Heh, that title got your attention, didn’t it?
Okay, first up, I don’t know exactly why I’m doing this. My last Healthy Switch post got a lot of attention out and about and on Facebook, so I guess part of me wants to justify it (legacy of my anxious and eager to please personality?). The rest of me just wants to make clear some thoughts, not only for you fine folk, but for me. Writing about it, unsurprisingly, is the easiest way for me to do that.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week you’ve likely heard the latest news from the WHO about the dangers of processed meats. If you haven’t, Google is your friend. I’m not here to go through that information and pick it apart. No, no, I’m here to talk about what I think.
Like I said last week, I love bacon. It’s salty, it’s crisp (when I cook it) and makes EVERYTHING taste a million times better (almost like cheese). I can eat it alone, in a sandwich, on chicken, on a burger, the list goes on and on and on! But, the treatments that go into creating the final product are dangerous and put it right at the top of the list of things that cause [bowel] cancer. As of whenever the findings were made, processed meats are a known carcinogen.
. . . I don’t care.
Let me say that again, for you guys in the back: I don’t care.
I’m still going to eat bacon. Hell, I’m still going to eat steak and red meat and all the other things that I know are bad for me. I like chocolate, I like wine gums, I like crisps, I like alcohol. All these things are bad for me in varying degrees, but I like them, so I’ll eat them.
The trick here, and I think this is something I was unclear about last week, is that the amount of these things are going to be reduced. Not because of what the WHO said, though if I can’t trust the World Health Organisation, who the hell else can I trust with questions about health and well-being? No . . . I’m reducing my intake of these things because I believe my body will benefit from it.
Too much of anything is bad for you. I’ve always believed that, even before people started showing me proof. Healthy eating and lifestyle change is all about sensible choices and eating the ‘bad foods’ in moderation is something you can do for the rest of your life.
So . . . if I want a bacon sandwich at the end of a hard week, or if I’m out and decide I’d quite like the Hunter’s Chicken instead of the Ceaser Salad, I’ll damn well have it. I may even wash it down with a glass of wine or a bottle of girlie fruit cider (I certainly did at the carvery last Sunday). Because why not?! Those small amounts aren’t going to damage me. But what I won’t do is then come home and have a bacon
roll cob for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I’m not interested in flash diets or ‘quick fixes’. Everything I’m doing now, from the exercise, to the changes to my food choices are things I can do forever. I won’t have to stop ‘when I’ve done too much’ and there won’t be any ‘bounce back’ as I return to my ‘usual eating habits’ because they will become my eating habits. Reducing fat and sugar, watching the processed stuff, balancing different foods across my plate is actually really easy too.
My health has reached a point whereby I’ve been concerned that I might not see my children grow. I’m 31 . . . they’re 3. I want to see them grow, I want to see them have children of their own (if they so wish), I want to watch them achieve all the amazing things I know they’re capable of. More than that, I want to be strong enough, fit enough and healthy enough to enjoy their success with them. The only way to do that is to look after the body I have. I’ve only got one and I intend to make it last until I’m done with it.
This week, three of the five meals I’ve cooked have somehow ended up vegetarian (I know, right! This from me, the self-confessed carnivore!). Despite that, the meals have been filling, balanced across the food groups and more importantly, freaking gorgeous! I’m not even sure of the last time I ate bacon but I’ll be honest with you: I don’t miss it. There are currently two packs of smoked bacon in my freezer. I have no idea when I’ll finally crack them open, but when I do, I’m reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally going to enjoy eating them. 😉
So is bacon evil? Maybe. Am I going to eat it? Hell yes. It’s just one of those small things in life (alcohol, caffeine, bad erotic novels) that I love and enjoy. But just like I wouldn’t have an alcoholic drink every day, I see no reason to have bacon (or a red/processed meat) every day.