Mondays are Physical Day here at Taking it to the Streets
If you’ve been joining me here for a while, you know I read and think and write about food and nutrition fairly often. It’s a topic that’s interested me since my 20’s (the nutrition part – the food part mostly since I was born). I became even more passionate on the importance of healthy food as I watched my 46 year-old-friend die of cancer this winter.
As I began reading more on nutrition I was first struck by how much things had changed over the years. The books I read in the 70s and the authors who taught me what was healthy to eat (books like Diet for a Small Planet, Laurel’s Kitchen, and Adele Davis’s books) soon gave way to the anti-fat (in foods, not necessarily in us, though the point then was that they were interrelated) mania in the 80s. So then I read Jane Brody’s Good Food Book: Living the High Carbohydrate Way and Moosewood Cookbook.
My recent forways are mostly written about in Taking it to the Streets – Gary Taubes’ book Why We Get Fat and Dr. David Servan-Schreiber’s The Anti-Cancer Lifestyle being the most recent forays.
After I wrote about Taubes’ book, my good friend Susan sent me a link to The China Study and asked “well, have you read this?”
Because The China Study and Why We Get Fat say pretty much the opposite things.
Then there’s my new juicer. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies anyway – they’re a very big part of my diet. And I almost never drink commercial juices as they are just WAY too glycemic. But it would be fun to drink something that’s not water or coffee or tea once in a while – I don’t drink pop, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t drink milk – sometimes it would just feel nice to go a little wild, you know – like have some beet-kale-pineapple-blueberry-beet green juice. Which was my first made-up juice recipe (verdict: Trish and I liked it, KJ reported “this tastes like dirt!”).
Now my juice had no added sweeteners but beets, pineapple and blueberries are all at least somewhat glycemic. then there’s the matter, for Ms. Sustainability here, of all the perfectly good food (which, in juicer-land is disparagingly called “pulp”) which got put in a plastic bag, then into my fridge, and ultimately into my friend Bill’s garden.
So, the juicer – a good thing? or a bad thing?
It IS hard to figure out what one should do. The bad old days of Beck’s beer, Hostess cupcakes and pizza, while crazily unhealthy, were at least not confusing. “Taste good”/”Addictive” = I want, therefore I eat.
Now, not so much. The evidence I see between what we eat and health is just too overwhelming.
The only sure shot I have found – the one incontrovertible food dictum that seems like everyone can sign up for is that sugar is not a good thing. A tasty thing, yep. Addictively so. But if you are in doubt, have a look at Gary Taubes recent New York Times article on sugar.
So I continue to read, to talk to smart friends and my so-called “alternative” health care providers (i.e., health care that works) and most importantly, I listen to my body. Which, now that I’ve taken most of the addictive substances away, is actually talking to me rather nicely. So for instance, when KJ said our little concoction tasted like dirt, and my frugal-sustainable-girl self said “Wasteful!” and my health bossypants said “probably too glycemic” my body said YUM! I’m going with the yum.
How do you decide what to feed yourself? What’s most important to you? Is it taste? Cost? Health? If you had to rank what matters of those three, how would you rank them? I really want to know!