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Sick of Being Preached At...


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I just needed to rant a bit and I am hoping my fellow EGulleters here will understand.

I am so sick of being preached at about what to eat, not to eat, how many carbs are in this and that. Since when did getting dinner become such a statement on one's virtue? I was taking note and in the course of one week's time I was given the run down on the number of carbs some one eats, whether sugar is the devil, organic is best, meat is evil, meat is all one should eat (shudder at that one, but I know someone who does it), don't drink caffeine, drink caffeine, etc...etc...at least 3 times a day. I don't bring the subject up, but it seems at least here in the US there is this collective angst about what to eat all the time.

Case in point, leaving names and situations out, because I am on the internet, but the other day someone I know was walking around with a piece of birthday cake ranting about the carbs in it and how she didn't need the carbs. It was HER birthday cake! (no, she is not diabetic) Is this what this country has come to? People being scared to enjoy their own birthday cake? Come one folks! I had stranger look in my grocery cart and comment, "you eat good". I said thank you, but I was left wondering, why did she look? Now I am not a little women, not by any stretch, but I don't think this had anything to do with my size. (BTW, I don't eat processed food, so there was nothing but non processed stuff in my cart) I was commenting a party about all that I bake, and someone said, "that is when you take it to the office!" I said, "no I love it, I eat it. Portion control is good." Is avoiding food seen as virtuous?

I like to hold the theory that food is one of life's great pleasures. Yes, like most pleasures one has to control it a bit, but to not sit down to meal in less you have counting the carbs, protien, fat, calories, etc. Why not just enjoy it?

I don't know the point I am even getting at here...just wanted to rant.

Thanks for putting up with it....

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Personally, since I suffer from exactly zero guilt about food, I don't see the logic of the whole "less food/carbs/fat/insert culinary bugbear of the week here" thing. And I tend to get mightily annoyed when people ask me whether I'm concerned about "bugbear of the week" in what I'm eating. Hell no. One of my favourite foods is fritada, which is essentially very fatty pork belly cooked in its own grease with panela and spices until it's nice and crispy. And I'm completely unrepentant of it - I'm aware of what I'm eating, and I'm doing it for the pleasure and energy it gives me. If I had to spend a week eating nothing but rice cakes and salad greens, I'd probably shoot myself. My personal philosophy is "everything I want, but in moderation" - it hasn't done me harm yet, and in fact I'm at the low end of the BMI for a 6' woman, even eating the way I do.

IMHO, The only time to be concerned about diet is if one has a legitimate health issue, like diabetes or true celiac disease - and even then I believe that diet can be managed with an eye to the pleasures of eating. Glucose-neutral sweeteners have come a long way, as have the techniques of gluten-free baking.

Oh, and caveat lector - at very high altitudes, such as where I live, the body actually requires a higher fat and higher salt diet than it does at sea level.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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But diet obsession is a wonderful American tradition, going back to the founding days of the republic. Eating as an act of self-definition or reinvention is such an American trait. Throw off the traditions of your forefathers, whether kosher or fish on Fridays...or embrace 200 chews before swallowing, or juicing as a lifestyle, or purportedly ideal food combinations. Creating your own food orthodoxy and preaching it is as American as starting your own religion or business.

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They tell you how you should eat because if they're pointing out how you eat they're keeping the attention off of how they eat. I would never preach to others about what they should eat. My eating habits aren't always such that I have any right to judge even if I wanted to. But please don't look out from behind your quad bypass burger and tell me I shouldn't be eating those fries with all the carbs they contain. We had a lady come in a restaurant once or twice a week where I used to work who would order 2 caesar salads with extra parmesan, extra bacon and extra dressing and 24 of our (very large, 24 would completely cover a 15" square pan, and breaded) hot wings and eat every bit of it with lots of ranch dressing. "But no croutons on the salads please, I'm doing Atkins. If people only realized how bad those carbs are."

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I agree with you CKat.

I am obese, and it doesn't bother me as much as it does other people. I'm 73, have earned every pound and because of arthritic knees and now hips, I can't do the exercises that are suggested. And anyway, I come from a very long-lived bunch of ancestors who ate all the "wrong" things, did not do all the "cardio" exercises and outlived people that supposedly ate "healthier."

