The World of Dieting

I recently had a disagreement with my mother over the issue of eating dried fruit.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. There is nothing my mother and I won’t argue and disagree about.

She said “in her day” the dried fruit as a suitable option for fruit was a big no-no. Too high in calories, too high in concentrated sugar. I can’t argue with that. However, my point was this: it would be better to eat a handful of dried fruit instead of some pre-packaged low-fat/fat-free piece of crap that comes with bold letters on the box announcing how “healthy” it is for you. I call bullshit on that. Anyway, we disagreed.

But, I can hardly fault her for her ingrained beliefs over the years. Let’s be clear about one thing. My mother was never obese but she has dieted on and off her ENTIRE LIFE. She is 83. And she STILL talks about the three pounds she gained when she left Idaho and went back to her home in Southern California. Seriously?

She tried it all. The grapefruit diet, the three-shakes a day diet (I’m sorry but if all I do is drink all day and never chew anything you best be sure I will be chewing your fucking head off), Weight Watchers, No Carbs, South Beach, diet pills, and so on. And not surprising, nothing lasted forever and she yo-yoed for years.

I noticed a friend post something on Facebook about how she lost a lot of weight and when someone asked her she did it – she said it was through Jenny Craig and because she was a lifetime member she was able to join again for free. Well, free plus all the food you gotta buy from them.

It made me wonder. If it really truly, absolutely, without a doubt worked…would you really have to go back again? It boils down to us. We either need to change our habits forever or change our mindset on how we view our bodies. Meanwhile, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and all those plans out there are laughing and skipping straight to the bank. How can you possibly keep the weight off when you stop eating the pre-packaged foods they send you? I’m sorry but I’ll never understand that…I don’t care what the “spokespersons” are paid to say.

I did an article about a year ago about the “Gluten-Free” diet/fad. And by fad I don’t mean for those that are truly gluten intolerant (less of a percentage than you would think) and of course those with Celiac Disease. And if you want to go gluten-free and eat whole foods and natural grains and substitute all-purpose flour with coconut flour, go for it. But if you are swept away with all the boxes and bags in the supermarkets these days saying they are “gluten-free” then you are missing the point. Because where they take away the gluten problems they fill in with more sugar, more sodium, and way more shit you can’t even pronounce. And this makes you healthier how?

I am a FIRM believer that instead of jumping on all these diet fad bandwagons…just eat healthy. Eat real foods. Stop buying all that processed, boxed, frozen CRAP. I would rather have a few pounds I need to lose than fill my body with overly processed, preservative-heavy, zero nutritional value shit.

Even small changes can make a difference. I went to a cereal sale yesterday because my kids are obsessed with cereal. I bought healthy cereals that list about five ingredients. If my kids don’t like it, I tell them what I always tell them: when you are out and on your own you can eat all the crap you want. If the cereal doesn’t thrill you, find something else for breakfast. I passed mother after mother with their carts FULL of the sugary of the sugar-iest cereals. I wanted to scream “Stop feeding your children this crap!” But hey, it isn’t my business. So, make small changes. How about that dried fruit instead of a fruit roll-up or gummy fruit wannabe things?

Replace grains/starch at dinner a couple of nights a week with an extra vegetable. Make up a batch of quick and simple granola bars instead of buying the processed ones in a box. Instead of chips try nuts, pretzels, or veggie sticks. A pre-packaged bag of cookies will have about twenty ingredients including a variety of sugar, words I can’t pronounce let alone know what they are, and food coloring. If you bake up a batch of cookies it will have ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

I was given a free coupon for one of those “packaged sides” – something I would never buy normally (and it is still on my shelf). It is called “Cheddar Broccoli Rice” and it has 37 ingredients listed. Thirty Seven! Instead, use rice, water, maybe even chicken broth instead of water, cheddar cheese, and um, broccoli and you have the SAME thing without ALL THE PROCESSED CRAP.

I guess I would rather move every day (or almost every day, I try), eat healthy, eat real food, avoid processed crap, enjoy dried fruit without guilt, and maybe a carry a few extra pounds…then fill my body with fake food for the sake of ease…or a diet fad that will do nothing long term.

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