Here's how this Monday has gone so far:
1) While recording our utility payment (it's an auto-payment, which I highly recommend), I noticed our water usage more than doubled last month. Not good since the usual implication is a leak somewhere. Customer Service adopted their normal not nice persona and refused to come for a recheck because it certainly couldn't be any fault of their meter reader!
2) Our medical insurance is undergoing a complete overhaul 1/1/11 and I've resisted completing the new forms as long as I can. I designed benefit plans and forms for many years in CorporateLand, so I know these terms well. They are so darn complicated and confusing to me - I don't see how anyone gets them completed and retains their sanity. And this is just the forms - guess we just ignore the fact that premiums are rising and benefits are declining!!
3) Ordered medication last Thursday which was supposed to be delivered Friday. I'm still on a bit of a protest over our pharmacy benefits which changed last July. We now no longer have the option to purchase locally - it HAS to be by mail order. This is a specialty med that MUST be signed for. So I waited at home all day Friday for a package that never came. When I called this morning, it turns out they knew the shipment was delayed, but "we do not consider it our responsibility to notify you." WHAT!!!
4) Last, but not least, I stepped on the scale this morning and GAINED 1.5 pounds. This, after staying the same both Saturday and Sunday mornings. This, after remaining faithfully on plan, biking 36 miles and walking 38,000 steps over the three days. Go figure!!
So what am I doing??? Well, I was cussing until I starting writing this. Now, I'm laughing and I hope you are laughing with me. After a gloomy and drizzly day yesterday, the sun just broke through and in the whole scheme of things, these are all very minor! I'm going to finish this post and head for the outdoors. Isn't that what October is for???? Oh, and BTW, not even once have I been tempted to drown my issues this morning with food. In fact, I got so wrapped up in these phone calls, I forgot to eat breakfast.
Now, let's move right along "in the process."
The more I read, the more I become intrigued by the term "processed" food. I find the term used and overused in books, magazine articles, websites, talk shows, seminars and yes, even in blogs. It is no secret that I read and enjoy many blogs and my desire is to learn something from and about each person behind the words I read in their blog. Over time, I've realized that we all have a different definition of "processed" food and contrasting versions or aversions to how much "processed" food we will eat. Some seem to pay no attention, others realize it's almost impossible in today's convienence oriented society to NEVER eat anything "processed," others are openly disdainful of anything or anyone who knowingly eats "processed" food.
In googling "what is processed food?" I got 8,650,000 hits. Is this a sensitive topic or what? One thing I noticed in checking out a few of those links, is that "processed" food and "convenience" food are often listed interchangeably or considered the same. The articles are fascinating and you'll find something published on a daily basis reinforcing the fact that this is truly a "hot" topic and rightly so.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll have to admit I eat a lot of food that falls into the classic definition of "processed." I've never been a very good or creative cook and lost 60 pounds eating mainly frozen dinners. I still eat a lot of them. I like them and it provides easy portion control. But even with enviable numbers in the blood pressure and cholesterol categories, I've always known these are high in sodium and other not so great ingredients and that perhaps, someday I should begin the process (no pun intended) of eating them less often. That "weaning" period may be about to start.
What I want is feedback from you regarding this topic.
1) How (be specific) do you define "processed" food?
2) What foods do you eat that might be considered "processed?"
3) Is this for convenience purposes or other reasons?
4) If you eat nothing processed, has this always been the case or a deliberate decision at some point?
5) Do you think it is possible (maybe the better word is practical) to eat a diet that is completely free of processed foods?
6) Are convenience foods purchased from places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's better than those purchased from a regular grocery store?
I'm curious and I think a lot of others are as well, so I'm opening up my blog for comments, criticism (only constructive!!) and advice. Not just for me, but for all of us!
One thing is for sure - this isn't something that is going to get better or go away. Nor do I believe "processed" food is going to suddenly become healthy. So as I continue my own healthy eating journey and form my own stance, am I or am I not willing to take a stand as food becomes more and more "processed" until we no longer recognize it as food! Am I or am I not willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary in terms of time or expense to eat in a way that I know is best?
My answers to those statements about my willingness to change are still being formulated, but I'd sure like some company in working them out in practicality! Any takers??