Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My Sensible Self

A long, long time ago, I was what you would call a 'total health freak'. I counted calories, banned every ounce of fat from my diet (did I seriously microwave meat replacements?!), I worked out relentlessly, drank the most disgusting concoctions in the name of health (beet and tofu smoothie, anyone?) and didn't drink a single drop of alcohol. Back then, it was all or nothing at all. There was no gray area, no middle of the road, no sensibility. It was either black or white.
Fortunately, life works its magic on you as you get older and most of us tend to lighten up. I definitely did and depending on your point of view, you might even say that  I got a little smarter. Here's why:
  • I stopped counting calories. Wow, did I waste ridiculous amounts of time doing that. Why, is anyone's guess, but after a certain point, it got out of hand. I still sometimes find little scraps of paper with lists and numbers. At this point in my life, I have no idea (or do I care to know) what my calorie consumption is. I eat with pleasure, I eat good stuff (with the occasional sin) and I relish everything that crosses my lips.
  • Fat is not the enemy anymore. I recently wrote an article about the fear of butter, a phenomenon that seems to have knocked the air out of all sensibility. I still can't wrap my head around the health benefits of butter replacements, or 'oinments', as I prefer to call them. One look at all those strange ingredients should suffice in making it clear that we're dealing with a crap product here, not a health product. Long live my organic butter, cream, olive oil, cheese and meat! Milk and I aren't friends though. I prefer my almond milk instead.
  • I enjoy meat and fish. The good, sustainable kind. No meat replacements for me anymore. I like to stick with natural products as much as possible and meat replacements just don't seem all that natural. Eating vegetarian meals based on pulses, nuts and seeds, on the other hand, seems like a much better choice.
  • And speaking of natural, anything labeled 'light' or 'low fat' is like avoided like the plague.  I hate, hate, hate artificial sweeteners and prefer things like raw cane sugar or agave syrup. And if I feel white sugar is necessary in a recipe, I'll go ahead and use it. Balance is a good thing.
I still feel like I'm pretty health conscious, just in a different way. I go easy on the carbs, take my vitamins and stay active. Most importantly though, I enjoy my life. Perhaps that's what really makes all the difference. That 'joie de vivre' which includes being grateful for what I have, loving the work I do, living in the present and believing that nothing is impossible. I'm raising a glass to my sensible self again tonight. Because yes, I do drink wine with my dinner every... single... day.

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