Ever since we watched "Food Inc" a couple months ago - I am continually looking for more information about how our food is produced, processed and what's in it?! Produce is not just produce anymore... and "healthy" is suspect. I have many thoughts here - so I apologize if I'm talking in circles and don't make any sense.
I was in deep conflict initially because I was in the midst of Weight Watchers. I was doing pretty good and enjoyed learning ideas of what to eat at meetings... how to stretch your points. How to eat more, enjoy more and still loose weight.
And then I watched Food Inc... realized that our food is contaminated with pesticides and engineered to be made cheaper - but not necessarily "healthier" for our nation. That our meat is full of antibiotics and growth hormones... and not only does this seep into our food - but what it does directly to those who work in those conditions - it's horrible! and I'm worried for my kids being over exposed to that stuff.
So I go home and start to open a WW bar for 1 point - and realize that what WW considers a great choice for their diet - is not a healthy choice for my body. WOAH! What?! Diet food isn't good for me? And it took some time but what I've learned is to open my mind a bit and realize that all those things on the ingredient list is not food - but a product of food science. Overly processed to conjure the idea of sweetness.
I am very thankful that at the same time I had borrowed Jillian Michael's Master Your Metabolism book... and she was touching on the same thing! But for a different purpose. She emphasized that all this processed junk is confusing our body. And it doesn't know what to do with fake sugars etc... so our bodies adapt - but then different things(like thyroids etc...) get out of wack and our body doesn't work the way it should.
So - as a family we're adjusting. The one area we have trouble adjusting to 'whole' real foods - is our snacks. I still buy the favorite snacks for my husband and kids - although I was able to buy some organic without any fuss. But I just don't have the time to bake up some stuff. Bread is another issue. We go through 2 loaves a week - probably pointing to the fact that we really should switch to organic.. but at $5-$7 a loaf - we just can't afford it! Plus noone would like such 'heavy' whole wheat bread. And I haven't started baking bread either... sigh...
And - I'm sure your starting to realize - I'm becoming a food snob. I don't want to be - but I'm seeing the signs. I passed a lady in the store today - her cart wasn't too full, so I could see what she had quickly. She was on a diet. She had bagged lettuce - the cheapest the store offers. Some veggies to go with it, rice cakes, and some kind of 100 calorie snack pack. And I just wanted to pull her aside and tell her that despite her good intentions - she wasn't being very good to her body. But as a nation we're clueless to what's going on! We see on the morning talk shows how some new study says that nutrition X is great for our bodies - and next thing you know - everything on the shelves have this great nutrient we've been missing! But what we need isn't from a box at all! What we need is what God intended us to eat - and I don't remember the day he designed boxes and grocery stores and marketing strategies...
So I'm starting to read 'In Defense of Food' by Michael Pollan. I've read enough to know that I need to read his first book! But I'm excited to absorb some more information.
I know eating whole foods is hard. It didn't happen over night for us. We still eat out - alot. We still eat frozen pizza and some convenient foods. We go back and forth on lunch meat. Again, it something we should totally switch on because we eat it so much - but the stuff without nitrites and nitrates is just not as good! And events and picnics are hard. But we've switched on some key things - meat and poultry, all dairy, all things "diet" except the occational diet coke. I've actually switched to organic lemonade for the mostpart(at home) it's just eating out which is just not right without a diet coke! But I must say - even that is changing. When we initially cut everything out - I could take a huge difference! Diet coke just tasted like chemicals to me! It was gross! And even now - cookies and sweets that have been shleved - all I can taste are what I assume are preservatives. I NEED to bake some cookies so I can enjoy a real cookie!
So I guess that's it for now. It's on my mind alot. I find it hard to think beyond what I've always know as "diet" or "healthy". Since it's sumemr - I've bypassed some of the organic choices for local produce. Not sure if that's the best choice... but I think so. From what I've read it's the main staples of the country(corn, soy, wheat..) that are blasted with pesticides because of the monoculture they're grown in. But in smaller farms that isn't the case. But who's to say really. The best thing you can do is ask.