Thinking today about my recent visit with the dietitian. It was basic visit, too basic for me. I’ve read a lot, watched a lot of videos, and listened to quite a few professionals in health care over the past twenty or so years. But, I needed to see a dietitian to get the okay on dietary changes so that my neurologist and general practitioner might know I’ve seen a professional to approve how I feed myself. It’s a messed up system. After all, who knows our bodies better than ourselves? Still, I visited with hopes that she could give me new insights that would help me along my journey. Here’s what I came up with.
She encouraged me, as health professionals do, to pre-plan my meals and write out a shopping list. She told me that it’s okay to sometimes go out to eat and indulge in my favorite pizza, but I should have a salad as well so that I would fill up and not eat as much pizza. I was frustrated as I left with that simple advice, late on my way to another meeting.
Today, I thought about it a bit more as I indulged in some of my favorite pizza choices along with a large salad and some pickled beets. I realized that even with the salad and beets that I could easily eat just as many slices of pizza as ever. I’d just added a bit more food rather than cut any out. With that I was reminded how little food has to do with physical hunger, at least that’s true in my world as a reasonably economically stable white person in the United States today. Eating is more about filling a space, emotional or social or maybe something else, but it isn’t simply physical. We eat for the comfort of eating. I certainly don’t go to Pizza Ranch for the quality of their food. I go to read a book, enjoy some quiet time, imbibe in some stuff that is rich and greasy and some that is sweet, decompress from whatever stress I’ve been facing. I don’t go to fill my caloric needs. That’s not why we eat, at least not the primary reason. The question then becomes, how else might I fill those needs?
I don’t know the answer to that yet. I do know that answer needs to be found for my happiness. Meanwhile, I think I hit six cups of fruits and vegetables today, and, not surprisingly given that I went to Pizza Ranch, I wound up high on calories, carbs, proteins, fats, and sugar. Still, much better than a lot people in the US, so it’s okay. I am on my way.