What Food Are You Afraid Of?

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When I was a teenager, I religiously mopped up the grease from pepperoni on my pizza and filled a napkin with it by squeezing my weekly Sunday brunch traditional kielbasa to death. One could say I was afraid of fat.

Last month my sister-in-law looked at my pile of discarded pepperoni and asked me if I wasn’t allowed to eat it because of the pregnancy. I said something like, “Well, anybody you ask will tell you something differently, but I’m a little afraid of the chemicals in cured meat (nitrites).”

From low-fat dieters to dyed-in-wool Weston A. Price Foundation followers, when it comes to food, everybody’s afraid of something. [photo source]

Even the most carefree skateboarder dude who gives hardly a care to what goes into his mouth most likely jokes about a “heart attack on a plate” when someone eats a big ol’ pile of fried food.

And just as butter incites fear and trembling in most Americans, who think Paula Deen is headed for destruction with her stick-at-a-time saturated fat consumption, traditional foodies get a little quivery when presented with powdered milk, shortening, or artificial sweeteners.

As much as I claim that I’m all about the positive, taking baby steps, and doing what I can to be healthy without worrying so much about what’s “unhealthy,” well – I still get all tight in my chest when I realize that the yogurt at my in-laws’ house, where my kids will be this weekend, is sweetened with Splenda, they only have skim milk, and it’s a gamble as to whether they’ll have butter, ‘light’ butter (what IS that anyway??), standard margarine or the latest “heart healthy” tub blend.

What’s Your Poison?
Are you fearful of fat and think a meal with butter, red meat, and egg yolks will knock you flat? Or do you embrace all of the above with a knowing smile but seize up when presented with margarine, factory raised low-fat ground turkey and pourable egg products?

Maybe you’re all about low-cal, low-sodium, and you don’t mind if the products you buy have high fructose corn syrup to replace the fat. Is “corn sugar” the same in your body as regular sugar…or is it all bad for you anyway? And how about milk? Skim, pasteurized, homogenized, whole milk, cream, fresh raw milk, organic, powdered, ultra-high temp pasteurized – I guarantee if you’ve delved into the subject of what milk to buy, one of those words increased your heart rate.

If you’re giving healthy eating a chance, there’s got to be something you just don’t eat, no matter how hard you try to just focus on what you DO put into your mouth. Grab an apple (organic, perhaps?) and ponder:

Everyone’s afraid of something. What gets your tastebuds trembling?

But don’t forget that God’s in charge. He’s bigger than food.

This post was originally published at Kitchen Stewardship.

Copyright 2011 Katie Kimball

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3 Comments

  1. Katie – here’s a little thing for me. Since November, I have been toying with a vegetarian diet. I find it a daily struggle to fit in good protein, but it’s made me more aware of what I’m eating and finding a balance of nutrients. I’m paying more attention. It didn’t start off as a philosophical thing, but the longer I go without meat, the more I’m a bit fearful of starting to eat it again. So now, I need to seek out some good options so I can become a healthier non-meat eater… Great topic!

    • Lisa,
      The great thing about not eating meat is that at least you don’t have to take the time to figure out “good” meat or avoid hormones, etc. As far as protein, one can have a healthy diet without meat. I’d recommend lots of healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, butter, and coconut oil. Legumes of course are a super source of protein, and if you pair them with the right foods (do you do meat broths?) you can make sure your body is assimilating the protein well. (Print the chart here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/06/30/monday-mission-learn-about-complete-proteins/)

      When we don’t do meat during 2 days/week in Lent, we do have a lot of eggs, yogurt and cheese. I’m actually coming out with a beans and legumes recipe book in a few weeks – remind me and I’ll send you a copy for review! 🙂 Katie

      • Awesome Katie – thanks so very much for sharing your expertise. I will definitely check out the chart and will also look forward to reading and spreading the good word about the book!

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