Wednesday, August 5, 2009

big ideas

this is a really, really, really great article. (by Michael Pollan, in the NY Times)

Here is the last line of the article, a quote from Harry Balzer, a person who has been studying American eating habits for the last 30 years:

“Easy. You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It’s short, and it’s simple. Here’s my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That’s it. Eat anything you want — just as long as you’re willing to cook it yourself.”


i wonder what would happen if i stopped eating packaged foods? just stopped, you know, entirely. i wonder a) if i could do it, and b) how my diet would change.


last year, as you may recall, i stopped drinking diet coke. i was hoping that this would help me crave sugar less and that i would lose weight. didn't quite happen that way. turns out i was using/abusing dc as a food-replacement device of sorts. whenever i felt like putting something in my mouth, i could reach for a dc and not be eating any calories...

so, quitting has caused me to gain whenever i feel like eating something, i usually reach for something carby. like granola bars. without the diet coke there as a zero-cal choice, i end up eating wayyy more than i used to. (i used to drink upwards of 6 bottles of dc a day.) (yikes) i still haven't found a low-calorie substitute for dc that isn't full of chemicals. i do drink tons more water than i used to, but water just doesn't have the ability to satisfy as diet coke did.

am i healthier? oh yes. for sure, without a doubt. (i am also richer. turns out i spent a massive chunk of change on my diet coke habit.)

around the same time, i also stopped buying things like 100 cal. packs and skinny cows, and any WW "food products" and decided to only eat 'real' food. but, i still eat 'real' food that comes in packages...(kashi granola bars, craisins, cereal, real ice cream, store-bought wheat bread etc.)

i believe this has also caused weight see, i am still very much a sweet tooth/carby person, and when i reach for something, i'm still not reaching for the veggies. so instead of reaching for a 100 cal pack or skinny cow, i reach for real ice cream. or a 200 cal granola bar. or 2 pieces of whole wheat toast, with real butter. less chemicals? yes. more calories? yes.

so, i'm thinking about possibly considering if i could get rid of all packaged foods/snacks...and only eat things that i make, or fresh vegs/fruits etc. would i eat less ice cream if it was ice cream that i made? maybe. i tend to ration items that are "special"...and homemade ice cream is more special than a 1/2 gallon that i could easily replace as soon as it's gone. same for homemade bread.

there is also the added bonus of knowing exactly what you put in whatever you are eating...the image of putting a whole container of heavy cream and 6 egg yolks did actually make me eat less of the last batch of homemade pear ice cream that i made. the same thing gave me the incentive to give away all but one of the last batch of choc. chip cookies that i made--seeing the 2.5 stick of butter going into the dough gave me more than a moments pause.


i'm going to think about that for a few days.