Thursday, October 7, 2010

You Are What You Eat

I'm regretting lunch today already. I had a craving for a fried chicken sandwich, so I went and ate a fried chicken sandwich.

I'm not sick, but I sure don't feel as good as I'd feel if I had fed my body, instead of my cravings, with unprocessed, unfried food like this:

Of course, in central Kansas, the former is a lot more common and easier to obtain than the latter, which is why I usually try to bring my lunch. Only, the lack of a kitchen makes bringing my lunch downright boring. It's a challenge, to say the least, to stay on the eating-healthy-wagon.

So, I've been going over in my mind all the reasons why I want to eat healthy, and since I like to share what's on my mind (for better or for worse), here's a list of those reasons:

1. I want to feel good.

The longer I choose to eat healthy, the more aware I've become at how certain foods make me feel. Of course, eating an Oreo provides much more instant gratification than eating an apple does, but half an hour after eating an apple, I feel fulfilled, energized and refreshed. Half an hour after eating an oreo (or a dozen, since who in the world can eat just one), I just want a nap.

Speaking of Oreos, do you know what the filling consists of? That creamy, sweet filling that melts when dunked in milk?

The sad truth, my friends, is it is sweetened, gelatinized crisco. Yes, it tastes great, but can you imagine what it's doing to the inside of your body? Yuck.

2. I want to taste, and I mean really taste my food.

One of the simplest, yet most successful strategies I've had in trying to lose/maintain my weight is to slow down and taste what I'm eating. I find that if I'm rushed, I will scarf down my meal and I end up feeling totally unfulfilled. However, if I slow down, savor each bite and chew each piece of food purposefully, I will not only sense more quickly when I've had enough, but the entire meal is much more enjoyable. I end the meal feeling satiated.

I realize I'm not the first person to stumble upon this discovery, but I do feel that it can be one of the most useful tools in weight loss. Not only do you learn to taste and enjoy your food, feel fuller faster, and have a wonderful excuse to slow down during a hectic day, but it allows you to listen to your body better. Eventually you'll learn, just as my lunch reminded me today, that a mental craving is much different from a physical one. Mentally I wanted that sandwich. Physically I could have eated cardboard with the same results. I feel tired and unfulfilled. Next meal will be veggies and other whole foods.

3. I want to know what I'm putting into my body.

Soylent Pink, anyone?

It's not "people." It's chicken. Seriously.

Now the USDA might say it's safe, but I don't care. That doesn't look like anything I want in my body. Just imagine all of the preservatives they use to gel that stuff together and make it last forever in those gelatinated chicken patties you find in the freezer section? It's the same way I feel about hot dogs. While they might taste good (even if I can get around the whole lips and *holes ingredients list), the amount of sodium nitrate they contain make me physically ill (same goes with processed deli meat).

I think I'll print off this picture and carry it in my wallet, so the next time someone gives me a weird look for ordering a veggie sub at Subway I'll be armed and ready. I don't know what's more depressing, living in a world where Oreos are made of crisco, or a world that thinks ordering a veggie sandwich is weird.

All I know is that I really wish I would have had the veggie sub for lunch.

Bon Appetit,



Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, thanks for the information. I'm sort of glad I ate dinner already. I don't know what is grosser the Oreo stuffing or the pink processed chicken. I think I could do the Oreo's (and have) but that disgusting. I'm with you I think I'm going to stick with the fresh veggies and things that can be readily identified.

CCC said...

Icky. And I made chocolate cake. How am I not going to eat it? Sugar craving, I hate it.

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

omg..of all nights to read this, the night I cam home and.... made cookies..which became..dinner :)

You are so right,I know what the good stuff to eat is, I know fruits and veg is the way to I have no excuse. The cookies were sure good though!

The funny part is ...I can't remember the last time I actually made cookies!

Jessie McCandless said...

Oh, don't get me wrong ladies--I have a BIG sweet tooth and crave cookies/ice cream/brownies every night (that chocolate cake sounds to-die-for :). The only thing that has made me successfully avoid *most* of it is that I don't have a working kitchen (homemade brownies are my favorite).

People can really go overboard on their dieting (organic only, no wheat, etc), but that makes it really impossible to just live one's life, right?

I advocate moderation. I really try my best to eat the healthiest of what's available at all times. If I really, really want a cookie, I'll have it (otherwise risk having a dozen of them later LOL). But I RARELY (talking maybe twice a year here) eat chips.

But, I enjoy researching food, too, to discover that most of us (including me) have no idea what we're really putting into our bodies. And they say knowledge is power, right? :)