I've been thinking about discussing this notion of "eating in moderation" for some time.
After watching Paula Deen's interview on the Today Show yesterday, it kicked off my typing. Time to talk, but first watch this video if you haven't already.
What is 'eating in moderation'? Who defines this? What foods are we talking about? How much is moderate for one person versus another?
This saying has irked me for years. It is overused and lacks any understanding or structure. Indeed, it is completely subjective. Entirely defined by one's personal discretion. Which should be fine because we all have free will and choice. But, it's not fine when we live in a culture saturated with misinformation and deception about food.
When we are pummelled with misleading messages about how to eat, and then marketed food products that take us far from our roots in real food, how can we EVER eat in moderation? Who eats a Big Mac or Krispy Kremes in moderation? Is there such a thing?
I could say that I eat chocolate in moderation, but by someone else's definition they could say I eat too much of it (and perhaps I do). Yet, someone else might say I eat very little relative to their own consumption! And, is there a moderate amount of kale and leafy greens to eat? Because for all the chocolate I eat "in moderation", I probably eat more leafy greens in one day than someone else eats in a week. (Paula, I doubt you're eating dark green leafy salads every day and drinking green smoothies. Somehow I don't think your saturated fat consumption is "moderate".)
And, I'm not picking on Paula. I've actually always enjoyed her cooking persona and spirit, despite probably being her culinary polar opposite. This video just exemplifies how much we use and abuse the term of moderation to excuse really poor food choices. It's an acceptable term used by everyone, health professionals included. So, we can throw it out there and eat just about anything we like.
I don't think there is any 'eating in moderation' in our society. I wish we would banish that saying and look at what we are really consuming. Be responsible for making healthier food decisions. Own up to eating crap, and make that the first step to working to eat less of it.
And, the interesting thing is... the more nutrient-dense plant-based foods you eat, the less junk you want. True enough. Yes, you may still want a rich, sweet, or salty snack. Have it and enjoy it. Because you are otherwise better nourished, I'll wager that you'll want less of it. And, you will probably buy (or make) one that is closer to its food roots than a Twinkie.
I hope that with all the attention this news with Paula Deen is getting, that some lightbulbs go off about our SAD diet. That moderation is more an excuse than a definition. I don't know if Paula will address the real cause of her health crisis and make lifestyle changes. I'd like to see it, but think it's doubtful. Yet, it gives us a chance to evaluate our own way of eating and living, and work towards something better.
Because, what's the point of all this "moderate" eating if it brings us to a place of lack of wellness, general malaise, or worse... disease. There is no "moderate" amount of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer - is there?
Seems to me that all this moderate eating of meat, dairy, and junk is bringing us to a place of moderate health (at best). Well, I want more for myself, and more for my family. I want great health and abundant happiness for my family.
And, while some say diet is only part of the puzzle - I assert it's a mighty big piece of the puzzle, if not the biggest. Bigger than genetics, certainly where heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and even cancer are concerned.
Let plant-powered foods take over! Fill up that big piece of the puzzle with the goodness from a whole-foods vegan diet. Eat with nutritional abundance in mind, not moderation.