As I get older I’ve become more aware of the amount of sugar we consume every day. It’s insane actually. Every year the students do an experiment where they put the amount of sugar in different drinks into plastic bags and display it. I’m always disgusted by the amount of sugar in energy drinks but I thought many of the choices I was making were healthier.
Turns out, not so much.
So I’m doing something about it. I’m cutting ingredients or substituting, recreating old comfort food recipes, and taking a cross-section of ideas from different cooking styles so that I have some new and some old things to cook. One of my recent favorites is chicken ‘zoodle’ soup. Unfortunately, we ate that one so fast I never got a picture of it so the bowl is showing it’s epicurean cousin with sliced cabbage playing the role of ‘noodles’.
Just to clarify, I enjoy lots of foods but I didn’t come from a family that enjoys vegetables and fruits as much as we should. So as an adult I haven’t always had the healthiest meals. Thinking about it, I’m 100% sure I could have changed that earlier but it wasn’t until I got older and realized I actually do like fruits and vegetables that it has gotten easier to make sure I include them in every meal. With all transparency, I still don’t. Sometimes a burger should just be a burger and I’m not feeling the salad. Sometimes I want the eggs and toast and I don’t want spinach or kale or something green in the mix. But I’m working on it.
Part of the problem is my love of sweets. Yes, I said love. So in an effort to address that I am trying all kinds of sugar-free options. My most recent was this KetoQueen pound cake, to which I added Lily’s (dark chocolate) chocolate chips. It uses coconut flour so it was a little more coconutty than I would prefer a pound cake to be but as a cake in general, it was perfectly lovely. At one net carb, it was also dramatically low in sugar and carbohydrates so that worked out perfectly as well. Next time I’m trying this brand’s brownies. I’m going to add walnuts and see what brownies taste like when they’re made with coconut flour. Fingers crossed, I would have easily thrown away the pound cake (not that we did) if it wasn’t what I was looking for but brownies…I’m not sure I could throw those away.
So, thinking about food, it’s a deep and complex relationship we have with the fuel we choose for our bodies. My brother is a runner, he easily consumes twice the protein I do. My mother is allergic to things so her food choices are strictly limited in some cases. My father will eat any meat or sugar ever created and thinks fruit and vegetables are lovely in the garden but not on his plate. And we’re just one family in a world of billions. No, really, BILLIONS. It makes sense that there are so many diets gurus, new ‘plans’, books, and programs, and ever-evolving guidelines for what you need to eat.
I don’t have a plan. I’m just not that well organized around my food consumption. All I know is, as I get closer to being officially ‘middle aged’ I know it’s a good idea to eat less sugar so I’m starting there.