Friday, July 16, 2010

Eat to Live!

Food is a necessity; there is no way to live without it. Drug addicts can abandon their drug. Alcoholics can abstain from alcohol. Those of us who have the habit of eating too much can not just stop eating and avoid food!

Back in the old days, food options were limited to what you could grow, raise and prepare yourself. Most people had a healthy diet that included a lot of veggies and, before refined flours and sugars, whole grains. Today, we have a plethora of food choices! We have almost unending options that are as easy to obtain as driving to your nearest grocery store or even just picking up the phone! I'm sure our ancestors would be quite envious of our ease of life...though I have often thought how, at the same time, they might also grieve for us and the choices we make. So many of the most popular food choices in America actually hurt us in the long run! Too much refined flour and sugar, too much fat, unhealthy fat and not enough fruits, veggies and whole grains do not provide our bodies with the nutrients they need to be their healthiest and can actually hurt our bodies. Furthermore, consuming too many calories habitually leads to extra fat on our bodies...fat that contributes (and causes) a wide array of diseases. Our society went from struggling for food, to struggling because of too much food!

You could look at our culture and observe that many of us are choosing to eat to die; our food choices lead to chronic disease and malnourishment. There are a billion excuses one might employ to back their poor choice of food, but the bottom line is that many of us are choosing to eat foods that will lead to a shortened life span! I have been making that choice!!

I don't want to continue hurting my body because of the foods I eat! Unfortunately, it is what has been easiest to do; but we all know that the things that are the easiest are usually not what is best. I am in the process of making the choices necessary to eat to live! I want to eat the foods that will help my body to thrive. I want to eat foods that replenish my body of the nutrients it needs. I want to eat foods that have good, nutritional calories, not empty, negative calories.

I want my body to be healthy and strong, so I need to feed it the foods that will help me reach that goal. I want to feel good and accomplish other goals in my life. I want to live a long life to watch my children and grandchildren grow and thrive! I want to be an example to my children of eating foods that will help me live! I do not want to feed my children foods that will hurt their health now or later in their lives.

For me, achieving this goal means that I think about the nutritional value of everything I put in my mouth. This means snacking on fruits and veggies instead of crackers, chips or cookies and including as many veggies as I can stand in every meal. I use freshly ground whole wheat flour to make cookies and other desserts. If I feel the need for a treat that is otherwise nutritionally void, I choose just one or two small pieces, rather than a handful. This also means I no longer regularly provide my children the traditional, American "kid" snacks like granola bars, fish crackers, fruit snacks and soda; all of which contain too many empty calories and not enough nutrients.

The goal of eating to live will always be lifelong...and in achieving this goal, I hope that life to be very long. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment