29 January 2010

Food and eating

I've really been rethinking my whole idea of food and eating. This is a process that actually began a few years ago when I began shifting my thinking to food only as fuel. Part of that process involved losing the idea that food can make me feel happy, or wanted, or anything at all. That has been fairly successful in that when I am turning to food to hide feelings I know it now. I am well aware of why I am eating crap. It doesn't always stop me but admitting and acknowledging the problem is definitely half the battle. During that journey I began to focus my eating on mostly unprocessed foods. My general rule was if it didn't come from the ground or have parents I didn't eat it. No I was not perfect but I figured if I did that 80-90% of the time I was way ahead of most people.

Over the last year or so I slacked on this rule. I began eating more and more processed food and justifying it by "well, I'm only eating this" until eventually I was eating a lot of processed food in a day. My typical diet would look like this:

Cereal - processed

Bread - processed
Lunchmeat - processed
Condiments - processed
Soup - definitely processed

Chips - processed

Meat of some sort
Veggies - usually steamed or in a salad

Dessert - ice cream/cake - processed

Most of the foods I am eating during the day are processed. That is really not good.

Also, from all these "experts" you hear that you need to eat every 3-4 hours to keep you metabolism up and keep your blood sugar stable, blah, blah, blah...... You know what? I don't believe them. I don't!!! I also don't believe that you need to eat 1200, 1400, 1600, whatever, calories a day in order to lose or maintain your muscle. I believe that the human body is much better at handling nutrition then our brains are.

If you look at our history as animals I think you will learn more then reading any book. When humans evolved we had to hunt down our food. There were no super markets to go to. Also, animals were not kept in small areas and bred just to feed humans. They lived, knew their parents, searched for their food, mated, etc. They lived like we did and as a result they were much healthier and we were much healthier. Also, when we had to go out and actually hunt for our own food we had to do it all the time. We did not have refrigerators where we could store our kill and eat it next week. Which means, in my mind, there were times when we ate a lot and times when we didn't eat at all. That would explain why our bodies are such good fat storage machines. So let's recap, humans used to eat much healthier animals and there were times of feast and famine. Hmmmmm.....doesn't sound anything like today does it???

I am 50 years old and I remember from my childhood there were not a lot of packaged products. There were some and there were canned things, but they were not the norm. My mom made everything from scratch. She used full fat and we were all a reasonable weight. I did not go out to eat until I was 10 years old. There was no such thing as school lunch, we went home for lunch or brought a sandwich from home. Candy was usually something my Dad got as gifts for her that we got to share in. What this means is that in less then 50 years we have gone from eating primarily home cooked, whole food to eating primarily processed food. There is no way our body can keep up with that rapid change. No. Way.

What does this mean? This means I am going back to viewing food only as fuel. Back to only eating something if it came from the ground or had a mother. Back to mostly meatless meals and no processed food. This time I'm going to be more serious about the whole thing. Breakfast will be either Greek yogurt and fruit or a quiche type dish and fruit. Lunch will be salad with things like beans and hummus. Dinner will be no more then 3 oz of meat and lots of veggies. No sweets, snacks and sweets will be only dried fruit or nuts. When I ate this way before I felt better then I ever felt in my life, so it's back to it only now it's for good.

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