Everything… Just in Moderation?

I read a book this last week about healthy eating; the focus being on eating lots of greens, low-glycemic veggies and lean, grass-fed proteins. I’ve wanted to transfer my allegiance to the ‘land without sugar, wheat, soy, corn and dairy’, the 5 major allergens, for a long time and hoped that this book would inspire me to make the final changes to my family’s diet.

For years, when in “healthy” mode, I made two meals for my family. One for me and one for them. Because they didn’t like what was for me. Often I didn’t like what was for me either… because it was just haphazardly thrown together. In recent years, I’ve learned how to adapt our meals and it’s not been so difficult to add vegetables to my plate and skip the pasta on his plate.

When my husband told me that he was ready to make some changes to his diet, I was thrilled! Goodbye to multiple meals at dinner. Goodbye to fighting with myself when his Oreos, Cheetos, Ice Cream or chips called my name, because they would finally be out of the house!

“But none of those weird diets with bird seed and tree bark”, he went on to say. “I just want something simple – where it’s easy to know what to order when I go out for lunch. I don’t want to go all crazy with changes. None of those disgusting vegetables you cook for yourself. And definitely no kale; I really don’t like it. Or zucchini. And spinach. No mushrooms. Or cherry tomatoes.” And his body shuttered in disgust.

So how do you help someone become healthy when what it takes is more than they’re willing to give? Today, for the first time, I had someone come in to the office to tell me that they wouldn’t be coming back. They weren’t prepared to make the changes necessary at this point, to be healthy. They just wanted to eat what they wanted to eat, in moderation… and not have to think about writing things down.

On one hand, the statement “everything in moderation” is a poor term when referring to diet. With every bite, we either increase or reduce inflammation. And the problem with most inflammatory diseases is that many times, they develop slowly and without symptoms until it’s too late. On the other hand, every small step towards health counts.
So which is it? Moderate changes or a complete turn-around? I’ve been ‘dabbling’ with this very issue for years. What if sugar or wheat, soy, corn & dairy are like any other addictions (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes) and to quit we have to go ‘cold-turkey’? I believe it really is how you look at it. Do you think of your food choices as restrictive punishment or as a pathway to health? If you can’t wait to be finished with your ‘diet’ so you can get back to normal, it means you may not have committed to real change in your lifestyle.

Bottom line? Make a move towards health. Any move! You know your style, based on past experience. You also know whether you need accountability to help you get there. Whether it be me, or a friend that needs you as much as you need them. No more excuses!

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