- I've discovered tons of excellent new recipes to enjoy with my family.
- I've been exposed to new ideas, like freezing milk or making my own "cream of..." soups.
- I've been given new information to consider, like whether HFCS is responsible for any number of ailments.
- I've had the opportunity to challenge and reconsider my own ideas, like "which is REALLY better for me- skim milk or raw milk?" (FYI- I have yet to try raw milk. I'm not exactly opposed to the idea, but I also have a hard time believing I'll like it. I actually LIKE the fact that skim milk tastes kind of like water... I guess I'm not a huge "milk fan".)
- Most of all, I've been able to learn so very much.
- It is a confusing minefield out there... for every person who advises you to eat plenty of whole wheat, there is another telling you that gluten is ruining your life.
- There is a fine line between opinion and fact. It is the job of the READER to always remember that while perusing blogs.
- You can feel you're doing something great (like baking with butter), then read an article that berates you for not using coconut oil.
- Food has become like politics in many ways... people are passionate about their stance and, while that can be a good thing, it can also lead to argumentative, critical writing and comments.
It is so easy to feel like a total failure. On the screen, others can seem to "have it all together". I can't tell you how many times I've felt that I couldn't reveal my love of a diet soda here and there for fear of attack. And that is SAD. Deep down, I really believe I do a good job of eating a healthy, balanced diet. Deep down, I'm not worried about the diet soda I drink, the fruit snacks my daughter occasionally munches on, or the Doritos my husband loves. But here I am... tiptoeing around the blogosphere because, heaven forbid, someone learns I like Diet Coke. Because, you know, the only thing more poisonous to my system than HFCS is aspartame and I am surely headed down a path of all sorts of terrible conditions because of this choice. REALLY???? Who needs this kind of pressure?
I am tired. Tired of reading post after post about "real food" followed by a recipe containing Cool Whip or Velveeta. Tired of hearing about how people who give their children skim or 1% milk are doing them such a disservice, followed by a Tweet about going out for root beer floats. I am tired of hearing that corn syrup is the devil from someone who uses flavored creamer every single morning. I am tired of juggling the concept of "milk is only for baby cows" vs. "God gave us cows to provide us with whole, raw milk" vs. "we, as a nation, are FAT and should cut out excess fat where we can".
I think most of us are doing the best we can. Most of us DO care, deeply, about the health of our families and feeling endlessly criticized (even in our minds) isn't helpful.
Maybe I'm too impressionable. Maybe I just think about all this too much. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way...
But I'm going to grab a diet soda and back away for a little while. I'm going to keep trusting my gut and my doctors and pat myself on the back for having a family with five healthy individuals-- healthy weights, healthy blood pressures, good cholesterol levels.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say, while many blogs seem to tell me otherwise...
I must be doing something right.