Simplifying my foods

I’ve been trying to simplify everywhere in my life lately. I’ve been tossing stuff from the house and careful about bringing any new stuff in. I’ve been simplifying my schedule and focusing on main things (like my Saturday classes and seeing friends I haven’t seen in a while); simplifying my workouts by integrating exercise into my life, rather than making it a big gym excursion; simplifying my digital diet by cutting down to “just” two outlets.

It all started with this. Image, inspiration, and recipe from Iowa Girl Eats (click the image), completely used without permission, but with much salivating.

I’m not hugely fat, just a little past ideal weight. I’m not unhealthy, but my blood glucose numbers have been inching up each year, enough to point to a trend. In short, I don’t have a scary big need to make a big change, or even to make little changes. This is a slippery slope.

After a Sunday spent researching juicing and healing foods for a friend, I found myself re-examining my own foods, wondering why I ever stopped eating as healthfully as in my 5+ books on juicing, fasting, and vegetarian diets, but still in a nice-to-have kind of mentality. I thought to myself “I should put more spinach into my diet,” or “some pineapple juice would hit the spot.” I saw this spinach smoothie and silently rejoiced that I already had a banana in the freezer. But it didn’t click to me that this is something I need to do forever: eat good things and not eat bad things. And yes, for me and to me, they are good and bad.

I react badly to dairy. Not in a lactose intolerant way, but in a coughing, wheezing, phlegmy way, and for my whole life. I love cheese and cite that as the reason I stopped being a vegan way back when, but it’s just like desserts and other empty calorie foods: I know it doesn’t give me enough good things to outweigh the bad effects on me. I react badly to wheat. I never knew I did until I stopped eating it due to MBF’s gluten-free cooking and my mooching on his chef skills daily. My skin cleared up its keratosis pilarsis, which had plagued me since before I can remember, and which I recall stressing about for my sleeveless prom dress. It’s been that long.

So yes, for me these are bad foods. There are also bad foods in terms of social abuse. I have known about the sugar and chocolate trade and how it exploits human workers. But like the philosophic button you can press that dispenses a million dollars to you and kills someone you don’t know, I kept pressing the button that dispensed cheap chocolate and sugar at the expense of someone else in the world. These foods should also be gone from my diet. And really, I don’t need the sugar. I’m knocking on diabetes’ door at this point, according to three years of up-ticking blood sugar. Badness. Bad for me.

Finally, I was reading an online entry—I won’t call it an article as it seemed to be based on “common wisdom” and a heavy hand of from the dairy ad council rather than nutritional fact—that said for my body type, the type that holds its weight at the waist, I should eat a breakfast of an egg and cheese muffin. Say what? As if that weren’t enough of a jaw-dropper, it went on to say for my fellow fatties who hold their weight even higher that we would “do well on a diet that emphasizes dairy.” What? Is this article sponsored by the dairy industry? How in the world can you tell me that upper-body fat is a risk for heart disease and then tell me that dairy is the way to go? That I shouldn’t just have “some” dairy, but I should “emphasize” it?

No. This is the tipping point for me. I realize how much bunk I’m being figuratively and literally fed, how much I don’t know lurks in my food, how much “common knowledge” just doesn’t apply to what my body tells me daily that it needs. So here goes.

  • Grow my own.
  • More juicing.
  • No wheat.
  • No sugar.
  • Fair-trade-only chocolate.
  • No dairy. And yes, that means no more lattes for me (I don’t eat soy, either. Did I mention? That’s a bad food for me, too).
  • No fried.
  • Less processed (I won’t rule out all convenience food).
  • Dare I say no alcohol? This requires some soul-searching, moreso since it should be the easiest no-brainer to ditch, yet is hanging me up more than the cheese and ice cream. I mean, giving up alcohol means my pedal to Shiner will end in a big, big thirst. Hmm.
  • More biking. I miss my bike. I miss my biking friends, and found myself on cloud 9 when one invited me to come ride sometime. I am glad she missed me, too.
  • More walking and more yoga, of course.

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