I've eaten a pretty healthy diet for about as long as I can remember. In high school, low fat was the national trend and I was fully on board. I never added butter to my bread or salt to anything. I used desserts as a reward for myself and tried to only eat when hungry.
I've learned so much more about food since then...like adding butter is actually better (in moderation).
It's only in the last year or so that my diet has really slipped. I indulge myself more often...mostly because I haven't been as concerned with weight and know I need to be adequately nourished to provide breast milk.
But the bottom line is that I think about food extremely often and criticize myself for making bad choices. Most of it comes down to laziness and/or lack of time or preparation.
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I've looked at different aspects of food with my students since I started teaching. First it was fast food and learning to read food labels. Kids had no idea. Now they mostly do. A few years ago I started having my AP students watch Food, Inc. after the AP test when we discuss social issues. Now that Food, Inc. is not streaming on Netflix, we are watching Forks over Knives this year. And it is blowing my mind!
In a nutshell, the documentary advocates a "whole food plant-based" diet (they avoid the terms vegetarian and vegan like the plague!) and links consumption of animal products to Cancer. The documentary has excellent evidence and is not too in your face which I like.
I don't want to be a Vegan. But at the same time, I know the benefits of whole foods, like whole grains and vegetables and I am scared about the additives that have only been in our diet for the past 60 years or so. I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's as often as possible. I've been trying to buy organic for years, but still find it difficult to do so because of selection so I buy a mix. I also have no competence in cooking so when I feel adventurous and buy a new vegetable, it usually goes bad before I figure out what to do with it. (More guilt.)
So a couple of days ago, I came across this article in the New York Times, "Some of My Best Friends are Germs." Fascinating!
The article talks about the microbiome throughout our bodies and its potential implications for health and disease, particularly the auto-immune disorders that are becoming ever more prevalent.
Like the author says, it's too early to take any specific actions based on the information, but eating a diverse diet with a lot of different vegetables and types of fiber is a great start.
(On a huge related note: I am against anti-bacterials. I totally agree with the science that they are creating super bacteria. For years I have used them only when necessary and bought regular soap instead. Although since Dylan was born, I've been using them frequently and will continue to do so until he is a bit older. Hopefully having a dog makes up for this a bit.)
So for now, I'm going to do what I can and continue to make buying more vegetables a priority.
I have a million more things I could say about this topic, so look out for more posts! And feel free to ask questions. I'll research for both of us.