Thursday, August 8, 2013
Lessons from a Lolcat
It's a really cute picture, and I'm sure we can all relate to it. But thinking about it more, it really says something about our society today. There's a lot of truth to this lolcat.
I remember hearing about Dr. Oz trying a low carb diet some time back. He tried it for one day. His conclusion? He didn't like it because it gave him constipation. Really Dr. Oz? You couldn't try it for a month, or even a week?
Our society is so focused on instant gratification. If a weight loss book said it could help you lose 50 pounds in a year, which is a very respectable rate, no one would ever buy it. However, if it said it could help you lose 50 pounds in a month, no matter how outrageous that claim may be, it would fly off the bookshelf. No one wants to hear that real lasting change takes time.
Another problem we have as a society is the remarkable ability to eat heavily processed food and think of that as normal. Cake? Pasta? Cute little goldfish crackers? Perfectly ordinary. Back when I was eating a low calorie vegetarian diet, I would sometimes wonder to myself... if our ancestors could travel forward to our time, would they actually recognize what I was making for dinner?
My answer would always be no, but for some reason that didn't seem to stop me from eating it anyway. I think my thinking went something along the lines of, "Well, everyone else is doing it, so it must be ok." Plus, I didn't know then that there was a better way of eating. I thought what I was doing was the healthiest thing I could do for myself.
I'm really big on collecting old cookbooks, the older the better. I think my oldest one is from the 1880s. The reason I love them is because I have a huge interest in the way people used to live, and there's no better way to find out how people lived than by reading a cookbook. However, I never thought I could actually use any of the recipes in the book, because the food was so... different. Even 100 years ago, our food looked incredibly different than what we eat today. They used a lot of lard and butter, cuts of meat and organs you probably haven't even heard of or animals that would make you cringe, and everything, everything they made was very simple by today's standards. They may have eaten several courses, but they were almost always quite simple foods. Foodies would probably accuse the food in my old books as bland.
They certainly didn't have the super delicious, chemical laden, scientifically formulated processed foods lining every shelf in every store, that people are eating today and thinking it's "normal" food. I know if my great grandma, who was born in the 1800s, was alive and she tried some of the food being sold today, I'm sure she'd have some nasty things to say about them, and she'd be right. It's not real, it's not healthy, and underneath the addictive qualities, it's not even that good.
That's another thing; people in our societies are so addicted to wheat and sugar that they can't even imagine a day without them. I know couldn't go a day without sugar, literally. When Chad and I first went low carb, it was the sugar that we both had the hardest time giving up. We would literally go a day or two without it, and then "reward" ourselves with some sugary treat. It was a real struggle, and I know we must have been addicted. But we persisted, and now we only rarely eat sugar, and even more rarely eat wheat.
So maybe it is hard to go on a low carb diet. You have to be patient, eat foods you're not used to, and give up the foods you're addicted to. But that doesn't mean it's not worth it, and it certainly doesn't mean it's not doable.