I think ideally the whole world would change and stop eating that crap, stop calling it food, stop having deep fried, salty, fatty, detrimental-to-our-health stuff available on a dollar menu on a moment's notice at a drive-thru where you don't even have to get out of your car to be served. Ideally I think if there are going to be convenience foods we ought to be able to walk into a place for a quick, to-go bowl of braised kale or some chicken and sweet potato stew for a couple of bucks. That's what should be on every street corner... not stuff that is killing us. I think because we are inundated from childhood with commercials and ads and golden arches, a lot of us are programmed to believe that Cocoa Puffs ARE a healthy breakfast and Pizza Hut *is* a reasonable choice for dinner when in reality, if this was *my* world, those things would not even exist and kids would be raised on real, actual foods from a garden or a tree or a local field instead of donuts and Doritos. But that's not the world we live in, and even if we try to shield our kids from that kind of thing, they end up getting exposed anyway at school when other kids bring in cupcakes for their birthday or share their Cheetos at lunch, at sports when the coach brings Rice Krispie treats and Hawaiian Punch for the team, or at Halloween when the neighbors fill their plastic pumpkins with candy. It is the world we are in, and I cannot change that, as much as I wish I could.
I can change what foods are in my home. I can decide for myself what goes in my kitchen, on my plate, and into my mouth. But the exposure is still there and the knowledge and memories are still there, reminding me what a Snickers bar tastes and feels like in my mouth and that at any time, I can get in the car and go to the store and within 5 minutes I can have that Snickers bar experience in my mouth. It is there and I cannot pretend it is not. Would it be better to never think of, or want, a Snickers bar? For me, yes. But it happens, I am 44 years old and my whole life has been intertwined with mass-produced candy bars. Crazy, but it is what it is. It's hard to untangle from that kind of thing.
But I'm coming to a peace with it all, because I think instead of exhausting myself with all the lists of can'ts and won'ts and nevers, I am putting those unhealthy foods aside and teaching myself to view them, not as poison, but as something I will let myself have once in awhile..*even though* they are not healthy. I need to believe that if I feed my body well 90% of the time, it will be able to handle the occasional input of junk. And by allowing myself that choice, that freedom, perhaps I will not be so driven to eat those things to excess "between diets" and perhaps knowing I can have them tomorrow or next week and they are not going away forever, there will be no reason to get emotionally distressed over not having them every day.
What I do know is that eating vegetables and fruit is good for me. I went to the farmer's market and got an acorn squash, a butternut squash, a spaghetti squash, a pear, some apples, and some cantaloupes... all local and pesticide-free. I got some free range chicken eggs and pastured pork. I like dairy, but believe there is some concern about inflammation. I have read that pastured dairy contains anti-inflammatory properties, so when I do eat dairy I will try to make it pastured. I will not crumple to the floor in despair if I eat some cheese or commercially processed Greek yogurt. By relaxing my death grip on my eating... by letting myself breathe a bit and look around and decide daily from among *all* the choices... I hope to gain more of a peace and sensibility about food that will, over time, lead to better overall health and a stable, healthier weight.