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jca's avatar

How much time and attention do you put into the food that you eat?

Asked by jca (36043points) May 12th, 2016

Food is always a big topic on Fluther. What we eat, what we don’t eat, how we eat, how often we eat, how we prepare it, how we buy it, our favorite food, etc.

How much time and attention do you put into your food?

Do you try to avoid certain foods or do you eat what you want with gusto?

Do you eat what you want but with guilt and a promise to yourself to do better next time?

Do you avoid certain food groups like dairy, gluten, beef, pork, shellfish, animal products?

Do you eat your 3 meals without thinking much or do you try to really focus on choosing certain foods for their nutritional properties?

Do you eat what you want but in moderation?

Are you really strict about avoiding certain things, like desserts, sugar, artificial sweeteners, fat, carbs, high cholesterol foods?
Do you try to buy and eat organic?

Are you willing to pay much extra for high quality food? Or is food something that you just eat to survive and the cost or quality is not something you are able to focus on, for other reasons (like financial)?

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21 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Most of my food is fresh from the garden and the sea. I like to cook, so I dawdle in the kitchen quite a bit. I have no real food restrictions, but I’m not much for sweets. I like soups, stews, quiches, risotos and salads a lot. Farmhouse cooking. Trencherman faire. They can be simple or quite complicated to get unconventional mixtures right. I stay active so I feel I can eat pretty much what I want as long is it is relatively unprocessed. The only sweets I usually eat is pastry that I make myself and I only have that in the afternoon with coffee—my quiet time. It’s a nice ritual I picked up in Sweden.

canidmajor's avatar

I choose carefully (organically, locally sourced when I can), I love to cook so I eat very few processed foods, and because of a few medical issues there are a few things I have to avoid.
That’s at home. When I am out I obviously have no control how food is sourced, so I take a lot on faith, but don’t worry much.
If I want sweet, I eat sweet, if I don’t, I don’t.

I really just don’t sweat it much anymore.

Pachy's avatar

I’ve gotten extremely lazy about what I eat, whether cooked myself, eaten out or brought in. I just don’t care much about food anymore.

ibstubro's avatar

I haven’t eaten 3 meals a day since leaving the structure of middle school. I don’t see the sense in eating when I’m not hungry, unless it’s a social occasion.

As far as cooking, the main requirement is an appreciative audience. I used to love to cook, and delighted in turning things like a bit of grease, flour and milk into a delicious gravy. Culinary alchemy!
Unfortunately, what’s required is an appreciative audience, and I gradually lost that. The great cooks of my family passed away. I can trace the death knell of my celebration of cooking to a simple statement by my S/O:
A – “Can’t you just make ½ a package next time?”
Q – “Aren’t you going to eat the [homemade] gravy?”

Today I eat a high fiber, low fat, fresh ingredient diet as much as possible. The closest I come to a ‘meal’ is eating out, and that’s rare. More usually I’ll put together a number of ingredients I like in a dish when I’m hungry, and eat it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Too much.
I don’t restrict or eliminate any foods from my diet anymore. I am a firm believer that the evidence strongly shows that diets do not and likely will never work, despite popular dialogue to the contrary. So, I just try to focus on eating a well balanced diet of mostly plant based foods. I believe wholeheartedly in moderation. I also have chronic digestive concerns, so I have had to tweak and adjust my diet so many times in an attempt to accommodate my protesting gut that now I don’t like to take anything away if I don’t have to. The only thing I limit these days is fiber and on brief and necessary occasions, I may go on a temporary liquid diet.

I have a long and complicated history with body image, low self esteem, weight loss (lost 100+lbs), disordered eating and dieting, and I think that it has been such a part of my life for so long that I have a hard time removing it from my identity at this point. Even though everything I do could be done on auto-pilot, the time I spend thinking about it is excessive. I have a lot of anxiety about food. I went through a short phase where I was able to express enjoyment in eating and the foods that I love, from broccoli to ice cream, without any negative emotions and it was empowering for me while it lasted. That was nice.

Food is a complicated subject for so many people. I’m currently working on an art project about women and their relationship with eating, so you could say that it’s a significant subject for me.

longgone's avatar

I do make good choices when I’m shopping (most of the time). I only buy sweets and things like crisps or ready-made meals in low quantities. I buy a lot of vegetables, fruit in the form of smoothies, and basic ingredients. I go with wholemeal bread and I buy organic as soon as there are animals or pesticides involved. Yes, I absolutely am willing to pay more when it makes sense to. Even when I don’t have money to spare, I make an effort to eat well, though. It’s not impossible, just more difficult.

