There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Eating Reasonable Things

The thing that makes me happy today is that I am finally making a move to eat more consciously. I have always been a fan of good nutrition, but often choose what is convenient over what might be likely to promote good health. We do eat a lot of meals as a family, and I know that is good, but we have gone through periods recently where most of that has been at Sonic or restaurants. Since I've been off work, it's been a lot easier to cook at home, but I think I will be able to continue it when work picks up again.

The reason I have been working on eating better is that all the reading I have been doing has finally sunk into my soul, and I can't just do nothing.

Quite a while ago I read The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It opened my eyes to how food is raised in the US. Then more recently I watched the DVD and read the book of Food, Inc. That made me decide to never eat a LOT of snack foods I once enjoyed again. Gee whiz, corn, soybeans and that corn syrup are in everything!

Now I am reading Food Rules and In Defense of Food, also by Pollan. These books just make a lot of sense. They don't promote one diet or another, just eating reasonable foods in reasonable proportions. Food Rules isn't very long at all and can be boiled down to:

Eat Good. Mostly Plants. Not too much.

That means to eat things you know what they are (like a carrot versus whatever is in a Twinkie), eat more leaves, fruits and vegetables, and don't over-eat. It doesn't say never have cake. Just don't have cake every day.

I had put on a few pounds, so I started eating this way, and walking more, and it's worked fine--lost about 9 pounds in 3 weeks. I know it will slow down, but that's fine. We are trying to eat more organic stuff, and even have ordered our first batch of organic beef from our friends at Wild Type Ranch (if you live around here, check their website for when they deliver near you). That's one thing these books suggest consumers can do to change how the food industry in the US works: buy locally from people you KNOW.

I have watched a number of my friends change their diets in recent years. Some have become vegetarians. A number of people have gone gluten free, so I have seen how that diet can be quite tasty and varied. We also know people who eat an all raw diet. That sounds awful, doesn't it? But no, I can assure you that some of the most delicious things I have ever eaten have been prepared by my friends who eat raw. My friend Karen gave me a slice of pomegranate pie she had made for a birthday gift. It was wonderful. The crusts she makes from nuts and such are absolutely divine. And the agave nectar sweetener is great!

I might not ever got 100% vegetarian, but I already don't eat a lot of meat. I would like to bring a lot more fish into my diet, though I do worry about contaminants with that. And I don't think I'd ever switch to a raw diet, but I'd be tempted to eat a lot more raw foods if I had the time and money to prepare and purchase the beautiful, healthy and delicious ingredients. (The major flaw of the raw diet is the time and expense--you sure have to own a GOOD juicer and blender thingie, plus the nuts and such can get costly.)

I think we are all aware that food-related conditions are rampant in the US. Most can be prevented by changing eating habits. We don't have to go crazy. I am changing one thing at a time, and gradually switching to a healthier diet. For example, I have not had a diet soda (or regular) in weeks. Go me! I've been drinking water, tea, coffee and red wine, because, hooray, red wine is good for you in moderation if you don't tend to abusing it!

I do recommend the In Defense of Food Book to anyone interested in learning the history of the way westerners eat. It's quite eye opening. Even if you do not change how you eat, you will understand why you are finding the things you find in the grocery store, etc.


Sara DownToEarth said...

This is a really good book; simple and easy to read. Just keeping the basic guidelines in mind will go a long way toward a healthier you as well as a healthier planet (and I also believe a healthier economy and community).

Thanks for the plug, too! Hope you enjoy your beef!

Vicki said...

Interesting! I have been eating differently for the past year since I stumbled on the website for "No S Diet" -- now on weekdays I eat three plates of healthy food, with only water, tea or the occasional decaf coffee in between. Then on weekends I can eat whatever I want. I find that I'm losing weight effortlessly and that on weekends, even though I *could* gorge myself on crap, I really don't want to because a) the way I eat through the week has sort of shrunk my stomach so I get uncomfortably full if I do that and b) I am now sensitized to sugar and other "non-foods" so that I can only tolerate a small amount of those things.

Sounds like this book kind of reinforces the basic principles behind what I'm doing, so maybe it's worth a read!

Good work losing weight - it can be difficult to make those basic lifestyle changes that you made but it's so good to see results.