I think the term for what I am doing is “re-blogging.” That’s a ‘thing,’ right? [Feeling sheepishly antique.]
In my last post I mentioned the importance of having a plan when it comes to figuring out how to regain lost health… or perhaps acquiring a level of good health that a given individual may not have even previously experienced in life! Why not aim high? A critically fundamental step — and by that I mean that this step cannot be missed on the quest to thriving if thriving is the goal — an absolutely necessary step in this plan is to learn how to eat well.
Please do not mistake me for a soapbox preacher when it comes to dietary success. I am your run-of-the-mill carbaholic/choco-holic/tortilla-chips-and-cheesoholic. During college I made sure the soft-serve ice cream machine in the cafeteria that was stocked and running during breakfast time did not go to waste. Between college and med school my idea of preparing a healthy dinner was heating up a frozen veggie patty and topping it with a little BBQ sauce. I don’t really remember too much of what I ate during med school, but as I spent that time in Southern CA, I recall playing an instrumental role in keeping Del Taco solvent as a corporate chain. As a friend of mine once reflected towards her own similar habits during those same grad school years, “When I’m hungry, it’s not time to cook; it’s time to eat.” Can anyone out there relate?
The problem is that even the foodiest of foodies –one of which I happen to have married– don’t want to cook when they are hungry. If hunger arrives and there is no plan, who wants to spend the 1-2 hours it takes to chop, season and cook vegetables, and roast some lean meat? NO ONE. Not you, not I, not Mario Batali. Enter the fast food industry, whose sole goal is to provide you with comestibles that are so cheap to prepare that they can charge you less than a dollar for them and still keep an annual profit margin in the billions. If you stop and think about it, you may discover a wide rift between that goal and your goal of living a healthier life. Of course, the fast food industry specializes in obliterating that potential moment of reflection by reducing the time lapse of the crave – order – pay – feed-face continuum to under 3 minutes.
So after the blitzkrieg of indulgence, you may find those few seconds to spend on insightful reflection which will now only be experienced as regret. Which yields self-loathing. Which fuels depression. Which leaves you unmotivated to plan ahead. And by then the glycemic spike from the terrible meal you just ate has turned into a crash, and you are clamoring for the next calorie fix within closest reach… Again, does this story sound familiar to anyone?
I submit to you that the awful eating habits driven by a frenetic lifestyle do not always or only lead to obesity. I, for example, am a “grazer,” meaning that I just eat in little bits all day long, like a cow or goat nibbling away at the meadow. Even when my ‘field of grass’ consists of the wrong stuff, I don’t get particularly heavy since I have been graced with a decent metabolism and a low threshold for satiety. But I get fatigued and bloated and crabby. Not a picture of thriving at all.
There is a myth out there that eating well means you have to pay $5 for a head of organic lettuce or $20 for a pound of grass-fed beef at a specialty market. Incorrect! Truly good food can be affordable, and for advice in this regard I defer to a higher authority.
This first link is actually another blog (hence, the “re-blogging” query above) which refers to an excellent book that teaches principles of simple and inexpensive cooking, while also containing delicious, straightforward recipes.
Let’s be real. Even if restructuring your diet doesn’t cost a lot of money, it costs something. It requires an investment of time and commitment. In a future post, I’ll talk about what it took to convert this (yours-truly) junk food junkie to the enviable status of “better eater.” (Hehe) Hear this!: I am by no means a paleo-vegan (those are practically opposites by the way for the diet-trend-ignorant like me) touting an avocado-topped scepter. I’m actually still an addict – give me one Girl Scouts Thin Mint and you may as well bury me in them 6 feet under. But with guidance and motivation I’ve developed some sustainable habits, and you can do it, too.
Come back soon.