Frankly, I would rather enjoy eating food that I like and live a few years less. I avoid people who are so concerned about what they eat that they have to dictate to everyone else.

I do try to buy local produce and avoid GMO food products because I believe they have done and will do considerable harm to the ecosphere.

I buy heirloom varieties whenever they are available.

The only time I warn people about food is to tell them something is too hot (heat) or very hot (spicy) so they won't bite into something harmful unknowingly.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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You can also add gluten phobia to the list. I am annoyed when I hear people talking about how they live healthier by avoiding gluten. Occasionally, I poke back and ask what is wrong with gluten? What does it do to your health? Most of the time it is a blank stare or they just say "well, it's bad for you!"

I am happy to make 2-4 loaves of bread every week. Bring on the carbs and the gluten! Bring on the meat I pile on top. Bring on the fattening cheese and the butter I fry the sandwich in!

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I think this is a symptom of the general busybodiness of some people in the West. They see fit to lecture you on your diet, the same way many see fit to lecture you about religion, to intrude on what you do in your bedroom, tell you what computer games or TV programs you are allowed to enjoy, and so on. You even see it on the world stage, where it is the same old countries lecturing others about human rights, as if they did not have gross human rights violations of their own.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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I am so sick of being preached at about what to eat, not to eat, how many carbs are in this and that.

You should go to Italy. There, you get yelled at for not eating. Everyone you meet wants to give you food... 'mangia mangia mangia' all day. Complete strangers want to give you a 3 course meal. If you don't eat they think something is wrong with you. Their food is full of carbs and it's all delicious.

One of the most wonderful places on Earth...

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I think it is a part of our make-up as Americans to do things to excess. Eating, drinking, exercising, and the like. Since we have such a tendency to excess, we have to pay a penance: Dieting, going on the wagon, actually using that gym membership, etc. Whereas years back (at least that I recall since the mid-60s) we may have shared dieting tips, which cocktails were fattening and taking strolls after supper for exercise, now we feel the need to not only improve ourselves, but to By God make sure our friends, family and total strangers do so, too! It's ridiculous and goes along with our need to overshare about personal issues, too.

At least that's my theory.

And, no one take my use of "we" personally, please. It's obviously a very broad generalization and not aimed at any one group over another.

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I am so sick of being preached at about what to eat, not to eat, how many carbs are in this and that.

You should go to Italy. There, you get yelled at for not eating. Everyone you meet wants to give you food... 'mangia mangia mangia' all day. Complete strangers want to give you a 3 course meal. If you don't eat they think something is wrong with you. Their food is full of carbs and it's all delicious.

One of the most wonderful places on Earth...

Or live with a traditional Jewish family. Hospitality is extremely important and food is the center of hospitality.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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----" Frankly, I would rather enjoy eating food that I like and live a few years less. " -------

Some researchers have found that Rats on a starvation diet can live much longer lifes.

So they put themselves on starvation diets so they can live longer! How clever!!!

dcarch

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It's that Puritanical heritage of us Americans (USA Americans, that is....), isn't it? If we're enjoying something, it *MUST* be bad for us, and we must repent from it, and punish ourselves for it.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I tend to be on the receiving end of 'for your own good lectures' ('You wouldn't want to spoil [insert some aspect of skin/figure etc], now, would you?'). Mostly, I'm irritated by the inaccuracy of the comments, but I'm fairly certain the basis for this is a combination of obsession with appearance (including not wanting to look like a greedy pig) and simple mimicry (a friend was disturbed when his very slender five-year-old daughter began saying 'I'm so fat'; it turned out she was parroting her kindergarten teacher; this kind of behaviour persists our entire lives).

I love carbohydrates, and find it almost tragic that I can't eat most complex ones without unpleasant consequences (yes, really: my joints swell, and my URT becomes incredibly congested). If you see me eating something starchy, it means I'm enjoying a treat whose consequences I'm fully prepared to pay, or I'm being polite; in either case, a lecture on the evils of carbohydrates is unwelcome.

Unfortunately, carbohydrates are getting a lot of attention at this time (and I know carbohydrates function [almost] exclusively as fuel, and the amount you eat should be predicated on activity level, but I figure adults should be left alone to make their own decisions on this), and I'm grateful for an educational background that enables me to accurately come across with something that makes people shut up.

