I have been so confused about food lately.
I don't even know where to begin, so this is probably going to be kind of disjointed and not fully thought out kind of post.
First, I'm tired of being a hypocrite regarding the way that I eat versus the way I let my children eat. I want to be as strict with myself as I am with my children.
BUT, at the same time, I don't want to do that because I don't want to have "food rules" with myself. I've been in that mindset before, and it's dumb. Although, for the most part, except for the week in high school when I only ate an apple and half-pint of skim milk for lunch because Vanessa Dufault was doing it, I have more or less had a pretty healthy attitude toward food.
I really like food. I enjoy food. Food is my friend.
I have always been kind of suspicious of people who don't enjoy and love food the way that I do. (Vern's a foodie too. He's engaged in enormous food challenges a handful of times and can eat a lot if he wants to. I love that we have that in common.)
And now I've turned into this food-nerd, who enjoys reading nutritional books (by Diane Schwartzbein, Gary Taubes, Sally Fallon, etc), blogs (I am especially enamored with Matt Stone's 180 Degree Health blog), and discussing all of my findings with my nerdy food-nerd friends. (Because it's just not a playgroup unless we're discussing cortisol, leptin, and insulin!)
So, let's see... where am I going with this?
Yes, so I really know a lot nutritionally about food. And I love that. And I love to eat healthy. I love preparing and providing my family (and myself) with nutritious, quality food.
But, now, here is where the confusion arises... I also believe that (any kind of) food eaten in celebration and gatherings has a different energy than, say, the time I ate at least 20 pieces of leftover Halloween candy alone in my car before dropping it off for donation. I think that food eaten with friends, in communion with one another, is special. Thus, different rules apply.
To be the person that doesn't eat anything at those times because it is not healthy is hardly appealing to me. (Because I DO think there is such a thing as "orthorexia", as much as some of use foodies might want to poo-poo it.)
So, I have always eaten heartily at gatherings because of this.
But something is different lately. Or maybe it isn't. I seem to remember eating myself into a food coma last March around this time as well (which I wrote about in the post titled 'How Eating Out Is Like Having Sex'). Maybe it's just that I've been going out to much. Maybe I need to stay at home more.
But even with staying at home, there have been times when I will justify Vernon and I eating a 1/2 gallon of ice cream together while the children are asleep because of the fact that we are eating in communion together, and enjoying it.
Because I have these differing food philosophies (eating healthy all the time vs not thinking about the nutritional content of food), I am more confused than ever.
I think I may need to re-define my relationship with food.
To what, I don't know yet.
Maybe still carry both philosophies (to be used respectively at whatever time I deem fit), but instead of say, going up to the buffet table at a potluck five or six times until I feel like throwing up, I could eat a normal portion. Or, maybe, when I'm eating out at a restaurant with friends, instead of offering to eat the rest of their strata because I know they're not going to take it home and I don't want the waitress to throw it away, maybe I could just eat what's on my own plate and be satisfied. (Yet, there is a part of me that is resisting these ideas because I actually really like eating a lot on occasions such as those. So, putting up those "food rules" would start to mess with my mind in a way I'm not comfortable with. Yet, on the other side of it all, my body really doesn't feel well when I eat like that.)
Oh, how to balance this all.
Vern showed me some pages in one of D.D. Palmer's Green Books (D.D.'s the founder of chiropractic), and here were some things he had to say,
Chiropractic has not formulated a system of certain, prescribed, fixed rules, because what is food for one is poison for another. Therefore, "Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry." The one who takes life easy, eats, drinks and is merry, is the one who enjoys the good things of life and lives long in the land.
Collectively and individually, those who enjoy life, live to eat and drink and have a good time, are the ones who do not follow any prescribed principles or set rules, who do not measure their food, nor time their eating. St. Matthew tells us to take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink.
When the men or women who have lived to a ripe age are asked how and by what means they have attained such longevity and retained good health, the universal answer has been and no doubt will continue to be, "I have eaten and drank whatever I desired, have aimed to enjoy myself and get the best I could out of life."
D.D. wrote those words in 1910 though, and a lot has changed within our food supply since then, but I like the general idea behind it.
Then, also and in relation to this, there is this quote that I found in Matt Stone's blog that reads, "...stressing out about your diet too much is a leading cause of excessive cortisol production (my note: cortisol contributes to weight gain, especially in the stomach area). It’s probably an even more prevalent problem than eating a truly crappy diet."
All this thinking I'm doing about this isn't doing me any good either. It's increasing my cortisol production, right? It is hard to "eat, drink, and be merry" when you're thinking of how what you're eating is going to affect your insulin levels, digestion, etc. Although, I actually don't really have an issue there... I can eat, drink and be merry with the best of them without thinking about food stuff. It's when I'm nursing the food hangover the day afterward that I start the thinking...
Something needs to shift here, but I'm not sure what it is going to be.
I'll keep you posted.