Sunday, July 15, 2012

Everything in Moderation

When I was growing up, my mom went through phases regarding what we ate. Sometimes, we could get whatever cereal we wanted. Other times, all we could have was corn flakes & shredded wheat or puffed wheat/rice. Sometimes, our school lunches would include Little Debbie snack cakes. Other times, it was just  fruits & veggies. We went from white bread to wheat bread, with that one detour to Iron Kids bread. Do you remember Iron Kids bread? By the time lunchtime came around, the bread on my sandwich had turned yellow. Yuck! Of course, sometimes we bought lunch (apparently, those were the times when she couldn't be bothered about our nutrition).

We had the, oh so fun, tofu phase, where she bought tons of tofu, then realized she had no idea how to cook it so it was edible. She would randomly ban all sugar from the house, or all chocolate, soda, potato chips, junk food in general, salt, etc. She never learned about moderation.

I prefer moderation. However, one thing that stuck was the lack of salt. I got to the point where I just didn't really like the taste of salt. So, I didn't add it to anything I cooked for years. There are only a few things I add salt to before I eat (basically just popcorn & corn on the cob). We don't due a lot fast food or convenience foods. I've always preferred low sodium canned foods. I prefer fresh or frozen fruits & veggies over canned. Due to my low salt intake, I would get cravings, a few times a year, for something salty. Generally, it was Mrs. Fisher's potato chips, greasy, salty, disgusting deliciousness.

I have never banned salt from the house. I just don't use much. Anyway, since trying sea salt, I have been using salt on a more regular basis. I still rarely add it to food when I cook, but add use it a bit more than before. The semi-annual cravings for salt have stopped. Having a little on a regular basis keeps me from needing lots of it a few times a year. It's the same with sugar. I never have massive sugar cravings like so many people. I always keep some sweets in the house & regularly eat small amounts of sugar. I enjoy sweets and would never give them up, despite the fact that I'm trying to lose weight. This is one reason I have never bought into any of those fad diets. I prefer moderation. I will not give up something I enjoy.

I think moderation is actually the best way to achieve a well-balanced diet. Plus, it helps to model good eating habits for the kids. I want them to have a good relationship with food, not an unhealthy one. I hope to teach the kids to balance their diets and eat all the things they enjoy in moderation.