Saturday, May 1, 2010

The rules of normal eating

Happy May day! Are you going to leave a May basket on anyone's door? 

Recently at a friends house, I picked up a book they had called The Rules of Normal Eating and when I opened it up, I really was drawn in. There was a section that talked about truths about food, or negative thoughts versus positive thoughts on food. I liked a lot of them so I jotted them down to share with you.  

This after I posted yesterday that yes, I put cream on my oats and yes, real butter on my waffles. Those aren't the healthiest of practices, but they are real ones. I don't always do that, and when I do, I strive for moderation and balance.  I hadn't had butter in the house for ages when I bought some on sale = hello toast and butter for snacks. I mean I am from a state where we carve our pageant winners busts in butter.  

But eating is as much about balance and enjoying our food as it is about fuel. If it weren't there wouldn't be food bloggers posting pictures we drool over. Food is delicious and NOT our enemy! From the book:

  • There is no such thing as good or bad quality of food, but nutritious or not. 
  • Food is only scary or dangerous if it makes you sick. *
  • Food is abundant. 
  • Food takes care of my hunger, People take care of me, I take care of myself. 
  • Food is fuel and often pleasure.
  • Food is neither friend or foe. 
  • I refuse to be ashamed of myself not matter how much or little I eat.  
  • I eat when I am hungry and stop eating when I am full or satisfied. 
  • I will stay connected to my body and not tune out my body's signals of hunger or fullness. 

What do you think of these statements? 

There were a few in the book that I didn't really think were completely on track, one said "Ignoring my body's signals will cause weight gain, not food." But I think that the signals and the KIND of food we eat go hand in hand. When we get that signal will we chose nutritious food or the non-nutritious food choice we face. On the same note, food that makes us sick doesn't have to mean immediately, but I think can mean overtime or because it lacks nutrients. Overall there were a lot of great ideas in the book.

Has anyone read the whole book? What is YOUR own rule of normal eating?  


Jennifer said...

I am still in the process of trying to figure out what "my rule for normal eating is." I can have really great days, where I feel in control of my hunger, but then I can just as easily have days where I just can't seem to stop eating.

I know that a proper diet is what will ultimately allow me to shed the extra weight that I want, so any advice (like this post) is always appreciated because it reminds me that I am not the only one that struggles with diet issues.

Shan said...

Hey, this is really interesting. Though I haven't always been this way, for some time now I have chosen natural foods over things that are chemically altered or artificially sweetened or have a million preservatives. I don't mean all the time (I love my Cheetos occasionally!), but I mean that my general rule (for myself and my daughters) is that, for example, real butter (in moderation) is better than margarine, that a drizzle of honey on plain yogurt is better than Nutra-Sweet sweetened "light" yogurt, and that half-and-half in my coffee is better than Coffeemate. I think this is part of striving toward a healthy attitude toward food, even "fattening" foods like butter and cream. Butter and cream are not inherently evil. But tons of chemicals put into other things to make them "less fattening" could be. Just my two cents!

Mary said...

I totally agree Shan! I think eating natural is better than low or non fat, because of all the chemicals, but I understand doing that as your losing weight! Butter and cream and REAL food in moderation is way better for us in the long run than processed and chemicals! But we don't want to feel deprived either! Rules of "normal" eating will be different from person to person, but not using food and eating in moderation are my two big ones I stick to!

Meghan said...

Loved it! I felt like it was almost personally for me, heheheh even though it was not.
I have been "counting" points or calories or good and bad food since as long as I can remember.
For sure made me think!

Beth said...

It's the best book I've ever read on learning to let go of food craziness. I recommend it to everyone I know. Her other book, Nice Girls Finish Fat, is also really enlightening for anyone who has issues with wanting to be the nice girl and wanting to be liked, stuffing feelings of frustration and anger and trying to resolve them with food.

Cheryl said...

I still love Michael Pollan's philosophy - Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. But, sometimes its hard to keep embracing the truth that food is not the enemy in weight loss! I think like you, tho, I'd rather have less of the real thing that lots of the fake....and that's true of anything in life!

Joey said...

I don't agree with some of the statements... I definitely think there is "bad quality" food & food is most definitely my friend. I also think it is scary/dangerous if you see the way(s) it is raised/processed... However staying connected to our body's signals of hunger/fullness are obviously important. What do YOU think?

Mary said...

JOEY! I totally think that quality of food can be bad, but that we should look at it as nutritious or not, not good or bad FOR us. Some people may view some real food as bad for us, but really only bad when we over eat it, or eat it too often (eggs/cholesterol 1980's issue etc.) But there are some things in the book that I don't agree with. For instance she says that it isn't the food we eat that makes us gain weight, it's our ignoring our bodies signals that makes us gain. I disagree. I think the kind of food AND how we handle the signals go hand in hand. It was interesting to flip through and would be a good read all the way through.

Cheryl!! I love Pollan's rule book on Food! Real food all the way!

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