Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Perception vs. Reality

The more I talk with people about their eating habits, the more I realize just how different they are. Even when people think they are eating exactly the same as others, they usually aren't. Portions are different, types of food are different, and perception has a lot to do with this. "I don't drink a lot" can mean one or two beers a month or it can mean one or two beers a night, but there's obviously a big difference here (50-60 beers worth). "I eat healthy" can mean whole grain bread, fat-free snacks, and diet soda to some people or it can mean meat, veggies, and coconut oil to others. Again, similar statements, but vastly different lifestyles.  Add in the fact that genetics plays a role in appearance and health and you end up with an infinite amount of possibilities. "I eat 90% paleo." Wait, what does that mean? You have one huge cheat meal a week? You drink dairy? You eat coconut pancakes? Hold on, are you saying coconut pancakes aren't paleo?

Do you see how things can get murky?

So what can you do to truly be "healthy"? Start with simple guidelines that apply to humans from an evolutionary standpoint: eat meat, fish, veggies, some fruit, little starch, no sugar (Glassman). From there, tinker and play with food so that you can find what works FOR YOU. Some of you will hate the taste the broccoli, some of you will love it. Some of you will hate almonds, others will devour them. Some of you will want to gain weight, some will want to lose it. Some will be very active, others will not. Some will need quick food on the go, others have time to cook every meal from scratch. While sharing your experiences with others, be specific and give actual examples of what you eat. Be especially mindful of this when talking with people not familiar with words like "paleo." Actually, don't say things like "I eat paleo plus dairy" because paleo is NOT dairy. It's like saying "I'm a vegetarian plus beef." It just doesn't work. Say things like "I had a palm sized piece of chicken, a hand sized portion of broccoli, and a tablespoon or two of olive oil for dinner" and people will not only have a better idea of what you eat, but also a better idea of what to make for dinner.

How does perception play a role in talking about
Have you made small changes in lifestyle with big results?

1 comment:

  1. I agree that perception plays a huge part in the food/diet/health area. I find that now when people ask me "is this healthy" I need to ask them what their frame of reference is. For example, I had a conversation with a woman at a baby shower that told me that she has recently switched to eating cereal (chocolate cheerios) in the morning from her usual toast since cereal is healthier...it's all based on your frame of reference.


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