My friend Jean Ann sent me this Huffington Post article on Whole Foods today. It’s hilarious. If you haven’t read it, take a minute to read it. I’m sure it’s funnier than this blog will be. I was just in Whole Foods last night. I went in for a few items, and those items cost $115. I don’t think it’s even possible to get out of there for under $100. Well, maybe if I just go in for lunch. But, if I shop at all, it’s $100 at least.
I have friends who are militant about their diets. And, I know there are a lot of great, healthy ways to eat – Vegan, Raw, the Paleo Diet, Eat Right for Your Blood Type…… They all have great health benefits, and I’m sure they feature great, healthy ways to eat. But, I’ve always thought they are a bit obsessive. I’ve lived my life obsessing about my weight, cooking and food, and I’d really like to lighten up about it. I had one friend who went on one of these strict plans – in fact, I think she combined two, so it made her plan doubly strict. A friend of hers wanted to cook her dinner. I was at lunch with her while she was texting with the would-be chef. He’d say, “how about this?” “No, I can’t eat that,” she’d say. He offered about 3 different meal options, and she either couldn’t eat some of the ingredients or none of it. I would have told her to cook her own damn dinner. I mean, if somebody is cooking for me, I’m eating what they cook. It’s a gift!
I have been vegetarian at different times in my life, but I was never militant about it. I don’t really like meat, so it’s not a big sacrifice for me to give it up. I really just like eating that way. Not everybody else needs to be a vegetarian, so I don’t like to cram it down anybody’s throat or bore them with all the health benefits that I’m gaining while I’m losing all my friends. Eating vegetarian back then made it difficult to eat out. Now, it’s better, but it’s still not ideal. And, I’ve had to put meat back into my diet because of my hypoglycemia. And… yes…. all you “greenies”, I know I can get adequate protein on a vegetarian diet, but I like to spend my time other places than in the kitchen.
I went on a hike in Memphis with some girlfriends one Sunday, and we spent half the hike reminiscing about all the drugs and alcohol we consumed for the first half of our lives. We spent the second half of the hike talking about organic foods and trying to stay away from things that were bad for us. I called their attention to the irony that we practically killed ourselves pouring toxic chemicals into our bodies for years, and now we’re afraid of pesticides. And, I’m sorry, paying $2 for an apple is ridiculous – pesticides or not. Sorry, just sayin’.
The first 20 years or so of my life I was obsessed with or addicted to all kinds of things – things that were good for me in moderation or things that would never be good for anybody. I finally realized that being obsessed with anything is not good. The key is moderation in everything, and in letting myself enjoy what the good Lord gave us. I LIKE ice cream. The cream comes from a cow, and the sugar comes from sugar cane, and the hot fudge sauce comes from the cocoa tree and a bunch of other man-made chemicals… but, it’s all good. I’m just not going to eat it every day unless I’m in the process of moving, and then I’ll eat it whenever I want. But, the point is, I am not going to obsess over food. Nor am I going to spend all of my hard-earned money on stuff that’s overpriced and shipped across the country burning thousands of gallons of gas that is pumped out of Louisiana’s swampland. That’s good karma? What’s worse – creating bad karma or eating a conventionally farmed potato? I can burn off a potato but burning off bad karma … ugh… been there, done that.
My favorite thing to do is to go to the Farmer’s Market. I see that as building good karma. I love talking to the people that grew my food and asking them how they would prepare it. I like to ask them questions and let them know how appreciative I am for their hard work and investment. For them, I will pay a little more because that’s an experience. It’s a positive connection. A lot of the food restrictions and obsessions we have are born out of fear. Fear of dying…. fear of being poisoned … fear of getting fat ….blah … blah …. blah …. Now, I eat some things organic. I eat some things that are low-fat. Every now and then I’ll eat something that is fat-free. I try to eat healthfully, but I know that when I beat up on myself or get too militant I get stressed. Eating well is really about loving myself enough to take care of my body. If something makes me feel bad, I don’t need to eat it anymore. If it makes me feel good, I should eat more of it. And, honestly, if I stick with fruits, vegetables, whole foods and local products, it just makes me happy as a bunny. Over the years I’ve realized that being happy is just about the best thing you can do for your health. And, I like to be happy. Ever see a fat bunny?
Namaste, y’all. 🙂