I thought a good place to start the discussion about nutrition and food would be by talking about what I eat and why I eat it. There are tons of other topics I want to eventually talk about, including addressing common nutrition myths and misconceptions, the obesity epidemic, the “American” diet, and how that has all influenced the choices I make about what goes into my body. But for now, let’s start with what I actually know about, which is ME!
I’ve definitely talked a lot about this topic on this blog already, so to recap what I’ve already said: I appreciate the concept of Paleo and try to eat Paleo-esque, but eating 100% Paleo is too much meat for me. I am lactose intolerant and all signs point to being gluten intolerant as well. I really enjoy beer. I have been known to consume entire boxes of mac & cheese in one sitting. My favorite food of all time is nachos.
Despite my affinity for melted cheese, a normal day of food for me looks like this: Breakfast–1 or 2 eggs and a banana, or a kale and spinach smoothie with strawberries; Snack–almonds; Lunch–salad or veggie stir-fry (or the equivalent in a burrito-bowl style, sans rice or beans); Dinner–usually involves 1 serving of meat, some style of veggie side dish, and lately has been involving sweet potato chips and a lot of guacamole. Tortilla chips and salsa frequently sneak there way into my day as well (tortilla chips are, by far, my biggest diet vice).
A lot of what I believe about food is constantly evolving. For example, up until about 2 months ago I thought gluten was totally fine–now I make conscious choices every day to keep it out of my body. However, my firmest belief when it comes to food is that what you put in your body is your own responsibility, and if you want to be healthy, you have to eat healthy.
Some other things I believe about food (as of today, at least):
Eating healthy looks a little different for everyone, but I believe that eating a healthy diet basically means eating as few chemicals as possible (ideally, zero chemicals) and limiting your sugar intake. If you can do those two things, your diet will automatically be limited to mostly whole foods that have little chance of causing your body to flip out.
Everything in moderation. Even too much kale can be a bad thing, and there is absolutely a time and place for ice cream.
Food can be super powerful. I have read stories about people curing diseases, controlling seizures, and reversing chronic symptoms by just changing their diets. I really believe the quote at the top of this post, and try to think about that a lot.
I try to look at food as fuel and consider what my body needs instead of thinking about how I want to eat Chicken McNuggets. I have a very, very sensitive digestive system (and always have), and it shocks me how different I can feel from day to day based on what goes in my body.
I will pay twice as much to get organic meat and eggs because antibiotics and artificial hormones scare me.
I try to eat as healthy as possible at all times, but food is complicated. We live in a culture where very little value is put on a healthy diet, and where many of our social interactions revolve around food and alcohol. It’s not always possible to eat well and be social at the same time. I try to minimize these situations, but don’t stress out too much about having a few beers with friends on the weekend.
Those are the basics. I am lucky that I have never had an eating disorder or developed a legitimate emotional attachment to food, and I recognize that this is not the case for a lot of people. What do you believe about food? Is your relationship complicated or have you figured out a diet that works for you?
There is a lot more to it than just this. I don’t want you to have to be reading forever, so stay tuned for Part 2 about the “American” diet.