31 Days – Cheers


acm1-1 Over the weekend, my dad told me that he had been diagnosed with pre-type 2 diabetes. As a preventative measure, his doctor was sending him to a nutrition class to help him take control of his health and take the necessary steps through diet, to help him lower his sugar levels. My brother’s reaction was, “everyone gets diabetes these days”, whereas my reaction was more panic mode. Not saying neither one was better than the other, but he’s right in a way, we are living in a time and place where close to 10% of the population has diabetes, and about 80 million people have prediabetes. It’s scary and can leave a person feeling helpless and jaded.

After talking to my dad some about the diagnosis, it was clear he has a lot to learn about how nutrition works and how it can effect your health, and I’m clearly not the one to teach him. We ended up getting in a screaming match on Monday about meat and farming and such, and we obviously do not see eye to eye on most matters when it comes to food.

Participating in this series has been interesting. I’ve learned that I’m terrible at consistency, and I also learned that the pressure of feeling like I have to write everyday makes me want to write even less. I don’t know if I’ll be back for the series next year. On top of the pressure of having to write everyday, writing about health food, while simultaneously writing about the same topic on Babble, has left me feeling grumpy. I’m a bit dismayed that people can have such polar opposing views on eating, health, nutrition, the labeling of our food and what the heck we even call our food. This place is a nice refuge for me, but seeing many of the comments I get over at Babble and Yahoo, I just sort of want to throw my hands up and say (excuse my French), “fuck it.” I’m not trying to tell people what to eat, but use some common sense for goodness sake. I continue to be baffled when people wonder why they should worry about what they eat when many people still can’t put food on the table, and my second favorite comeback – how do my food choices effect you? It can all get me so riled up. Blarg.

Quite simply, what I have gained and learned from this “clean eating” journey these past few months is this:

Eat less foods that require labels
Foods that require labels, read them and try to avoid ingredients that leave you going, “what is that?”
My kids will not die, and will actually function just fine without gummy fruit snacks, Cheez-Its, chicken fingers and chicken nuggets, Nutella and other crap.
Just because I call that stuff crap, I am not judging you for giving it to your kids. But let’s be real, most of it is crap.
I still let my kids have crap too, but on a much smaller scale.
Cooking as much from scratch, no matter what it is, is always better than pre-made. Just look at the nutritional difference between homemade pizza and delivery.
Small changes can make a big difference.

I feel like I could have done so much more with this series, and I didn’t really take it as far as I wanted to go. But alas, I can only do what I can do. Please let me know if you have any other questions that you were hoping to get answered, that I may be able to help with. In the mean time, I’m signing out on this series, and saying “cheers” and “thank you” to allowing me to write about food, on a style blog, for the last 30 days. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to dig back into outfits and DIY’s. Happy Halloween, and if you’re looking for something yummy to make tonight, try this easy and no-fail recipe for Apple Cider Margaritas. I made them last weekend for some girlfriends, and they were a huge hit.

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • Kathryn says:

    ha! your post has been redacted 🙂

  • Rachel Reeves says:

    There is power in not caring too much, what others think.

    Employ that power when it comes to health and nutrition….for no matter your choices, someone will find something to say.

    Keep calm and carry on eating clean.

  • Andrea R. says:

    I’m sorry you had such negative feedback to your own opinions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about clean eating. it is something I strive for everyday, especially finding i have intolerance to several foods. but since I live in a small town, I am limited in the amount of organic type food to purchase. I agree most processed food is crap! My kids still eat some, but we have decreased it some. because of you, I have started cutting coffeemate from my diet and i bought gwennie’s book. I’m still reading, so i have not cooked from it yet, but plan to start soon. Thank you for talking about what we eat!

  • Ashley says:

    Girl, I feel like I can relate to everything that you said. I changed my families eating lifestyle after we found out my son has allergies. I constantly get the you think your too good for our food crap and very often get in arguments with my dad over gmo’s(he thinks they feed the starving gahhhh) it’s like beating a dead horse. I have come to terms with just saying, I know I’m a food snob sorry. And it seems to break the ice. But the sad thing is I’m not I just care about what we eat. It’s sad and it’s why this world will never rid of fast food obesity and diabetes. But good job friend!!!

  • Pamela says:

    Sorry your feedback was so negative on this subject. I think when it comes to telling people what to feed their kids most people become defensive. Usually its because they know they are not feeding their kids as well as they should, and they know it.

    My middle daughter had a weight problem until high school so I never had sugary drinks or lots of snacks in our home. Sometimes I felt guilty about the other 3 kids that didn’t have to watch what they ate. Eventually though, I realized it wasn’t going to harm them NOT to have unhealthy foods around. And I did try to have treats, just homemade so I could control what went in them. And yes, I used sugar, flour and butter. It wasn’t about the ingredients for me. I wanted them to eat “real.” I didn’t like feeding them all the fake stuff. Besides, I soon learned that what they didn’t get at home they got plenty of other places, like parties, friend’s homes and school. Nothing was off limits to them, I just wasn’t providing it in our home. Believe me they got enough without having me feeding it to them.
    I now have four young adult children who control their own diets, and do a great job at balancing the good with the bad. I am a vegetarian and two of my kids are and two are not. To this day though none of them have much processed food on their shelves, at home or at school. And to this day, they will tell me that going to a friend’s house and having a juice box was awesome, but they never missed not having them at home. Don’t feel bad about not getting through to your dad, he was raised in a very different time. Keep on the clean eating train and know that some of us DID appreciate it!

  • Karri says:

    To me, these are two huge ones:
    Foods that require labels, read them and try to avoid ingredients that leave you going, “what is that?”
    **when I was gone this past weekend, my husband went out and bought american “cheese” slices. he even admitted he thought twice about it, but the memory of the melted creaminess won him over. I made him read the ingredients, none of which were milk, and had him compare it to the cheddar ingredients. He was perplexed. And after a minute, said, “toss it.”

    My kids will not die, and will actually function just fine without gummy fruit snacks, Cheez-Its, chicken fingers and chicken nuggets, Nutella and other crap.
    Yes. Just yes. I wish more people would realize and embrace this, but oh well.

    Also: Just because I call that stuff crap, I am not judging you for giving it to your kids. But let’s be real, most of it is crap.

    I’ve had to sit my daughter, who has NO filter, down for a few talks. She has said things in carpool to other parents + kids like, “my mom doesn’t let us eat that…it is bad for you and could give you cancer.” whoops…

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