July 1, 2013

The Problem with Nutrition

I've been reading a book, Post-Modern Times, by Gene Veith.  It takes a look at the issues surrounding our culture today with the main premise being that we no longer have moral absolutes.
This basically means that there really is no right or no wrong, or that we can say things like, 'My God is about love', and not have to worry about that troublesome morality that often goes with having a set of values.
We've gotten to the point to where we don't want to offend people with saying that there are rules and standards.  We don't want to call lying or cheating wrong as that is a value judgement against others.  We have become a society that has been trained to not put our beliefs onto others, but in the process, our values have become watered down.

You might be wondering where I'm going with this, and I am known for tangents, but bear with me....

We find comfort and emotional attachment in our food.  I believe that we like to think that there is a right or wrong in what and how we eat.
I think I see more absolutism in the food and nutritional world than where it really should be seen.
The vegans think anything from animals is wrong and if you enjoy animal products or leather shoes then you are doing wrong.  The raw milk people don't like the vegans, then there are those against GMOs, those who consider themselves whole food purists nutritionally, and the list goes on and on.
There's been a popular blog that, I think to just be controversial, has said that you shouldn't have green smoothies because too many vegetables are bad for you.
The green smoothie girl, who I actually enjoy, says meat is bad and that protein isn't necessary in moderate-large amounts.
I think that this dogma confuses and overwhelms many people who often feel like they have to buy into a whole belief system for food.  After all, many of these people are about sales or endorsements.  And not to be hypocritical, I have not made one penny from this blog or my prior one (and I'm not recommending or selling a program either).

Yeah, I think that having deep fried oreos isn't going to promote good health, but are they morally wrong?
Should we be looking at providing the best for our bodies?  Should we only eat what is 'healthy'?  And what does 'healthy' really mean?

The thing is, food is a tool in my mind.  We can use it for health or to pollute our bodies.  Quite frankly, I don't think that there are many people out there promoting their plans who really have it all together.  I do think that there are nuggets of wisdom here and there, but often finding those pieces are often time consuming and difficult.  And when you are bombarded with e-mails telling you that you need the whole plan to really be successful.... well, it is just daunting.

I was a RN in ICU for about 25 years, and I've seen a lot of people who were sick because of their weight or lifestyle habits.
The thing is, I know a little secret.
We're all going to die someday.
Nutrition can't save you.
This doesn't mean to eat junk, but it does mean that you can choose to enjoy life and use food as a tool to help you have a great quality of life, but realize that no matter what you eat, you will most likely die someday and that food cannot save you.
Realize that obesity opens up a host of health problems, and new research on the dangers of "just being overweight"  seem to be coming in almost daily.

This means you need to educate yourself, and when you find a plan, stick to it.  
Realize that food is there to nourish you, and take that seriously.
Realize that this is your only body and any surgery, be it bariatric or open heart bypass, is painful and you are never quite the same afterwards.  It's better to take care of what you have than to let it become filled with disease or disability.
But most importantly, don't make food and nutrition into an idol.  Don't let all that you are be about the food you eat and then excrete.
Let food help you to do all the things that you need or want to do, but don't make it out as good or bad.

You see, I think that most groups have valid points.  I think that veggies are great and should be a huge part of your diet, I got that from the vegans and green smoothie people.  The raw milk people have it right when it comes to dairy and eggs and grass fed meat.  The whole foods people get it right on eating less, or no, processed foods.

And because people are different, what works for me, might not be ideal for you.  I will say, that Trim, Healthy Mama (you can link in the sidebar >>) gives a well-rounded approach to nutrition, but before you run out and buy a bunch of odd flours or ingredients you aren't sure how you will use, start with getting rid of sugars (overt and hidden ones) and eat some protein and some vegetables at every meal.
It's not cool or sexy advice (I always hear food called sexy on the Food Network and am not sure I want to eat sexy food actually), but it's probably what you would've heard 50, 100 or even 200 years ago.
I think it is pretty sound advice personally, and it's always a good place to start.  I'd question anyone who says differently.

This post is a part of Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents Trim, Healthy Tuesday.


Beth said...

very balanced! Great post.

Marie said...

Well said, I couldn't agree more! Stopping by from Trim Healthy Tuesday.

Shawna said...

Amen, Amen, AMEN!!! It's getting ridiculous. I no sooner read something that I try to "implement" and next thing I know something different or completely different is being said. I feel like I am going around in circles! I have now decided that my family and I will eat "healthy" to what fits for our family... what I have time for and what won't stress me out... if it's practical and works, great, If not, then I'm not even going to bother. Period. I'm sick and tired of being stressed out about the "wrong" foods! (which changes like the wind blows anymore)

Stacy Makes Cents said...

I like this statement: The thing is, food is a tool in my mind. We can use it for health or to pollute our bodies.
Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!