Fitness and nutrition for foodies, from foodies.
 
“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their
word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as
unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: 

Celebration.” 

- Michael Pollan
Picture
Food is a necessity. For all of us. We must eat to live. Now here's my question for all of you- (I'm serious. Leave your answer in the comments or send it to the email under the home page!) Do you eat to live, or live to eat?

 I'll tell you my answer: I live to eat. I adore food. I go to sleep thinking about what I'll make for breakfast the next day, and finish every meal daydreaming about the next. I could spend hours looking up recipes, finding neat restaurants, and I'm always up for trying something new (I've had chicken heart before. Not kidding.) When I go to social events or out to eat, I'm usually most excited for the food. I used to be so ashamed of this. But now that I'm eating the right things? I'm proud of it. I am, 100%, a foodie at heart.

It actually took me a while to realize that most people don't
think about food this much. I just figured everyone loved it as much as I do. 
Then, I admitted that my favorite part of craft fairs are the pretzel samples
and fudge stands and my grandma noted... "That's you're favorite part? Of a
craft fair?"

Everyone has a different relationship with what they eat.

Overeaters

Picture
Overeating can come about for a number of reasons. I've probably experienced them all. The majority of the food that is available to us has been chemically engineered to be the perfect combination of addicting. (Learn more about this by reading Michael Moss's Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us. I'll be posting a review soon, I'm halfway through and amazed.) Feel like you're in a better mood after you finish that snickers bar, Starbucks Frappuccino, or fried chicken? That's because you "are". When you consume refined sugars, your blood sugar levels rise, causing your pancreas to release insulin. This is fine with moderate intake of natural sugars, like- let’s say, fruit- because your body is prepared to digest that amount.

But when you digest the obscene amount of refined sugars that are found in most of what we eat? Excess insulin is released, and the insulin converts that sugar into an instant energy source. In laymen’s terms, it does give you a
sort of “jolt” or “high.” It gives you energy… But not for long. After levels of
insulin that high are released, your blood sugar levels decrease rapidly, and
then you experience a “crash.”And let the cycle begin again... 
 
Don’t feel bad- these are actually chemically addicting products! It's like smoking or drinking, except not accepted on the same level because of heavy marketing that keeps us all from understanding what were actually consuming. I have no qualms making a comparison of a coke addict constantly surrounded by coke... everyone snorting it and giving you a hard time about not joining them. Same thing.

Food can be a great escape. I know this because I used to use food as just that. I would feel so guilty afterwards. After a long day, I would  crash after dinner and fill up on Oreos, candy bars, ice cream, cookies with milk... You name it. It was something I could control, and it made me feel better and “less stressed”. Then the next day I would "punish" myself and not eat breakfast, eat a light salad for lunch, and inhale my dinner then load up on the crap again. My poor, poor metabolism! 

It's not that I don't enjoy sweet food anymore. Now I just enjoy the right sweet foods. Ever try toasting a piece of fluffy, pumpernickel toast with almond butter, banana, berries, and a little bit of organic, raw maple syrup on it? Try it. Better than any Oreo I've ever had.

If you're an overeater, think about what you're eating. Did you have a long day and feel like you "deserve" this? Are you bored and mindlessly snacking to have something to do? Did you not eat breakfast and so now you want
that giant Frappuccino more than anything? (Again. I have known all of these. That's why I'm listin' em.)

Under-eaters

I've gone the other way with food, too. I thought that maybe if I drastically cut my calories and amped up my gym hours to the point of ridiculousness (and unhappiness/stress on my poor body,) I would look good. I didn't. I looked, felt, and was sick. Mentally and physically. This isn’t just about how you look- it’s about how you feel. Your daily caloric intake is based off of how much you weigh, how active you are, if you're male or female, etc. You're welcome to look it up online, but I'd urge you not to. And to not weigh yourselves constantly. I haven't weighed myself in almost a year. It's not about the number- it's about how you feel when you look in the mirror. Be sure you're eating a minimum of at least 1200 calories a day- and even that is scary-low for most... slightly-active, functioning humans.
I'm no longer ashamed of loving food. I look up healthy restaurants to go in the city for family and friends when we go out. I try to cook and buy local and organic as much as possible. Michael Pollan likes to say that you vote with your fork. Stores track our purchases and base their stock off of consumer interest. I'm not saying it's easy- even I am nowhere near as efficient as I would like to be about being local. For my fellow New Yorkers though... We really don't have an excuse to not at least buy some meals local. Did you know there's at least one farmers market open every single day in the city? And it tastes so. Good. It's what our food is supposed to taste like. Ever
tried an organic egg right off the farm? You don't need salt, cheese, or hot
sauce to taste how delicious it is.

And overall, cut yourself some slack. Food should be something you love and look forward to. It should fill you up, energize you, calm you. It should be eaten sitting down, slowly, and fully enjoyed. The more you cut out the crap, I personally promise you, the less you will crave it. I used to sit around and think about sugars and sweets all day. Now I daydream of my fresh, hearty dinner that I will slowly enjoy after a long day that's packed full of nutrients.

Industry giants have made us all forget what food should really be like, and it's a shame. Trust me, it tastes even better when it's real.
 


Comments

Tiffany
04/13/2013 10:43pm

You're so inspiring :)
I love that y'all understand where we are all coming from and that I can't get information from a nonjudgmental source. Thanks for that.

Reply



Leave a Reply