Wednesday, June 1, 2011

what to eat?

warning: this may turn into a rant.

I’m confused.

I don’t know what to eat!

I know, that sounds really stupid. but honestly, I’m so confused right now about the whole what to eat thing.

I’m not an idiot, and I’m certainly not ignorant as to nutrition concepts and the science of how the body uses food. and yet, I am so confused.

there is so much conflicting information out there as to what is actually good for you. some say no carbs, some say no sugar, some say no red meat, some say no dairy, some say no eggs, some say no grains, some say no alcohol, some say no caffeine, etc. etc. etc.

so obviously, you can’t ascribe to all of that or you would eat NOTHING. I also know that cutting out carbs is the most idiotic thing you can do. your body needs carbs to function. wonder bread, however, is not a good source of the carbs your body would prefer.  as far as red meat goes. hello, protein and iron! but hard to digest. a lot of red meat puts a lot of wear and tear on your digestive system. dairy is confusing to me. while it is certainly odd to be consuming the lactation of another mammal, milk has calcium and protein, and we can’t argue with how useful it is!  eggs? great source of protein and a whole host of other stuff, but they’ve gotten a bad reputation in the cholesterol department. grains are confusing too. I’m not talking about refined, bleached white flour here. I’m talking about good old fashioned “whole grains”. stuff that makes substantial food. stuff like brown or wild rice, oats, corn (and not in syrup form). some say this is good for you. some say this is poison. it’s hard to argue with centuries of communities, tied together by bread-baking. bread is baked and eaten all over the world. as far as alcohol goes, obviously, in excess, this is bad. that’s a no-brainer. but then you get all your ‘studies’ together and they’ll say that a glass of red wine is good for your heart or whatever. I don’t know. I don’t really care. I consume so little alcohol it’s not even on my radar. caffeine, however, is another story. I’m not going to go as far as to say that my 3 cups of coffee in the morning is GOOD for me, but I’m not willing to say it might be bad, either. ha ha.

anyway, my point is this. what the heck are we supposed to eat? what really is good for you? yes, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables = good. lean meats = good. nuts = good.

I don’t think there’s a lot of debate about any of that. but what about everything else?

yes, a lot of the information we got on the matter is skewed by government propaganda. I know this. you would have to live under a rock to not know this.

when you start seeing pro-HFCS commercials, you know something crazy is going on.

but I’m not in this for the hype or the fad or the what should I cut out this week deal.

I want to be healthy.

I want to feel healthy, look healthy, have energy, and preferably not die of something horribly painful brought on by my diet or lifestyle.

I don’t want to take a lot of (if any) pills. not now, not later. ideally, I should be able to fuel my body with the food I eat, right? isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? I don’t think God had super supplements in mind when he created the digestive system and all of it’s life-promoting functionings.

I also want to enjoy the food I eat. if it tastes like crap, I’m not going to eat it. the end.

I also need to stay within my budget. I have 5 people and 2 pets to keep fed, and not a ton of money with which to do so.

AND, I live with picky eaters.

but with all of that. I know something is wrong. I don’t feel healthy. and I know I don’t look healthy. I see pictures of myself (and this isn’t one of those self-critical things) and my face looks weird. my skin tone is odd and my eyes seem sunken. and I always look tired.

I know that in certain ways, what I eat is not always the best. that’s obvious. I KNOW when I’m making less than stellar choices. I’m not talking about super-refined or processed junk here. I’m not talking about candy, or poptarts, or ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls with butter-sugar-cream cheese slathered on top.  I’m not even talking about french fries or chicken nuggets. and mostly, I don’t eat that crap. or if I do, not very often. something is wrong with what I eat, and I’d like to be able to fix it. but how?

what I’m concerned about is the stuff I DON’T know. the stuff that may or may not be good for you, depending on who you talk to.

that’s the part that makes me upset and frustrated and just plain confused.


  1. Ok, I am SO not the one to give food advice, but... here's the number one rule: everything inoderation. Also, after research and conversations with different people about their own diet concerns, here are some things I've learned. Gluten is in EVERYTHING these days, and gluten is bad. Additives are bad. Organic is expensive, but if you want that healthy glow, that's the way to go. Try joining a co-op. There's one I'm Everett (there might be one closer to you). You pay a membership fee kind of like Costco, but then you save at the register. And these co-ops are still less expensive than places like whole foods or trader joe's.

  2. I've been eating Primal ( for a while now, which means eating meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts and a bit of dairy. No sugar or substitutes, no legumes, no grains. And I'm really liking the way it makes me feel. I have lots of energy in the afternoon when I used to have a crash and I've lost about 10 pounds without really trying. The rest of the family still eat cereal and toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, but for dinner they eat primal, too.

  3. Similar to the primal diet mentioned above we started the Paleo diet a couple months ago and love it. (We don't do dairy). Andrew has lost weight and my energy is more consistent throughout the day. I'm happy to lend you the book we read if you are interested in learning more :)



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