Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, perhaps coupled with post about visiting the doctor in some ways, is my ability to eat pretty much anything I want without fear of allergy or other bad bodily response … but that my natural inclination is towards healthy foods. I have talked many times about my history of disordered eating, and that I never believe you are ‘cured’, merely ‘currently successful’ in dealing with it … this is different.
Day #3 – Eating What I want … but making good choices
Because I was born in the 60s, there was a still a large ‘quick food is the future’ sentiment, and we had canned veggies most of the time. I loved fruits and things like carrots and celery and tomatoes, but not much else. Then she traveled for work when I was in high school and my dad introduced us to something called ‘steamed fresh veggies’ … and OMG.
Thing is, throughout my life I never had to deal with ‘food I can’t eat’. Beef, poultry, pork, seafood, shellfish, soy, legumes, wheats, fruits and vegetables … I never had to worry. Spicy foods? Not a problem. My young adulthood was a culinary adventure filled with all kinds of great stuff. I had no idea about food allergies or intolerances until I was in college.
Then I started hanging out with Lisa and made us a big fruit salad for a hike full of things she couldn’t eat due to allergies and intolerance issues. I learned that dealing with spicy foods was about more than just handling the heat – the spices used in many dishes are reactive for some people.
Personally, I found out that I had an intolerance to clams after spending the day at the Boston Chowda-Fest one year … and have never been able to go back. That is my only food issue.
But through the years I have learned just how fortunate I am – I can eat or drink pretty much anything I wanted without being concerned about after-effects. I think most people I know have to work around their food issues one way or another, from what to how to when they eat. The last few years I have seen so many running / healthy living bloggers with eating disorders, digestive issues, allergies, tolerance issues, or foods that they just plain hate … wow.
Yet in spite of being able to eat just about anything, when it is snack time I grab an apple or pear, I love a fresh tomato, and pretty much any fresh whole food is what draws me in. That has been a tremendous benefit for me losing and maintaining weight through the years, and keeping my fueling on target.
Eating and food thoughts?
I always tell people they are lucky to be able to eat whatever they want – having to be gluten-free is a chore, and it has lead to (or contributed to) a disordered attitude towards food. That being said, I just like food, period, and I’ll try anything. I like to think it’s why I could live anywhere!
Definitely! It is really hard when stuff you like will react with your system, or there isn’t much left in the house you can eat … it really is a chore, and leads people to ask ‘how much will this bug me?’ Ugh … not easy.
I struggle with food mostly because my menu was so limited for the first 10 or so years of my life. I didn’t even have a taco for the first time until I was 12! As an adult, I’m still learning to like most veggies and fruits, and I lean toward the unhealthy end of the spectrum because that’s how I grew up.
I definitely knew loads of people like you in college who had very limited food experiences growing up and were tasting everything for the first time … interesting. Especially since their go-to things were not so healthy … 🙂 (Hot Pockets were brand new at the time, and some guys thought they were awesome).
My choices and attitudes are pretty similar to yours-I don’t have to worry about getting sick from any foods. I tend to eat pretty small during the day so I can have dinner with my husband and let him cook whatever without trying to micro manage so there’s less calories in his food!
That is similar to us – we try to have full-family dinners most every night (harder as the kids are older and Lisa’s work schedule is funky), but it is a great time when we can get it … and fun to cook something for the crew 🙂 My big change was eating a ‘fuel proper’ breakfast.
I am also very grateful that I don’t have to deal with any food allergies/intolerances! I think that would make things really difficult. I enjoy occasionally treating myself and its nice that I don’t have to worry about immediate consequences from that.
Definitely – though I think it is great how you have been modifying your diet to optimize fueling. I find fried and processed foods are not something I enjoy anymore – I don’t react, but I like eating real foods much more now. Funny how things change.
I’ve had a nut and seafood allergy since birth and was hospitalized many times before I was 5 because they hadn’t quite nailed down the exact foods that would make me stop breathing, but honestly, living with my allergies doesn’t bother me at all. My husband frequently laments that I can’t eat nuts or seafood (his favorite foods include almonds and tuna) but there’s just never been any other option in my life, so I’m used to it. And I voluntarily restrict what I eat by ruling out meat, making things more difficult at times, but for the most part, I feel like I’m in the same boat as you — I’m glad I can eat what I want; if it means a big ice cream cone once in a while, cool, my daily choices though are like yours, mostly whole foods and I’m lucky to be able to eat fried, spicy, whatever, if I choose, without issue.
I totally get what you are saying about living with allergies – when there is no option you don’t really miss it. For my wife developing her nut allergy as an adult (it has been low-level for years, we’ve decided looking back), makes her miss having peanut butter in particular.
Thanks and hope you are enjoying vacation! Been enjoying the last-year recap posts 🙂
For me it’s about not feeling deprived. When I started making hummus surprisingly it hit the same spot as sharp cheddar cheese. Other people seem to complain more than I do. I tell them I eat lot’s of things like fresh vegetables and beans.
Love hummus … and yeah, definitely that ‘not deprived’ thing. So true!
We both know what it is like to diet for health and weight loss–it forever changes you. You never look at food the same way again. That doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy food, or can’t “relax” every now and then. Rather, your priorities have shifted, as have your taste buds. And it doesn’t change the fact that even when you are eating healthy, it still irks you when you overeat. But you also are able to abate some of the anxiety by remembering that you have just contributed to the good, rather than the bad. And that is freeing.
Exactly – this is a chat we’ve had before between our sites 🙂
I’ve been thinking a lot about how running has influenced my eating habits because it really has changed them! I now eat a lot healthier but I think there is definitely a link between disordered eating and runners – we’re able to easily justify losing weight as a way to get faster. It’s not good!
Thanks Ness – completely agree!
Very interesting topic. I think much like you, I have no real food restrictions. I am not allergic to anything and while I have a slight case of lactose intolerance, it doesn’t stop my from having dairy so I can eat whatever I want. However, I tend to eat very healthy and choose to not eat red meat or pork, but being able to make those choices is a luxury as so many people don’t have that ability.
Thanks Sara – it is very fortunate to be able to choose your diet, both from dietary and financial standpoints. Glad you don’t have major issues to address.
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