I used to really want to be a natural kind of girl. Okay, I still shave and wear deodorant and all that, but I would really prefer natural and minimally processed something to synthetic anything. I am a label reader as far as foods go and I try not fill my kids up with a lot of junk. It still happens, but I do my best to keep it to a minimum. For my family, I have to make different kinds of decisions than I can for myself. At least two of my girls are allergic to red food coloring - Red 40 - so I have to be extra careful what I bring home for them to eat. This is a great excuse to leave a lot of the junk food at the store and bring home a lot more fruits and veggies.
That said, I understand that the world I live in does not allow me a completely earth-based lifestyle. In spite of my personal desire, I have to use common sense above all else. There are certain concessions I have to make to both convenience and cost. Organic foods just cost more than foods that don't have the label and when it comes down to it, there is not a HUGE difference. Most of the foods, that I have access to, that come from "organic" farms really aren't all that different from the regular stuff right next to it. Anything that comes in a box or jar and still says that it's "organic" usually contains some organic ingredients and some non-organic ingredients. I won't bore you with citing the percentages and regulations of the food industry. I'm not here to have an Organic Expose. I have done the research, though, and I feel that when it comes to that lifestyle, it is much more difficult than I am able to achieve. For my family, "organic" is not a requirement, even though "natural" might be. The ideal and the reality just don't mesh.
It's not just at the grocery store either. I admit that I make poor decisions -especially when I am only responsible for my self. I like to drive thru. I admit it. In spite of my desire for health food, I eat from a paper sack WAY more than I want to admit. There are times when I am running from one place to another and I need food and I don't need/want/can't afford to sit down somewhere that would provide a better choice than that. I also drink colas (that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup) and many of you know my extreme aversion to anything that says "diet." That artificial sweetener stuff will surely kill you quicker than anything derived from cane, corn, or beet. I also drink coffee with milk and sugar (and occasionally from a place that makes it for me and puts who-knows-what-else in there.) Caffeine and I have a long-standing love affair and I don't plan on giving it the boot any time soon. If that means I drink my calories instead of eating them, that's ok with me and my addiction.
If I have the forethought I will pack a lunch, and make sure I have snacks available so I can eat healthy and not have to pay someone else for the priveledge of making me fatter and jacking with my blood sugar. I admit to feeling better inside and out when I do this. Again, though, the perfect plan is far from the reality. I like to sleep and spend time with my kids. I don't want to slave away in the kitchen and stay up late preparing things for the next day. (I lay out my clothes and set my purse by the door, what more do you want?) I could beat myself up about it, but hasn't science proven that guilt is bad for your health? I wouldn't want to do anything to damage myslef further, would I? Maybe I should start to drink more red wine for a healthy heart. That would probably lead to more of that sleep thing and less of the "getting stuff done" so maby that's not such a good idea.
After a bit of examination, I guess I really don't eat all that well. I consume plenty of crap that I know isn't good for me. I certainly don't exercise (that isn't totally my fault, but that is a whole different topic there.) So I really don't have a healthy lifestyle at all, do I. The desire surely is there. Maybe the ease and convenience outweighs the deisre?
In spite of all my intentions, I am rather dependent on modern technology, anyway. I have a medical train wreck I am trying to tame and that, right now, involves medications that probably would make a homeopathic scream in terror. One makes me gain weight, another makes me incessantly thirsty, another knocks me right out for about 6 hours at a time. (okay, that is what it is supposed to do, but still...) The upside to all of this is that for the first time in six years, I am awake, clean, dressed, working, paying bills, buying groceries, cooking dinner, (hey, I did cook this week....once) and generally being a happy and sociable person. That is a very, very big deal.
So, as far as going organic, meh. I'll wash my veggies and aim for frozen instead of canned. As far as eating healthier, I will make an extreme effort to plan ahead this week and pack a lunch and snacks instead of hitting the snack machine and the drive thru. As far as my caffiene addiction, well, there isn't a damn thing I am going to do about that. I will make an effort to reduce my colas back down, but I'm not giving up my coffee and I will drink it with sugar and milk (Sorry, Dr. M. no deal.)
As far as my over all health goes, I'm feeling better than I have in years (litterally) and that is nothing to ignore. I don't take anything that counteracts another, and I don't take more than I need to. I should start moving more, and for the first time in a long time, I think I will. The weather is getting to be the sweet spot of of Spring, and my girls would love to play frisbee or take the dog for a walk with me.
That's kind of the whole point of this, isn't it? Getting to spend time with my family is why I am doing any of this. I work, yes, but I want to have as many years in the future with my girls as I can.
Debbie "Not so Granola" Lollar