like to, without it, we die. It's . Just . TOO . Enjoyable.
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This causes many of us (myself included) over-indulge. There are websites dedicated to it. There are even channels....not channel but CHANNELS dedicated to it. So what's a person to do? Should we all follow Paula Deen and use copious amounts of butter? (don't get me wrong, my girl Paula has NEVER done me wrong on a recipe!) Or should we be eating a vegan lifestyle because it's more earth friendly and body friendly? Do we cut out the sugar and refined flours? Do we eat raw? Paleolithic diet? It's endless and it's a horrible cycle because you can't just end it. You HAVE to eat. So I guess we should break down what eating means.

For some, (and I'm betting it is a rare few) eating is strictly for fuel.

And for them, that's awesome. That means that they eat exactly what their bodies need when they need it. And they aren't tempted by one of Paula Deen's awesome pies. Soda's and HFCS never passes their lips. I truly wished I was one of these people. Well, kinda. I wished I wasn't SO tempted, and had less pleasure with food. 

Food is also related to too many other aspects of life. It's the one time in the day that MOST families can sit down and spend some time with one another and share their day and their plans.
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Many friends and family gather around the table in the evening and they talk about how work went, how school went, there is prayer over food, and there are many times that's the ONLY time these people that live together actually spend more than 5 minutes with one another. This is also not to mention holiday dinners with the whole family. Our holidays revolve around when we're eating where so that grandparents get equal time with the grandkids and the times need to be spaced out just enough so we have room to eat at each and every location. 

Rarely do dates happen when there isn't food involved, or nights out with the girls/guys always involve food. Get togethers involve grilling and or finger fooding. Not to mention sodas/tea/beer/wine. 

So with this food based culture what's a gal to do. There's a thousand and one different diets, all promising to get you thin and to give your body precisely what it needs. Vegans say that eating meat is counter productive. Italians and Greeks swear by the olive. Some people suggest that the act of cooking food is in itself part of the problem with out food society, this takes us back to pre-cave man days before the invention of fire. Speaking of cave man, there's even a diet out about that. And if you're one of those Christians that doesn't believe that the Earth is over 6000 years old, there's a diet for you too. It's a Biblical diet. 

Now, when I go grocery shopping there are magazines telling me to cook this and others saying not to eat that. And really it's a huge muddle. 

I don't think that a body should exempt certain food groups. However, I don't think that we're focusing on the right volumes of all the foods. From everything that I've seen the food pyramid should be something like Vegetables and fruits and leafy foods at the base, followed by true grains, like rice, beans/legumes, barley, etc. On top of that there are fish, poultry, eggs, milk/yogurt, and oils like olive oil and coconut oil. On top of that should be red meat, pork, butter, cheeses. And at the top breads and sugars. 

I don't eat this way, but I ought to. It looks healthy and there's nothing left out. Now for me, breads and sugars have to come at the top because I'm predisposed to diabetes. My Gramma had it, her sisters had it (one from childhood), my Mom has it and I have PCOS.  Now for someone who has issues with their cholesterol they might want to bump breads and sugars down and move red meat, eggs, pork, butter and cheeses up. But I think for everyone the healthy base should be standard. Veggies, fruits, grains, healthy fats, the rest is tweaked according to specific needs. 

So, I'm going to try to have a meatless meal once a week. Start slow.  I'm going to try to get more of the fruits and veggies into my diet and less of the breads and sugars. Anyone else with me? (if anyone made it through such a long post.)


  1. I made it through =) <3- Cor

  2. I'm predisposed to both diabetes and heart disease and I'm nearly 50 so my goal is to be a healthy weight in the next 18 months. I found decreasing fats and exercising more (in my case walking because my joints won't jog/run or do aerobics) works for me. Try fish fillets with a lemon/coriander low fat sauce and side dish of salad or a nice vegetable quiche for a meatless meal. Taste is very important and don't make your diet rigid or you'll become bored quickly. Have fun :).

  3. A friend of mine got a great deal on a HUGE milkshake recently and then she said, “Now this is why America is fat.” Is it not only what we eat, but how much we eat?

    Exercise is just as important as eating well to maintain good health (IMHO). Yet how many products/diets promise “weight loss without exercise,”- how is that healthy? Sorry, I am off your topic. Good post, Tracy. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts as you try new (meatless) meals.

  4. @RobynK

    For me, I've found that if I cut down my fats (all fats in general) that I don't lose weight and I tend to store it. However, I've been lowering my saturated fats and transfats and upping my healthy fats like olive oil and safflower oil. I do use coconut oil as well. I'm also hitting the gym up slowly but surely. Though today that got a wrench thrown into it because I ripped my toenail half off.

  5. @Grace

    It's true! Think on it when McD's opened, the ADULT meal was the same size as the child's happy meal today. Now they give you jumbo orders of fries and drinks, not to mention things like the "baconator" and the triple whopper. Speaking of whoppers, I went to BK the other day and ordered a meal and wanted a large unsweet iced tea....did you know that they changed their sizes again? Their medium is the same as what their large used to be. Their large is now the supersized drink. Isn't that insane?

  6. Sure wish I could live without food but it is oooohhhh soooo good!