I get this a lot. Or variations on the theme: “I don’t understand what you’re eating right now.” “Are you allowed to eat that?” “Can you eat _______?” Well, in theory, I could eat tinfoil and wash it down with bacon grease. It’s just not a good idea for me at this point. I got this “your diet confuses me” from my well-intentioned friend Jeff recently. To be honest, your diet confuses me, Jeff. haha. Not really, yours is very straightforward: rare steak, cheddar cheese, Ritz, ranch dressing, Coke and dark beer. Done. Oh and Bombay Sapphire, of course. :)
I think what confuses most people about my “diet” or what I eat is that it is not entirely consistent. I change it a lot. I cheat quite a bit now that I’m healthier and my colon is feeling better. My food choices depend on the day at this point. But in the end, my main goal is simply to eat a lot of vegetables. It’s funny how the old, stereotypical message of “eat your vegetables” turns out to be my basic truth! I would venture to say that we all need to be eating a stupid amount of vegetables. And fruits of course. But the green stuff just is going to help you. Period. The slick part is that the more green stuff you’re eating (and I don’t mean the apple flavored sour candy), then the less of the other stuff you’re eating.
I happened upon this article titled, “blah blah blah, recycled information that I’ve read 1000 times on mindbodygreen.com, etc., etc.” Oh I’m sorry, my mistake, it was called Don’t Overthink Your Diet, Just Eat More Plants. And here I am, super hypocritical, retyping the same message. But you absolutely can’t hear it enough. It’s like in teaching where you will say a concept 100 times and the student is not getting it. But then a guest speaker comes in and says the exact same thing and the student’s like “hey, I wish someone would have told me that earlier!” And then the teacher wants to punch themselves in the face…..but they are also happy the the student finally got it. So I feel like if it gets mentioned enough, then at least one new person will get it every time.
At the hippie place in OB where I buy my tea for my kombucha, I was talking to the tea guy about food and eating this and that, and he gave me an example I definitely relate to. He said he loves and drinks tea because it’s the opposite of nachos. My reaction was of course, laughter. Then: “What? What does that even mean?” “Well, nachos taste amazing. Sometimes, you really enjoy eating them. Then later on? You feel like absolute crap. Your stomach hurts, you have to run to the bathroom. But with tea…maybe it sometimes it’s delicious or sometimes it tastes like crap when you are drinking it. But my goodness. You feel amazing later on.” That’s how I want my food to make me feel. Like a million bucks. It’s what I have to keep reminding myself of when I want to reach for that extra piece of bread or the free cheesecake that’s on the dinner table at the fancy event I went to tonight! Hypothetically speaking. (I ate the cheesecake, by the way. And felt like crap later on.)
The other side of confusion is helping those who want to eat better but aren’t exactly sure how. I am pretty good at knowing my body at this point, what’s going to make it feel good and not. I call my diet “Food That Doesn’t Make Me Feel Like Crap.” This handle on what’s good/what’s bad does not mean it’s super easy to stick to, but at least I have a little bit of that awareness. Many people don’t, which is fine, but the lack of knowledge definitely can make picking out what to eat for meals and snacks a challenge. Keep it simple, as mentioned before: don’t stress over it and eat more vegetables, as close to how you found them in the ground as possible. I find that when I’m having a stretch of days like today where I’m feeling….not great….then I take stock of what I’ve been eating and it turns out to be mostly non-vegetable. It’s a continual practice of bringing those foods back in, again and again. Staying creative and making it interesting helps a lot.
Here’s to green foods and happy tummies. Now if I could just kick that craving for dark chocolate….
ALISA’S MUSIC CORNER
This is tough because I’ve been listening to a lot of old stuff recently, nothing too new to report here. I will say that it is the 30th anniversary of Thriller coming up in December. I was only….1.83 years old when the video came out, which means I didn’t appreciate it right away, but I love it. I use it often when I’m teaching College Success courses because it’s around this time of year that they learn about note taking. I make them practice taking notes with the Thriller video! I learned today that it was the first real music video ever aired by MTV. Talk about setting a high standard. Geez. That thing is epic. So basically, I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson today. Truthfully, this was all set off because John Mayer covered a slow, bluesy version of “Off the Wall” when we saw the show last week. It was great and that song has been in my head ever since! Enjoy.