On eating better

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I mentioned recently that I would talk more about how I am changing how I think about food. Most of you reading this probably have really good eating habits. I'm not trying to change anyone's minds about food, just sharing my thoughts and evolving habits. Posting about eating better is a good way for me to evaluate my own thoughts and habits about food.

Let's face it. I'm Southern. Food is a big deal to me. Food has dominated family and church gatherings my whole life. And I love it! Food affects my mood (just ask Nate!). Obviously, it affects my health too. And ever since Bridger was conceived, it affects him too. I don't think I've ever had eating problems or issues. But as I've gotten older, my attitudes about food have changed. Thanks to books like Animal, Vegetable Miracle and Food Matters, my food and eating philosophy is evolving. But even before those, I made some changes thanks to the issues presented in the documentary Food, Inc., (watch it on Netflix!)  and shows like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Some of these are listed here:
  1. I rarely drink soda. When we do, we make our own ginger ale, which tastes so much better anyway! The fact that I don't like soda really should be attributed to my mom. She rarely bought it and taught us that it wasn't healthy. We always had Kool-Aid instead, which now that I think about it probably had as much sugar as soda but we won't get into that ;) 
  2. We don't buy hamburger meat. This is partly a choice made by our budget, but I don't agree with the way most beef is raised in the U.S. It's unsanitary and cruel to the animals. Learn more about that on Food, Inc. When we do buy beef, I plan on buying it from local producers with ethical practices. I love eating beef when I am home in Florida because I know it came from across the road at my dad's farm where cows are respected and grown ethically. (I'm not extreme about not eating beef. Recently a relative gave us a great of meat from her own freezer to help us out. We ate it gratefully.)
  3. No junk food. If you knew me in high school, you might remember my love for Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls. I ate them all the time. It's still a little hard for me to pass by them in the grocery store. But I can't even pronounce most of the ingredients, much less know what they really mean.  I don't need that junk in my body. Like with meat, I'm not extreme abou this. We occasionally buy a candy bar as a treat. And I make cookies almost every week, but I know what is put in those because I make them myself.
  4. We don't eat out. Eating out is a rare treat for us. While it is a decision based partly on budget, it also has to do with health. It's no secret that the majority of fast food is not good for you. And eating it occasionally is just fine. Restaurant (not fast food) may be slightly better, but I feel better about making my own and know exactly what's in it.
My basic philosophy about food is to eat things that make me feel good. Not just what tastes good. I want to live a long, happy and healthy life. That begins with eating consciously. One thing that helps me do this are making a weekly meal plan, at least for dinners. Then I use that plan to make my grocery list and take that with me to the store. (Here is the meal planner one I use. I use the second one in that post.)

So. That's basically what I am currently doing about improving about how I eat and feed my family. Next up are some goals to eat better.

What is your food philosophy? Has your attitudes towards food ever changed or evolved? I'd love to hear!

UPDATE: Sometimes being healthy is overrated and we have to break the rules. Like last night when my brown rice & lentil soup was yucky. So we ate Five Guys burgers instead!


  1. Okay, love what you're doing with this.
    Lately all I want to do is eat candy and cookies. So this is good inspiration haha.
    I'm definitely going to take a look at that Food Inc. movie and attempt to cook much better.

    Also, kudos on the pumpkin puree! I've always wanted to do that!


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