I think eating should be simple. It is what we do to survive. People have done it for thousands of years. However, it is just recently that we have had access to so many more foods, grounds have been overfarmed and depleted of nutrition, processed foods have become a time-saving staple, and what to eat and how to lose weight has become a huge business with everyone trying to get in on telling people what to eat. I think the thing is a mess and in our perfectionists society people (including myself) are always stressed about what they are or arn’t doing. This is really sick when so many people around the world are stressed about if they will have food to eat/feed their children at all. We have food (even if, for some, it comes from the food bank) in this country so let’s be happy right?
I love health and diet books and have read tons of them. I think I love them because they are positive and encouraging. In practice though, sticking to any of them is time-consuming and difficult. I have tried to simplify my life and I wanted to tackle this eating/health issue as well.
Two basic concepts define how I am trying to simplify my eating:
- Would God recognize it? So much of our food is processed and that adds a host of problems. Not everything in nature is good for my body, but taking nature and screwing with it and aging/preserving it sure doesn’t make it better. What I find in nature-apples, carrots, rice, beans, I can picture in a field somewhere. What is not in nature-white flour/sugar, pasta, fruit juice, even whole wheat bread is still processed… i.e. doesn’t grown in a field. There is a line here. Take for example, an apple is ideal, applesauce is processed a bit, 100% apple juice is processed more, fruit punch with 5% real juice and then apple candy or fruit leather with ‘natural flavorings’ is on the far end. Or grains; sprouted/boiled whole wheat (or other grain), fresh ground flour, whole wheat flour with preservatives and aged on the shelf, with bleached white flour on the far end. Now, I don’t want to eat only apples and wheat berries, but I want to try to eat as close to the original as possible.
- A vegan diet is healthiest for the body and the planet. This is debated a lot but, I feel the reason it is debated is more because it isn’t what people are used to. Some books I love on this are “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, any of John Robbins books and Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman (in order of hardest to read and information packed to easiest to read). However, vegan isn’t a line to cross or a club to join. It is like exercise, the more you do, the healthier you are. You don’t have to ’be vegan’. I don’t tell people I am. Just do a meal at a time and work with the concept. Also, it is still possible to eat a very unhealthy vegan diet that isn’t balanced and is high in fats and sugars. ….I can see an egg and a happy grass-fed cow in a field (as noted above) but I can’t picture a field of boca burgers. Whole first, vegan second!
I live with an amazing (but not a health food loving) husband and 2 fabulous picky eater kids. I have been mostly vegetarian all my life and try to be mostly vegan. I like the macrobiotic approach as well as the raw foods approach, but mostly take their information and include it where I can. I have tried to balance my approach between simple, healthy and cost-effective. I don’t cook with tons of fancy ingredients (but do have some weird ones I use a lot), don’t use recipes much and often can’t stick to them when I do. I believe that with getting the right basics, cooking and eating can be healthy and simple without tones of planning and shopping. (it doesn’t always work with all three healthy/simple/cheap but I am an idealist and I aim for it and believe it can happen). There are lots of flops and stuff my kids won’t eat but I keep trying.
I would like to include more resources in this area on my blog as I find good ones. Let me know you have any suggestions.