Wednesday, January 01, 2014

No one cares about your diet

**Contains personal info that may make some people uncomfortable.  Read at your own risk**

Our family motto for 2014 is "Healthy".  It seems like a rather dismal replacement for our 2013 motto "Fun".  And I admit it stems from dismal roots.  But it is a positive and exciting motto.  We chose it about a month ago while reviewing our options for Obamacare.  We are of the population that has to use it.  I don't belong to any other "group" policy and so my 2013 policy was private insurance.  Mike was able to get into a group policy at his school, but he will only be a student for one more year.  My private insurance is continuing, but at nearly twice the cost.  So we reviewed the state plans and found that they were also expensive and for kind of low care.  Now, my 2013 private plan was also supremely expensive and for kind of low care, so this is nothing new to my family, but it's time for us to wake up and face the fact that this family will never, ever, be part of a magical wonderful group policy.  Our options from now on will always be either private insurance or state insurance.

So, we are choosing to pay about $500/month for "free" preventive care through Obamacare, and no dental plan, even for the kids.  Which is when I decided that we really need to be less lackadaisical and more proactive about our health.  Following Keith's death last year we applied for life insurance.  We found that Mike was so unhealthy he does not qualify.  But I myself need to focus on healthy living as well.  So let's start there and not worry about actions I can not control.  After all, stress is a killer. So stop it. Stop it right now! STOP STRESSING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING!!!

I've been a label reader for a long time, but especially lately since Mae no longer eats wheat.  Our grocery stores are really inconsistent about it, but I find that a lot of Mae's food has to come from a special section of the store where they put (some) gluten free products (the ones that aren't found in all the other aisles, ugh) and that section is usually next to a natural food section which is next to an organic food section, etc., etc.  So I start wondering what the hell is natural sour cream and why is the other stuff unnatural? (Read the labels.) And what made our GF catered Thanksgiving meal different from the regular Thanksgiving meal, other than switching stuffing for rice? (For some reason the GF meal also left out partially hydrogenated oils.) What is BHT preservative and...oh hell, after researching I still don't know and I don't want to.  I just choose the stuff that doesn't have it.  I became increasingly vigilant and insisted on buying products with the fewest ingredients, assuming I couldn't just make it myself.  I don't know what the "clean eating" movement is, but in my head that is what I want for us from now on.  After telling my sister that I was deeply annoyed with myself for ever buying ranch dressing when it takes 30 seconds to make it from scratch, she gave me a gift subscription to Clean Eating magazine. I'm absolutely delighted and can't wait til it arrives.  Although the concept of clean eating I'm sure can't hurt an adult, I believe it is a diet that is more beneficial for developing children.  Well, and no one should be eating partially hydrogenated oils anyway.

I'm also researching other types of diets and the health reasons behind them. Sugar free, no white flour, probiotics, food combining, plant-based, etc.  I decided that prolonging life by going sugar free may not really be a life worth living.  But I did find that I like agave and so I'll be trying more recipes that use that.  Maybe some stevia, but so far I don't care for stevia.  Now here is the really boring part where I describe our diet challenges that no one cares about.  Feel free to skip ahead.  Mike and Libby will eat anything, but Mae has to avoid wheat and I am on a low oxalate diet for the purpose of kidney stone prevention, so I avoid greens and beans.  I also have a pollen allergy that has become severe since moving to Oregon, so severe that my mouth swells or becomes painful whenever I eat even one bite of nearly any type of raw fruit, any time of year.  Mae and I are also picky or fussy eaters.  Subscribing to any of the healthy lifestyle diets means having to navigate these challenges and restrictions. But in 2014 we are going to focus on learning more about these lifestyle diets and adopting whatever we can.  At least I know we DON'T have to eat things that are unhealthy, and that's a good start.

"Healthy" also means exercising our bodies and minds and also properly relaxing our bodies and minds.  But that's a subject for another time.

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