How do we know what to eat?

Everyone knows what’s good for you.

Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and all the “lose half your body weight in 2 days” people do, too; it’s their own product of course.

But before this post turns into a random Piñata-alike bashing of things that can’t convince me of their efficacy, let’s just say it’s not as easy as it seems. To know what to eat is much like navigating the stormy sea of a jungle. (yes. exactly that complex.)

I’d like to take myself as an example.

For 26 years I thought the absolute best thing I could feed myself were grains and carbs. Pasta? YES! Is it whole grain? DOUBLE YES! Rice? Yes, I NEED to eat some of that, you know, for my blood sugar. Bread? Better take 2 slices, just to be on the safe side.

This sounds crazy to me today. Absolutely insane. But I believed it then. And strongly, too.

And, to a certain extent, it was true. Way back when insulin was manufactured differently, it had a much longer onset time, meaning instead of starting to work within 10-30 minutes, like it does today, it took hours. And also hours to leave your system. This also meant that the doses you took were much bigger. Then it was important to keep blood sugar up while the insulin was still working its magic. (I think some of these are still around today?)

Today it’s all different. Insulin works much shorter, giving you much, much more of that longed for and well deserved flexibility. Meaning that you don’t necessarily have to give giant mega doses to cover your whole day at once, but can give smaller doses for when you do eat something. Which doesn’t have to include grains, if you find you feel better without them. For me, it’s not as easy as finding the carb count and injecting for it. I congratulate you if it’s like that for you! But grains do some funky business to my metabolism.

You can navigate grocery stores, menus and food choices with a lot more ease than before. And I find that an amazing development.

Very few people know instinctively what is good for you or what isn’t.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve had 26 years of training by health professionals, you still might have no clue. 

There seem to be a new kind of fantastic people though. Like my friend Elin, who is 6 years old.

When I last visited her and her mom, she gave me these wonderful drawings below.

Do you see any bread, pasta, rice or candy among these things that “are healthy for you”?

No. Me neither. Elin clearly knows what’s up!

Elin, 6 years, knows what's up!

Elin, 6 years, knows what’s up!

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