Friday, January 10, 2014

My Simplistic Take on Food

So, we're on to Day 2 of the Wellness Project, and I already feel the need to qualify what I am doing.  I have never delved too much into my dietary choices here, because it's been my experience that - like religion or politics - diet can become somewhat of a hot button topic.  And, of course, by "diet" I don't mean what you do to lose weight, simply one's food choices.

As I stated yesterday, when I began this experiment of converting one of my meals to a raw food fest, I feel I already eat fairly health-consciously.  I have been vegetarian for about 18 years, and I have been "veganish"for about 15 years, ever since I noticed that when I cut out dairy products my joints didn't ache as much and the random rashes I had been dealing with for a while disappeared.  I call myself veganish, because it's a nice word and, frankly, I am not vegan. At home, my husband and I do eat mostly dairy-free and certainly egg-free, but there are times when we do eat cheese or bake with eggs (usually around holidays), so I could never consider myself vegan - at least not at this time.

I have a healthy relationship to food. I am not an emotional eater. Food is fuel and that is about it. I don't wax poetic about any particular dishes I was raised on (sorry, Mom!), and generally speaking I don't have any strong cravings for anything.  Those times when I really do crave something I eat it and don't beat myself up about it.  (My downfall is usually dark chocolate, if anyone is taking notes.)

My self-imposed food rules are, typically speaking, as follows:
  • Don't buy anything you don't want to eat
  • Don't go to fast food restaurants
  • Eat to fuel the body
  • Treat treats as treats
  • Don't think it's your God-given right to feast every day
  • Don't eat after dinner (unless you stay up too late reading and are REALLY hungry, then have a banana before bed)
  • If you crave baked goods, bake them yourself (amazing how that curbs a craving, especially if you are feeling lazy)
  • If you really want something, eat it
  • Drink water
  • Don't drink soda
  • Focus food choices on whole foods
  • Avoid processed crap
  • Try to eat organic
  • If you are going to eat dairy, make it the really pricey, locally produced stuff (limits purchases)
These may seem crazy. I don't know. And, it's not like they are hard and fast rules.  To (mis)quote Captain Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, "[This] code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules." In other words, I don't torture myself over them.  They are not really rules I think about; they are more just the way I live.  

Before anyone gets all defensive on me, let me stress that I try very hard not to judge others for eating meat.  In fact, most of the time, I don't think about what other people are doing. (Only-child syndrome?) At most, I wish people would make wiser choices when it comes to meat.  Don't eat it everyday. Buy the expensive stuff. Know where it is coming from. Ask questions.  I think fewer people would eat it if they really paid attention to where it came from.  If you know where it comes from and you are okay with it, so be it. I can respect that.

For myself, I am a vegetarian, and it is completely ingrained. I can't imagine eating meat again, although I will never say never.  I don't crave it, though. I don't miss it. And, for the most part, I am vegetarian not only for health reasons but because I think it is better for the environment and for animals. When I go biking in the summer past the farms and I see the cows in the field that look up and watch my progress, I can honestly feel good about myself. I can look them in the eyes and I am happy that I have no thoughts of eating them.

Not everyone is like that. I once knew someone who thought of cows as walking, breathing, bellowing vegetables. Everyone is different. My point is, though, that I am vegetarian to the extent that even if I found out that being vegetarian was going to shorten my lifespan, I would probably still be vegetarian.  I can't harm a fly, let alone a cow, pig, chicken, or fish.

So, this isn't all to alienate me further from others.  Rather, simply to give a bit of where I am coming from with this challenge.  Although I feel that I eat fairly well, there are too many times when I make the easy choices, versus what is right.  Eating more unprocessed, whole foods is my goal, not to convert to a full-on raw foods diet.  Too often I make a quick sandwich when I could have a salad. And that is what I want to change.  Every meal I eat may not be perfectly raw (point in fact, roasted sunflower seeds are by definition not raw), but I am trying to get better, not be perfect.

So, that is where I stand, and now you know a little more about me. On to lunch!

Day 2

So, I warned you that I am not too quick at thinking outside the box when it comes to food, so you will note that today's lunch looks startlingly similar to yesterday's lunch.  Once again, I enjoyed a salad with mixed baby greens. I did mix up the add-ins a bit, so ended up with adding cauliflower, baby carrots, mini sweet peppers, avocado, pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.  I realize now that the sunflower seeds are not technically "raw" in the "raw foods" sense, and that is what spurred me on to write the above. Still, I consider it a basically raw meal, and I am okay with it.

As to my lunch date, he enjoyed sweet mini bell peppers, mixed baby greens, raw cauliflower, baby carrots, avocado sprinkled with a bit of sea salt, and rice with soy sauce.  (The boy could be a sumo wrestler, I think, given that rice with soy sauce is his all-time favorite meal.)  He also ate a big glob of hummus as well. After he didn't eat it yesterday, I didn't give him any today, but he asked for some after I set his plate down.  I didn't photograph his plate when he was done eating, but I will say he ate everything on it except for one baby carrot and a small piece of the cauliflower.  He even finished the hummus.

As an added bonus, mainly because I am digging the way the white dishes show up against the black background, I photographed my breakfast, too.  (And, in case you are wondering, yes, my children do think I have gone off the deep end here. Luckily, my husband has yet to see me doing this, but I digress....)  Today's breakfast was oatmeal with unsweetened coconut, walnuts, chia seeds, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and a smidge of maple syrup. Delicious, nutritious, and crazy filling.

Still no run update. I have now had tea and coffee with two different friends on two different days, so I feel I have vented about as much as I can for now. I also emailed my PT and poured out my frustrations to her. So, I can't possibly do that again today. Suffice it to say that if there really are five stages of grief, then I am teetering between anger and acceptance.  I did go to power yoga today, and that was fantastic. Tomorrow I might try to get my run fix again.

Happy Running!

No comments:

Post a Comment