Diet, Not A Diet or Dieting

Often when I’m at work and there is some sort of buffet of goodies in the break room a coworker is trying to coax me to eat I make the comment “that’s not part of my diet.”  I then feel the need to explain that NO, I am not ON a diet, my diet consists of the food I eat and that happens to be in a category of food I don’t eat.

If you look up Diet in the dictionary there is an array of definitions.  The Diet I talk about is a noun.  Diet- a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease*.  The definition most people think about in connection to Diet is a verb. . . Diet- to select or limit the food one eats to improve one’s physical condition or to lose weight.*

As a society, we need to start getting away from using the word diet as a verb and start thinking about it more like as a noun.  Having a healthy diet is important to your overall health and well-being.  I try to eat healthfully and feed my family healthy meals.  In my house we eat a lot of whole foods, real foods, you know the kind you have to actually put a little thought into before you serve because it doesn’t come out of a package already prepared for you.  I’ll tell you, it’s not always easy or fun, but I feel like it’s important and so I suck it up and prepare a wholesome dinner from scratch almost every night. (Yes, I am a little crazy, yes it often sucks, and yes learning about food prep is on my to-do list)

I’ve had a lot of friends going on the Whole30 diet the past couple of years and while I am pretty familiar with what it is I didn’t know all the actual rules so I thought I’d break down and get the book to see what it was really about.  My thought process being that even if I didn’t decide to take the plunge, it does have recipes in it and you can never have enough recipes.  I consulted my nutritionist about her thoughts on Whole30 .  She told me that if you are going to use it as a basis of changing how you eat for good, it is a great plan, but that many people use it as a 30 day fast, and then go back to their old habits of eating, which is not so good.

I have a few problems with the Whole30 plan. While a lot of the advice is so good I feel like they categorize some foods as “bad” that should never be eaten. I don’t share that belief.  I am more of an”everything in moderation” kind of gal.  I do believe that every person is different and that some foods get a bad rap, like butter. If you do a little research Grass Fed Butter is actually good for you and raw cow milk or goat’s milk can also be beneficial to lots of people. The topic is controversial but I believe you are smart enough to decide for yourself if having those foods in your diet is what’s right for you.

The one food I do think is the candy coated devil is sugar.  Sugar is addictive and can breed all sorts of unwanted diseases.  If you don’t believe me do a little googling and then look at the labels of the things in your pantry to  see what has sugar in it.  You will be shocked and appalled at home many things we think of as healthy are laced with sugar.

The second issue I have with this “diet” is that I’ve watched numerous friends who go on this diet for themselves and then watch how they continue to feed their children processed food because they think their children won’t eat healthfully.  I am somewhat aghast when I see this.  How can you believe that changing your own diet is important and then fail to apply the same principles to your children? If you want some tips about how to get your children to eat well check out one of my previous posts on the subject Getting Your Child to Eat Well

My nutritionist also reminded me that total health is not just what you eat.  There are 6 main components to our Health.  What we eat, what we drink, how we sleep,  how we breathe, our exercise and our mood.  If one component it majorly unbalanced it can affect our overall health, so we need to spread our concentration to all areas, not just one.

I’m glad I had that chat with her.  I kind of want to do the Whole30 diet, but I just quit sugar in my coffee.  I went from 2 teaspoons a day to 0.  I currently lace my coffee with Raw Milk and Cinnamon. This was not easy for me and I am not ready to give up my raw milk. One step at a time here. . . but if you’ve been thinking about changing your views about food, checking out the program out won’t hurt you.  This is an example of a typical dinner in my household.  It’s not fancy, but it is real food. . .

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Food Revolution Day 2016

Today is food revolution day!  If you don’t know about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution you can check out all sorts of info on his webpage Here.  Food Revolution is about each and every one of us taking a stand when it comes to food by making small changes that push for more positive changes in our current food industry.

Food Revolutionaries encourage people to cook with your kids, buy better products that support a more fair system, and read up on current food issues.  I think the most important aspect of the Food Revolution is getting back to cooking with real food and ingredients.  Health issues are running rampant in our country and many of the health issues people face can be contributed to food choices.  So, I challenge you, even if it’s just for today to only eat real food.  Take one small step in changing your habits, your children’s habits, and the direction of the food industry and only eat whole unprocessed food, just for today.  I promise it’s not that hard,  and if you need a little help Jamie Oliver has some delicious recipes you can check out Here .

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Things We Need to Teach our Children – Good Eating Habits

Good Eating Habits

I am always slightly appalled when I see people feeding small children McDonalds. We really should do better for our children.  I have a child that has survived more than two years now, never having tasted a McDonald’s anything.  I won’t lie and say my child has never eaten any sort of fast food.  There have been several occasions where he has eaten chicken strips or tenders from ChickFila or Sonic, but these events are few and far between.  I want my child to grow up liking to eat healthy foods and so I try my hardest to provide him with healthy food and to show him that I eat healthy in hopes that he will follow suit.

One thing about being a parent is that we try to model behaviors that we want our children to have.  When you want your children to eat healthy that means you end up eating healthier too! Our children learn about food mostly from us, so we need to take advantage of this and TEACH them about food.  Show them that you eat healthy food and they will follow suit!

To aid in teaching our children to eat healthier, we need to teach our children where their food comes from. Food doesn’t just magically appear in stores or in restaurants and children should be aware of this.   We need to teach them about where the plants and animals they eat come from.  If you have a green thumb or if you’ve always wanted to try. . . planting an edible garden, an herb garden or just a few tomato plants in a pot is an excellent way to teach them about where their food comes from.  If you children pick out and grow their own vegetables they are usually more willing to try new ones as they helped in the creation of them.  (Also, buying a bag full of ladybugs and releasing them into your garden is incredible fun.)  If you’re not so great at keeping plants alive or you can’t imagine adding one more daily activity to your already hectic schedule try driving your kids to the local farmers market, or to the actual farm once a month.  There are lots of farms where you can pick certain fruits and vegetables straight from the source during certain seasons.

After your kids know where their food comes from they need to learn how to prepare their food to eat.  We should teach our children to cook and eat whole foods and explain to them the difference between fresh meals and processed ones! If you don’t think you’re a good cook, it’s never too late to learn!  I learned how to really cook a few years shy of turning 30 and now I actually enjoy cooking (it’s the cleaning part I figured out I don’t like).   Start with simple recipes.  I have found that the best meals are always made from simple ingredients and a short list of ingredients at that.  There are so many great recipes out there.  Just pick a few and get started!  Baking  is another great way to get kids involved.  Baking with kids is always fun.  My little’s favorite thing to do in the kitchen is “mix, mix, mix, mix” and it is a great way to get really young kids involved in the kitchen!

If we teach our children about food from a young age and involve them in preparing and cooking their own food we are setting them up for a healthier way of life for the long haul.  We all want what’s best for our children, so help set them up for success and give them the food education they deserve.  You never know, you may just learn something in the process.

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