Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eating Low on the Food Chain

I was so proud of myself as I checked out at the grocery store tonight. In my cart were two processed foods for me: tomato soup that I occasionally eat as a treat, and sugar free/fat free pudding mix for that occasional need for dessert. It sounds kind of offbeat to be proud of my grocery cart but, oddly, I was. Because with the exception of the aforementioned extravagences, everything in the cart was as close to it's natural state as a city-dwelling busy gal can get it. My cart contained canola oil, dry beans, brown rice, chicken, and produce. That's it.

Obviously I want to lose weight and I want to use the expert knowledge accumulated over the past few decades to empower that quest, hence the name of the blog. I wrote just today in my coaching blog about the struggles on that front, but yes, I want to lose weight. And there is more.

I want to be healthy. Truly, robustly, undeniably healthy. I want to eat the foods that serve me and avoid the foods that do not. I am making lifestyle -- aka permanent -- changes. So these days, I am eating low on the food chain and also choosing selections that are thought to be less inflammatory, like collard greens, for instance.

I mentioned recently that I have been tracking my food on the NutritionData site. Their tracking program analyzes the macro nutrients in my food. It is very affirming. When I'm eating food as close to natural as I can, I get most or all of my essential nutrients every day. Imagine that! There has also been a fabulous unintended consequence. My 10-year-old has IBS and lately she has been suffering far fewer painful bouts. We both attribute this to the uncomplicated and beautiful home-cooked meals.

If you want to try eating simpler and more healthful foods, here are a few tips:
  • Shop primarily in the outside aisles of the supermarket
  • Relegate canned or boxed --processed-- foods to occasional treats
  • Avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup; it has many deleterious affects, not least of which is stimulating your appetite
  • Teach your whole family to chop vegetables and you will always have a soux chef handy
  • Try a locally grown produce delivery service for fun, freshness and variety
  • Cook ahead when possible, eg., the week's worth of brown rice, oatmeal, and soup
  • Utilize your freezer; buy in bulk and repackage to your family's size; do big projects (like meatballs) in massive batches for time and money savings
  • Make pretty food. Somehow, it tastes better.

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