Over the past few days I have been thinking about food a lot but it appears that I am not the only person in the world that is concerned with what I put into my mouth.
When did something as personal as eating become fodder (pardon the pun) for the masses?
Now, I am not an idiot and long ago realised that what you put into your mouth affects your body. (I cringe when I recall the things that wine and other sources of alcohol have made me do on occasion. 😳 ) What it comes down to is that I am the person who looks at myself in the mirror each day. I am the person who knows what is going on inside her own body.
Therefore, it would appear that I am the best person to make the decision about what foods are the best for me and which ones aren’t. After all, nobody else is shovelling food into my mouth for me are they?
I grew up with parents (and a grandmother) who taught me that I needed to eat everything on my plate. My forebears had been bought up in an era when what you were served on your plate you needed to be thankful for as food was not the commodity that it is today. These meals generally consisted of meat and two to three servings of vegetables. If I was lucky I got dessert afterwards.
I hated vegetables when I was a child and devised strategies to make eating them more palatable. The most popular was mixing them in with my mashed potato and then cutting it into sections. If I ate one section, I would reward myself by eating some of the other ‘yummy’ stuff on the plate. Thankfully my relationship with vegetables has improved over the years.
However, I digress.
I grew up learning how to create meals ‘from scratch’. There was none of this prepackaged stuff that you can buy from the stores nowadays.
But times change and somehow over the years, the way in which people eat has changed right along with it.
In this day and age there are so many ‘diets’ and eating ‘fads’ that it is difficult to put a number on them. The world is filled with experts and pseudo-experts extolling the virtues of a particular way of eating.
Over the years I have yo-yo dieted and also exercised. I have lost weight, and I have gained it. The other day I realised that my current weight is only slightly less than what it was when I was 8 months pregnant with the Tween. Funnily enough, I have ‘sat’ on this weight for about 3 years now with only tiny fluctuations.
However, I have realised that I need there are things going on with my body now that I am getting older that I am hopeful a change of eating habits may assist with. For one, the horrid adult acne that is making itself felt on my face, neck and back is really beginning to ‘tick’ me off. If I can lessen the outbreak or eradicate it entirely without resorting to chemicals and creams then I will be mighty happy.
So, I have been pulling out my books, recipe books, magazines and also reading.
My current reading material is a book called “Make Peace with your Plate” by Jess Ainscough. Jess is a fellow Queenslander who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22 and fought it off through diet, so has written a book about the steps she took to do this. Much of what Jess talks about makes sense but some of it is just too ‘out there’ for me and I know it would never work for me personally. Some of the facts that she has shared I am also curious about and would like to investigate further. However, her point is that eating ‘clean’ is a bonus and that removing sugars and processed foods from your diet cannot do you any harm. I am inclined to agree with this observation.
This leads me to another book I have read by David Gillespie entitled “Sweet Poison”. He also makes many valid points in his writing but advocates removing all types of sugar (including fructose found in fruit) from your diet. David also advocates a ‘Paleo’ diet.
One of the biggest advocates of the Paleo diet here in Australia is celebrity chef Pete Evans. I’ve read a lot of Pete’s recipes and I quite like them however the paleo diet that he espouses advocates removing grains and dairy from what you eat each day believing that paleo man never ate either of these food groups. I’m a little torn on this as I enjoy my brown rice, oats and some cheeses (right now Haloumi is a favourite). I don’t drink milk as a rule preferring almond milk so missing out on milk wouldn’t be a big thing for me.
This has created a little bit of a storm in a teacup on social media right now with Bill Schrapnel – the sceptical nutritionist taking Pete to task and claiming he should be arrested for advocating this diet. I would like to think that Bill is rebutting with an open mind however must question the fact that many of his sponsors are those who specialise in prepacked foods.
What I am concerned about is that so many people are espousing what works for them that they have forgotten that it might not work for everyone.
So where does this lead the average joe blow such as myself who just wants to do the right thing for them and their body. I am not gluten-intolerant or coeliac but I have noticed that my body does not tolerate refined grains very well. I have also noticed that cutting back on sugary stuff (well my home baked goods anyway) has made a difference in my acne breakouts.
I believe that eating well comes down to common sense. We don’t need excess salt and sugar (and this is found in just about every prepackaged food on the market) but we do need the nutrients found in fresh foods.
So I have resolved to eat as ‘clean’ as I can whilst incorporating super foods, some fruits, lots of water, cutting back on sugar, minimising my dairy intake, enjoying my brown rice and also eating the occasional ‘Caramel and Pretzel’ cookie from the Coles bakery.
If I lose weight, that has got to be an added bonus because between you and me, it probably wouldn’t hurt to do so. lol
I’ll let you know how it goes! 😀