Last week, I wrote in general about how and why my diet has evolved. This week it’s a list of the things I don’t eat. When I sat down to write this, it was actually hard because they don’t feel like rules.
I did not wake up one morning and say, I’m not going to eat these thing. Instead it’s been a work in progress over the years to refine what I put in my body. Fun fact: while writing this I found this article which identifies almost everything on this list as an inflammation culprit – another great reason to cut these foods. Here it goes…
I’m not sure I even have to explain this one. Remember when even Subway had weird stuff in their bread? They weren’t the only ones. If that’s not enough of a reason, this article runs through some more.
I started refusing milk when I was a small child. It’s like my little kid body knew before I did that I was lactose intolerant. The theory is that most mammals stop producing lactase (the enzyme that aids in lactose digestion) when we are young. Some of the population has adapted to continued lactase consumption as we age. The rest of us are in the same boat as me.
Soda / Soft Drinks
My focus with my diet is to eat things that are nourishing for my body. Teeth, bones, and cardiovascular health all suffer with soda. I grew up in a house that allowed minimal coke (I also grew up in the part of the country that uses the word coke interchangeably for any soft drink / soda.) When I got to college, the dining halls provided unlimited access to fountain diet coke. And so began my afternoon diet coke habit. Around pregnancies I got back to my roots and cut it out for good.
Chips (in the house)
My husband was relieved of any grocery shopping duties when he kept coming home with Cape Cod’s Kettle chips. As long as they’re not in the house – I’m good. But at a party, you’ll find me next to the chip bowl (girl’s gotta have some fun).
Sweets: Desserts & Candy
There was a time I thought this one was impossible. I had to try three times before it stuck. Sugar addiction is real! For me, one cookie leads to all the cookies: every day, after every meal. If you’re like my husband and can occasionally have dessert – more power to you. If you’re like me and it’s all or nothing, this might help get it started.
You might be thinking, isn’t this the same as Sweets? As a recovering lover of all things sweet: they’re totally different in my book. A year after I got the no sweets thing done, I added this one to my list to enjoy all the benefits of slashing sugar. My one exception here is a vegan muffin from Sunflour bakery. Its distance from my house keeps this under control.
Sugary Drinks: Juice & Coffeeshop Concoctions
The short explanation here is when drinking juice without the fruit, some of the most important parts are left behind. Here’s the full explanation. And Coffeeshop concoctions, you know what I’m talking about. 49 grams of sugar! That’s twice what the American Heart Association recommends for a woman daily.
I used to love this stuff. Even before all the stuff about popcorn lung came out, I started thinking the whole concept was weird and switched to stovetop.
The first time I abstained from meat was in high school. It lasted for almost a year. My initial motivation was to impress a cute vegetarian boy (I know, pretty terrible reason). When the boy’s eyes turned to my best friend, I stuck with the no meat thing to conceal that the vegetarian boy was my initial motivation (I’m sure my mom was onto me)! I’ve abstained from meat a few other times in my life, primarily because I’ve just never been a big fan. This latest go around seems to be sticking.
It always confused me that sweetener had substance (like you can physically touch Sweet’N Low) but it didn’t have calories. Doesn’t all food, unless it’s water, have calories? So if it’s not water and it doesn’t have calories, what is it?
I have no good reason to not eat applesauce. As far as I can remember, the sight of the stuff makes me nauseous. Ask my college roommates who had fun one day chasing me around our yard trying to get me to eat just one bite. Do you have one normal food that everyone else loves, but just thinking about it makes your stomach turn?
Seems counter-intuitive, but I swear that by giving up these foods – I am eating the most delicious food ever. It’s forced me to try new things. It’s easy to grab a bag of chips, but more fun to crunch almonds. Joan Lunden does a great job describing it here (specifically see her 4th point).
Note: I’ll wrap up my food series (doesn’t that sound official?) next week with meal planning. Don’t forget to use the comment section below to tell me what normal food, that everyone else in the world eats, but you can’t stand.
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