Friday, December 6, 2013

Simple Food Guidelines

I had an interesting conversation with my mom when she was here last time.

She has done an AWESOME job at weight loss in the last year(ish). She started with Weight Watchers and has figured out how to incorporate their guidelines into her life. She has calculated her normal breakfasts and lunches out to a "T" for the points values, and knows roughly how many points she has for the rest of the day. Then she uses her favorite Weight Watchers cookbooks - which she literally RAVES about (and which I agree, contain deliciousness) to finish out dinner.

I think it's amazing she has learned to cook in a completely new way, and that she and my dad have been so open and accepting of new things...Curry! Capers! Almond Milk! Quinoa! Who would've thought an old farmer would eat quinoa!?

Anyway, I couldn't be prouder of her for taking control of her food-lifestyle. It's obviously worked for her, 60+ lbs later. But we got to talking - what's next? How do you get over the next plateau? How do you make it exciting again? How do you FEEL BETTER?

I've been on the journey long enough that my thinking has evolved from 'counting points' to 'counting calories' to 'eating to nourish'...(and admittedly, counting calories SUCKS while pregnant).

But I think my mantra going forward, post-baby, is going to be fairly simple:
1. Don't eat too many calories.
2. Eat real food and don't eat chemicals.
3. Figure out what works for you.

The USDA, Weight Watchers, and a host of other experts will tell you
 - eat whole grains! They're good for you! But for my friend with wheat intolerance, they are poison.
- lots of vegetables are the key to success! Especially cruciferous! But for my mom, they are poison.
- consume nuts in moderation! The healthy fats are good for you! But for my dad and sister, they are poison.
- drink dairy! The calcium and Vitamin D are good for you! But for me (in excess), they are poison.
- eggs are a super food! A complete source of protein that is good for you! But for my friend's daughter with allergies, they are poison.

Just because an expert - even a doctor, or a nutritionist, or another paid professional - gives you advice about how to eat healthy, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT WILL WORK FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Losing weight and finding what is healthy for you are three different things.  They CAN be the same, but not necessarily.

Conventional wisdom is for the masses. It's not individualized. It can't be.

So, if eating a Subway sandwich makes you go to the bathroom uncontrollably - I don't care how "healthy" you think it is - don't eat it. I don't care if it helps you control calories. Find another way. Because it's poison for YOU.

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