Balance. It’s What’s For Dinner. (And Breakfast, and Lunch…)Posted: May 22, 2010
Y’all, I’m dying here. This not having a camera business is killing me! (On the upside, I didn’t have to document my failure of a tofu-tenders dinner from a few days ago!) It doesn’t look my new one will get here until late next week…so in the meantime, I’m scraping the bottom of my mental barrel for posts that are made only marginally more sucktastic by the absence of photos.
Thus…My food philosophy is born.
Across the span of the last several years, I’ve dabbled in pretty much every “wrong” way to eat that you can think of: undereating, binging, all-processed-all-the-time, low-carb, low-fat, diet-by-color, diet-by-number…seriously, you get the picture. After I spent a good three years scheming up diets based on excluding some “evil” food, there are seriously no word to describe how freeing it is to give myself permission to eat what my body asks for – no berating myself for a carb craving, no guilt in for going out for drinks and dessert, no more making up an intricate string of lies to weasel out of a pasta dinner that I actually wanted in the first place.
Moving beyond that “NO” mentality gave me a much more mellow attitude towards food in general, and it all boils down to balance. Making health and nutrition a priority means that when the craving for rich chocolate cake strikes, you can truly enjoy the indulgence rather than freak out about the calories, the carbs, or the sugar.
Whether you maintain a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivorous diet, the focus shouldn’t be excluding foods or food groups. The bottom line is that carbs, fat, and protein are all essential operatives and denying yourself this, that, or the other is a major disservice to your body. Food certainly makes a better ally than it does an enemy. I spent so much time villifying certain foods, yet as I’ve re-incorporated them into my kitchen in recent months, I have yet to see a huge blob of fat appear on my thighs after a serving of pasta or a spoonful of peanut butter. There really is a place in my diet for nearly anything. My recent decision to go vegetarian had less to do with cutting out a food group and more about trying to focus on an ethical, sustainable meal plan. That’s not to say, of course, that the only way to do so is to nix the meat, but for me personally, it was the right step to take.
That said…I believe that the food we eat on a day-to-day basis should be nutritionally powerful AND delicious. It doesn’t hurt if it doesn’t require the kitchen skillz of Julia Child to pull together. In all reality, that’s not that tall of an order. There are endless ways to make powerhouse foods into creative and tasty dishes (but you already knew that…hence your interest in healthy living blogs like mine! 😉 Honor your hunger cues and your cravings – your body honestly knows what it needs.
Don’t be afraid to monkey around in the kitchen – almost ANY recipe can be “healthified” with a little innovation. And in times when no whole-wheat flour, apple-sauce and black bean brownie is going to replace a frosted molten lava cake...eat tha damn thang and enjoy it!