I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about perspectives on food, especially after the (semi) recent election, as I’m living in California: Home of (failed) Prop 37.
Had I been able to prove my residence soon enough register to vote here, I would’ve surely voted for Prop 37 because I sincerely believe that all people should know what they’re eating—it just allows for more informed choices (and, well, more responsibility for choices placed on the consumer).
The topic of GMOs (and many other things regarding food) makes me so twitchy. I’m not actually going to tell you my personal opinions about GMOs today, and I make it a practice to not tell my students what I think either. Instead, I tell stories, present articles and literature…
And I urge them to form their own opinions after they dig deeper into credible research sources.
1. I’m a little hesitant about making opinion statements that, because I’m a professional in the field, are then passed along as facts.
2. I’m not a fan of third party information for purposes other than giving me ideas and topics to research more deeply.
3. Although I do believe certain things about food (i.e. high fructose corn syrup is not health-enhancing for anyone), I also believe that determining food needs is a highly individual sport. Genetics, finances, health issues, emotional personality, and social/family issues help to shape each person’s food needs.
4. Most people (and lots of research) are biased. It’s ok. But it’s still true.
5. I’d rather focus on the positive aspect of food choices (because it feels better and it’s a less fuzzy task).
One of my favorite things that I tell my students is that they should look at themselves as their own personal research projects. They’re responsible for needs assessment, literature review (learn about options and theories), research design (which is often partially trial and error in this arena), implementation, evaluation, and follow-up (try again with a new approach!).
It took me a long time to learn which ways of eating make me feel good and bad—and I’m lucky that I had specific symptoms to help me evaluate each thing I tried. I expect my needs will continue to evolve over time. I’ve learned a lot by reading tons of books… and if I had to describe the way I eat in labels (which I prefer not to do), I say it’s a mix of Paleo, Raw Food Diet, and Weston A. Price.
I like the macronutrient ratios and lack of grains in the Paleo diet.
I like the spotlight on micronutrient overload through high quality plant sources of the Raw Food Diet.
I like the traditional, nourishing focus on consuming the highest quality nutrient dense versions of plant and animal foods (especially things like fermented foods, aged cheeses, free range eggs/meat, etc.) of the Weston A. Price approach.
I often get asked how I feel about a variety of nutrition and food topics. Although this may sound like a copout, I’d really rather focus on strategizing with people about how they can improve the quality of their diets (how to eat more nutrients) as opposed to what they should stay away from. It just feels better, and by default, the positive approach leads to crowding out icky stuff and also giving the body more defense against toxins (by having a stronger immune system).
The main reason I’m writing about this today is because it’s all been mangled up in my head for the last week. It’s not that I haven’t eaten healthy foods—I have! In fact, since I didn’t go home for Christmas, I didn’t eat any crazy holiday foods and I didn’t drink extra alcohol or skip my workouts. I’ve found a lot of great foods and supplements for myself in the last year, and I definitely want to talk about a few of them soon. But, I really want to take this up a level too. I know it sounds contradictory to blend Raw Food and Paleo/Price methods of eating, however, it makes total sense in my mind. In fact, I’d like to blend even further…
I like the specific measurable bullet points (goals) of the Feed Your Mitochondria approach.
I also like Intermittent Fasting (IF).
For the last week (except Christmas day), I’ve had 32 oz of green juice a day (celery, cucumber, parsley, ginger, spinach, kale…yes, it’s bitter!), and I made chicken stock too. Doing both of these things and also not eating crud for the holiday reminded me how good it feels when I focus on adding things to my diet rather than taking things out.
The bottom line: With my foundational approach of Paleo/Price/Raw, I’m going to follow an IF schedule, and a mitochondria-happy food list. Plus the supplements I’m already taking. If you’re interested, I’ll share the details as I go along.
News/Notes: I haven’t been super busy, but just kind of lazy. Winter (even in California) makes me more tired than summer. I’m kind of in limbo right now, waiting for some news about a potential work gig, and that’s fine with me—I’m just being mellow and enjoying yoga and sunshine. I’ll be heading to NY next Thursday night, and I’m fully anticipating hibernating at my Mom’s house with Matthew as much as I can. Cousin is in India, other relatives are out of state, and the few people I know well enough here to count have been in and out of the area—in the area enough to keep me occupied and have some fun with!
I don’t have New Year’s Eve plans yet, but it’s all in the works! I’m hoping to check out Matthew Kenney’s new raw restaurant soon, and I have an Athleta giftcard that is burning a hole in my pocket (an excuse to head to The Grove to shop…). I’ve had cousin’s car for a couple weeks…and I’ve only driven it twice. Really, there’s no where I need to go…everything is here!
Do you take a positive approach to changing your food choices, or do you make more of a Do Not Eat List?
Do you come up with plans to “regroup” when you feel like you’ve gotten off track?