I grew up in what I would consider to be a fast food family. Every morning my mother would take us through the drive-thru of Hardees (don’t know what Hardees is??? I don’t want to ruin it for you so please, seriously please, google it – fast food at it’s best) and order my brother and I a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for breakfast. For snacks we were no strangers to a quick trip to the McDonalds, and more than one dinner was chicken that came in a bucket.
My brother and I grew up in a pre-internet world where we played outside, built forts, rode our bikes (without helmets) and would swim everyday of the summer. We were active and by some luck called genetics we didn’t turn into obese versions of ourselves. I want to be clear – my mom wasn’t some crazy lady who fed her kids toxins like we would think of someone today. It was the 80’s and I guarantee she wasn’t the only one riding the fast food train for more than one stop. Plus, I don’t judge. I don’t have two annoying brats screaming and fighting in the backseat of an Aerostar minivan. For real, I think my brother and I are lucky she fed us at all…
When I moved off to college I started to be aware of eating “healthy.” At this point eating well meant low-fat and sugar free, making sure to count calories and overdosing on diet coke. Counting calories felt good to me health-wise, because every woman I knew and thought had a handle of what healthy should be was keeping track. But, again by some luck called genetics I never struggled with my weight.
It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I started to gain weight. I was poor. Like, super poor… therefore I bought the cheapest version of anything and everything. I did up what I learned in college and everything had to be low-fat or sugar free. I wanted to shed the pounds. I participated in the south beach diet, the zone, and pretty much anything that some celebrity did once and claimed worked. I did lose weight, but it was a constant struggle and always a gamble to know what the scale was going to say.
Finally, I moved in with my boyfriend whose eating habits were completely different than mine and since he is the cook, we as a couple started eating the way he ate. At the grocery store we never look for low fat or sugar free, he looks at the actual ingredients on the label and if there is an option to buy it fresh and make it… that is the option we take. Ironically, once I stopped worrying about my calories and started eating “healthy” food, the numbers on the scale were a non-issue.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m still a big believer in moderation. We order in a lot and I am certainly no hard ass about eating healthy. I pretty much live by the concept that anything is ok as long as you use some moderation. Which means if I want some french fries or a taco then I am going to have some french fries or a taco. Also, I should be upfront, most of my friends wouldn’t consider me to be a healthy eater. But, there is a difference. Where I was once making some cheese chips in the microwave, I now have some beets with carrots. I think the shift is bigger than just me making more conscience decisions about food. I think there is a new direction for what “healthy” is.
Last week I read a post on Man Repeller that asked the following questions: have you felt a cultural change in the approach to food and calories? What about among your friends? Has it affected you or your habits? Does it feel like just another diet? Or is it finally a healthy, sustainable life-change?
As with the author on Man Repeller, I don’t tell you this to be like, see that is all it takes and you can be skinny like me… or this is all it takes and you can lose some weight…. I don’t know shit about food, I am not a foodie. I genuinely think this is an interesting concept and so… let’s discuss it further.
At this point, “organic” seems to be available in most grocery stores, and Whole Foods has popped up on every other corner in my neck of the woods… According to the article, the organic food market is expected to grow double digits per year in the next four years, and organic food production in the US increased 240% between 2002 and 2011.So what do you guys think?