Last night, I stumbled on an article about the benefits of eating at home. Over the last few months, I have been pondering how much I hate dieting, how there must be another way to be a healthy weight. After all, the huge numbers of diet books published every year have failed to make a dint in obesity rates. Calorie counting started around the turn of the 20th century; there is some evidence to suggest that obesity rates started to rise around the same time. So is counting every bite of food you eat really doing any good, anyway? (I am NOT saying that counting calories has caused obesity, but this is certainly interesting to think about.)
I believe there is something wrong with the way we eat. There is something going on besides laziness or lack of willpower. This paragraph, from Dr. Hyman's article (linked above), sums up my feelings of late: "That we need nutritionists and doctors to teach us how to eat is a sad reflection of the state of society. These are things our grandparents knew without thinking twice about them. What foods to eat, how to prepare them, and an understanding of why you should share them in family and community have been embedded in cultural traditions since the dawn of human society."
I feel like I'm stuck in a processed-food wasteland. My body is addicted to crap, and I'm starting to realize that I hardly know how to make food that doesn't come out of a box. I have no clue how to pick good produce, and I can only guess at how to wash and cut it. I buy pre-made sauces because I wouldn't know how to begin to make them. I want to eat better, but I have no idea how.
Likewise, I would love for my family to eat dinner at the table, but I'm almost lost on how to make it happen. I grew up eating in front of the television except for Sunday dinners at Granny's house or on holidays. I've watched my mom and aunt put together a meal and somehow manage to get the food on the table on time. How is this mystery done? It seems like a sad sort of failure not to know such an essential thing.
So tell me, have you managed to escape processed-food land and to make your table more than a decoration? Any advice would be appreciated. :-)