Doing the best you can for yourself includes eating well
This is a food and health post, which is not something I normally write about, but it has been on my mind lately.
Now, healthy to me is NOT skinny. This about sums it up for me:
Update: I should amend that statement to: “healthy to me is NOT necessarily always skinny”. I am considered very skinny and I am healthy, but I know this isn’t true for every body type.
Healthy people come in all shapes and sizes, although I do find it a bit sad that no one considers a skinny, slender girl to have a “real woman’s body” or healthy (reverse stereotype *sigh*).
It’s not my fault I was born with this body type either.
MY CURRENT HEALTH GOAL: AVOID DIABETES & LIVE LONG
As you know, I’ve been trying to do good things for my body lately like going to yoga 3 times a week.
I really, REALLY hate working out in a gym like some rat on a treadmill, but I enjoy walking in the city and yoga is a serious workout.
I figure that’s good enough for my health.
I am also trying to wean myself off my dependence on sugar (even ‘good’ sugars like maple syrup or honey), mostly because diabetes runs in my family and I don’t want to get that disease at any age.
My father has diabetes and it scares me how often he has to check his blood sugar, and how careful he has to be about what he eats which is a painful endeavour for him because he is addicted to sugar.
I am also trying to eat less meat, or at least to think of a meal as a meal, even if it doesn’t have meat in it.
Lastly, it’s nice to think that if I ate more vegetables and vegetarian meals, it would help out in a small way because I am not eating meat and putting a strain on the planet’s resources.
IT HELPS WITH THE COST OF MY HEALTH
One of the major benefits of doing all of the above is that my dental bills are much lower.
I saw a dentist the other day, and he was just so excited that I had such good teeth (I floss and brush daily, as well as avoid junk food and sugar), and told me he couldn’t imagine anyone like me having any dental problems if I just kept up on the basics.
I saw a doctor as well, and other than my eczema which I cannot control (hereditary), he said I was in perfect health.
I avoid the sun as much as possible, I wear sunscreen (sometimes a hat too), and I eat well in addition to walking a lot and going to yoga.
All of this adds up to very low health bills.
I complain because in Canada it’s all free (not the dentist however), but I am well aware it is because of my life choices.
I also don’t expect to get diabetes in the future or any other diseases, so that’ll cut down on any ER visits or other nasties.
COULD WE ALL JUST LIVE ON POTATOES AND FAT?
Chris had tweeted a very interesting article on how the Danish survived the War just on potatoes and a bit of fat. No meat at all, and not a huge variety in vegetables and fruits either.
The Germans on the other hand, couldn’t bear to give up meat, and their citizens suffered.
The most interesting paragraph?
Converting plant energy into animal energy is wasteful: It takes about 7 pounds of edible, healthy grains to produce just 1 pound of beef, 4 pounds for a pound of pork, and 2 pounds for a pound of chicken.
Reallocating land from animal to crop production would increase our food resources at least seventeen-fold: Crops like potatoes can produce 17 times the calories as animals on the same piece of land.
There would be additional positive consequences of replacing animal foods in our diet with plants.
Read the article: The Starch Solution
I could do that. I LOVE potatoes. With a little coriander, a pinch of salt, pepper… Noms.
Like with this recipe for warm potatoes with chives!
Via Taste Food Blog
AVOIDING JUNK FOOD SEEMS TO BE THE #1 BEST THING YOU CAN DO
On the flip side, here are a few videos on how junk food affects your body (Video).
This ER doctor in the video went on an experiment for a week just eating junk food (a lot like Supersize Me), and he shows how it affected him versus what he was doing before.
Video still from how junk food affects your body
It is scary what junk food does to your body, with all that salt, sugar and fat.
JUNK FOOD & I
Quite honestly, I haven’t had junk food in years.
The closest I’ve ever gotten to “fast food” is Chipotle, which I’ve also given up because I think they’re now putting lard in their beans which gave me acne, so now I’ve stopped going there too.
My ‘fast food’ is sushi. Period.
Once in a while, I allow myself treats, but I don’t do it daily.
As a result:
- my weight has really stabilized down to what it was when I was in high school
- whatever fat I had has melted off my body at a surprising rate
- I feel more energetic and awake
- I feel happier
- my brain is working better than ever before — I can feel the difference mentally
I can see with people like my parents who eat junk food regularly (or go to restaurants all the time which amounts to the same thing), they are tired all the time and sluggish.
You just can’t control what restaurants put in your meals, so it’s always a better choice to make your own meals.
SO WHY DO WE ALWAYS CUT OUR GROCERY BUDGETS FIRST?
So it never made any sense to me why people see their budgets, and the first thing they cut is groceries, but they refuse to dial down on their eating out in restaurants.
I totally get that eating out is a great experience, relaxing with no dishes to do, but after thinking about what I eat and how it affects me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather have a $0 restaurant budget, and a higher grocery one.
I’d rather have a huge $600/person grocery budget each month (which I do, by the way), where I buy organic, fresh foods, and those expensive vegetables and fruits, than to spend half that money on junk food or canned/packaged items just because it’s cheaper.
Good and fresh food is expensive.
I am aware that it is a financial luxury to be able to spend that kind of money on food; to purchase organic foods is not cheap, but if push came to shove, I’d put food as one of the most important expenses because it affects your body and your brain, and more importantly your mood and how you feel.
So why cheap out, and then spend $300 on some spa day to relax and feel better?
Incidentally, it has also really helped my skin to avoid junk food and to eat cleaner. I can see it in my skin tone, my skin texture, the LACK of acne I get these days, and how much brighter my eyes are.
Why not just spend that $300 on eating better food to look and feel better?