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What Do You Choose?

July 9, 2008

I was recently interviewed by Nutritious Junk as a healthy blogger- check out the interview here and be sure to check out her really great blog while you’re there!

Food

Mmm. Food. It seems that many/most people have a love-hate relationship with food. On the one hand, it tastes great and serves as necessary fuel for our bodies, and it is often associated with social gatherings and all around good times. Its also a central feature of a lot of holidays, and holidays are generally a lot of fun; a break from the everyday. But on the other hand, when we eat too much food or when we eat processed stuff posing as food (yummy, chemicals!), it is detrimental to our heath and well-being. Children perform worse in schools, we become cranky and lethargic, and we become sick with all kinds of wacky diseases and ailments which affect our quality of life and our interactions with the rest of the world.

Over the long term, this has drastic results. If you haven’t experienced these results yourself, then ten to one you know someone who has (and if you don’t, then you probably live as a hermit in the mountains. And have no access to the Internet. And therefore are not reading this just at present). But what about in the short term?

Here is where it gets muddled. Scientists plod away at conducting their research and spit out stats at random intervals over the course of years, sending us mixed messages and going from one extreme to the other. One day they suggest that the occasional indulgence is beneficial; the next, they say that derailing just once from a healthy lifestyle can have long-term, nasty consequences for your body. Do this! Eat that! Stay away from this! Avoid these at all costs! (All of this being said, of course, at the same time as *they* put up yet more fast food chains with reckless abandon all across the city. Because its really necessary to have a McDonalds at regular intervals on the main street and a KFC right across from it).

You get lost in it. You forget the real goals, you forget that you like this or that and that you don’t particularly like another kind of food. Regardless of its health factor, sometimes you’re just not going to enjoy certain foods. I don’t like cooked spinach. I also do not like mayonnaise. Before I ever became the little health freak that I am (*waves energetically to all the other affectionate health freaks in the room*), I would not eat cooked spinach or mayo. And that has not changed. Now, I am more wiling to try something that I know is healthy, but it doesn’t mean that it will be my staple. And I am more careful about the bad stuff that I put in my body. Its really a simple equation (although it can be damn difficult to remember sometimes).

Yesterday night, an acquaintance of mine returned from a trip to New York City, so I was at her place for a Welcome Home slice of homemade chocolate cake. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite of it with no thoughts of remorse (because how often does someone put a slice of homemade chocolate cake with fruit in it and homemade icing on the top in front of you? Precisely). And yet other days, when I lose sight of my real goals, I’ll wander the cupboards and spend an age trying to decide between the store-bought whole wheat bread or the homemade white buns. Which is the better choice? And what about different types of fruit- should I choose the apple, nectarine, or banana? Puffed wheat or oatmeal? Carrots or broccoli? Yogurt or cheese?

When I catch myself doing this, I give my head a shake. I should be asking, what is it that my body is asking for? What is it that I am needing more of? And if I want both the apple and the banana, well, I’m pretty sure that no one ever fell into a bad state of health because they had two pieces of fruit instead of one. So if I’m craving both, then I’m going to have both. It’s likely that I need the nutrients that come with both of these excellent fruits.

We’re looking at the long term. We’re looking at maintaining a healthy way of living, an attitude that will be ours no matter the situation. And as long as we’re listening to our bodies and are careful to not get too caught up in the silly details, we’re all set.

And how about all of you? Do you have the occasional silly questions between what kind of fruit you should eat, too? Is it triggered by past issues (such as an eating disorder)? How do you cope with it when you get caught up in these tiny details? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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37 comments

  1. (love the interview! I adore the behind the scenes of the bloggers lives)
    and Im gonna not comment on the rest.
    methinks I blather too much at times.

    wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the post anyway & then step back πŸ™‚

    Miz.


  2. Great interview. πŸ™‚

    I don’t debate about fruit or how many servings of fruits or veggies I am having. I just tell myself, no one got fat (or unhealthy) from eating fruit.

    I totally hear you on the cake. My issue is celebrating maybe a little too much. I need to find the balance between enjoying that moment (and the food that goes with it) and completely overindulging.


  3. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  4. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  5. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  6. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  7. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  8. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  9. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  10. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  11. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  12. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  13. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  14. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  15. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  16. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  17. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  18. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  19. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  20. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  21. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  22. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  23. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  24. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  25. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  26. I love the interview! great insight. congrats!

    http://www.groundedfitness.com


  27. thanks sagan for agreeing to chat! And i am with robin, i dont think fruit or veggies, at least fresh ones, made anyone fat. Its the frying, sugar coating, sauce overloading that people forget about. As a chef, i find GOOD food is actaully good for you. sometimes, we cover up bad tasting food with sugar and salt, but if we start with a good ingredient to begin with, we dont need the other unhealthy stuff.


  28. MizFit- its always entertaining to read about the behind the scenes!

    Robin- I’m a total celebrating-too-much type person too. I enjoy the celebrations:)

    Kelly- thanks!

    Hungry Waif- I agree that it generally tastes best without needing all that extra stuff. Real food is always good for you!


  29. Great interview! Moderation is the key for me……most of the time I do okay! πŸ™‚


  30. (and kudos on your push ups!!)

    M.


  31. Love this post! It reminded me of a day, about this time last summer, when I first started conscientiously logging my food intake. I was doing so well, and then came the day when I was OVER my calorie range–by 32 calories. I was distraught! This was Irrefutable Truth that I couldn’t stick to any sort of healthy eating plan. Seriously, I was almost in tears. And then, of course, I came to my senses and realized that 32 calories was NOT going to cause any sort of problem at all, especially given that I had eaten healthy foods all day. LOL But for a couple of hours there… Crazy!


  32. Mark- Moderation is really the best option to take.

    MizFit- my arms are getting super impressive! I’m so excited about it.

    Cammy- oh thank goodness someone else has had the same dilemma! I have definitely been of the same situation of “eek I’m over by (pitifully small number) calories!”. Its a good thing we’re smart enough to knock some sense into ourselves that its obviously not going to make any difference:)


  33. So, we’ll be impressed with pictures of Sagan’s fabulous arms soon, yes? πŸ˜‰

    I really like your view on food and your relationship with it. You’re right; sometimes we can get caught up in the details rather than think long term health.

    I’ve never had issues with fruits or which kinds to choose. I like ’em all – equal opportunity with me – and will eat them without guilt! πŸ™‚


  34. Great interview, Sagan!
    And loved this post – very sensible. Moderation is the key.


  35. Great post! I totally get caught in the little details all the time. My ex used to fight me endlessly because I would tell him “no rice” or “no potatos” for dinner, but I would drink 3 glasses of wine. Oh well. To me it’s about balance and picking and choosing when to splurge πŸ™‚


  36. I often have trouble choosing which veggies I want to pack for snacks during the day, or put on my salads… so I usually end up with like 8 bazillion servings of veggies a day. πŸ™‚


  37. Susan- oh yes, the arms are well on their way to being fabulous:P I’m glad you eat them without any guilt!

    Bag Lady- its the REMEMBERING that its all about moderation that I sometimes need a little work on.

    POM- yeah, I do the same thing sometimes… I can do without my food being cooked in oil and such, but a big chocolate dessert? Um, hell yes, I will gladly eat that!

    Chandra- I do the same thing! Gives me something to munch on throughout the day, too:)



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