I feel like a few years ago Food Inc. was released and everything changed. From that one documentary (although I am sure there were many prior to it) came like, a zillion documentaries, all trying to scare us into eating differently. From those zillion documentaries came all these buzz words that people associate with making better choices in their lives. There have been a million fad diets laced with a trillion ways to eat like our ancestors to guarantee a better, fitter you. Juicing, fasting, no carb, low carb and the latest and greatest Paleo Diet which to me provides the biggest chuckle. Paleo is sometimes referred to as the caveman (or women) diet, taking from the hunter/gatherer way of foraging for food. It emphasizes things that come from the earth: fruit, veggies and meat and excludes things like grains and legumes. It’s controversial for sure and lots of people, doctors included, have many different opinions about whether or not it is a healthful way to live. (By the way, I’m not picking on this diet, just merely using it as an example) When things get tough in the food industry and the heat is on the health, everyb0dy wants to run for cover and usually, the cover happens to be whichever way our ancestors once ate. For some reason, we have it in our minds that their way was the right way. But here is what we are all forgetting, those folks, didn’t live that damn long. They had much shorter life plans because of their limited diet. It sometimes took them days if not weeks to find protein. And they walked hundreds of miles in search of food, never staying in one location for too long. Women today are running with this diet, consuming much more protein than needed and not doing the amount of activity that those old folks once did. Face it people, we don’t live in a society where we walk anywhere. I mean, some people do, sure, that live in cities. And some people bike, I get that too. But really, most of us spend our time in cars, driving one or two miles down the road or on a treadmill staring at the wall, completing the same bat shit crazy behavior over and over again. We don’t share common ground with our ancestors at all, so lets not try and eat like them.
To me, the biggest problem is that everyone wants a biological, sensible, way out of our own problem. But here’s the thing: there isn’t one. We have to face the facts. We don’t hunt. We don’t gather. (Spare me with the some of us hunt crap, you hunt, sure, but it’s not the same and most of you have like granola bars in your bags as you hunt) We go to the grocery store, we buy everything, we whip something up, we slap a healthy name on it and we think we are awesome. Some may say that I am just as guilty with some of my vegan desserts recently. But I’ve always been open and honest with you guys, I’m not a vegan and I’m not trying to be one (but I am inspired by those who are), I’m just your average girl trying to feed herself and her kids the best way possible. I fully understand the issues in our food industry and I try and find my best way out of them. I try not to participate when possible. I try to grow my own when I can and I try and support those locally who grow their own as well. There is no way out of this mess, until we are all willing to remove the labels, look behind the curtain and take a long, hard look at OZ.
So you may be asking, ok, Jenny, woman who claims to know everything, what makes you fit?
Being fit isn’t about having a definition for your diet. Being fit, eating clean, eating well is all about searching for the freshest, wholesome, real food out there and then consuming it in the most basic way possible. By basic I don’t mean it needs to be raw, under flavored and boring but basic enough that you have accented the food well in a straight forward fashion. It’s about eating meat less because no, we are not programmed to eat meat seven days a week, multiple times a day. It’s about removing the packaged food completely when we can and are ready to make that commitment. (This includes granola bars, protein bars, gel packs, I mean, please, look at the labels, YUCK). It means eating grains that are in their natural state, that are not refined. It means drinking water rather than juice or soda, which has no nutritional value. (unless you are making the juice yourself) It means letting yourself indulge, healthfully, once in a while when you feel the need but then stepping back from that and rounding out your diet with something healthful. It means getting outside and breathing in the air while doing something with your body. It means whatever you want it to, as long as it respects the temple you live in, your body. You only get one. We were given the tools and we turned our backs on them. Rather than deal properly, we want to demonize the situation and find a name for it. Atkins: I hate you. South Beach Diet: I think you are stupid. Weight Watchers: I get why people use you but I don’t agree with your philosophies and Paleo: No, I just don’t think you are based on a good core ideal.
I realize that its easier said than done. I battle with this everyday. I have two kids and sometimes, I just have to give them something like Goldfish. I feel badly about it. I do. But I don’t always have the time to make everything from scratch and I have to accept that some battles I just have to let go. However, 90% of the time, my kids go for the good stuff. They don’t drink juice, unless someone else gives it to them, they have never consumed soda and they know what healthy living looks like in this house. We have lots of normal meals, last night we had spaghetti and meatballs, may not seem the most healthful but I bought my meat locally, everything else was organic when possible and we had hand made, locally sourced bread. There is a balance that can be achieved when sought after. I’m not about to live a life of deprivation but I do want to know where what I eat comes from. You should too.
Don’t take the good stuff away. Just swap out the choices. Enjoy well made, artisanal, local cheese. Enjoy fresh milk. Enjoy good wine. Enjoy meat that you can state where it was raised and where it was killed. Enjoy a slice of pie, that you made with good ingredients, but just one slice.
Eliminate your barriers. Food is love. Give it to your body as a gift. And enjoy it.
Have a great Sunday everyone. Eat something good.