Since I have been taking better care of myself during the last few years, I’ve paid attention to what I eat. That attention comes in a few different ways and here’s some of my thinking:
Quality of food
I try to discipline myself into a bit of self-talk with food. It’s along the lines of asking myself if that jammy doughnut is either good or bad for me. Gradually I’m making sure everything I eat is good for me and I’m gaining a picture of how different foods benefit me. So with each meal or snack, I try to make sure it is of use and not just allowing me to scoff away because I feel “peckish” – that is an easy route to becoming over-weight again.
Going around supermarkets, it’s now clear there’s so much rubbish, nicely packaged to appear attractive and tasty. And yet it is often highly processed food with all kinds of additives which are not helpful with a balanced diet.
So, I’m trying to ensure everything I scoff fits with a healthy, varied diet and contributes towards:
- My 5-a-day (but in reality my 9 or 10-a-day)
- Good varied selection of vitamins and minerals (I believe these particularly make a real difference for immunity and long term health)
- Good fats, not saturated fats
- Sufficient carbohydrates and proteins
- Sufficient fibre (need to keep things moving!)
- Sufficient fluids
Ethics and food
Perhaps the subject of another blog post but I believe GM needs avoiding wherever possible. Not necessarily just for nutritional reasons but for wider conservation and food chain ethics. By messing around with DNA (i.e. creation), introducing new “features” we’re dabbling with things we can’t reverse when unforeseen consequences happen later on. What right do we have?
Also, how can I justify eating, say, spring onions flown in from Kenya when knowing there is an impending famine in the horn of Africa? Talk about air miles, carbon footprint, exploiting the third world, being so lazy we’re not growing enough food in our gardens!
I have become a vegetarian this year, albeit with a few lapses. For me, in our society it seems the right thing to do although it does make meal planning more difficult for Rachel.
I am sure I’m not alone when I mention the more I eat, the hungrier I tend to feel later on. With the UK’s expanding waist line and the rise of type 2 diabetes, this is a trap to avoid. For myself, small meals with snacks works better than bigger, less frequent meals.
I am no expert in nutrition or food production but I am picking things up as I go along. I’m not advising you to follow what I’m doing but please do give these things some thought – some of these issues are profoundly important for the 21st Century. You might know more or have helpful views; please feel welcome to post a comment below….