Ethics, Dieting and Grocery Shopping

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This quarter I am taking Ethics and World Religions for my masters.  Two classes I am surprisingly enjoying to the fullest extent.  Not only did I go back to class to finish my degree, but I also start a diet program called Medifast.  A diet that doesn’t allow eating lots of bread, sugar and other processed food.  My personal awakening that these two topics were related hit me the other night at the grocery store while I was trying to buy food, emphasizing again that poverty affects many aspects of society.

Here are a couple thoughts:

1)  EVERYTHING in the store I swear has starch.  Every frozen meal (even the healthy ones), every breakfast, every meat, EVERYTHING.  potatoes, breaded items, you name it.  Starchy things clog up your blood lines and everything else and that’s not even including the processed sugar in almost ALL white bread that is horrible for your body.  But then I was thinking–if I was poor and starving, would I care about starch? Or how about–if I’m a corporation, how do I make my food sell more? Make it tasty–regardless of considerations for healthy eating or practicing moral business practices and stimulating the economy of America instead of killing it.  How I’m dealing with this–well, Medifast is an American company, all in-house if you must say, & the food has  nutritional value and doesn’t have extras my body doesn’t need.

2)  I noticed the worse the item for you–the more attractive the packaging.  Now-I don’t know if you can argue that all marketing is a scam to get us to buy more crap we don’t need that is really just that–crap.  Oh, wait, I can 🙂  I know I’ve tried to work around this buy going generic when possible and not looking at the fancy colors or labels but actually reading the ingredients list on the back.  You know–the side that faces the shelf? Same is true for things like dog food–if you really read what you’re feeing your best friend, you might not want to feed it anymore.  And I buy my supplies from a local, family run feed store.  Best place if you have a pet and have a feed store nearby (non-chain.)

3) I have also realized my soapbox is much bigger than a box.  That there are some REAL issues in the world and that its not just about standing on my box but as a Christian committing to bringing about justice and love.  Yes, sometimes that means getting dirty.  Diet wise, I am reminded now after studying the section on poverty home much I value my food and what I eat.  And actually this helps in dieting because if you take them time to thank God for your meal and to enjoy the blessings of a simple thing as food, then you are actually eating in a healthy manner.  we’re supposed to take 30-45  minutes at least to enjoy a food.

4) Because I have started dieting, my dish consumption has gone down.  Keep in mind I have meals I have to prepare. However, I make pancakes several morning.  Instead of using 5 skillets with 3 different types of spatulas–I just take 3-5 minutes to wash my pans and let them dry for the next day.  So my weeks worth of dishes looks like about 3 days.  And I haven’t used my dishwasher, thus wasting more water.  And cooking at home–it helps control finances and encouraging spending time with family.  All positives for the Christian household.  Thank you dieting & ethics 🙂

I’m sure there are more things going on that I am gradually becoming aware of.  And I will appreciate every new thing that I learn and hopefully implement into my outlook and living model.  In fact, I just learned about some details about housing/land in the Christian model.  This might give me a new perspective when we start looking for a new home soon.

A Shift in Mass

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Sorry–not the religious kind.  The Physical Kind.

So after a few months of working and struggling (more of the later) regarding my weight I have come to one conclusion: I am a food-aholic.  Every time I see something that looks tasty, I eat with my eyes and my stomach wants to follow.  I am addicted to eating almost anything that doesn’t make me sick and realize that I grew up learning to eat everything on my plate.

I have tried dieting (see previous blogs) , watching what I eat, counting food, points, calories and even working out almost 7 days a week to try & shed only a few pounds.  And not only this but my moral has simply crashed.  I have never been more depressed, angry, irritated or annoyed at myself as when I’m eating a delicious donut FULLY KNOWING that it is bad and I already had breakfast.  Similarly to a drug or alcohol (and sometimes almost as life-threatening) — I simply cannot be trusted with food.  Seriously.

However, since I cannot get rid of food like a drug or alcohol–I’ve decided to try the next best thing.  A meal-supplement program.  I have eaten weight watcher meals and lean cuisines for YEARS and (despite actually liking them) I figured that since I cannot be trusted with normal food, that I should have my entire meal plan regulated.  And I know people talk about changing their habits and lifestyles that need changing and their is no excuse.  But the reality is I have made my life work with the lifestyle I have created (and are kind of stuck in it seems like) so I need to take something out of my life and work in what is write.  I tried this with soda on year for Lent and the result has been I prefer NOT drinking soda or at least not cola if I can help it.

And if you’re thinking “No Sara, don’t do it!… “– I have done the research.  Well, I shouldn’t say that other than I know a program that worked for a friend who was in a similar state making LESS money than I was and managed to work it into her budget.  It’s called Medifast.  It’s health research based and one of my best friend’s has lost 40 lbs since March sticking to their 5 to 1 plan.

How it Works: (from what I can read)

You eat 6 portioned meals a day.  3 major and two snacks. And it appears there are some items you can additional snack on if you are still hungry.  The items are all packaged and you’re given a change to eat 1 meal within the guidelines of the “lean and green” option once a day.  Pros: I know what i’m eating. They provide the nutrition for everything and it even has diet options for nursing mothers, gluten-free, vegetarian and diabetes.  And I have tried some of the foods from my friend–they are filling and tasty.  She was able to eat Baked Zucchini parmesan chips and lean cuts of meat … all good things. Only CONS: the regiment of eating foods and no sugar–ABSOLUTELY no sugar, including what is naturally in fruit.  And no carbs.  But as I am gradually realizing that I am committing myself to a program that eliminates the two things that I love for a time–I realize that it is the food aspect that is hurting me.  If I cannot be trusted to only eat a portion or cut out more starchy crude from fast food restaurants, they what makes me think I can be left alone with a bucket of fruit.  I would treat both the same in my mind, only benefiting from the fruit and greens since they are better for me…and not changing my habit when I grab a french fry.  So I have to give them up–until my hands and my stomach understand the different between fried and health…good and bad foods.  If it was something bad–you’d eliminate it completely.  Since it’s food–and you need food to,well, LIVE, i need a better monitoring system than my tastebuds.

So here begins another trial in weight loss.  I hope I can be successful as my friend and that I will learn to eat food better.  And if anyone is interested… be sure to check out the website and add me (2Stucken) as a friend 🙂