Tag Archives: first steps

Health Matters: Food Education

23 Sep

I’m the first to admit I have an unhealthy addiction to food. I’ve been an emotional eater as long as I can remember. I’ve always lived with a small semblance of self control, which is why I’m not 500 pounds, but the idea that food has this control over me and my well being is certainly troubling.

My quest to live more healthy and figure out what the heck is going on with my body most definitely includes a food makeover.

I happened across a neat app called Fooducate in a random magazine one day and I decided to check it out. It comes in free and paid versions and basically it allows you to scan almost any barcode at the supermarket and it will give you an A-D rating based on its overall healthiness. In the paid version you can customize ratings for GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), heart health, etc., which of course I did.

The app will always suggest healthier alternatives and you can track your health, too, with calorie goals, food and water intake, exercise and weight tracking. You can set goals, receive daily tips, browse a huge database of healthy food options and create shopping lists.

As someone who knows very little about GMOs and the huge list of products that contain these naughty things, it’s nice to have a personal dietician at my beckon call. It’s scary how much “food” out there is not really food at all. For more reasons to avoid GMOs, read this.

Like many people my age (31), I grew up on processed foods. When both of your parents work full time and their jobs are demanding, quick, easy meals are where it’s at. As a parent myself working 50 hours a week, I totally get it. I struggle to cook twice a week, if ever. But I want to change that. I want my son to know food for its 80% nutritive, fueling purpose and 20% for enjoyment. I don’t want him to battle the same demons I’ve battled my whole life, because food is such a hard thing to change.

Because my doctor suspects gluten is the culprit of my thyroid problems, my aim in the next year is to weed gluten out. We’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables for the past three years, but I want to focus on getting those all organically (more on that next time) now. I also want to purchase naturally fed, humanely treated, local meat and eggs. These are my first steps. And it makes me excited to cook again. In my mind, I think that it will be more simple to plan and cook meals without all the boxes and processed snacks and distractions around. I’ve always had a deep connection to history and anthropology and living simply as they did in centuries past is very appealing to me. My goal for the future would be to work toward a modified Paleo diet, which really isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle, and one that sounds actually really nice. But it’s not going to be easy. I like bread and cookies and cake and pie and pasta and lots and lots of processed things. But I’ve gotta try. I’ve only got one life.

I can’t say how much damage I’ve already done to my body with diet, but I can help my son develop a healthy relationship with food, and I hope becoming a part of the clean eating movement, I can help make the world a little better for the generations to follow.

Take steps friends, no matter how small.