We just got back from another trip to Ol' Virginie -- had a great time with both our kids and their loved ones, visited some great vineyards, and got thoroughly worn out. ...It's nice to be home again!
As usual, i look enthusiastically forward to eating the way i usually do. Most of the trip i was "good" but on three occasions i just shrugged and ate "the bad stuff." I'm fortunate that i don't have a problem with trigger foods; this was my annual pizza binge, and it'll hold me for awhile. ;-) As a matter of fact, shortly before we started our vacation we ordered Dana Carpender's "500 Paleo Recipes" and when i had to turn off the ipad to charge properly (in the car), i opened the cookbook and got out a package of tape-flags and started reading -- OMG, do her recipes look good! Going shopping today to pick up a few ingredients!
It occurs to me that "what we eat" is similar in theory to "what we read." If we choose things to read that are merely amusing or titillating, we finish our books to find ourselves neither more informed nor wiser, but perhaps with implanted notions that affect our thoughts and behaviors with deleterious patterns. For example, "teabag philosophers" dangle plausible ideas that people want to hear and whip up their readers' emotions against innocent hate-targets. Fantasy-fiction (like television) shows us a non-existent cosmos and solves ITS problems in a way that isn't applicable in the real world. Romantic novels allow all kinds of improbable love-related behaviors to become plausible, believable, EXPECTED -- to people who will then suspect that their perfectly normal and decent relationships are deficient somehow. And i won't even MENTION bad self-help books... I tend to consider television/movie watching as a lazy form of reading. Questionable reading leads to poor thinking, choice-making and behaving.
Correspondingly, choosing "wrong" things to eat -- amusing and titillating things -- not only fails to nourish and fuel our bodies adequately, so that we can do what we need to in this world, but can set us up for disease, misery and death. When i look at all the "food porn" on commercial television and facebook, i sometimes think to myself DON'T PEOPLE REALIZE HOW NUTRITIONALLY BEREFT THIS STUFF IS? I see restaurant "healthy choices" like breaded and baked chicken breast meat in the middle of a virtual LOAF of white bread and slathered with a sugary sauce -- can anyone think that this is anything but JUNK? I find over-sugared cocktails, and dessert portions that are not only enough for four people, but excessively sweetened to the point that i can't stand to eat them. I detect "all-beef patties" which are obviously lying because of the state of my teeth when i finish eating them.
No wonder that once those twenty-somethings who used to get trashed on beer, mojitos and cosmos notice they've developed quite a belly when they pass the age of 30 (27 according to Dr Wong, 33 by the observation of Dr Donaldson). No wonder that when these people decide to start families, they often need medical help to conceive. No wonder that the mother's elevated glucose and insulin lead to their children's predisposition to obesity, diabetes and mental/emotional problems -- after all, folic acid is important in pregnancy, and orange juice is a great source of it.... (<-- sarcasm notice)
Reading for pure amusement has its place, just like treat-foods do. The problem arises when the treat occupies a central position in daily life. New low-carbers sometimes fall into this trap -- instead of concentrating on "meat and vegetables" they go searching for lower-carb substitutions of foods that got them in trouble in the first place, and which have minimal capability of digging them out of the hole they're in. In choosing our daily diet, we HAVE to concentrate on getting the (animal) protein we MUST consume along with whatever plant materials our bodies tolerate and our minds/systems "necessitate."
Even though nuts are good food, a little goes a long way and they can actually threaten to take the place of more valuable choices. Pork rinds and bacon, ditto -- it IS possible to overdo some of these things, though some people want to think otherwise. Is our goal to eat as much as we possibly can without gaining, or is it to be healthy and feel good? Although when one comes from a starvation diet of poor nutritional content to LCpaleo, the former seems important, once one gets over the hunger and starts becoming replete, i think the latter goal is the important one.
I'm not trying to take away your almond-flour birthday cake, thanksgiving pumpkin pie, or christmas trifle -- I'm saying that a constant stash of low-carb cookies is a questionable thing. I'm saying that good LC pizza is a nice thing to have in your repertory but not valuable to eat weekly while liver IS. I'm saying that a new Harry Potter movie every year has been fine, but the unending flood of crappy superhero remakes is NOT. I'm saying "pick your poison" on a VERY INfrequent basis.
Writing this reminds me of an obese friend who used to eat things she knew she shouldn't, "just this once" ... every single day.