It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when we are supposed to cut down and shape up. Too many holiday cookies, too much late night fun. Time to get your act in gear! Join the gym! Start a diet! Set some unreasonable goals!
January is often considered one of the crappiest months of the year. Sure it’s partly the weather, but most people hate January because of the guilt and pressure associated with the above mentality. Now I’m certainly not blasting the idea of getting in shape and losing some weight, but it only works if it feels good to do so. Yet the guidelines and suggestions set by the experts almost always lead to dissapointment.
This year why don’t we focus on a new ancient method. Counting calories and analyzing labels has become second nature but what if you ate foods that weren’t plastered with such information? Do you ever stop and wonder how many carbohydrates are in your orange? Or how much sodium is in your egg? Or what about the calories in your roasted chicken? Sure this information is available, and some of you may even seek it out, but is that what really matters?
This mentality has often been dubbed the “whole foods” movement where the focus is on unprocessed, unmanipulated, nutritiously packed ingredients; fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, nuts and seeds. The suggestion is that our diet has become so calorie driven that we have forgotten about nutrition. You know, those vitamins and nutrients that are so crucial to our health that are found most readily (and most effectively) in “whole foods”. And whether or not it’s because of Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” (and now his “Food Rules”), or because of an overall frustration with the current status quo of our “super” markets, this movement is attracting plenty of followers all raving about it’s benefits.
But quite frankly, let’s not bother labeling it. Despite believing that eating this way can be healthier and way more excited (not to mention better for sustainability and the environment), part of me knows that once it’s labeled for many of us, it’s just another set of unreasonable guidelines. As soon as there is an eat this, not that mentality the “guilty pleasure” syndrome creeps in. So what are we supposed to do?
Here’s a few novel ideas. 1) Eat what makes you feel good. And be honest: I’d be a liar if I said McDonald’s french fries tasted bad. But I’d be kidding myself if I said I felt good after I ate them. 2) Stop eating, and start dining: Eating has long been a cultural time for conversation and sharing. Sure it may be rude to eat with your mouthful, but at least your trying. And lastly, 3) gauge your health without a scale: Losing weight may seem like the surest way to monitor progress but what about all those intangibles. If only our scales spit back energy levels!
So what’s the point of my little rant? Well from day one I’ve tried to share with you my passion for all things food, believing that above and beyond, food is the greatest connection we all have. But this year, 2010, my second full year with the blog (yikes), I want to go even further. Acting as both a resource and a forum with a focus on the above 3 ideals, I plan on sharing more and more content, adding recipes and tips, and even creating a few more challenges (remember the $15/15).
So throw out your unreasonable goals, and make one New Years Resolution: Keep reading this blog. I mean…