When I get on social media, I feel bombarded with either political rants or opinions on how Americans should eat. Dietary preference is almost like religion. People ask me “how does your family eat? Paleo? Vegetarian? Low sodium? Gluten-free? Standard American?” And just like religion, thighs can get touchy. With so much access to information, it’s easy to feel both overwhelmed and judged for the choices you make to nourish your family.
More than every before, moms have to deal with the conflicting advice from the medical field, friends, family and my favorite – celebrity doctors.
So, just for fun I put together a list of confusing advice I hear everyday.
Don’t eat too much meat. It is over-processed and costly to the agricultural community. Women should eat at least 50 grams of protein daily. It you’re pregnant or nursing, you need more.
Gluten is the cause of diabetes, obesity and cardiac disease; therefore you should avoid grains. There is no reason to avoid wheat unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease.
Caffeine is an unnecessary stimulant that should be avoided, especially for women who are pregnant or nursing. There is no evidence that supports caffeine has a negative effect on babies whose mothers drink up to 300 mg of caffeine daily. Coffee is a great source of antioxidants and prevents diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Fat is the devil. Don’t eat the egg yolks. Choose low-fat dairy or skim. Don’t cook in oils, rather steam or boil your food. Fats, like avocado and coconut oil are important for energy metabolism and reduction in cravings. Egg yolks are high in Omega 3’s and should be eaten daily.
Your blood type determines what types of food you should eat or avoid.
The only way to lose weight is counting calories in versus calories out. If you eat too many calories, you will gain weight. Calories don’t really matter, as long as you choose quality foods: grass-fed beef and dairy, monounsaturated fats, whole grains and low sugar.
Oh and sugar! Let’s not even go there.
What’s a mom to do?? Sometimes I feel like I hear voices while I’m wandering through the grocery store. Forget the list I made (but left in the car). Now, if I send my husband to the grocery store for bread, I have to specify the brand, color of the packaging and a map of the grocery store. So. Complicated.
Does anybody watch videos from the 1940’s when milk was delivered by the milk man? Only one type of milk. And produce was found at the nearest farm. And meat was given to your by your cousin who slaughtered the pig himself?
Choose a style of eating that suits your family. I know you were hoping for a magic solution. But the honest truth is, eating styles have many facets: cost, convenience, quality, culture, individual preference, and health considerations.
How does our family eat? Well, if you have asked my last month, I would have told you the Whole30. Or last year, it would have been dairy, soy and egg free while nursing my baby with food allergies. But the dietary style that we always return to is what I would consider Mediterranean. Maybe it’s because they recommend a moderate amount of wine. But, it seems to be a natural choice for our family values – which are clean eating, cost and environmental welfare.
As far are cooking style, we need to hop over borders into France. My cast iron skillet lives on my stove top. I use the same sheet pan every time. And I am in love with my French press. I’m not really sure why I registered for the fancy gadgets.
I am not afraid to try a new style. I believe it is healthy to have a questioning mindset, but don’t be a slave to marketing schemes or celebrity doctors. Get back to the basics. Make a list of your family values and commit to it.