I've found that the best way to keep people from uttering a word about this in your presence is to spew facts. I do not let the fact that I'm not being addressed directly stop me; if someone start this nonsense within earshot, I figure they're fair game. I'm stick to accurate scientific terms, and I politely steam-roller them if the try to get a word in. I don't lecture them, I make fine show of concurring with, and supporting what they've just said.

I tend to focus on the large intestine, and what is very likely happening to the very food they're eating as it moves along into their colon. 'Impacted fecal matter', 'decomposing mucosa', and autopsy details (I was seeing a pathologist for a while, and am well-stocked with this sort of information) are the sorts of things that tend to linger in people's minds.

I recommend reinforcing the effect by going up to them the next time you see them eating, and picking up the conversation where you dropped it; you will find the nuisance of their lecturing will be curtailed. I also have the engaging work Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management (with glossy, full-colour photos!), which I make a point of showing to dedicated, casual 'health' nuisances.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Mmmm.. Playing the devil's advocate (I am a big fan of everything in moderation) I'd say that a couple of hours of make-up, fancy dresses, and a shot at 10 ft away as compared to the close-up will make anyone look good....

I get lectures too. I get lectures on organic chocolate and fair trade chocolate. I took a gamble and tried it for a few months. Spent a small fortune importing f/t couverture in. Huge price difference. My conclusion?

Customers won't put thier money where their mouth is. Same conclusion that 90% of other chocolate makers came to, and had I been paying attention, I could have saved myself some money and anguish.

IMHO people lecture becasue they think it gives them power--"educating" the great unwashed. I've survived the era of butter labled as evil and margerine good--backed by scientific facts. Same with eggs, red meats, you name it.

I see my body as a piggy bank: Garbage in, garbage out, good stuff in, good stuff out. Don't exercise the bank, and it bloats .

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Mmmm.. Playing the devil's advocate (I am a big fan of everything in moderation) I'd say that a couple of hours of make-up, fancy dresses, and a shot at 10 ft away as compared to the close-up will make anyone look good....

I get lectures too. I get lectures on organic chocolate and fair trade chocolate. I took a gamble and tried it for a few months. Spent a small fortune importing f/t couverture in. Huge price difference. My conclusion?

Customers won't put thier money where their mouth is. Same conclusion that 90% of other chocolate makers came to, and had I been paying attention, I could have saved myself some money and anguish.

IMHO people lecture becasue they think it gives them power--"educating" the great unwashed. I've survived the era of butter labled as evil and margerine good--backed by scientific facts. Same with eggs, red meats, you name it.

I see my body as a piggy bank: Garbage in, garbage out, good stuff in, good stuff out. Don't exercise the bank, and it bloats .

Well put, sir.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I find it almost universal that the people most preachy about food almost universally eat restaurant or packaged food. Or, they follow incredibly rigid and prescriptivist diets which are, in and of themselves unhealthy because they have such a limited range of foods. People who know how to cook well tend to be far more relaxed and less dogmatic about food rules.

The irony is, I'm not convinced it's even possible to eat healthy if you outsource your food production. I can put two plates of food in front of you and they will look functionally identical but the one on the right will taste 10% better than the one on the left but contain 40% more calories/fat. When I cook for myself, I cook the one on the healthier version but when I cook for others, I cook the more indulgent one because they don't know what went into it. Same with restaurants, there's no incentive for them to cook healthy. As long as their food tastes good and *seems* healthy, they make their money.

The only way to have a diet that is actually healthy is to align the incentives correctly and that means getting really good at cooking and eating most of your meals at home.

PS: I am a guy.

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Maybe people get in phases where they're excited/interested(obsessed) with their shiny new toy (diet, in this case), and since that's all that they're focused on, that's what they talk about? I mean, everyone eats, so voila, eating in front of them gives them both a commonality, and, presumably, a common intersest. DBF is like this. He lost a huge amount of weight (like, he lost almost one of me), and before he did, he spent some time figuring out that the only way to lose weight was calories in < calories out (which allowed him to lose >130 lbs eating candy, fast food, and children's breakfast cereal). This is a subject I have seen him geek out about for hours, and, given a halfway receptive audience, he will be talking about back-computed BMR and showing off his spreadsheets. Now he's moving into actual fitness, so that's where his focus is, and that's what he wants to talk about.

