We need a new American tradition in the way we eat.
Over the weekend I saw that Kentucky Fried Chicken has a new sandwich out that substitutes bread for two pieces of meat…. for those of us who just don’t get enough dead animal flesh in our diets as is.
Nestled in between these two (deep fried) pieces of meat? Cheese and bacon. Oh sure you can cut the fat a bit by getting two grilled pieces of chicken instead, but it’s still chock full of animal fat. The original Double Down (as it’s known) has 32 grams of fat, which is almost half of your daily allowance in tiny little meal.
And in the case of the deep fried “sandwich”, 10 grams of that total is saturated… which is the bad kind.
It’s also half of the sodium allowance, coming in at a whopping 1380 (and the “healthier” grilled Double Down is worse at 1430) – which means this meat filled, fat filled menu option is a trifecta of trouble.
And almost everyone in my family wants one.
Not so ironically, if you watch enough television, you’re going to see two basic types of commercials. One for fast food and one for diet programs/pills/equipment. In many of those – especially the snake oil kind – you’ll be told you can keep eating the way you want to and lose weight anyway.
I hate to burst your bubble but… no.
If you keep eating junk, your body turns into a junk yard. If you need any proof of this, look around. Our nation is overweight and getting fatter by the day, with skyrocketing obesity rates (and the corresponding higher heart disease/diabetes/cancer rates to go right along with them).
This isn’t about losing weight and being “skinny” or “shapely” “sexy”. It’s about cleaning out the junk yard and allowing your body a fighting chance against all these health problems that plague our nation.
(Not so coincidentally due to the number of fast food and weight loss commercials on TV, and a nation unmotivated to do anything other than sit in front of the boob tube to fall prey.)
So I challenge you today to make a change to the way you eat. Start a new tradition. One way you can do this is through Meatless Monday. This is a movement that doesn’t seek to take all your precious meat away, it just gives you the opportunity to make one small change to your diet that has huge benefits for your health and also the health of our planet.
A lot of people don’t like many vegetables and it’s hard to consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for the long haul. Granted, it’s a pretty significant change if you’ve been conditioned to eat the garbage (and as a Southern woman… I have been… with the love handles to prove it.)
But consider that there are probably a gazillion more options of vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits to eat than just your limited meat options and I’m sure you’ll find something that you can make or order that would excite your taste buds.
AND it’ll make you feel better too. Giving up meat and dairy (even going pescatarian since being in CA), you feel better. Your body doesn’t feel uncomfortable and full and sluggish like it does with the meat.
Someone said once that by eating dead flesh you turn your stomach into a graveyard. And whether it’s a mental or physical thing, I can tell you keeping your stomach full of fresh, living food like vegetables feels so much better.
You can still eat bad food when you eat vegetables – so don’t think just by going and eating a pound of french fries you’re going to feel any better. But it gives you a place to start, and that’s the idea.
I’m going to experiment with quinoa, which is a grain that is high in protein. I’ve never cooked with it before, but I kinda like that too. It’s all about learning new ways to cook and enjoy food, and I guarantee that it does pay off.
(Especially when you can go to the clothing store and buy a size smaller than you normally do… which I did on Friday. And it *rocked*.)
So join me, won’t you?