Beef enchiladas. It’s whats for dinner.
The ground beef is 90/10 (a bit leaner than I prefer) and was purchased from Meijer – a regional supermarket. The beef is not 100% grass-fed but rather came from a cow that lived in a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). It’s possible that the beef from the cow that I will be eating consumed a potato chip or chicken manure.
The sour cream is simple; cream and enzymes. However, it also came from a CAFO cow.
The shredded cheese was pre-packaged and engrossed with a long list of weird ingredients. Take a look:
Cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto [color]); asadero cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, citric acid, enzymes); potato starch, cellulose powder, and calcium sulfate added to prevent caking; taco seasoning (dried onions, salt, dextrose, maltodextrin, spice, dried garlic, sugar, natural flavor, oleoresin paprika); natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor)
The tortillas are made from enriched white flour. But that’s not all. Check it out:
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, vegetable shortening (may contain palm oil and/or soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, vegetable mono & digylcerides, and polysorbate 60), salt, dextrose, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, sodium aluminum sulfate, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate), sodium propionate (to preserve freshness), sorbic acid, fumaric acid, and dough conditioner (sodium metabisulfite).
Wow. What am I about to eat?!
Empty calories. Yikes! And trans fat… oh my! No matter who you talk to, everyone agrees that trans fats are bad! And what is natamycin? In the parentheses it states that it’s a natural mold inhibitor. Duh. Why is a substance to prevent caking necessary?
Sixteen years ago
Sixteen years ago I wouldn’t think twice about what I ate. I was a young child and trusted my parents who have always been health conscious. My time in middle school is when I began to “think twice.” The two main nutrition rules that I followed were:
- Eat several servings of heart healthy whole grains
- Limit consumption of artery-clogging saturated fat
This brings a wide smile to my face. Yes, seriously. I’m smiling right now. Ok now I’m laughing!
I’ve come a long ways.
Three years ago
Three years ago I “learned” that grains, especially wheat, were killing us. About a year ago is when I began thinking twice about this concept. Today I understand that many, if not most, do just fine with some grains. Perhaps we consume too much wheat (what if we consumed as much broccoli as we do wheat?!) and perhaps soaking, dehydrating and fermenting really do make a difference.
Grains are not evil. They aren’t the best food group either.
Three years ago I learned that saturated fat does NOT clog arteries. I learned that it serves a laundry list of functions and if we don’t consume enough then our body will make it out of carbs! Over the past three years I have learned more about the health benefits of saturated fat.
Three years ago is when I became way over-conscious about health and nutrition in particular. I would have been crazy stressed out over the dinner that was being prepared for tonight.
Today I believe that not a single edible food or drink is inherently unhealthy to human beings. Not even Oreo cookies. It depends on the context. Always. No exceptions.
Today I’m grateful. I’m going to eat the food. It does contain nutrients. It will fill me up. It won’t take any days off of my life (you know how each slice of bacon takes 3 days off your life or something like that? Yea I never believed that either). The fact that I have zero (OK not exactly zero but damn am I close) stress is HUGE and will add 4 days to my life in the end (not literally).
Why am I grateful? Why didn’t I make sure that we buy local grass-fed beef from the farmers market that is 3 miles down the road? Why didn’t I shred fresh cheese?
I’m an uncle to 2 beautiful boys. They go by Sawyer and Emmett. They were born one week apart via my 2 amazing sisters. The dinner tonight is a celebration with the family. I hear there will be about 16 or so of us including 3 relatives that flew in from San Diego, California (the dinner is in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan).
My grandfather is turning 88 years old. Wow. Just wow. I was born in 1988.
Is this an excuse to eat non ideal food?
This dinner was planned last minute. Last minute as in last night; less than 24 hours before the actual dinner.
I’m not required to eat what is served. I can be weird (I LOVE being weird). However, I have chosen to be grateful for the food, for family, for my two nephews. I will enjoy every single bite and realize that many times, if not most of the time, our attitude towards the food is more important than what we are actually eating.
We instinctively know what food is. One of the major issues is the convenience that comes with packaged foods that are sold at grocers and supermarkets that also sell CAFO beef and other “I’m not really food but I look like it” foods. We are all about saving time since life is so damn short.
Wait a second. Backup. Life is NOT short. It is if you say it is. I say life is beautiful. Why not savor life instead of rush through it?
A note de finale esta muy importante…
I have NOT stopped caring about where our food comes from. My path to fundamental wellness will never end. Educating others on the truth about food and nutrition while realizing that I’ll always have more questions than answers is why I’m here. It’s my passion and always will be. Supporting local, sustainable food is a huge piece to the puzzle.
Stress, meanwhile, is the biggest piece to the puzzle. At least I think so.
I’m still smiling. What about you?
How has your nutrition philosophy changed over the years? How do you approach family gatherings? How important do you think our attitude is towards the food we eat? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments. Your opinion matters.