At one point in my life I was rigid…no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no meat, no this, no that, no nothing. Recently, I was at a dinner party when a friend asked me what my new health regime was. I wondered for a second if I should make something up but the truth is I haven’t had one. So that’s what I told her. She kind of stared at me in shock. I guess I’ve always been somewhat of a health nut. Starting at 12, I gave up meat and was vegetarian for 32 years (up until 2 years ago when I ate a big fat grass fed steak). I’ve tried all sorts of health regimes from vegetarian, to micro-biotic, to Ayurvedic, to giving up gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I’ve juiced, i’ve grown wheat grass, I’ve explored all the super foods. But what I’ve finally come to the conclusion after all these years, especially the last couple ones, is being rigid, isn’t great either and potentially has the opposite affect of what I was trying to achieve…an overall healthy lifestyle.
While I still do believe in drinking lots of water, and limiting your sugar intake, and eating lots of organic vegetables, what it comes down for me now, is moderation and variety. I went years eating the same lunch every day. While it was healthy, I think eating the same thing over and over again isn’t good for you either. Actually some say that eating the same foods day in day out can make you allergic to that particular food. These days when it comes to eating, you can get totally paranoid about every food out there. Rice has arsenic, GMO’s galore, gluten is going to kill you, fish is contaminated, tuna has mercury, and what’s up with farm raised fish? The list goes on and on. Even the water you drink. Start researching water filtration systems and it makes your eyes cross. You can find any evidence out there to support any argument or scare tactic about our food these days. It can make you crazy!
I am completely supportive and can more than relate to people who eliminate foods from their diet due to a health issue or illness. But from my experience, being a relatively healthy person, questioning everything I put in my mouth wasn’t great for my mental health either. I was working myself up into a frenzy…not enjoying life because I was too busy being rigid. Can’t have this, can’t have that, that has gluten, that has potential toxins. In the last couple years I’ve loosened the reigns a bit. Like I said, I ate my first steak in 32 years. Damn that was good. I have a glass of wine occasionally after an almost 10 year hiatus. I deprived myself of coffee for 6 years. Now I indulge in a cup of joe every morning with half and half. I eat goat cheese, seafood, the occasional wild salmon, meat from time to time. I try to mix it up. The one thing I will still preach and stand by is veggies and lots of them…after all it is part of my blog name 🙂
For shock value, here’s what I had for lunch today…a BLT (with avocado).