I May or May Not Be Becoming A Crazy Health Nut

In Defense of Food

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Have you ever thought about what you eat?

I honestly didn’t until we got married and I began to cook more.

At the beginning it wasn’t very often; I was mostly trying not to burn anything and come up with things that my husband would like. I also was a little like an ostrich, my head buried in the ground- knowing I should consider these things but fearing that what I learned would turn me into a crazy health nut.

And then I read 7. There was something intriguing about Jen eating only 7 foods for a month. It was a simple premise, yet the benefits she explained made me curious. After that, I read In Defense of Food, by Michael Polland.

Michael gives away the premise on the front of his book: eat food, mostly plants, not too much. He opened my mind to a whole new way of thinking and eating.

I realized that I’d been gliding on autopilot, eating small portions of whatever I wanted and that I’d never thought about how much processed “food” was going into my body. (And it was labeled ‘healthy’ or ‘low fat!’)

What we call ‘food’ is not necessarily food. Michael gives easy-to-implement guidelines for more thoughtful eating, but the one I feel sums it up best is, ‘Don’t eat anything your great grandma wouldn’t recognize.’ Meaning? Avoid products containing ingredients that are unpronounceable, unfamiliar, more than 5 in number or include high fructose corn syrup.

I’m not chained to this, but I try to frame our food in light of that. And holy cannoli err…holy broccoli, has it made a difference!

When we eat closer to these guidelines, we have more energy, our skin is clearer, and we feel better in general. Honestly, as we eat more good foods, we want more of them. Fast food has lost most of it’s luster and my raging sweet tooth has calmed. {Is there a pig flying somewhere?}

So far, I haven’t done anything too crazy, like buying chickens {our hoa would kill us}, but a few changes like

  • adding more veggies and fruits into our diet;
  • canning our own salsa;
  • and planting herbs and baby tomatoes,

make me feel like I’m becoming a better manager of my family’s food. One day I hope to have a big garden, a freezer to hold the produce, or maybe join a CSA (right now there aren’t any close to us). The investigation is slow, and for some reason even though I know these things are good and should be implemented, sometimes it’s just so dang difficult to follow through.

I keep seeing and hearing more on the subject, so I’m curious about how other families are responding.

Are you a food investigator? Is it hard to implement better eating habits even when you know the results are what you want? Are there any books you’ve read on the subject that you would recommend?