Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened...

...when I clicked on a Facebook post. It lead me to a brief video featuring authors and food writers Michael Moss and Michael Pollan shopping in a grocery store. An innocuous enough task, but these gentlemen were discussing ingredient labels. And by the end of the video, I had ordered a copy of Moss's book SALT SUGAR FAT.

For months now, I've been contemplating the way I eat. Like most average Americans, processed foods were a staple of my life: frozen dinners, canned soup, cereal, granola bars, candy, potato chips. I tend to eat moderately by mixing the good with the bad, because I have other digestive ailments that prevent me from over-indulging on fried foods and dairy.  But I've spent time reading about other ways of eating.

Last year I bought THE EAT-CLEAN DIET by Tosca Reno, and I read that puppy cover to cover. It was a long tome, for sure, but full of information about nutrition and whole foods. Eat Clean is all about putting unprocessed, natural foods into our bodies. I liked the idea, but it also felt like a lot of work. I had no motivation to change that radically.

Not until I read the prologue and first two chapters of SALT SUGAR FAT. Two facts stood out to me the most and are driving this lifestyle change. The first fact is the title of this blog and quoted in the sidebar to your left. The second fact is from page 22, in the section on sugar.

"And yet, for more than three decades, federal officials in Washington have exempted sugar from the recommended maximum limits that they set for the other two pillars of processed foods, salt and fat. Nor are manufacturers required to disclose how much sugar they add to their products. The amounts they cite include the sugar that occurs naturally in food."

Scary, isn't it?

For years, I've heard nutritionists say variations of "if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it" in regards to ingredient labels. I don't know why it's taken me this long to listen.

There are a variety of healthy eating "diets" out there: Eat Clean, Paleo, Whole 30, Fully Raw. Each one has its rules and followers. But I'm not going on a diet. I'm making a lifestyle change that will impact the way I eat, the way I shop, and the way I treat food.  Have I tossed out every single processed thing in my pantry? Of course not. But I am looking at ingredient labels and making better decisions for myself. I'm eating more raw fruit and vegetables, as well as cooked vegetables. In one week, I made two different varieties of vegetable soup to freeze. I'm experimenting with recipes. I'm investigating what I'm eating.

And that's what this blog is all about.


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