There’s essentially two paths you can take regarding nutrition education. You can either (1) remain completely ignorant about what you should eat to maintain good health or (2) you can study nutrition long enough to feel completely confused and ignorant about what you should eat to maintain good health.
I believe this general confusion about nutrition is the subject matter covered by Kip Anderson, maker of Cowspiracy, in his new film called “What the Health”. (I have yet to see it, but I am eagerly waiting for my chance.)
Anyway, I took the latter path. I am a product of a generation and culture that has heard about phytates, wonders about macro-nutrient ratios, and tries to culture her own probiotics to save money. I worry over enzyme integrity (sometimes), know that some nutrients become more bio-available when cooked, and distrusts the fluoride coming out of the faucet (though I know it is likely healthier than bottled water).
Besides the generalized anxiety that appears from hearing about new food threats, many of which are sensationalized, I still have trouble knowing what I am eating. Am I getting enough calories? Too much? How often do I meet RDAs? What is the proportion of fat versus protein in this nut I’m eating?
I guess the real problem is that I’ve focused a lot on education and not a lot on awareness.
Becoming vegan (or changing your diet generally) involves learning to feed yourself successfully. Getting those calories so you’ve got energy, preventing nutritional deficiencies, not eating to excess, and knowing what foods work well for you and which drag you down or don’t digest well, are all concerns.
I’ve decided that for the duration of this month, I will keep track with Cron-O-Meter. A wonderful free resource that allows you to plug in your food choices to monitor how you’re doing. Now, this is going to be hard for me. I HATE the work involved. But, I really feel that by developing some level of awareness, I can use my past data to keep me on the right track.
The meal prepping techniques (such as the “Bliss Bowls”) I discussed yesterday will make this somewhat easier. They use very simple ingredients, I can portion out ingredients by measures I can enter into Cron-O-Meter, and I will have repeats. If anything causes me digestive distress, it will be more obvious as my awareness level rises.
So how about you? Have you found that learning too much is too much? How do you keep yourself grounded and make sure you get what you need?
Until next time, keep that talk walking!