Beautiful post~ and so wise!
I'm writing this post to remind us that food is more than macro-nutrients... a big thing here is about dealing with cheats, thoughts on whole foods being poison...social activities, and when we should just enjoy the ice cream. I was thinking about this over the weekend and each of the foods above kind of relates to an anecdote in my life- who knows, maybe someone can find some clarity.
A few years back I did South Beach diet over the summer. The "induction" phase is low carb and excludes fruit. The induction phase for me was in August. A week into it, my SO came in with a watermelon from the garden- a volunteer from the compost heap. I love watermelon. He was so excited to share it (apparently really good and the first and only watermelon we ever grew). I of course passed.... because of my diet. It kind of hurt his feelings and I really regret not enjoying that melon.
As a kid, one of my fave things was a pork and cole slaw sandwich from a local BBQ restaurant. When I became veg it was off the list. Then I moved south and always wanted some, but would make BBQ tofu and slaw. Of course, my first job, BBQ was a big deal and I'd always pass, snickering at the "heart attack on a plate". I always kind of wanted some, but my pride got in the way. Then last night, I made pulled pork (and have a few times) and got all bent out of shape when my SO was like "ewww"...
My dad is very ill and has been for some time. Oh, he did a lot wrong healthwise- ciggies, alcohol, stress, lack of exercise...food. But he's a really super good dad and person. Anyhow, he ended up with a feeding tube and I saw him over thanksgiving. It was heartbreaking. Now, the feeding tube was a good thing- perhaps a dream scenario for some here- the exact mix of nutrients pumped to your body that you need. It was hard to find things to talk about, but being positive we go onto what he wanted when the tube was removed (it has been) and he blurted out "potato salad". It was pretty funny- what a random thing- potato salad growing up was whatever was on sale in the deli dept. But it was an occasional food- usually alongside burgers on a sunny day with the family sitting in the gazebo. It made sense.
My point is-
A lot of us are here because we viewed food as something too far from a nutrient source. A crutch for depression, something to ease boredom, a strange addiction. It can be really easy to want to make eating into a scientific process devoid of emotion and pleasure- but the reality is, we have to make the attempt to balance that at some point or we won't succeed.
From the watermelon- I learned not to pass on something special that may not come back around. Yeah- you don't need the 6th piece of WalMart birthday cake this month... but maybe think twice about passing on Great Grandmas famous coconut cake over Easter- she may not be here next year to make it for you.
From the BBQ pork I learned to not judge- just let people enjoy. Don't have a stick up your ass about the occasional food choices of others. Unless it is your loved one killing themselves, just shut up, and take the judgey pants off. Then you don't look like an ass when you try some and like it or decide 10 years later that it is healthy.
From my dad I learned that we can all get a tube of perfect food, but it pretty much sucks. I mean, the potato salad eaten 3-4 times a year didn't get him in a bad way- it was day in/day out choices.
So in conclusion, eat healthy, and remember that health is more than about nutrients and macros and anti-nutrients and insulin spikes, but also about pleasure, family and happiness. Most of us aren't fat because we shared a pineapple with our spouse in the Caribbean or because every Thanksgiving we eat 2 pieces of Grandmas pie. We are fat because we scarfed down a snickers in traffic or gave up one too many nights and hit the drive thru - yet again. Or because we mindlessly like zombies drank a $4 coffee drink with 2 days of sugar every afternoon.
Beautiful post~ and so wise!
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Great post. I think the key word is moderation. Occasional slice of pizza or a cookie did not make any of us fat. It is the daily consumption of such foods and making such foods a staple or eating 3-4 slices of pizza in one sitting that did us all in.
Also, as discussed on this board in many posts, carbs are not necessarily the enemy. Watermelon is a perfect paleo food. BBQ can he eaten with good quality bbq sauce made with paleo ingredients and a little brown sugar in it wont hurt you. Potatoes are great paleo starch source for those who want/need carbs.
I like the 80/20 rule proposed by Mark. I follow the primal diet but will have an occasion a cookie, A bowl of oatmeal and a peace of good quality bread along with special grandma treats on special occasions. If I don't overeat, I feel fine and eat those things guilt free knowing that 80-90 % of my daily diet is clean.
Magnolia, I always appreciate and agree with your posts, but this one takes the CAKE (ironically...) Thanks for this perspective. Food is a part of LIFE, and while I believe we should all do right by our bodies and our families when cooking and eating at home on a regular basis, I follow my heart when it comes to special occasions, and if the regret at not eating something would be greater than the regret of eating it, by all means, I'll eat it!
28, female, 5'2"
Went primal 7/28/10: 154 lbs.
1/12/12: 135 lbs.
Goal: 120 lbs.
Thank you, Magnolia. This is beautiful and touching.
Food is such a big deal in our lives from a social aspect, that yes, sometimes we have to STFU and have a piece of something 'dirty bad' and just ENJOY IT!
I just want to say that I really appreciate this, so thoughtful!