Monday, July 12, 2010

pantry overhaul

I'm not one to jump on bandwagons. I don't watch The Office. I haven't read Twilight. I only had five Beanie Babies. But there's one new trend that I've researched enough to join in on: eating whole. Not organic - whole. Sometimes that means organic, but mostly it just means eating what God created as food. It means eating real, honest-to-goodness cheese and NOT "prepared cheese product," as stated on the Kraft singles package. Ew.

It started when a fellow blogger mentioned hearing Michael Pollan on NPR. I was intrigued, so I ordered Food Rules on Amazon. I didn't get around to reading it until 3 months later, but when I did I was sold. I read 85% of it out loud to Andrew and he's on board, too. It felt overwhelming only for a second, then it just felt natural and necessary. How can I not choose real food over manufactured fake food? Boiled down, Pollan says:

After spending several years trying to answer the supposedly incredibly complicated question of how we should eat in order to be maximally healthy, I discovered the answer was shockingly simple: eat real food, not too much of it, and more plants than meat. Or, put another way, get off the modern western diet, with its abundance of processed food, refined grains and sugars, and its sore lack of vegetables, whole grains and fruit.
His rules aren't that difficult to follow. And really, you'll be better for even just remembering a handful of the 64. For me, these are the ones that are forever ingrained in my brain:

  • Don't eat anything with ingredients you can't pronounce.

  • Don't eat anything with sugar in the first three ingredients (they're listed in order of abundance).

  • Sugar is sugar, whether it's low-cal, high fructose corn syrup or organic - it's still sugar.

  • Treat treats as treats. You can still eat an Oreo, you just can't eat 3 every night after dinner.

  • EAT REAL THINGS: real meat, real grains, real fruit. Don't eat the processed stuff, it's no good.

See, that's easy. Until you go to the grocery store and stand in line reading the ingredients in a bottle of salad dressing and you realize when you get to the bottom of the paragraph that the only ingredient you recognize is water. Then you start contemplating making every single condiment in your pantry, much to your husband's dismay. If you do this, prepare for some seriously lofty ambitions to creep into your day-to-day.

We're only a few weeks into this and we're only a few days into doing it whole-heartedly. We'll keep you posted on our progress, so you can laugh at how ridiculous I am. Really, it boils down to this: it can't hurt. And at the end of the day, I just want to take care of myself and my family.

I'm turning into a granola hippy. Heaven help me.

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