My Life of What Ifs

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Real

Isn't it ironic, don'tcha think?  A little too ironic?  You know I really do think...

I can never get over how once you hear of something it seems to pop up everywhere.  Yes, of course, it's only because you are aware of it now, whatever it may be, and therefore in tune to when it's mentioned on TV, on the Internet, or in casual conversation.  For me, it's my interest in eating better and the steps I am going to take to make my family's food choices healthier and more nutritious.  The key words here are 'Real Food'.

 Last Wednesday I attended a webinar sponsored by Mamapedia and the California Milk Advisory Board.  The webinar was called "Getting Real About Health" and two of the featured contributors were Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough authors of Real Food Has Curves: How to Get Off Processed Food, Lose Weight, and Love What You Eat
Real Food Has Curves: How to Get Off Processed Food, Lose Weight, and Love What You Eat 
Weinstein and Scarbrough discussed the first three steps in their book and talk about ironic!  They are steps that I have been talking of incorporating already.  And really, they are not inhumane, self-depriving practices!  They incorporate some great research along with a little common sense.

Gut Insight: probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health and well-beingThe webinar also featured Jo Ann Hattner, author Gut Insight: probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health and well-being.  This is ironic for two reasons.  One, the ladies over at NourishMD praise the benefits of probiotics. So in my recent research I have heard this term used frequently, and two, she spent some time debunking the myths of the nutrition benefits of dairy, and I have a friend who after my last post informed me of his strong feelings on that subject.  (Jimmy, I neither agree or disagree.  I am taking it all in :P)  June is, after all, National Dairy Month.

The first step that Weinstein and Scarbrough list in their book is 'Learn the secrets to satifaction'.  In other words if you choose foods that taste great you will be better satisfied and eat less.  It seems odd, but they say that the more time people spend shopping for, preparing, and tasting their food- the less they weigh.  The key is choosing foods that taste great and help you feel satiated.

Step two is to 'Make informed choices'.  It's not black or white, it's not good or bad, it's about not feeling like a bad person if you can't do it the perceived 'right' way all of the time.  It's about making the best choice for you at the time.  My interpretation of this is- I won't be arrested if I have to buy a pre-made something or other, as long as it's the best choice at the time.

Finally, the third step is to 'Relish what you eat'.  Don't deprive yourself, you won't succeed.  Diets fail because we are not motivated by punishing ourselves if we partake in something that is deemed a no-no.  We are motivated by positive experiences, you have to run on pleasure.  Slow down and enjoy your food.

I don't find any of those steps absurd.  In fact, they inspired me to learn more.  I am trying to learn from a variety of sources and combine all of the information into a plan that works best for me.  That is why I was so interested in what Hattner had to say about the myths of dairy.  The first myth she addressed is that drinking milk causes early puberty.  Hattner claims there is no research to back that up and that excessive weight is generally what triggers early puberty.  Again, I am not saying I agree or disagree, but it does make sense.  Girls today drink less milk than we did at their age, so who knows?

Hattner also touches on lactose intolerance, dairy as a cause for being overweight, organic milk vs. regular milk, and if foods other than dairy are better sources of calcium.  All interesting, all valid, all up for debate.

I think what it all comes down to is that everything is going to be just fine, fine, fine, if we learn more about our food and apply that to our everyday lives.  Food shouldn't make us feel bad.  We need nourishment to survive, so how can that be a negative?  But we can make better choices.  Informed choices.  Real choices.  I, for one, am ready, are you?

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