So I went to a writers retreat over the weekend. It was a blast! My fellow writers and I got a lot written, played fun games in our down time, and ate a ton of delicious foods. When I say a ton, I cannot reiterate how much food we had. And yes, it was decadent and scrumptious, but I started my day this morning with a food hangover.
So today, I’ve started a raw, detox diet to cleanse my system of all that I indulged in. With this new diet, my mind has been on all the research and food documentaries I’ve looked into over the last few years. It’s really interesting to me that so many experts in one general field can give such conflicting information that they think of as fact. Have you watched those documentaries on Netflix? I admit, that I’m a nerd and am totally addicted to them. There’s plenty on Netflix. Some of my favorites have been Hungry for Change, Dying to Have Known, Food, Inc., and Foodmatters. There’s plenty more besides those, but they’re my top four. Most of these documentaries are somewhat on the same page, but not all of them.
What happens to me is I watch one of these documentaries, or I read a very interesting article about the different vitamins in food and think, OK. I’m going to make this big lifestyle change and eat super foods and never get sick again!
And for the first week or so, that’s how it works. But the problem for me is being consistent. And I’ve come to the conclusion that with my social eating personality, I can’t stick with this kind of lifestyle and still interact with friends and family. The type of dieting experts say is most beneficial is incredibly restrictive, especially when you live in the U.S. Not to mention it is very expensive.
So what to do? Well, I believe that what it comes down to is balance. There’s a documentary called Forks over Knives that talks about research of rats. The results state that if rats consume 5% or less of animal protein, then they wouldn’t be at as high of a risk for cancer, but if they consumed large quantities, then they would be at high risk. Foodmatters mentions that if 51% of your diet is raw, then your cholesterol will lower and you’ll be at lower risk for heart disease and cancer. So is all this research saying that eating meat is bad? No – it’s telling us that we need to be moderate in our portions. That it’s good to consume some raw veggies and fruits throughout the day, but you don’t have to be zealous about it.
In fact, I think it’s still fine to have a slice of cake or a cookie every once in a while, just as long as it’s a small portion and you don’t overindulge. (That’s one I struggle with – but will overcome one of these days!) So my conclusion? Just eat healthy! We all know what that means. Have your veggies, a little fruit, healthy grains and breads. Little bit of lean meats, and minimal amounts of sugar and processed foods.
So I’m not going to feel guilty when I go to the next family gathering and eat a brownie. However, I’ll try to just have that and not eat half the batch. 😉 And when I go to my next writers retreat, I’ll still indulge here and there, but I’ll do my best to keep myself reined in.
To all those who are trying to live healthy lifestyles, best of luck! And do what works for you.