After I mentioned yesterday that I’m reading In Defense of Food, a reader named Kay suggested several blogs dedicated to the discussion of wholesome foods. My obsessive personality flipped into overdrive as I read and read and read and read. And this morning I’m still reading. I’m gobbling up this information and trying to siphon through it without getting completely overwhelmed.
A few years ago I read and implemented Dr. Weil’s book, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. The posts chronicling that journey can be found here, and this post sums up what I learned and what I’ve been trying to implement since. My commitment to these “rules” waxes and wanes but overall I try to avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup, and I limit the amount of processed foods that I buy. And of course I’ve recently been limiting my simple carbs and sugars.
The information I’m reading about the value of whole foods isn’t necessarily new to me, although some of it is — specifically the part about fats. I’ve never been a fan of the low-fat varieties of foods, mainly because I find them tasteless. I buy real butter, regular sour cream, whole-milk cheese, and I put half and half in my coffee. I do buy low-fat milk because it’s healthier, right?
Um. No. Probably not. Read this post called Healthy Milk.
I am skeptical about the safety of raw milk, but I am willing to start spending the money to buy organic, but NOT ultra-pasteurized. (See article.) And my husband was happy to know that from now on I will be buying whole milk for our household.
For more information on why eating a variety of “good fats” from whole foods is better than eating foods that have been engineered to be “low fat”, read this article called The Fat That Can Make You Thin and this one from the Washington Post called Low-Fat Diet’s Benefits Rejected. I’m sure there are many more, and In Defense of Food explains it a lot more thoroughly, but that’s a start.
There are a plethora of other changes I want to make, but I can’t do it all at once. I like Kelly’s advice about choosing the things you eat the most, and changing those first. So last night I went to the whole foods store with a list of a few things I plan to change right away:
- Buy organic whole milk.
- Buy eggs from local farms with pasture-fed chickens. (I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where these are not hard to find.)
- Eat more eggs. I’m going to try to eat one a day. (And it’s the egg YOLKS that have the nutrients. The whole egg-white fad is another big fallacy of the low-fat diet trend.)
- Reduce kids’ consumption of boxed cereals. Make eggs or oatmeal instead.
- Switch to organic peanut butter. (Regular peanut butter has trans fats. I found a tasty organic peanut butter, but it may contain nuts, and my son is allergic, so I’ll have to try another. Sigh…)
- Switch to organic jelly. (Jelly is full of high fructose corn syrup. Organic is pricey, so next summer I would like to try to make my own and can it.)
- Take cod liver oil pills. (This is a topic for another post, but given some of my health issues, I think this one is worth a try.)
- Continue avoiding refined carbs and sugars, processed foods, HFCS, and PHOs. Continue eating fish weekly as well as lots of locally grown veggies.
That’s enough to start, dontcha think?
I’m going to look into buying local grass-fed meats, and I’m also going to look into finding local organic produce, although I love my farm market, and while it’s not organic, it is fresh and local and convenient, and perhaps that’s good enough. I’m putting off breads for a while, but I hope to eventually start making my own. For now I’m satisfied with Pepperidge Farm’s Soft Honey Whole Wheat that I always buy.
I’m eager to finish In Defense of Food, and I have 2 more books on hold at my library — Real Food: What To Eat and Why and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I’ll be sure to let you know how I like them!
Will you still love me if I turn into a health food freak? Wait. Don’t answer that.