We eat three times a day, and then some. I wonder how many people think about what happens to their bodies once that food goes to work. Will the meal you just ate work for the good of you, or will it work against you? For most of my life I thought I was choosing fairly good things to eat. Sure there was the cake and cookies, which were obviously full of empty calories, but I never considered that my main meals were almost just as bad.
I cooked spaghetti and made noodle-based dinners a lot. I was married to someone who hated vegetables and loved any food smothered in melted cheese. I cooked food that my kids would eat without fussing and that my husband wouldn’t complain about. My kids drank lots of milk and juice -it’s good for you! Many meals came from boxes and cans to save time, and we were eating tons of extra preservatives and salt. Oh my, the salt I used to consume! It was due to pure ignorance.
Had I known that starches convert to sugar, and those high sugar loads can turn into health issues, I would have worked harder to make my family healthy. But I didn’t know. And the things I thought I knew came from general information, which is misguided. And, there was a lot less good information around 20-30 years ago.
Eating is serious business. It’s not about making our taste buds happy, or filling our craving for fried, salty fast food. It’s not about feeling better after eating a big bowl of ice cream, or enjoying a fast meal made by the Burger King. All of that may make you happy until the next unhealthy meal, but it’s taking a long-term toll on your overall health. Today you’re fat and happy, but 20 years from now, still fat, and not so happy.
These days I think about every morsel and drop that goes down my throat. Each bite I take has to make me feel good – not because it tastes good – but because I know it’s the right thing to do for my health. And, believe it or not, it usually tastes pretty darn good too.
We can become addicted to eating poorly. We are big-time creatures of habit. I have some bad habits I wouldn’t mind breaking, but it’s tough to do! I’ll bet you can relate. Eating well is a matter of self control and repetition. Don’t expect to give up favorite bad foods all at once. I have found that it’s an on-going process. Knowledge is power, so figure out where you are going wrong.
Buy books that are written by reputable people, like doctors who have proof that diet change makes a difference in health. Dr. Perlmutter (Grain Brain) and Dr. Davis (Wheat Belly) are two that come to mind. They have shown me that whole grains and gluten can be deadly in the long run. Making the changes they suggest haven’t been easy. In fact it’s an on-going process, but their view on food and how it’s linked to disease makes a lot of sense. As we’ve been (mis)guided to eat what’s healthy, we are inadvertently making ourselves sick.
The New Year seems to make people want to start fresh and work towards a better and healthier lifestyle. Just make sure you go about it the right way.