Sunday, May 1, 2016

Good Food In

A funny thing can happen when a woman turns 30. By funny I mean, a big-time bummer wake-up call that the metabolism once enjoyed during the folly of youth can no longer be counted upon. Yeah, hilarious. I have always enjoyed a slim physique, and an input-use-output system that allowed me to gluttonously imbibe in as much food as I'd like without much accumulation in the badonk.

Then, 30. Or, the sad truth of reality catching up with me. To be fair, I have typically always eaten a pretty healthy and inclusive diet, and kept active through running and yoga. Every winter, I gain a bit of hibernation weight as my running slows down and my comfort food dishes increase. This year, however, the weight didn't shake right off when I started race training again. What gives, body?

Well, what gives is the fun is over. Another newly 30 friend of mine has been making great strides, totally overhauling her family's diet, and it has inspired me. The subsequent health improvements her family has experienced are considerable. I have been giving more thought lately to what I am eating, making a more concerted effort to eat better quality food and less junky stuff. Honestly, I initially just want to lose the extra weight, but as I reflected and got real, I knew I also wanted to feel better. Less tired, less hangry between meals, less dependent on sugar to fill me up.


I have been cutting sugar. I even felt myself detoxing from it, which shows me how much I was eating. I think I have passed the initial threshold of craving it, and have become used to not starting my day with sugar in my tea. Being more conscious of what I'm eating has also become a kind of deeper meditation for me on what I'm putting into my body, what I'm feeding my family, and what I want my food dollars to do, limited as they are.


I have written before about our choice to buy ethical* meat from both a small hobby farm and a delivery company specializing in humane animal treatment. This matters to us. Vegan and vegetarian diets aren't for us (after much consideration and a brief stint years ago), but buying non-factory farmed meat is our way of voting with our dollars while ensuring good quality food is on our plates. (And, really, it tastes so much better. Have you ever had bacon from a happy pig? It's ah-mazing). We do what we can.


Food and nutrient guru Michael Pollan's simple credo that I am trying to follow is, "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Eat food meaning, real whole food and not processed stuff. I also try to choose local food at the market (in season) or the grocery store during cold months. This can be hard, denying ourselves the $14 table grapes from Chile in February, but eating seasonally makes things taste so much better when we do get to eat them. I have read a lot about nutrition over the years, especially as a mama, and I count myself extremely lucky to live in conditions that allow me the luxury of this accumulated knowledge. I have the time to read up, the money to buy groceries (albeit, our budget is tight), and an education that taught me to think critically before evaluating a report's merit.


All this to say, I'm still waiting for my winter weight to slowly come off, but in the meantime, I am feeling more alert, becoming more creative in the kitchen, and preparing snack foods that are protein and energy-rich to curb my hangries (I tend to be hypoglycemic). My palate has become less dependent on sweet sugar and more receptive to a wider array of flavours, though I can't say the same yet for the girls, who regularly turn their noses up at mom's new vegetable experiments. Sigh. I'll give them time and keep trying.



*Ethical, to us, meaning small scale farms that treat animals humanely and not as food sources. Our pork, chicken and beef are all pasture-raised, hormone and filler-free, and lead happy lives. 

4 comments:

  1. Eating well is a lifetime commitment! I love hearing your perspective on eating well, especially with a large family. Have you ever tried the technique Jessica Seinfeld wrote about in Deceptively Delicious, where she pureed veggies and added it to her kids' food without them knowing?

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    1. We have her first cookbook, yes! I like chickpeas in cookies, and use purees here and there hidden in foods using her recipes, but find that in general, the portion of pureed vegetables spread between 4-6 servings doesn't amount to much. It's more an extra serving than the main way we eat vegetables. their sweet potato french toast is amazing!

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  2. The food could well be called organic if at all grown within a strict in addition to special watch and appropriate regulation. Deep fried turkey

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