Real Food, Real People

Hello Friends. I have to tell you that I was somewhat relieved to hear that I am not the only woman with a gnawing unease about the escalation of clean eating with its grain free, dairy free, sugar free plans. This article from Kate Leaver posted on Mamamia has gone viral in the last week and for good reason. Leaver argues that eating clean isn’t about health anymore, it is about shame.

I have dabbled in quitting this, reducing that and simplifying some of the things I eat. As I have emerged from the brain fog of sleepless nights with babies and small children I think I can see things more clearly. I don’t have allergies. Perhaps my body is more intolerant to some things, but there is no medical grounds for making huge changes to my eating. My body is older – I need to strive for health and functional fitness. Yes, I need to be able to  carry in all the groceries and possibly even a small child and not have my back give way. I need to be able to eat sensibly so that I don’t suffer unnecessary migraines, gut ache or fatigue. My motivation to eat well has changed. But my time hanging out with the celebs who advocate a particular eating regime is over.

It will be hard to look away because I have some of the I Quit Sugar books. And my Instagram feed, Facebook page and Pinterests boards are all overwhelmed with innovative ideas to eat clean with no sugar, dairy or grains.

My family have been on this roller coaster with me and to be fair there are things we have learnt together. We have cut out/down on senseless sugar consumption in flavoured yogurts, we understand what is in the condiments we eat, ever if the jar of pickles is homemade, there are good and bad cereals and we know drinking your sugar is stupid.

So why am I relieved? I know the creep of eating disorders that pervade our culture. We have all seen them – eating too much, too little, fasting, starving and punishing bodies, feeling guilty and being trapped on a roller coast of physical and mental health problems that ensue. We use food to gain control – of our life or so we think. And when we don’t we feel the shame.

I have been waiting for someone public to say enough, to this frenzy of new eating. My voice will not be heard in the current cacophony. Eat in moderation. Grow your own food, make it from scratch as much as you can and enjoy it. We celebrate with food, we offer love and grace as we do hospitality and we give of ourselves, something truly intimate when we eat a meal together. So my friends I want to keep eating and sharing food with you. Whether we eat sugar or not I don’t really mind, as long as we strive for  good health, good company and good times. Tell the celebs to go because their time with you is over. Eat real food, with real people in real time.

Food Facts and Fiction

Samantha Prendergast writes about her experience the “Time I didn’t eat” in Frankie (Vol 48). It is a personal piece, honest and alarming. It has got me thinking again about food. I probably think way too much about food – my own consumption, my kids and their health, preparing food for our table, buying food at the market, finding new inspiration and ways to be creative with food. But then there are food allergies and intolerances, wacky diets, limitations and detoxes, political and social conscious eating, not eating, over eating and food as our comfort and our idol.

Our families play a large role in shaping our attitudes towards food. So this week may be a week of reflections about food and hopefully yours too. Food is an amazing God given gift to be shared ad enjoyed isn’t it. But like any good gift, we usually mess it up. Any ideas how we do that? Love to hear your experiences