Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eating yourself to death - the Great American Diet

Want to know what Soloman Burke, my beloved Grandmother, and Etta James all had in common?  They ate themselves to death.  Suicide by carbohydrate poisoning.  Victims of the Great American Diet.  Today 31% of all Americans are obese.  In ten years, if the current rate of growth continues, the obesity rate will hit 40%.  The spin-off medical conditions are delightful - heart disease, type 2 diabetes, even certain types of cancer.  You can survive a drug addiction, a long cigarette addiction, even long-term alcoholism - but no one survives unchecked obesity.  If one spin-off doesn't kill you another one will.  HBO Documentary Films has recently put together a series about this problem.  If you have not seen it - get out from under your rock and check it out.  It is a frightening and enlightening piece of artwork.

Obesity cuts across racial, and socio-economic lines.  It has no age.  It is very much an American thing.  It is hard not become obese in our culture.  We have made high carbohydrate crap both addictive and cheap.  We have made it easy.  We have made it hard to resist.  We have made it part of who we are.  It ain't easy to escape the ubiquitous carbo-clutch either.  I have.  For now.  In the process I have learned a few things that can help to break free.  I wish I could tell you that if you do these things you will be thin and hot and live to be 120.  I'd be lying if I did.  I can tell you this though... you will have a better chance at achieving those things.

Number one... do not eat anything that comes from a convenience store (other than an overpriced package of nuts).  The hotdogs are 2 for a dollar... I know.  I fountain drink is one dollar... I know.  You stopped to get gas for the car... I know it is convenient.  Don't do it ever again.

If it comes from a steamer table then it is basically toxic.

If it is such an incredible value for the cost that you almost can not believe it... then don't.  It is poison.

Number two: set the table, and sit down to dinner as a family as often as you can.  Have it become the new normal (if it is not already).  Don't put on the television, put on music.  Have the times when you don't sit down this way be the exception to the norm.  Even a sparse meal seems bigger and better when everyone is together, interacting, and enjoying the presentation effect.

Number three: effort in equals quality out.  This is true in every one of life's endeavors.  Make dinner a "production" of quality and aesthetic and you will find that the quantities go down and the healthiness and enjoyment go up.  The more time and life-energy you put into dinner - the more you and your loved ones will get out of it.

Eat protein and vegetables for dinner.  Jettison the carbohydrates.  Have carbs be a very occasional treat.  Like once a week at the most.  You are FAR better off having a meal with too much fat than you are with carbohydrates.  In fact you are far better off having a cigarette than a bag of chips or a plate of spaghetti.

Number four: learn to have snacks and treats be fruit.  Figure out how to not have that be boring.  Presentation and thoughtfulness can be a substitute for doritos.  For real.  You just have to want it be true.

Number last: learn how stop expecting to feel full after you eat.

1 comment:

  1. Refined carbs are bad but complex carbs are an important part of your diet. They provide the fuel for your muscles and your brain. Remember to avoid over 52 grams of protein per day as this raises hormone level too high. Also avoid animal based proteins as they increase your risk of cancers, particularly proteins from dairy, casin the protein in milk is very carsinogenic. Read The China Study, by T.Colin Campbell.