by Caroline von Fluegge-Chen
Someone I know is feeling frustrated about her experience with Whole30, nutrition in general, her daughter being overweight. My very straightforward response:
Whole 30 is fine for a certain kind of person who wants to experiment with food preparation while cutting out high-sugar products, dairy, legumes, and grains. It takes time, preparation, money, and curiosity. But for those people who want to embrace new avenues, it might be the right fit. Going cold turkey on sugar, grains, etc is too much of a leap for most people, so nice recipes make the prospect of revamping a little more interesting.
Nut butters full of fat and smoothies laden with fruit are high in calories so you might as well eat a Snickers.
The more logical way to think of things, without going loo loo is this:
1) Stop eating crap.
2) Move your body.
3) Pay attention.
4) Be kind to yourself.
Unless someone is hugely allergic to something, a bit of dairy, legumes, sugar, nuts, or whatever is not going to kill anyone. So instead of becoming obsessed with doing things “right” (there is no right), start enjoying food instead of fearing it.
There are better choices out there than highly processed, chemical-laden food – so be smart about what goes down the gizzard. If one eats crap, feels like crap, and continues this way, then they’ve made a choice.
Unless there is some sort of metabolic issue, the only way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. The body doesn’t care about mood, not liking to exercise, the weather, or the inconvenience. Either we are burning calories or we are storing calories. Laws of physics.
Unless we make peace with ourselves, our expectations, and our attitudes, we will project our views onto the next generation.
To parents – my advice is to stop caving to the whims of children. What is on the table is what is for dinner. Parents make the decision of what is on the table. Parents are not short-order cooks. Parents did not sign up to be executives in people pleasing. Children are to be loved, but loving a child includes saying no, setting boundaries and managing how the household works on your terms, not theirs. They can contribute, but you are the boss of the family.
If we quit hating ourselves, stop viewing self-care as a burden, abandon feeling the need to be perfect, stop practicing avoidance, and discontinue decision-making based on appetite/winging it/lack of planning/fickleness then our entire attitude changes.
Food is an addiction. It is a drug. And like all addictions, we are going to cave to them or fight them.
Our perception is totally between the ears. The food isn’t going to kill anyone. Our attitude will.
Food prep? Make it simple.
Pick a protein and either grill it, bake it, sauté it, steam it.
Pick a carb – grill it, bake it, sauté it, steam it.
Pick a vegetable – grill it, bake it, sauté it, steam it.
Have some fruit. Include fat in the diet.
Fish. Sweet potato. Broccoli. Berries. That’s for dinner.
It’s not hard. We make it hard.