Do you ever end up writing something completely different than what you thought you’d write about on a What I Ate Wednesday? That’s how today went. I had a certain theme in mind as I walked down to breakfast, but throughout the day, I started thinking about something else entirely.When I was little, I remember my mom telling me that in high school, she decided that she was going to have a certain “look.” She thought she wanted to always wear really long skirts and hoop earrings. The moral of her story, when she told it to me, was that she learned that she didn’t have to have just one “look.” She could vary her fashion from day to day and didn’t have to be stuck with one fashion identity.
I feel the same about how I eat. Science and medicine have found that certain ways of eating appear to be healthier than others. Doctors and dietitians give advice like eat less sugar and more whole grain, eat more plant-based fats rather than animal-based fats, more fruits and vegetables, more fiber, etc. And that’s great advice to follow.
But what I’m not a big fan of is following diets with all-or-nothing approaches.
Let’s say that you decide to reduce the sugar in your diet. This is something I’ve been trying to be mindful about, since sugar is tough on your digestion, without letting it become a disordered rule or obsession. I believe (and hope!) that I may still reap some of the digestive benefits of reducing sugar by mindfully eating more savory snacks and meals without cutting out all dessert or never ever putting brown sugar on my oatmeal.
Or take vegetarianism. Now, I know many people choose to be vegetarian on absolute principle because they believe eating meat is immoral, and I respect that point of view. However, there are many other good reasons to eat less meat, especially health and environmental benefits. I’ve gone through parts of my life eating mostly vegetarian, but I’ve added more meats in, especially now that I have a lot of food intolerances. I have to eat something, after all! But even though I enjoy meat sometimes, I still know that humans can help the environment simply by eating less meat overall and producing it more humanely and sustainably. The world doesn’t have to become 100% vegetarian for real change to be made!
Even the low-FODMAP diet, which asks folks with IBS to give up certain foods entirely for a period of 2 to 6 weeks, isn’t an all-or-nothing diet. After the 2 to 6 week elimination phase, you are supposed to re-introduce high-FODMAP foods to see which ones you can tolerate. And you can totally “cheat” on the low-FODMAP diet and eat anything you want as long as you don’t have a more dangerous condition like celiac or allergies. Just realize your tummy might be grumpy for a few days. 🙁
So with that thought in mind, here’s what I nommed on Tuesday:
BreakfastAs I said above, I don’t eat a lot of meat. Still, I haven’t had bacon yet the whole time I’ve worked at the Y. So I decided to go for it. The bacon was meh. I’m probably one of the only people I know who neither adores nor loathes bacon. Also ate scrambled eggs, spicy breakfast potatoes, and pineapple.
SnackBanana chips (a lot more than just these.) As I said above, I’ve been trying to be mindful about sugar in the hopes that it might impact my digestive health. I seldom drink pop or juice, and I don’t eat dessert with each and every meal, but I often reach for sweet snacks like granola bars and sweetened yogurt. I’ve been trying to opt more often for things like pretzels, nuts, or string cheese. I’m not cutting sugar out entirely by any means, though, and I’ve still been eating some every day, especially in the form of fruit!
LunchVegetarian nacho salad with greens, carrots, olives, jalapenos, corn chips, salsa, vegetarian refried beans, and cheese. Refried beans are definitely not low-FODMAP, and even though I can tolerate some GOS and fructans, beans still don’t sit very well with me. Still, I don’t like to exclude them entirely from my diet, since they’re such good sources of nutrients and fiber, healthy for the heart and the digestion, so I went for it! Fingers crossed; sometimes they go down fine.
SupperI seem to be quite sensitive to wheat, so when dinner came around, I skipped the pasta and made some instant grits that I’d brought from home. While I know that folks with celiac disease can’t ever eat anything that contains or has been even cross-contaminated with wheat, I count myself fortunate that I can eat things like non-gluten-free oats or sauce that’s been thickened with a small amount of wheat.
I topped my grits with parmesan and hot pepper flakes and nommed them alongside red pepper and tomato soup, plus a salad of greens, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, sunflower seeds and French dressing.
SnackA small bowl of multigrain Cheerios and vanilla soy milk. Both quite sweet, but I told you I wasn’t giving up on sugar. 😉 Although I’ll tell you something odd about me–I’ve always liked unsweetened cereal better than sweetened. Weird, I know.
Have you ever tried eliminating anything from your diet entirely?
How do you feel about bacon? Heck yeah, ew gross, or meh?