I’ve been thinking about diets a lot lately.
I mean, I think about diets a lot in general, but more so lately. Probably because my jobby-job consists of reading diet books all day.
I don’t inherently believe diets are bad. I think the diet industry needs a lot to be desired, but diets themselves are just guidelines to focus on making healthier choices in world where half of our food is created in a laboratory. And yet, I think there’s something somewhat addictive about them. They’re almost too tempting, too easy to get wrapped up in and overwhelmed by. If you can trust the loud, toned people who lecture you during infomercials in the middle of the night, you might think that as long as you’re dieting you’re on the road to perfection. Won’t your life be so much better in 5, 10, 15, 20 lbs.?
As my brain space becomes more and more engulfed by the intricate world of the next best cure-for-all-your-worldly-problems, my mind wanders back to one simple thought:
What if we all gave ourselves permission not to diet.
It seems so simple doesn’t it?
I often think that if I we, as a society, weren’t always on an endless cycle of diets we probably wouldn’t have the overwhelming obesity problem we do.
I remember a time before we counted calories, fat grams or points (heck, I’m old enough to remember nutritional info not being on food packaging). I remember when skim milk wasn’t even a viable option (and as far as I’m concerned it’s still not). I remember when having a deep fryer at home was totally normal, and used fairly regularly. The thing I don’t remember about that time I like to call “the early 80s” was anyone I knew being particularly overweight.
I blame a lot on the low-fat craze of the 90s. I think that really screwed up our cultural psyche.
As I’ve leaned my eating habits more toward energy optimizing foods, I can’t help but think that if our focus, culturally, was about finding the healthiest most nourishing foods instead of the least fattening, we’d all be a lot healthier. For the record, we are living in the first era in history when there are people who are both morbidly obese and malnourished at the same time. Something seriously needs to be done about our food supply. That shouldn’t be possible.
I, for one, am making a pledge to myself now, to use my grocery allotment each month on real food. Food that comes from the ground, a tree, an udder, or the sea—and rely less on processed foods. I don’t think I eat too many processed foods now, but I could certainly do better.
The hardest part will be bread, but there are certainly wholesome breads available. The good thing about this whole getting married thing (there are actually a few good things, but for now this is the good thing) is that I registered for a bread machine for the wedding, so maybe in a few months I can make my own bread and all will be well with the world.
Okay, now I’m rambling, which means it’s time to back away from the keyboard.
What’s your diet philosophy?
Almond milk latte
Whole grain toast, 1/4 avocado, 2 eggs scrambled (w/hot sauce)
I’m usually pretty good about brining lunch to work, but I was in a rush this morning so I hit up a salad bar for lunch.
Kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, cucumber, blue cheese, lemon juice & olive oil
Cajun blackened salmon
Zucchini spaghetti (my most favorite new invention) made with basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, and melted cream cheese—basically a vegetable-based pesto-Alfredo. Good stuff.