January 26, 2013 by Jean
Last week I added a new category to my blog. Rants. I questioned whether to add it, as it draws attention to the fact that my pendulum sometimes swings farther than I would like it to. My goal here is to seek all things peaceful, balanced, whole and precious. Then again, my blog is titled WholeyJeans. (Someday I will blog about the misspelling, but I digress). While ranting may not be considered peaceful or precious, it is a part of me on my road to balance, and as such, a part of the whole me. And so the category was created.
The comment by insearchofitall, in which she concluded, “My sister has become a food fanatic and we can no longer share a meal. So sad. I’ll take the Buddhist path. All things in moderation. Pass the French rolls please” really got me thinking. My pendulum began to swing back, and I felt the need to post a response to my own blog.
I am fascinated by diets of all sorts. Food documentaries captivate me. Nutrition arguments entice me. Everyone has the answer, and in my quest for balance, I want to hear it and judge for myself. Please note that I use the word ‘diet’ in both senses of the word; weight-loss system and way of eating.
Here are are some of my findings:
- Every diet says that water is good. It doesn’t matter if you’re detoxing, fasting, gorging on protein, or cutting fat. Water is good. Drink it. It is the stuff of life. It is the fountain of youth. It is also the easiest way to fit in a few extra steps daily. Drinking water = trips to the bathroom. Nice, right?
- The other thing that every diet tells you to eat is vegetables. There are different levels of vegetables depending on sugars, fiber, and nutrient density. Everyone agrees green leafy veggies are a go. Add a rainbow of vegetables to that, and you’re going to find a pot of gold at the end.
- Most diet programs include fruit. Some encourage it more than others. Again, there is that sugar/fiber/nutrient thing. Fruits, like vegetables, are plants, but tend to contain more sugars. Sugar is a four-letter word. Okay, it’s five, but you know what I mean. This is why some opinions begin to part at this juncture. However, everyone seems to agree berries are the most virtuous of fruits.
- Let me back up the sugar truck a few meters. We have a sugar for everyone! There are slow sugars, fast sugars, artificial sugars, processed sugars, refined sugars, and natural sugars. There are sugar crashes, sugar rushes, sugar addictions, sugar cravings, and sugar daddies. Did I say sugar is a four-letter word? It is also an eleven-letter word. Unavoidable. Carbohydrates are sugar, and they are found in vegetables and fruit. Oh! So sugar is good? See what I mean? How is the average nosher supposed to decipher all this stuff?
- The problem with vegetables is that everyone wants to doctor them up with butter, margarine, oils, cheeses, dressings and gravies. If you can eat your vegetables naked, you will reap their full benefit and flavor. I mean go ahead and wear clothes if you want, but don’t put anything on your vegetables.
- Legumes are good, right? Opinions are mixed. Legumes are a plant, so vegans love their protein content. How could you possibly feel guilty eating a bowl of lentil soup? Well, legumes are full of carbohydrates, and low-carb eaters aren’t a fan. Please note that cocoa beans are not legumes. I know. Bummer.
- Is dairy the dreaded animal secretion, or a vital food for healthy bones? It depends on who you’re listening to. There are different beliefs on this, and many options for those who decide against dairy.
- But if you can stand the heat, head into the kitchen to talk about meat. People are passionate about their animal protein. Arguments range from protecting the planet to regaining your health, restoring the food chain, and compassion for life. Both sides of any discussion have points for each of these values, and will fight, seemingly to the death, to defend them.
All of the diet plans I have ever read say that you have finally found the last diet you will ever need. Search ‘last diet’ and Google will find no less than 233,000,000 results for you. Using this as a guide, you should have no problem eating healthy until the day you die. And in the end, you will die, and I guess whatever diet you are eating that day will be your last.
Look, I’m just an average girl trying to eat reasonably well. I try to know what is behind what I put in my body, and make my choices from there. Of course I want to do better. I want to do a lot of things better. Cheers to that, eh? Recently our temperatures have dipped, with the windchill bringing dangerously cold weather. I am craving refined carbs like there is no tomorrow, and since I guess there might not be, I go ahead and indulge a bit without guilt.
Unless you are a food priest of this or that nutritional following, you do not have all the answers. I like to live my life like that; not having all the answers. When you live without all the answers, you are always questioning, always learning. I don’t want to find the last diet I will ever need. I want to taste new things and try new combinations, dining with family, drinking with friends. I want to live, love and laugh with all my other *totally non-judgmental happy foodie friends.
*Thanks for the title idea, Mary!