Welcome to week two of Quit Eating Like Crap (for real.) I hope you found some inspiration in week one. It’s never too late to get started if you want to play along, and you certainly don’t have to do each of these items in one week.
But I thought weekly would be a good pace for checking in. So let’s meet here on Wednesdays, okay?
Last week I talked about how frustrating it can be when nutrition “experts” make sweeping recommendations, with little acknowledgement about how difficult change can be on a practical level.
As long as we’re on the topic of pet peeves about nutrition…another thing that frustrates the hell out of me is that there are so! many! different! opinions! out there about how to eat right: vegan, omnivore, gluten-free, paleo…(and that’s just a few of the diets that people I know personally are doing!)
How do you pick?
In the absence of a degree in science, how do you know what’s right?
When you’re not a health nut, when you just want to take better care of yourself and maybe extend your life on this beautiful planet… who do you trust?
Personally, I am a whole-foods vegan for both health and compassionate reasons. But do I know that this is the One Perfect Diet for Everyone?
I wish that I could have the security of knowing I have the One Right Answer, but I can’t know. I really can’t. I have read hundreds (really) of books, and I took a graduate-level certification in plant-based nutrition from eCornell…and I still don’t know.
Because for all the research that has been done, I am not a scientist, and so I have to rely on someone else to filter and interpret the raw data for me. Some will interpret it one way (as in The China Study) and others will interpret it another (a la China Study naysayers). I think probably all interpretations have a seed of truth, and also all have some sort of agenda.
Add to the impossibility of finding The Perfect Scientific Answer the fact that people vary. What might be good for me might not be good for you. As a dear friend once told me about oatmeal “it’s not healthy for me if I can’t digest it.” Oatmeal is one of my healthiest choices, but for her it isn’t. No treatise on how awesome oatmeal is will change that for her.
And finally, not to be too conspiracy theory, but the confusion is out there for a reason. Let’s follow the money for a moment. Our system is broken (at least here in America)–we know that. Who benefits? The money goes somewhere, right? It goes to enormous corporations that sell “food” full of chemicals, meat full of antibiotics and hormones. It goes to lobbyists. It goes to politicians. It goes to pharmaceutical companies. It’s way better for these guys if we’re out here confused and arguing over whether to go paleo or vegan, rather than focused on the abysmal quality of our overall food supply.
Oof. It all seems a little overwhelming and hopeless doesn’t it?
Sorry, I didn’t mean to get you down. I just wanted to try to touch on a few of the reasons that this whole thing can be as confusing as shit.
It doesn’t have to be all depressing though. When all is said and done, I think that as individuals we can gather information about the science of the human body, combine it with our experience of our own human bodies, and make intelligent choices about how we want to eat (and we will do this more intentionally in a future week here, stay tuned!)
But for now, let’s just start with the one thing that EVERY SINGLE DIET agrees on. Really, when you think about how all-over-the-map the information out there can be, it’s actually pretty amazing that they all agree on one thing. And that is: Dark green, leafy vegetables are awesome.
I know, you know this, right? In fact you are probably rolling your eyes at how many times you have heard this before (stop that! I can see you!)
Leafy greens are amazing. They’re full of micronutrients that keep our body functioning properly. The problem is that when you are eating crap, your body and your taste buds are not calibrated to love them.
In fact, it may be downright difficult to choke them down. I know it was for me.
So this week’s assignment is to make a green smoothie.
How do you get started with these easily? Download my free guide, The Slacker’s Guide to Green Smoothies when you sign up for my newsletter. The system I write about in there is super-practical and makes it totally easy to make them every day. Or just find any recipe online anywhere. It really doesn’t matter which recipe you use, as long as it includes at least one serving of leafy greens.
There is a little bit of controversy over whether green smoothies are the ideal way to get your green leafies, but as I say, the best vegetable for you is one you eat. Green smoothies were the most important step I took when I started to change my diet. They repair and rebuild your body on a cellular level, so that you heal and start to crave healthier foods (it really is amazing.)
Try to get into the habit of making one every day, if you can. Focus on this one thing for a while, and don’t worry too much about anything else you want to change.
Sound good? Anyone out there already feeling the green-smoothie-love?