Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thoughts on food

Mmmmm. Right now my house smells of fresh baked blueberry muffins.

Food has been on my mind a lot lately. People think I am a picky eater. In one respect I agree. There are very few restaurants I like, I eat no beef, pork and very little seafood.

In another respect I would disagree. I am not a picky eater. I just like good food and I just don't think that the generic selection at most restaurants is appetizing. Most places think a bunch of lettuce, some carrot shavings and a tomato doused with half a bottle of dressing is a salad.

Now that I am older and realize that I am not immortal, I have been trying to take care of my body. I am hoping to use it for another 50 years and I want it to be in good working condition for that entire time. After seeing friends go through some health conditions, I was not surprised to find that most of the diseases and ills of our country are preventable. They are the direct result of lifestyle choices (overeating, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, etc). Look how many contestants go on The Biggest Loser taking tons of medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. and by the end of the show most of them are off of all medications.

Slowly over the past 5 years I have been changing my habits. The first was to adopt a regular exercise program. After 5 years, I still don't like exercising, but I don't hate it either. I like how I feel after I exercise and that keeps me going. Then I gave up soft drinks. After a trip to a nutritionist I started balance my meals and portions (it's ELMO- eat less more often) based on my age, gender and activity level. It was an eye-opener to see just how big (or should I say little)a portion is suppose to be. After several months of eating this way, I found my energy level to be good and I was never hungry. And, I no longer have that bloating feel after meals.

I always loved to bake, but in the past I hadn't cooked much. I've started doing that and have been trying to use mostly organic/fresh foods. I am enjoying the process of trying new recipes too. My grocery bill is probably higher because I buy organic, which is usually more expensive than non-organics (organic milk is $6 a gallon!) I am still trying to gauge portions, etc so as not to have too much, if any waste (i.e. leftovers which usually end up getting thrown out since my husband would never pack his lunch and my son gets lunch at school). But I think once I get the hang of things, even though I am buying more expensive foods, I think my food bill will decrease. Even if it doesn't, I don't care. I will cut corners or do without something else rather than give my family crappy food. Food is what fuels our bodies. The right food can keep you healthy and the wrong food can make you sick. Sure, those prepackaged foods that are packed with preservatives and chemicals may make for a cheap lunch now, but will you be paying for it later in medical expenses?

And a side effect of all this fresh cooking and baking is that the food actually tastes good!

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