Once I get all my food home, I don’t pay a lot of attention anymore. I eat what I feel like eating, though I try to get a bit of everything that’s good for me on most days. I don’t have set mealtimes, I don’t count calories, I don’t care whether I eat a lot on one day and much less the next. I trust my body to take care of all that, and it’s doing a good job, so far.

@ANef_is_Enuf If you haven’t seen this TED Talk, I think you’ll like it:

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@longgone no, I hadn’t, but it is now one of my favorite TED talks. Thank you for sharing! I agree so much with everything she has said, except that I am a little bit skeptical about set points, as it is still an area that hasn’t been fully researched. How much is biological, how much is hormonal, how much is habitual/behavioral? Hard to say, but I am excited to learn more over time. I am of the mindset that set points are a real thing, I do believe they are primarily hormonally influenced, followed closely by psychological (and then behavioral) factors, but I disagree with her that they are unlikely to be changed toward the lower range. I do think set points can be lowered to a great degree. I am walking proof that it can be done, unless I am a biological anomaly, and I don’t believe that is the case. I just don’t think that our popular model of weight loss is conducive to that whatsoever which leads to the yo-yoing that is so prevalent. I do suspect that weight loss has serious limitations, however, and that is where lowering set points will come into play the most. If I were filthy rich and money were no object, I would love to see some independent research done on this particular subject. I just don’t think there is any money to be made, so I fear that it’s unlikely we’ll see as much happen in this branch of obesity research as in other arenas.

longgone's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf You’re welcome. I don’t know enough about the topic to be skeptical or trusting, but you raise some good points! You’re totally right about the popular ideas on how to lose weight!

Coloma's avatar

I’m a hedonist at heart and love food. I have to work very hard on my self discipline as I am the type that if something is good, just kill me with it. Good thing I never tried Heroin. lol
I tend to go in cycles and while I have spent many years of my life in a disciplined state with diet and exercise it does not come easily for me. I tend to go in several month cycles where I am eating and cooking light and healthy then fall off the wagon and digress to not paying as much attention.

I don’t eat junk food much, once in a great while go for the onion rings and burger, but I have a sweet tooth and that is a big beast to tame. I try to eat fruit and yogurt but last night I had peanut butter cookies and tapioca pudding. :-D
I also adore cheeses, and pastas and garlic bread and struggle to keep my carb, sugar and fat intake reasonable.
What can I say?

Big personalities have big appetites. haha

stanleybmanly's avatar

Thank goodness the wife takes the time to shop and select our produce. She’s also a splendid cook. She puts in the hours doing both. I’m the go-to guy when there are those periods when she tires of cooking. There’s no predicting when such lapses might occur. I know where to collect great takeout, and there’s absolutely no shortage of it around here. We’re both really busy, but check in daily around 2pm to coordinate the dinner situation.

Cupcake's avatar

A lot.

I have had IBS and other GI issues that I believe relate to trauma I have experienced. It’s been as though my trauma was stored in my GI system. I grew up across the street from an orchard that was routinely sprayed with pesticides and was on antibiotics a number of times as a kid. Possibly as a result of all of this, I have a number of foods that I am sensitive to (which means that I am not in pain in my belly, head or joints, am not bloated, do not have acne and regularly move my bowels when I do not eat them), including:

- gluten
– dairy
– eggs
– peanuts
– corn
– soy
– caffeine
– beans

Most recently, I thought I had rheumatoid arthritis but when my bloodwork was normal and I read an article about nightshades, I cut them out and the pain went (almost all) away. So now I also don’t eat white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers.

I eat organic mostly. I just had conventional strawberries last night and could taste the pesticides on them. Yuck.

I still eat meat, but am moving and it looks like organic, grass-fed meat will be more rare and expensive when I move… so I’ll have to figure out what to do about that.

I would prefer to get most of my food from a CSA, where I am supporting local, organic food growers and get healthy, nutritious food in return (hopefully local grass-fed meat and eggs for my family as well).

My husband likes to eat out, but I think that my food restrictions are slowly bleeding that out of him. I’m not fun to plan a meal out with.

