I don’t think I have been over weight my entire life. If you asked me to draw a picture of myself, I would probably look average, maybe even skinny. I guess you could say that I have a deceptive view of my own body. I’m always willing to try a new “diet” to lose weight, or to do whatever seems like it will work fast. I am a typical American, I want the fast results. But I know that isn’t the way things work. I didn’t gain all of this weight in a month, and I’m not going to lose it all in a week or four. I wish it worked like that. B-man and I have been working on trying to make our lives healthier. To eat better. “Lite”-er, less fat, more veggies, less frying, more baking. I’ve tried lots of things. But none of it sticks. Why? I dunno. I don’t like tomatoes. Do you know how many diets depend on tomatoes? Lots. Or the ones that depend on bell peppers to add calorie-free flavor? Lots. I can’t eat bell peppers, so that doesn’t do much for me. But I’ve been doing some thinking, some watching, and some reading. Reading! can you believe it! I think I’m starting to like reading. Just by the way.
So, I did accumulate a small collection of books that address the way Americans eat. The way I eat. This “western” diet that is known to be the cause of the top for fatal diseases in America. I know about this – and yet I still do it. I’m not good at explaining what I’ve been reading. I tried talking to my husband about it, and ended up gluing him to the couch so that I could read to him for 2 hours. We read the book “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. I wasn’t expecting to love it. But I did. I do. B-man and I have been focused on trying to eat healthier. But what is healthier? What about eating better? But what does that mean? Well, to be honest – my definition is probably a little different from yours.
I’m not going to say “I will only eat this many calories” because instead of focusing on the external cues to controlling eating, I want to focus on how I feel. Do I feel hungry? Do I not feel hungry. I don’t want to feel full. That’s not a good feeling.
I want to eat good, whole food. I am not going to say “organic.” I am going to say local. Why local? I want to buy local meats, at the least, and everything else when I can. I want to eat animals that are raised well. Animals that eat what they’re supposed to eat. Cows don’t eat corn. But all of the meat I find in the store is corn fed. I was talking to B-man about this. How, for thousands of years cows have been pasture fed, and then quickly it changed to a corn fed diet because corn is cheaper, faster, easier. What ever. But we’ve done the same thing to people. People haven’t been eating processed crap for thousands of years. My body isn’t made, or adapted to eating thing like high fructose corn syrup or xanthan gum. Does my body know what to do with these things? Do it know how to make the most of these new processed food? Despite the fact that many of these processed foods contain the same nutritional values, that doesn’t mean that it’s being treated the same way once I eat it. The book doesn’t say that – that’s just some of my thoughts. I want to eat animals that have been taken care of, animals raised the way they should’ve been, and not animals raised as part of a massive factory operation.
So we’re going to eat local meat, milk, eggs… along with a fun adventure. What we’re going to do is… well… try to make more things from scratch. Or… try. i am up for trying. We’re going to try and make tortillas, or bread, or pasta…. everything. Things that we would normally buy at the store…. we’re going to try and make it. Should be… interesting.
The Food Rules offers some guidelines to judging for yourself which kinds of foods are going to be better for you. B-man and I read the book together, and we’re picking things to do, things to apply, things to change. It’s the kind of thing you read, and then hopefully some of it sticks – unlike the hard and fast lines that diets draw.
We’ve also given ourselves a new challenge: to TRY NEW THINGS.
So the goal is to go to the store, farmers’ market, coop, somewhere, and find something new to try. Something I don’t like, or something I’ve never cooked before – and try it again. So that is what I am going to blog about. The new things – like that failed eggplant adventure.
I’m going to keep writing about this change in my life. I guess I need to be more specific about my goals, but I am having such a hard time paring down everything I’ve been thinking, reading, watching, learning.
Back to the books.