Years ago, I saw a poster containing the following message:
WARNING: IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT EATING OR DRINKING ANYTHING, AT ANY TIME, IS BAD FOR YOU.
I don’t remember what the latest food scare was, but the poster made me laugh because it reflected reality. Eggs? Great source of protein.
…Wait, no, they’ll kill you because cholesterol.
…Oops, we made a mistake, it’s good cholesterol. Sorry we scared you; have an omelette.
Red meat? Too much fat.
…Hang on, fat is good, so eat up!
…Just a sec — okay, turns out it causes cancer. Run away!
This waffling, however, is old news. If you really want to be a Health Nut Foodie Guru, there’s a new pasttime that proves your dedication. It involves four easy steps:
- Identify something good for you.
- Find out (this is crucial) the MOST NUTRITIONALLY BENEFICIAL WAY to eat it.
- Prepare it accordingly for yourself.
- Warn everybody (also crucial!) who hasn’t observed Steps 2 and 3.
Perhaps an illustration will empower you, so here’s a scenario I observed recently (with names and situation changed to protect the innocent).
~ ~ ~
FRIEND: “I’ve been trying to make better food choices for my family recently. Today we had homemade chicken soup! Fresh vegetables, chicken, parsley, and bouillon. Yummy!”
NOT FRIEND: “Bouillon? You know, it would be much more nutritious to use bone broth.”
FRIEND: “Oh. Sorry.”
~ ~ ~
Making improvements in health is all well and good, but darn it, if people are not going to go ALL THE WAY to prove their commitment, they might as well serve Lunchables. Or so I’m ready to conclude. Because seriously, it’s everywhere.
Coconut oil? SO good for you. Magical, in fact.
…oh, but it really MUST be organic if you’re even going to bother.
…by the way, if you keep it in the pantry instead of the fridge, it will probably kill you. Yes, I know it seems fine at room temperature, but it’s lying.
Spinach? It gives you superpowers!
…as long as it’s organic, of course.
…oh yes, and it must be cooked to reduce oxalic acid content.
…but keep in mind that if you’re not combining it with a Vitamin-C-rich food, you’re wasting your time anyway.
People, this is getting out of hand. I’m probably on the crunchy-mama side of the spectrum, but I have yet to make kombucha or kefir or sourdough bread or my own ketchup recipe or baking-soda toothpaste. Which, according to some Health Nut Foodie Gurus, would probably indicate that I just don’t love my family enough to do what’s REALLY good for them. Go big or go home, they would say in the comment sections of the natural-living blogs. (Or to the Frozen Burrito section of the grocery store, since that’s what I might as well be serving).
If you’re a successful whole-foods, from-scratch, natural-living person, awesome. It’s the ideal. However, life happens. For numerous reasons, not everybody is ready for that. And some people are slowly making the journey toward a healthier lifestyle. The most discouraging message you can convey to them is: “You haven’t done enough.”
I guarantee you that, as somebody is taking baby steps toward better health, the most encouraging thing you can do is to say, “Chicken soup? That’s fabulous. It’s so inspiring to see you make progress in doing what’s best for your family.”
Trust me. It sounds crazy, but it really works.