The value of DIY

Specifically, I’m talking about food preparation, though it could apply to all sorts of things. Now, I’m not advocating making things on your own all the time, for what would our economy be without the exchange of currency for goods and services? However, making your own has several benefits. It gives you an appreciation for how things are made, and particularly, what goes into them. Which means what goes into you.

While they are all essential substances, your body has limited ways of dealing with too much fat, sugar, and salt. Obesity, heart disease, gall bladder problems, diabetes, and hypertension will result from a lifestyle of overindulgence. But what is overindulgence? How can common foods be so bad for you?

I am not a fan of dieting as a concept, but I do think that periodic tracking is a good way to reprogram the way you think about food. Sites like fitday can make reports that show your surpluses and deficiencies. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, you don’t have to feel guilty about everything you eat, but be mindful of what it will and won’t do for your health. For example, a little dark chocolate is a nice treat and provides antioxidants. A lot, and the excess sugar outweighs the benefit.

I made a pumpkin latte this morning and realized I had to use too much coffee and too much sugar for it to taste sufficiently awesome. (And it was really awesome, and I’m not sorry for it. I’m just not touching any candy for a few days.) And now I have a visual cue of how much sugar is in a blended drink I’d buy from a chain. If I make desserts, I share them, for I know exactly how much sugar and butter went into them. Even the so-called healthy stuff can contain unexpected things. I made a pot of black beans with salt pork the other week, and it was amazing! Why was it amazing? It contained a ton of fat! Of course it was delicious! So, a menu might not mention the fat that is flavoring my healthy beans and rice, but knowing it’s there affects my other food choices, including how much of it I’m going to eat.

I know, boo hoo, everything’s bad for you, why do I gotta be such a downer. But for the eat what you want, when you want, without thinking about it? If you were really happy with the results, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog, right?