Gah, sorry for not posting more this week. I’m focusing a lot on getting up to speed on my new project at work right now and that has been taking up a lot of my time and energy. For a multitude of reasons, I don’t want to talk about work on the Internet, but let’s just say that this week involved a lot of time on my feet and an up close encounter–I’m talking within 6 inches–with one of these guys.
I’m not kidding. I screamed like a little girl in front of about four co-workers, too.
Enough about my week. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately…about food. Which isn’t unusual for me, because I think about food more than almost anything else. What is unusual is that I’m starting to realize how strange it is to think about food all the time.
Like many of you reading this, I am a big fan of food blogs. That probably doesn’t seem strange to most of the people reading this. But think about the reactions that you sometimes get out of people when you tell them about a food blog. To many people, it seems odd to be so interested in what someone else is eating–and when I actually stop to think about it, it is kind of weird. But then again, I’m kind of weird when it comes to that. Every day, I ask my husband what he ate. It’s not so much that I care about what he eats, so much as I want to experience food in any way I can.
I also believe that recent events in my life have make me think about food even more than usual. My stress fracture is one example. I wanted to do anything I could to help myself heal, and that included eating three servings of dairy a day–a lot considering the fact that I seriously dislike milk (love yogurt and cheese, don’t really like milk–as well as soymilk and almond milk, for that matter) and that I have long held the belief that the American public has been scammed into thinking that they need more dairy than they actually do. I’ve since backed down to 1-2 servings plus supplementation, but for awhile there, I felt like I needed that much dairy every day or else my leg was never going to heal.
Ike’s congenital B12 malabsorption syndrome has been another factor. For months, I watched my dog get scarily thin as myself, my husband, and three veterinarians struggled to figure out why. The fact that something so simple as lacking the ability to absorb a particular vitamin could cause him to become seriously malnourished was scary to me–especially considering the fact that at the time, I was barely eating meat (vitamin B12 only occurs naturally in animal sources). Ike’s malnourishment was so severe that he will likely never grow to full size–all because of one vitamin, found only in meat, that he was unable to digest.
I’m constantly on a quest to figure out what kind of diet works best for me. I love food–whether it’s a big, fresh organic salad, or a burger and fries, chances are I’m going to enjoy it–so flexibility is key to me. I’ve done some reading on vegetarianism, flexitarianism, veganism, and raw diets. I find all of these lifestyles fascinating, and for awhile I worked on eliminating meat from my diet. However, every time I tried, I didn’t feel well–I felt tired, and often I had that sensation like I was coming down with a cold. After talking to a friend who recently started eating meat after nearly 20 years of vegetarianism (I did not tell her that at that time I had almost completely removed meat from my diet), she echoed the same thing that I felt in my gut–she felt far healthier eating meat than not.
My diet is based around plants–vegetables and fruit are the mainstays of my diet. Because of my struggles with GERD, I limit grain products to 2-4 servings a day, depending on my activity level for that day. Gluten does not appear to be the culprit–even gluten-free grains can cause a flare up for me. Grains are another thing that if I don’t eat enough, then I don’t feel well, but if I eat too much, I feel sick. I also strictly limit my soy intake–I think it is a worse trigger for my GERD than grains are. I’ve done research on the food industry as a whole, and that is why I do my best to get meat that is free range and from local farmers, and to buy dairy products that are organic and/or local. I am not advocating my diet or anyone else’s–I’m simply trying to to stress the importance of figuring out what works for you and then doing it.
I’m struggling to find some balance in being conscious about what I eat and overthinking it. On one hand, I’m pretty active, so it’s important for me to fuel my body properly. On the other, at what point does thinking about food become unhealthy? I spend so much time analyzing my diet and how I feel (not to mention observing how others eat) that it seems unnatural. Is it wrong for me to think about food so much?
My in-laws are coming to visit this weekend so that we can go to the New York State Fair. When I gave my husband a list of the things I absolutely wanted to do at the Fair, this is what I gave him:
- Curly fries with vinegar
- Fried dough
- Cotton candy
I’m going to savor each bite of those foods. Will my run the next day feel great? Probably not (but it might…my glycogen stores should be pretty maxed out with all that sugar). But life is too short to spend so much of my time worrying about food–especially the kind of food that I only eat once a year (if that). I should be savoring every aspect of my life, food included.