December 12, 2013

Moving Past Labeling Food (Part Two)

Fattening was a popular word growing up in my house.

Food wasn’t talked about in terms of nutrients, energy or why it was good for you.

It was simply fattening or not fattening.

“Is this fattening?”
“That’s too fattening”
“I can eat that, it’s not fattening”.

And so of course, I sometimes still find myself using the phase.

I was at my family’s Vermont house and my mom dumped out on the counter a big bag of apples she had just brought back from the market.

“What should I make with them? A pie? Apple crisp?”, she said.

My response?

“Nothing fattening.”

Now understand, I very rarely use those terms in my adult life. I no longer think of food in that way (it’s taken me years to get here and clearly I’m still working through it), but I knew to communicate the idea to my mom that I did not wanting to eat copious amounts of sugar, oil and flour required reverting to the old ways I used to look at food.

I’m slightly embarrassed by how easily it slipped out of my mouth.

So, I’m curious. How many of you think about and use the word fattening or not fattening when it comes to how we nourish and feed our bodies?

What damage does this type of thinking really do? Well, for me it led me to look for “empty” low-fat, no-fat or no-calorie foods. I’d find comfort in eating things that were sugary but light like air, treats that wouldn’t make me feel full or really satisfied for that matter, because they didn’t contain the necessary fat that was meant to accompany these foods.

I’d eat fat-free cookies or light as air cookies made with God knows what, and of course, the ever popular (and still loved at heart by yours truly), frozen yogurt.

“I can eat piles of it because it’s not fattening!”, that well trained 15-year old in me screams out.

Well, today’s me now stands and screams a firm “NO”.

Eat your fat. Eat your food. Eat it in it’s real form (a ghastly look at fat-free Half & Half brings this one smack in the face – it’s non-fat milk, corn syrup and a lot of other weird things, FYI).

picstitchToss out the word “fattening”. Send it into the fire with words such as low-fat, diet, light, and even the dreaded and poorly misused “natural”. Check out this “All Natural” product –>>)

Eat food you recognize. Made from ingredients your body knows how to process.

Let’s all do this together. (and share it!)

You in?

Let me know what words and food falsehoods you’re ready to toss into the fire in the comments below. Like this? Be sure to check out Part I.

[Editor’s Note: This post was part of a Summer Series. Get the full recap.]

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