Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My beef with healthy eating

Here’s my beef with healthy eating. I want to do it; I really do. But society makes it difficult.

Take this morning for example. I forgot my breakfast, which lately has consisted of two eggs, scrambled (my cholesterol is just fine, thank you). So I mosey down to our in-building deli and opt for the English muffin sandwich. (Ok, ok, it had egg, ham and cheese on it, sheesh.)

But when I ask for a wheat muffin instead of a WHITE ENRICHED FLOUR muffin, the server shakes her head, “nope, we don’t have those.” And this made me think of my love of pasta. I adore pasta. But I can never walk into a gourmet Italian restaurant (or any other restaurant to my knowledge) and order wheat pasta. Never. I want wheat pasta!

Which then made me think about rice. Oh, how I love Thai and Indian cuisines. But what do they serve with their dishes. Rice. White rice. I always ask for brown rice in my hometown of Chicago (Berwyn, really), but have never once received it.

I was in California recently and stopped by a Thai food restaurant to pick up a quick dinner. The server actually asked me, before I had a chance to ask her, “Brown or white rice.” I asked her to repeat the question, just so I could savor it. Is California heaven? (The opinions are mixed.)

Here’s the thing. I’ve been on a quasi diet since Jan. 3. No white food, especially enriched, processed grains. More vegetables. And no sugar (or no processed sugar; certainly I need my glass of red wine.) I have been trying very, very hard. (Luckily, some of the sugar-free candies and cookies are actually very good.)

But how can I be good if society doesn’t work with me? The media, through the government, is claiming that one-third of us is obese (BMI over 30) and another third is overweight (BMI of 25-30).

Restaurant portion sizes are too big and we’re gobbling up white carbohydrates because the alternatives are not there (at least where I live).

So. My idea is to start a grass-roots initiative. When you go to a restaurant, ask your server what healthy carb choices are available. Let’s put brown rice and wheat pasta on the table!

P.S. Don’t even get me started on vegetables.

(This blog also will be posted [eventually] on the Women of the ELCA blog.)