Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keepin' It Real

Dear Diary,
It's me, Becky.  You remember me, right?  The weird one from Minnesota who writes the really long, rambling entries, wondering about the meaning of life and trying to find it in her food.  Yeah, me.  I'm back.  Sort of.

I have been back and forth with the raw thing, more back than forth recently.  But just the "raw" part.  I am still doing 80/20 with the whole, unprocessed, lots of veggies part of the deal.  That's easy peasy now. Raw is harder.

The thing with food is, it's not just food.  It's fuel.  It's nourishment.  And it's social (hello, barbecue season!), emotional (who hasn't cried into a tub of Ben & Jerry's?) and it's comforting (think of all those casseroles - ahem, hot dishes! - after a funeral).  It seems this food stuff should be pretty cut and dried.  Eat what's healthy.  Don't eat what's not.  End of story.  If only.

I would be lying if I didn't admit to having many days where I want to go back to my old "healthy" way of eating.  That good old Clif bar, apple and copious coffee way of eating.  It was so much easier back then:  think of food as fuel only.  Take the other stuff (enjoyment, pleasure, thinking, planning, preparing) out of the equation and, wow, problem solved.

Right.  If only it were that easy.  If only I truly believed that were healthy eating.  A healthy example for my daughters.  Tempting though it may be, I can't do that.  I know it's not the answer.  But I have to admit, I have started to get a little sick of all the hard work, the obsessing about food.  And I was really fed up with my stomach hurting all the time.  So I put away the books, listened to my gut (literally) and my common sense, and this is what's working for me now: more whole grains, greek yogurt at breakfast, lots of veggies but not entirely (or even mostly) raw.

I don't know if it's the yogurt.  The grains.  Probiotics.  Some sort of combining/miscombining.  Maybe it was too much too soon.  Or maybe my system just can't handle all that raw produce.  I don't know.  And, to tell you the truth, I just don't really care right now.  The weather seems to have officially turned to Spring. I'm running 20-plus miles a week.  I'm out and about and living in the world.  And it feels good.  I've learned so much about food (REAL food), that making good choices is second nature now.  And a day in which I make "bad" choices doesn't fill me with guilt and regret but just feels like, okay, that's enough, I don't like the way my body is functioning right now so I just don't want to do this again.  Even on vacation.  So that's a good sign.

I still struggle with the perfectionist in me.  The competitive drive in me that wants to do this RIGHT.  BEST.  The old all-or-nothing.  But I seem to be better and better at ignoring that voice in my head and listening to my gut.  At least when it comes to food.  And it feels good.

One of my nutrition inspirations here in St. Paul, someone who's read every book, who was a vegetarian back when I was living on bagels and Bud Light, posted on Facebook recently something that sounded vaguely like this: "The vegan pasta dish I made the family for dinner tonight was so awful we decided to dump it, and we all went to DQ for blizzards and hotdogs."  Talk about keeping it real - you've gotta love that!  Every time that obnoxious Perfectionist voice in me rears its ugly head, I think of that fabulous woman laughing her ass off at the failed dinner and then enjoying every last spoonful of that blizzard.  And that image makes me so happy.

So, in the vein of keeping it real, here's my all new BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS recipe (per your request).

In the food processor throw:

1 pear, chopped
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c prunes
1/4 c raw oat flakes (or oatmeal, as I usually call it, just not cooked)
dash (or two or three) of cinnamon

Hit CHOP button a few times until it's all mixed around and looks like raw granola.  Eat it with almond milk - or greek yogurt, as I do...and enjoy!  (BTW, feel free to do apple and raisins or any other combo here.  Eat what you like).

Nice chatting with you,


  1. xo!:) there is comfort in having a label, but I'm starting to realize the grays in life is where it's at.

  2. Right. Grey is totally the new black (and white).

    1. Ha! Love that. By the way, Sarah, I headed over to your blog this afternoon and your music kept me company for several hours while I researched a topic for presentation. Each of you has brightened my day!