My Love Hate Relationship with Food

Food is obviously rather vital to human survival.  It comes in many different forms and the definition of food varies greatly depending on who you ask. Typically when we think of food we think of meat, fruit, veggies, milk…etc.   Some cultures consider dogs to be food.  Twinkies are very tasty food that will probably survive the apocalypse because of the amount of chemical ingredients they contain.  Over the years, my relationship with food has changed quite significantly and can be divided into four distinct eras:

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My Love Hate Relationship with Food

lima beans

Photo courtesy of tracitodd Flickr Creative Commons

What do I HAVE to eat?

As a child I ate what my mom put in front of me.  Okay, there were many times that what she put in front of me got shoved quietly into my napkin for disposal because honestly, who really eats Lima beans and liver?  Blech!  Those two things should not even be considered real food!  Generally, though, mom was a meat and potatoes kind of cook.  We ate our share of vegetables, especially during the summer when they were fresh from the garden.  Some days I thought I would vomit if I saw one more zucchini. At this phase of my life, though, I ate what I was told to eat.  Except what I could feed to the dog or hide in my napkin.

ramen

Photo courtesy of tracitodd Flickr Creative Commons

What can I AFFORD to eat?

Once I got out on my own and had to pay for my food out of our measly budget, I was determined to never eat another Lima bean again.  Which is a good thing because Lima beans were not cheap.  What type of food  is cheap?  Ramen noodles.  Over ripe bananas that are marked down in the produce section.  Free lunches provided to graduate students at a seminar you really aren’t interested in listening to but you are hungry so you go anyhow.  There was not a lot of concern during those years about the quality of the food.  If it was even remotely edible and inexpensive we ate it and were happy we were no longer hungry.  Dinner of Ramen noodles and over ripe bananas were eaten at a table we found on the side of the road.  We had food AND furniture.  We considered ourselves lucky.

what food to eat

What SHOULD I be eating?

Towards the end of my husband’s graduate student career I got pregnant with my first child.  Suddenly, the food I was eating was put under significant scrutiny.  I was not only feeding myself but was feeding my unborn child.  This was the moment I knew that I had to start caring about what I ate.  I moved to buying organic milk and fresh vegetables.  Thankfully we had a little bit more money and I could start choosing foods that were more nutritious than Ramen noodles.  But NOT Lima beans.  Never again will I eat Lima beans!  Combined with those nutritious foods were occasional treats….a girl can’t live on bean sprouts alone, right?  My grocery cart became an odd mix of organic black beans and free range eggs and Cheetos and Diet Coke.

eating healthy food

What Can I Eat for Better Health?

For the last several years I have had an assortment of health problems.  Most issues can be directly tied to my inflammatory system being out of whack.  Skin problems, digestive issues, muscle and joint pain, and the list goes on.  Random complaints that doctors can’t seem to figure out an actual CAUSE for, other than generalized inflammation.  Suddenly, I am looking at my healthy diet and wondering how healthy it really is.  Do I need to avoid gluten?  Should I try the Paleo diet?  I met a raw vegan once who swore that it was THE diet to eat for better health.  Macrobiotics…what are they and should I be trying to eat them? Food is no longer enjoyable.  I stare at my plate and wonder if the food I am eating is making me sick.  I don’t really care for this phase and really hope the next food phase arrives quickly. Because I honestly can’t imaging having to deny myself the foods I love for the rest of my life.

Maybe if I want to live longer and survive the apocalypse I should skip the salads and consider stocking up on more Twinkies….

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