Everyone feels that way, to an extent. When I get into a thorny theoretical database problem at work, sometimes that's all I can see in my head, so if I'm out with other techie people, that's where I'll steer the conversation. When I was obsessed with bread baking, I wanted to tell people about it, I wanted to evangelize the awesomeness I had found. With more general philosophies on what to eat or not eat, it's a conversation that always has an excuse to be had. I have Paleo friends who do it, because they're passionate about it, and they want other people to know something awesome. And sometimes they don't wait for a passerby to comment on the size of their steak in the lunchroom as an opening - sometimes they make their own opening. For the most part, people are well intentioned and just want to share.

I'm not sure why food and how to eat is so fraught with shame and guilt, and not so much about pleasurable inputs for some people. It's kind of sad, really. The lectures and the criticisms are probably projections of their own unhappy relationship with food. It irritates the OP - it kind of makes me want to feed them something delicious within the rubric of their diet of choice. I'm content right now with my relationship with food, so maybe that's why, even when I feel compulsively judgemental towards what someone is eating (happens to the best of us), I would never volunteer criticism. Maybe the overweight woman eating the 3 day old sausage biscuit sandwich from the vending machine is having a rough time, with too much pressure and stress happening in her life to nourish herself properly. I would never chastise her about eating what I consider processed crap. If she sat down accross from me and asked me about my homemade muesli, I would gladly share my perspective and some recipes. Similarly, I would hope never to be preached to whilst at the bottom of a double restaurant portion of macaroni and cheese that sometimes represents comfort to me when I'm in a rough patch.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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I know that some of these "preachers" really are concerned about the "preachee." When my children, for example, tell me that they're only getting on me about my diet and health because they care about me, I'm pretty sure they mean it.

But - and maybe I'm just being too cynical - for the most part, I believe that many of these people that are preaching at you "for your own good," are really more interested in impressing you, and themselves, with their own superiority than they are in actually helping you.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I eat carbs (bread, pasta, rice) and my BMI is 24 - so a nice healthy weight. In fact, I have got my BMI down by eating carbs although I do try and stick to the brown or wholemeal versions rather than the white.

It is not good to deny yourself nice food. A little of what you fancy is OK.

http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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I am so sick of being preached at about what to eat, not to eat, how many carbs are in this and that.

You should go to Italy. There, you get yelled at for not eating. Everyone you meet wants to give you food... 'mangia mangia mangia' all day. Complete strangers want to give you a 3 course meal. If you don't eat they think something is wrong with you. Their food is full of carbs and it's all delicious.

One of the most wonderful places on Earth...

Or live with a traditional Jewish family. Hospitality is extremely important and food is the center of hospitality.

My Chinese in laws are the same way - to the point that they are literally stuffing food into our bags when we try to leave. I never quite understand why a 5 hour trip needs to be provisioned with at least several days worth of food and drink.

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My Chinese in laws are the same way - to the point that they are literally stuffing food into our bags when we try to leave. I never quite understand why a 5 hour trip needs to be provisioned with at least several days worth of food and drink.

It's a Chinese in-law thing. The amount of snacks necessary for a simple shopping trip would have lasted the Donner Party for weeks. It's ingrained. A standard greeting in Mandarin is "Did you eat yet." My mother in law, who lives exactly one mile away, asks me this every time we visit. "You've lost weight. Looks good. Did you eat yet?"

I've become used to it.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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When I was 20, I lived with an Orthodox Jewish family who treated me like one of their daughters. The food was always good and extremely plentiful. I can recall going to dinner with them at the home of another family and on returning home, "Bubbeh" patted my shoulder and said, maybe you should have a snack, maybe some kugel, a piece of fruit? When I replied that I was still full from the dinner, she told me.

"You should always eat when you have a chance, who knows, God forbid, the house might burn down and we all might have to go without a meal for a day and already you are too thin." (I was a size 6.)

When anyone came to the house, the first words were always, "will you have a bite of something?"

I was their shabbos goy, turning lights on and off, etc., on Shabbat.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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