Saying no to Stupid Food

Set of food and drinks doodle on chalkboard background.

I have decided to eliminate stupid food from my diet. Having said that, I realize that I have to explain what I mean by “stupid food.”

To accept the notion of stupid food, we must first accept the notion that everything has the potential to not be stupid food. Sure, a patient with Celiac’s Disease is always going to think that a frosted cupcake is stupid food, but for people who are permitted to eat a full diet, I think there is potential good in all food.

It’s easy to say that something isn’t good for you, but it begs a question of context. Why is something not good for you? In what ways is something bad for you? Possibly the most important question might be: What benefits does something have to offset its drawbacks? What’s the risk versus the reward?

The best way to illustrate this is with a simple, declarative statement. I like ice cream. Yes, I’ve watched many of the Paleo films (The Perfect Human Diet, What’s with Wheat?, and Love Paleo are among my favorites and are all available for free with Amazon Prime), and I know the potential risks of a carb and cheese based diet; still, food should always be contemplated in this risk versus reward fashion.

In one way, ice cream might not be the best thing for me to eat. It has processed sugar and gluten, and it’s just not the best thing in the world when you are focused on the life of the gut; still, ice cream is good; I enjoy eating it; it is a treat; it makes me feel good; it makes me happy; it improves my overall mental well-being.

So, while I know better than to keep ice cream in the house–a task made easier by two wrestlers who have to make weight every week–sometimes I like a little ice cream.

Now, for me to keep ice cream in the house, for me to eat it daily, twice daily, maybe even three times, would put ice cream in the stupid food category. Such denotation shows us that it isn’t actually the food that is stupid; rather, it is we who are stupid for our lack of regard and sense when eating it.

Ice cream is a good thing, not a stupid food at all. If I can occasionally take something, which is good because it is a treat that I enjoy eating, which makes me happy and gives me an overall better mental wellness (it’s good for the bones, too), then there is no way that I can just write it off with statements like, “I don’t eat ice cream because isn’t good for me.” A better statement is “I don’t eat too much ice cream, because eating too much ice cream isn’t good for me.”

For me, having a bit of ice cream occasionally, as a treat, is smart food. I have chosen not to give up smart food; rather, I have chosen to give up stupid food.

What this means is that I leave myself open to anything, so long as I am focused on risk versus reward when deciding what to eat, because, after all, it isn’t the food that is stupid, but how I might potentially misuse it.

There’s a line in one of those movies I watched (maybe Love Paleo, but I’m not certain) where someone reminds that the focus shouldn’t be on when you don’t eat in the suggested fashion, but when you do. Given that focus, you’re not a failure when you don’t do it, but you’re a success when you do. Thinking about that helps me. I’d like to get rid of most of the gluten in my life, but I haven’t found a better delivery device for guacamole than a nice, crisp corn chip. Weighing the risk versus reward there makes eating the guac well worth the gluten of the chips. So, that might be rationalizing, but I’ll note the victory of eating the healthy guac and keep on looking for a suitable substitute for the chips.

Thanks for reading, friends. These thoughts might seem a little incomplete, but there will be at least two more related posts in the next week or so. Stay tuned. Love from up on the mountain.

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