On Saturday I went with a friend to hear Karyn Calabrese speak about the Raw Food diet, her many businesses and wellness programs. I’ve heard a lot about raw food living, read a lot about it, met many raw foodists…so Karyn’s message wasn’t a new one to me. Plus, I wasn’t too into the way in which she gave the message. That’s another story for another day. Let’s just say I was reminded of a quote I recently read:
What you eat is like how you pray: Your own business. Not to be forced on others. Worship at Burger King or Chez Panisse, depending on your tastes, wallet and personal needs…Just don’t make me go there.
- Sheila Himmel, Author
I’m both attracted and completely turned off from this type of absolute way of living. I know it’s not a way of life that works for me. It is not emotionally or psychologically, and therefore not physically, healthy for me to live a very regimented way where there are must-haves and never-mores that reside in my life. Yet I’m attracted to the idea that there is a way-of-life that could “guarantee” me health and happiness.
I go back and forth on this all the time… “This” being the road to health. Healthy eating: what it is, what it’s not. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve read a mountain of books written on the topic of healthy eating/living...both for my professional work and my personal interest. The books are either redundant or completely contradictory in relation to every other book out there. I read it, I know it, but none of it speaks my language. As soon as I’m given the “rules” of any diet I start to tune out. I hate tracking what I eat, I hate counting calories and I HATE forbidding food from my diet. I’m a terrible “dieter”. But D.I.E.T is a four-letter word, right? I’m supposed to hate dieting. But that’s where I seem to stop. I really do know the difference between food that is “healthy” and food that isn’t. I just have trouble creating that in my own life. It’s like knowing how to drive, but not pulling out from the curb after you’ve started the engine. It’s a bit of a waste.
So I started thinking and asking myself some questions while listening to Karyn speak yesterday. How can I eat everything I want to eat, but be healthier about all of it? When have I felt the best in my life? What was doing, what was I eating, who was in my life and what did my day-to-day look like?
- When did I feel the best in my life?: I was 23, living in Boulder, Colorado
- What was I eating?: Lots of pasta, burritos, salads, 95% vegetarian, very simple meals…I cooked just about everything I ate
- Who was in my life?: Lots of friends, various love interests
- What was my day-to-day?: I rode my bike to work every day, I walked everywhere else. Very social, people always over. Had 2 jobs which kept me busy. I think this was before I started running, but we did tons of hiking
Okay so let’s take a look at the main differences:
- I’m now 36, living outside of Chicago
- I’m eating a lot more take-out, eating a lot more meat & processed foods as a result, not cooking most meals – but eating way more veggies when I do cook. I’m a little obsessed with food – thinking about recipes, restaurants, what I’m going to eat next…
- Still have lots of friends, but they are mostly busy parents – no current love interest :(
- I drive an hour each way to work. I try to fit in exercise, but aiming towards weekly lately (not daily, nothing regular). I don’t get a lot of movement at work (sitting mostly at a desk). I’m not running OR hiking. I’m a bit of a homebody rarely have people over.
Part of what I’m feeling as I read over this is that my life seemed a little bit fuller back then. My life was fuller, and so there for so was I? Am I filling myself up with food just so that I feel full? maybe.
Perhaps the objective is not figuring how what to eat, in what proportions, at what times or combinations, but figuring out how to be full…full of life, love, friendship, big ideas and bigger realities.
What if instead of tracking what I eat and how many calories consumed – I kept track of all the filling things I did, read, thought, found, created, loved, laughed and learned?
huh. I think I found a new diet…getting a life.
So I’m going to try this out. Here on this blog. A mostly-daily tracking of the good stuff.
Things seem fuller already...