For most of us, the sorts of foods we eat now are very different to the foods we grew up on. There weren’t constant ads on TV on how to lose ten pounds in ten weeks.
Takeaways were a real treat and no one did home deliveries. Mothers tended to be at home, where they cooked often plain but also pretty nutritious food (meat and two veg anyone?) There was probably home baking too, but it was made with natural ingredients and didn’t have things like corn syrup and fancy chemicals to keep it fresher for longer.
Supermarkets were not open twenty four hours a day. We had to walk down to the corner shop to get bread, and that is all we got, because everything else was so expensive. There were less impulse buys on junk food. Fathers tended the home veg garden, and there were sometimes fruit trees too.
It wasn’t all food utopia. We ate lollies. Rather a lot of them sometimes. Pocket money seemed to go a long way. But it wasn’t an every day thing. It was more of a once a week as soon as I got paid treat.
Fruit was more expensive. If it wasn’t straight from our own tree, it was metered out. We didn’t have huge portions of meat, and the fill up food was generally a cheese sandwich.
But we weren’t obsessed about food either. Those were less stressful times in more ways than one. These days on top of worries about finances, jobs, family issues and stress, we worry about food.
The old adage we are what we eat has never been truer than when talking about our ability to focus and work. With our heavy use of computers, cell phones, and televisions we don’t move so much. We spend our days behind the wheel, behind the desk and then behind a cushion when snuggled up on the couch. Not only are we expending less energy, but we’re filling our bodies up with so much more food and treats because we feel we deserve it.
Choice has become one of our very worst enemies. The average family needs about one hundred and forty different products from
the supermarket over a monthly period. However finding the right 140 products when you’re faced with over ten thousand choices (the amount in an average sized supermarket) is fraught with stress.
Most of us have a fair understanding of nutrition and what is good and bad for us. The problem is there are just too many things to choose from. Even if we want to, how on earth have we got the time to read every label, and make so many right choices? Sometimes it’s just easier to order in pizza.
Of course after we do, we’ll just swallow back some Vitamin C, and some St Johns Wort for our efforts. Not only has the food choices we need to make grown hugely, but all the supplements and vitamins we need to take to stay healthy has grown too. Everything is meant to be essential, and important for our well being.
Of course there is a time and a place for these things. Just like there is a time and a place for pizza, chocolate and ice-cream. The issue isn’t what we are eating so much as it is how and why we are eating.
We need food. It refuels us, gives us the energy we need, works with our bodies to keep us alive. We use any nutrients we eat to create new cells, growth our hair, and repair our bodies. If all we give our bodies is junk, is it any wonder that we’re not feeling the love?
The best sort of diet we should have is not so much about making sure you eat an apple a day, and never touch another chocolate bar again. It’s about basing your diet around three things: balance, quality, and output.