Monday, November 19, 2012
Lately, I've been focussing on cleaning up my diet again. It's a bit of a losing battle since I am still queasy any time I smell meat or eggs cooking, but am craving the substance of a full meal (apparently mashed potatoes and sweet melon aren't cutting it anymore).
I've been reading a lot in my spare time to get myself in the right mindset again, but I've found that so many of the blogs that I enjoyed just a month ago, have recently posted or communicated information in a very judgemental, hurtful elistist way. I'm sickened by their judgements that people who don't eat clean aren't healthy, and people who eat clean are. In a very unclassy way, they managed to alienate good kindhearted people in favour of appearing better, healthier and more "self disciplined" than others.
If you choose to eat whole, un processed grains you are no better than someone who chooses not to. If you have never had a Twinkie good for you. But the people who have had them, and didn't barf after, are not "gross" or "unhealthy".
I personally love clean eating because I save a heckload of money in this economy by avoiding all pre-packaged foods (expensive since it's mostly imported) and I find it helps me feel more in control of my eating. It's the right choice for me, as I am hyper sensitive to colourants, preservatives (especially nitrates and sodium benzoate) and additives. And I don't know why people can't say, "I choose to eat this way. I found it to be best for me, but perhaps you need to adjust the ideals to fit you."
I've mentioned this before: I don't think that a Lean Cuisine is a "healthful" choice, because the colourants and preservatives will make me violently sick. It's not an allergy- it's just that our bodies aren't meant to have so many non-food items in our food. But I also understand that I don't control people outside of myself, and if you like lean cuisine, if it helps you lose weight, GO FOR IT! Once you feel more in control over portion sizes, and expand your recipe knowledge etc, you can cook frozen dinners for yourself without anything added in. But it's a step by step basis.
I love clean eating, because by reading the ingredients, I can tell in 2 seconds if something is "real" or not. In SA, our nutrition labels aren't as clear as in the US. Sometimes it only offers the kilojoules content and fat content, while I am interested in the carbs or sugars. However, the ingredients are listed on the side every time. So I can still track if this food will help me or not. I see an ingredient that is non-food and I can put it back on the shelf.
Where I deviate from "clean eating rules" (not that those actually exist btw), is that I could care less how many ingredients are in my food items (rule is less than 5). What I do care about is if there are non-food items or something I wouldn't/couldn't keep in my own kitchen.
It also irritates that conventional stores are shunned and we're encouraged to shop at health food stores and farmers markets instead. No one should ever be made to feel bad because they don't make the same choices you do. It's ignorant to assume that all countries, states, and cities operate like yours does. In Johannesburg, we have one 'health conscious' choice for groceries and I have not yet seen a real farmers market with organic produce. The health food store we have is a joke. They carry only 44 organic products, 4 of which are coffees, a few are cereals (not whole grain), a few are crackers (not whole grain), and the rest are tiny boxes of 4 plums or 2 peaches or 100 grams of strawberries. Give me a break. This is elitism mentality in it's finest. "We're too good to pay normal prices for organic foods." Rather, can we not spread the word about buying local food (whereever you can find it) or organic foods, and when to choose one over the other, so that we are empowered to make up our own minds?
Good heavens and don't get me started on Michael Pollan. He's got some great information, but like sheep, we're supposed to follow his information without testing it ourselves.
I'm in pursuit of real information about food. I'm done with the bandwagon mentality of crowd following because it's supposed to be healthier. I want to know why, who, when, where, and how, of real food in the least judgmental way possible. I don't care what you think about people who don't eat clean. I do care about how to make my lifestyle the least polluted one possible.
Is that too much to ask?
What do you think about the "Eat Clean" movement? (and it's sister movement Paleo?) How do you react to the attitudes of people who eat differently or similarly to you? Am I totally off base my thinking this way?
edited: I have terrible spelling that early in the morning- hopefully I caught most of my errors. I write for a living- but my editing is awful. lol