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Tidbits

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I'm very interested in food science. I listen to the podcasts, I read the articles, and I try my hardest to keep the tips in mind when I'm at the grocery store or at a restaurant. But in all of my research and all of the opinions by every nutritionist, doctor, and fitness expert in the world, I have realized that there is no one way to eat right.

Organic? Doctor A says yes, only eat organic, but Doctor B doesn't feel that the benefits of pesticide-free living outweigh the bacteria that consequently take the space that the chemicals leave behind.

Here's the thing that I've found: the stress over trying to understand and conquer a gluten-free lifestyle probably does more harm than simply popping a slice of wheat bread in the toaster. (I understand, of course, the necessities of this lifestyle with, say, Celiac disease).

We're at a critical time in our country when it comes to food, exercise, and overall physical well-being. Michael Pollan says in his book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," that our constant fad-diets and self-help books, and even our obesity epidemic, can be attributed to the fact that we, as a nation, have no food culture.

The Italians, for example, have a diet that largely revolves around cream, cheese, and bread/pasta. The French have at least one bottle of wine with lunch and dinner each. And yet they are statistically healthier than us.

I'm a little more encouraged when I hear, from each type of doctor/nutritionist/fitness expert, "moderation." To rephrase: Don't over think your food. Stick to the basics: the more color the better, grill don't fry, and balance carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. At its most basic, understanding the common sense of food and not freaking out about the latest celebrity weight-loss system is what will save us, and what will help develop a truly outstanding American food culture.


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I found this very interesting. I also believe that most every expert has a grain of truth in their message and prescription for healthy eating, but no one way is right for everyone. One thing we have found is that taking time to cook food from "real" and fresh ingredients has helped our family a lot. And it only happened when my husband, currently without a job outside the home, became Chef Ed.

I have worked from home for years, but my focus was squarely on work and not on caring for the home, so I cooked like a "working" woman -- crock pot (not that this is all bad), packaged meals, and all manner of short cut. We had a lot more processed food and a larger food budget. We also had more McDonalds and pizzas on the run.

Chef Ed makes everything from scratch. I still shop largely from the produce aisle and I get lean meat and quality dairy products. All the chemicals in foods to make them low-fat, low-cal, etc. we have found made us tired, cranky and in my case fat. I'm still a chunk, and I have not been on a scale in 6 years, but since I've been having real meals from Chef Ed, I've gone down two sizes in clothing and I can tell in the face and other parts that I'm smaller -- not an easy task, given I'm 6'1."

We also are saving at least $100 a month on food and we use most of the advice above -- the more color the better, balance, and moderate portions.

-- Posted by AmyPeterson on Sat, Mar 31, 2012, at 11:49 AM


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Kate Padilla
Tidbits