The last couple months have been a somewhat unnerving journey for me. I’ve been reading a very eye-opening book while attempting to change my relationship with food. These two things weren’t designed to coincide, but alas they did, and have drastically changed me. This whole time I’ve been thinking about the food I’ve been eating, but this morning I realized that my food has been eating me.
First off, I’m not a book reviewer and I get a little cringe at the back of my neck thinking about book reports. Not because I don’t think I can remember the book, finish the assignment or even write well. I just get nervous about trying to hit the true main points or really giving the book its full due in a short summary. I think I just recognize the importance of the entire narrative and just want the person to read the whole thing so they don’t miss any sweet morsel! I also hesitate because I know my bias and personal insights will be reflected alongside the summary and that may invite contradiction or questions from readers. I guess I’m just being honest about a personal issue, but this time it’s so real to me. These are my experiences and I’m willing to share, but until I had gone through it, I probably would’ve judged me too.
Food Ate Away at My OUTLOOK
A little while ago, I began reading this book at the recommendation of a friend. It’s called The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. We were talking about processed food and the nature of our food and she said I had to read it! Isn’t that what they always say? So I decided to dive in and just see. I have to say that I haven’t researched this further so I can’t say with full conviction that everything is completely accurate, so I’m going to give you some of the author’s insights. He wanted to see where our food actually comes from. As people who have the choice to eat anything, we are faced everyday with making a decision. To eat or not to eat: that is the question. Do we really know how our food is grown? What is put into it? Why those choices are placed in front of me in the grocery store? Why are there 92 different choices of cereal?
What I appreciate is that he did his best to report on what he saw and not try and take a side. I also tried to read it with an open mind and just take in the information. I knew I wasn’t going to be converted into a vegetarian by the inhumane feedlots of cows and he wasn’t trying to push me that way. But it was interesting to hear about what he witnessed and researched about how unclean it really can be. They wouldn’t even let him see how they slaughter the cows. Issues such as feeding cows huge quantities of corn in order to fatten them up faster to produce more meat, but having to give them antibiotics to keep them healthy because their bodies were really meant to consume grass. Then realizing that those antibiotics are still in the meat when we eat it.
There are so many things that he noticed and brought to light about our food chain which has become extremely marketed, industrialized, commercialized, regulated and filled with fillers to make our food cheaper with a longer shelf life. Some of these innovations are awesome and help us to feed many more people but a lot of them just seem to fill us full of unnecessary chemicals and unnatural sugars that can lead to many health issues.
I am a food freak now? I wouldn’t say that. Am I going to judge you for eating what you want? Definitely not. Will I refuse food at your house? Nope. Will I make people eating around me feel uncomfortable or press these ideas upon you? Not a chance. Will I attempt to eat as much clean, real food as I can for my own body? Yep.
This book made me realize one huge thing. I am in charge of what I put into my body and it’s the only body I’ll have the rest of my life. My body is not “me” but it carries “me” around and I need it to be in prime shape! So I’m going to invest in it.
So, as I began to learn and eat this way, my relationship with food was slowly eaten and began to be digested and churned into a new outlook and focus. One that, so far, has been very positive!
Food Ate Away My FORM
Not long after I began reading the book, Emily and I decided to change our relationship with food for real. Not just in our outlook but in our daily choices.
We changed the way we formed our menus and my body was transformed.
We decided to take the Whole30 challenge. Check it out.
I won’t get into all of the details, you can read up about it, but it’s a 30 day reset.
This is to challenge the way you look at food and to focus primarily on good, clean, real, whole food. Veggies, Fruit, Meat, Natural Spices, Good Fats, etc.
The first few days I really missed some of the things I was accustomed to eating, but I wanted to rid myself of those cravings and then reintroduce them later when I wasn’t ridden with an overwhelming desire just to have them. I wanted to choose to put them in my body without the additional pull. As I began to eat this way, which took much more planning, prep and cooking, I grew to really enjoy it. Not just the process but the food, it was so good! My tastebuds began to draw out so many more natural flavors that I hadn’t noticed in plain veggies and fruits when I had previously covered them with sweeteners, sauces or toppings. Amazing the flavors God naturally put into our foods! Wow. I began craving these over other processed foods and it felt so good. My body felt clean and whole. It’s hard to explain without actually living it. The impetus for this challenge was not weight loss, but I lost over 10 pounds in 30 days and I was eating…A LOT! I was only hungry a few times, but then I ate what I needed. My body was just using all the good stuff and losing the unnecessary stuff. It was incredible.
So where do I go from here?
Having eaten away at my presuppositions, my blind acceptance, my trust in what’s in food and what I actually consume has really shaken my whole relationship with food. I didn’t think 30 days would do it, but it certainly has. Reading the book just added to the overhaul and I’m still left trying to put together the pieces left over. I’ve not only shed pounds, but I’ve shed desires and addictions to things our commercialized food world wants us to buy. Not because it’s good for us, but because it makes them money. I want to eat real food with real benefits for my body. I plan to continue making healthy choices and standing up for my body. Feeling this good may take more time, maybe some more research, cooking/preparation and perhaps a little explanation, but it’s totally worth it.
You can’t directly choose how many taxes you pay, how much gasoline costs, if it will rain or not, but you have complete control over what you put into your body.