Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Healthy Eating? Bandwagons?

I like to listen to bands. Though from the comfort of my own home, usually on the TV or a CD or something. Wagons are useful items - great for playing when you are a kid, or for hauling things when you are older. But "Bandwagons"? Usually more trouble than not. Everyone jumps on the latest bandwagon. Everyone wants to be a part of what everyone else is doing. No one thinks for themselves much anymore... In my opinion.

Sure, sometimes, I agree with whatever the cause-du-jour is. But, I don't just blindly jump on like everyone else. I sit back, do whatever research, then make an informed decision and choice.

Healthy eating, for example. There tend to be a lot of knee-jerk reactions to food. Eat this, it is good for you. Wait, no, don't eat it, turns out it's bad for you. Here, take this vitamin supplement instead, to replace what you miss by not eating it.... So many people when on the NO FAT bandwagon, that they stopped getting essential fatty acids. And the cholesterol thing - there is good and bad cholesterol - Yes, I did the research, no I can't quote the sources. Back in the day, I did everything with footnotes etc. etc. However, now I just look stuff up for myself. And I look at several sources, to ensure getting good info, rather than self-serving guided testing results. If you want to know details, just google. Anyway, I am amazed at the number of people who buy one brand of product over another because it says "no cholesterol" or "cholesterol free" - - french fries. Of course potatoes don't have cholesterol. It is in the cooking method....

Now the buzzword is omega3. I don't have a clue what it is. But I'm pretty sure that it was always there in food, so I really don't care. I'm just tired of hearing I should buy one brand over another because of the omega3 and psyllium (hope I spelled that one right).

Anyway - I have made a decision to avoid "healthy eating". I refer to salad as "rabbit food". I try to avoid buying anything that has "low fat" or "low salt" labelling at the store. I stopped eating cottage cheese several years ago, because I can no longer find the kind marked 4%. I am not just spiting myself here, I just don't like the taste of the 2%. Too watery, not creamy at all. I finally broke down a couple months ago, and ate some. Still watery....

I don't go around eating junk food. Well, not regularly, anyway ;). But, what I do, is eat everything in moderation. I've been known to indulge in rabbit food now and again. Even enjoy it. When I can find it in the store, I'll sometimes indulge in a bag of my favourite tortilla chips, and a jar of jalapeno cheese dip, and I'll put a few handfulls of chips in a bowl, melt the cheese, pour it over like milk on cereal, and eat that for lunch. I haven't done that for a few years now. Can't seem to find the right cheese stuff... (Kraft used to make a jalapeno cheese that was soogood! Part of their Cheez Whiz line)

I'm thinking about this kind of thing, today, because last night DH and I had one of our hot-weather treat suppers. We do sandwiches and salad. I buy the salad stuff, and buns for him/bread for me (normally), and a few different luncheon meats. Then, we build our own meal. Well, last night, we included some fresh lettuce from the garden, chives from the garden, and a few strawberries from the garden. And, I actually ate two sandwiches, and I used buns. Healthy buns, even!! While I was picking out the buns for him, I saw these "whole grain" buns. They had a dusting on top that included rolled oats, sunflower sees, some grains, and a few other seeds that I don't know all the names of (yeah, yeah, I'm sure that there is a lovely illustrated list somewhere on that bandwagon). They actually looked good. I bought two of them, in case DH wanted to try one, too. He didn't ;) so I got to eat them both. They were quite good!!

I also tried an experiment yesterday. See, I'm not on the "healthy eating" bandwagon, in terms of I don't go around reading labels on food, trying to pick the lowest fat highest protein or whatever the current good thing is. But, I am finding that I am preferring home made food rather than ready made in a lot of areas. I am eliminating certain foods from my diet because I just plain don't like them (I blogged about dropping coffee from my diet a while ago - though I'll still enjoy the odd cup (?) of espresso now and again) or because they actually make me physically ill. I didn't come up with anything more than a mild reaction to oranges and walnuts when I got some allergy testing done, but I've begun to notice a distinct difference in things like upset tummy when I consume certain ready made products. And I've never been able to eat (or even stand the smell of) parmesan cheese. You know, that powder that comes in a can, that you sprinkle on pizza and stuff? Well, I'm beginning to believe that it isn't the food itself. I mean, I tried an experiment recently. I bought a small "brick" of real parmesan cheese.

So, in that last sentence is a key word. Real.

Anyway, back to my experiment: I've always known about oil and vinegar dressings. But never bothered before. DH didn't care for the one I made... But I love it :) Olive oil, malt vinegar, regular vinegar, and some herbs and seasonings. Interestingly - I put the seasonings in first, then the malt vinegar, then some white vinegar, and let it stand for an hour so the flavours could "mingle". Then, when I poured on the oil (side note: I cannot eat anything made with or cooked in canola oil, or I become very nauseous), the herbs all migrated out of the vinegar and took up residence in the oil! Kinda cool....

So, I'm making more and more real food. No added preservatives, no added additives. Just what I put in from my own kitchen. I've been making my own sausages for a while now. They just taste better....

I'm still restricted in my quest to make everything from scratch. Have to buy some raw materials from the store... but I am careful what brands I buy -- not because they say anything special on the ingredient label, but because I know I can eat them without feeling ill aftewards.

Since I've reduced or eliminated many of these pre-prepared items from my diet, I've been feeling healthier in general...

So, no bandwagon for me. Just real food. And the odd indulgence now and again in prepackaged safe foods :)

(I can devote a few tiny corners of my city yard to garden, but if I could only figure out how to add a pig, a cow, a couple chickens.... and of course an alpaca and a sheep or two, lol)

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