Beloved is reading Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America’s Obesity Epidemic by Eric Oliver, and while I won’t go into the book’s findings (to whit: the “obesity epidemic” is completely manufactured by the government, drug manufacturers, the bariatric surgery industry – yes, it’s an entire industry – and researchers desperate to keep their government funding), we’re both getting a bit tired of hearing that “restrictive” diets – i.e. low carb/primal/grain-free diets – are not sustainable.
As we are. I was somewhat surprised to find when I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner that the dishes I’d so looked forward to – the cornbread dressing, roasted garlic cheddar mashed potatoes and homemade rolls – had lost a lot of their appeal (neither of us even touched the sweet potatoes topped with brown sugar and marshmallows, although the kids ate every last bit). The things we enjoyed were the brussels sprouts, squash soufflé, homemade green bean casserole, and of course the turkey. The things made primarily with sugar and refined carbohydrates – the dressing, potatoes, rolls, pie – not only didn’t taste that good, but came back to haunt us for hours afterwards (the absence of gas and heartburn have been a couple of the nicest things about our new way of eating).
We were talking about this on the way home from work yesterday, and during the discussion about those people we know of who have been able to stay on a “restrictive” diet for any amount of time, it occurred to me that the people who do successfully maintain such diets almost universally have one thing in common:
I recently posted about how pissed I was that the nurse practitioner at my endocrinologist’s office completely ignored me when I explained my diet to her and handed me a list of processed, low-fat, fake foods to eat. After I calmed down and steam stopped pouring from my ears, I had to acknowledge that for many people – people who start the day with a Triple Venti White Chocolate Mocha and giant muffin from Starbucks, grab lunch from the drive-through at McDonald’s or KFC, and eat out 4 or 5 nights a week at Chili’s or TGI Friday’s; people whose idea of cooking consists of throwing a family-sized frozen Swanson’s entree in the microwave while opening a can of corn and making a box of Stove Top stuffing – such a diet is probably a vast improvement.
The fact of the matter is that when you let someone else feed you, either at a restaurant or from a box or can at the grocery store, to a large extent you give up control of what you eat. I’m not saying that you can never cave to convenience or eat out again – even we do from time to time – but there is really no substitute for cooking wholesome, fresh food in your own kitchen. Food that you control.
That being said, Beloved pointed out during our discussion yesterday that cooking doesn’t come as easily and naturally to everyone as it does me and that not everyone enjoys it like I do – it’s just another chore. Fair enough. But I’m not saying that you have to do things like make your own onion rings and mushroom sauce for a green bean casserole at every meal – simple is often best. Learn the basics; you never know, you may find you really enjoy it. And if you don’t, well, you don’t go out and buy new clothes or dishes every time what you use gets dirty, do you? Chores are a fact of life, and if cooking is one then it’s a chore you can perform knowing it’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself or your family.
So get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans. You might be surprised at what happens.
Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday