Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Stay Skinny

Now there is the "Skinny Girl" this and "Skinny Bitch" that and the "Skinny Italian" and the list goes on. The sociologist in me says healthy eating is related to class.

I can tell you my secret on staying thin. Several years ago, I started including a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day. When I moved to Madison and had more local resources, my diet improved. For me, my vegetables and fruit intake does not include apple sauce, marinara with mushrooms, jelly and the sort. I also don't eat "Walmart" type produce where the strawberries look like they are on steroids. Most of my requirements are raw or close to it.

Here are some examples of what I put in my mouth every day:

-Raw peppers (yellow, green, red)
-2-3 clementines
-Organic Blueberries (they don't have to be organic. Just not sprayed).
-Organic Strawberries
-Steamed Chard
-Steamed Broccoli
-Raw Spinach
-Raw Mushrooms

These are just some examples. I eat the spinach out of the bag from the farmer who grew it. I don't dress it. I don't steam it. I just eat it. The same with the mushrooms. I just eat it out of the bag from the person who grew it. Who I met. The mushrooms have been transported from his farm to the stand where I have purchased it. It's quite simple. No sprays. No flights across an ocean.

I hate shopping for clothes. I would much rather wander an upscale grocery store. And I would much rather spend my money on good food for my body.

Many years ago, I babysat for a family whose three year old told me, "If you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it." I totally agree.

My freezer has ice and fruit popsicles from when I had a sore throat. That is it. I don't even buy frozen food any more. Or canned food. It's just not fresh. I don't want that in my body.

So, I am thin and I have the fresh food and five fruits/vegetables intake a day. Of course, running 25-30 miles a week helps, too!

But here is another secret. I eat a lot of junk, too. Certain times of the month, I love a Dairy Queen blizzard. After miserable hangovers, I love a stuffed crust Pizza Hut pizza. I live in Wisconsin now, so cheese curds rock! But I just don't feel well eating that stuff all of the time.

I thank my friend for posting this article in the "Huffington Post" because this is what made me decide it is an appropriate topic to address. Even people who have the means to afford better quality (yet more expensive) food choose not to.

Madison being the healthy city that it is makes it easy for me. I don't know how I got here. My mom never liked "fake food." We never had margarine or fake sugars such as diet sodas and she always made everything from scratch. As good as Annie's frozen Mac & Cheese is, I just can't bring myself to eat it. And it's organic. It's just not fresh.

In the "Huffington Post" article, Joel Salatin, an American farmer is quoted, stating, "Most of us have a more intimate relationship with our hair cutter than we do with our farmer." This is an ironic statement for me because I do not have a hairdresser in Madison. However, I do have my favorite farmer stands.

I know I am a minority. Instead of spending your money on a pair of jeans for your expanding waist, how about buying some local fruits and vegetables and watching your waist shrink and your risk for heart disease decrease? Come on, Americans!


  1. I completely agree, that is why I started the CSA in my neighborhood. Three plus weeks ago I was feeling a bit depressed and overweight. I realized I was eating too much snack food and not enough fruits and veggies. That day I decided to give up chocolate and other desserts for a day to see if it helped. It was so easy I haven't had chocolate or sweets since then. Lots of fruit instead which has been great and I immediately saw the difference in my body. I know, just recently I thought my friend was crazy when she had to cut out sweets for health reasons, I thought I could never do that. But I don't crave the sweets. I'm not sure when I will start eating them again, but when I do, it won't be a daily thing anymore.

  2. One more thought. How do you decide what fruits to eat in Madison when they are not in season? Is it ok to have imported clementines? I don't know. I'd like to eat seasonally but it's very hard. One book that talks about this issue is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I may have alreday recommnded it to you?

  3. That is a good question. There is such a small selection that I just break the rules. What else are you going to do? As long as they aren't those huge looking strawberries from costco that look like they are on steroids and they haven't been sprayed, I am ok with it.

  4. After my vacation last week, I've put myself on a mini-detox. Granted, we ate at a lot of wonderful farm-to-table places in Sonoma County featuring locally grown produce/meat/cheese, but I didn't hold back on the artisanal cheeses and baguettes. And I've noticed that my metabolism is slowing down :)

    So at a work function yesterday I skipped the cake and indulged in the fruit bowl. Why subject myself to anything with high-fructose corn syrup? Of course I catch some flack from co-workers/student workers. Just because I'm not overweight people can't support my healthy choices?! Annoyed and thought you would understand!

    p.s. I also cheat feels so good, then sooooo bad!