Here’s my beef with healthy eating. I want to do it. I really do. But society makes it difficult.
Take this morning for example. I forgot my breakfast, which lately has consisted of two scrambled eggs (my cholesterol is just fine, thank you). So I mosey down to our in-building deli and opt for the English muffin sandwich. (OK, so it had eggs plus ham and cheese … )
When I ask for a wheat muffin instead of a WHITE ENRICHED FLOUR muffin, the server shakes her head. “Nope, we don’t have those.”
This made me think of my love of pasta. I adore pasta. But I can never walk into an Italian restaurant (or any other restaurant to my knowledge) and order wheat pasta. Never. I want wheat pasta!
Which then made me think about rice. Oh, how I love Thai and Indian cuisines, but what do they serve with their dishes? Rice. White rice. I always ask for brown rice in my hometown of Chicago (Berwyn, Illinois, really), but have never once received it.
I was in California recently and stopped by a Thai restaurant to pick up a quick dinner. The server actually asked me, before I had a chance to ask her, “Brown or white rice?” I asked her to repeat the question, just so I could savor it. Is California heaven? (The opinions are mixed.)
Here’s the thing: I’ve been on a quasi-diet since Jan. 3. No enriched, processed grains. No sugar. More vegetables. I have been trying very, very hard. (Luckily, some sugar-free candies and cookies are actually very good.)
But how can I be good if society doesn’t work with me? The media, through the government, is claiming that one-third of us are obese (Body Mass Index over 30) and another third are overweight (BMI of 25-30).
Unless we eat at home all the time, we find restaurant portion sizes that are too big, and we’re gobbling up white carbohydrates because the alternatives are not there (at least where I live).
So my idea is to start a grass-roots initiative. When you go to a restaurant, ask your server what healthy carb choices are available. Let’s put brown rice and wheat pasta on the table! And raise us up some healthy women and girls.
P.S.: Don’t even get me started on vegetables.
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Lutheran Woman Today magazine and has consumed fewer processed carbs so far this year than any other staff person.