I don’t do food guilt. I eat what I eat. If I eat something I shouldn’t have, I’ll pay for it in some way. I won’t have guilt on top of that. I prefer to not eat sugar (because my cravings can go crazy), but sometimes I do and I don’t feel bad about it. I prefer foods sweetened with maple syrup or sugar when I have them, but I eat vegan and gluten-free cupcakes if they’re available.

For me, it’s not a fad. I feel like I have to defend my eating because it’s been popularized as a fad diet. I have cut out all of these foods one-by-one and added them back carefully only to have some kind of reaction. I’ll keep trying (very slowly) to see if and when and how I can incorporate more foods, because being so restricted is not so fun. But if it’s the only way I can function and feel good, then it’s worth it.

Seek's avatar

I love food, immensely. Probably too much, judging by how the scale reads these days.

I cook, usually, one hot meal a day. I generally skip breakfast or have something simple like toast with jam or a bowl of cereal. Then I’ll graze until dinner. Ian gets breakfast (usually a bowl of cereal), lunch (usually some kind of inexpensive tinned ravioli or a sandwich), and whatever dinner I can convince him to eat. Snacks for him are usually fruit and cheese or a protein bar.

I cook according to what I can afford.

I need to do better about eating lower-fat foods, but since I shop with my wallet that’s not always possible.

We have no food allergies or intolerances in the house, and no really strong preferences, and we like to try new things whenever possible. I appreciate Good Food and am willing to do without on some days to justify having a Really Good Dinner.

canidmajor's avatar

@Cupcake: you must run into a lot of people that feel the need to judge what you put into your mouth. It’s exasperating. The fact that people seem to think it’s acceptable to make negative comments on what anyone eats is anathema to me. Food shaming, body shaming, any shaming is unacceptable.
My daughter, who has UC, now just says “It’s how I eat. Get over it.”

Good luck. It seriously sucks to have digestive issues.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not much. When I came to a point in my life, when I was about 29, when I needed to start doing that, I created new habits. Those habits mainly included shunning sugars and fats 90% of the time. I still have the same “habits,” but I don’t have to think about them any more.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t give much thought to the food I eat apart from aiming for variety and avoiding processed foods. I try to avoid salt and I no longer like the taste of salty food.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m all over the map. Most of the time I think about what I am saying in regards to whether it is healthy or not. If I deal it unhealthy and still eat it, I regret it about half the time. It’s when I feel like it might kill me or definitely is shortening my life. It has to be really bad for me to feel that way. I might even pop an aspirin if I really regret eating it. That probably happens 4–6 times a year, it’s not like I’m in a state of worry every day or week. Even when I do worry, the feeling is fairly fleeting.

I’m at my inlaws the past few months and have eaten a lot of high fat foods here. I regret it, I try to balance it with healthy meals when she isn’t cooking. The biggest problem is this is the house of candy and cookies and I haven’t controlled myself well. Luckily, a month ago my inlaws started a diet with more vegetables, no bread, pasta, or rice, which helps, but they still have candy in the house all the time, and even though my husband and I have said we want to do the diet with them at dinner time, my MIL still makes a starch for us at meals! So, then there is the dilemma of wanting the starch and/or being rude and not eating it. I told my husband we have to leave it on the table so she will stop. We aren’t cutting out all “white” starchy foods like them, but we want more vegetables, which were lacking in her meals, I kept a stash of spring mix lettuce to eat at meals in case there was nothing green on the plate. Now, she is cooking veg, but not enough for everyone. Sigh. I hate to complain. We have been very clear that at dinner she should not cook anything different or special for us. She came home with donuts and chocolate a few days ago for us. Seriously? I think it’s horrible.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Maybe your hubby can talk to her and tell her about your eating goals and how it’s hard to resist temptation when it’s in the house or on the table.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca His goals too. He wants the same. He says the same to her for “us.” Mine are more health oriented, while he is disgusted at how much weight he has gained. Living here though it amounts to the same request, when she prepares meals we want low fat, lots of vegetables, and since they are going no starch, just do the same for us. When we prepare our own meals we don’t follow the zero starch rule, but we are on the assumption out dinner will be zero starch, and that almost never happens in the last 2–3 weeks since they returned from a vacation and started this new eating habit. We immediately has said count us in.

If we say don’t buy any more cookies, they come home with a pastry or a donut. They are so literal. Then we say no desserts, no sweets. His mom says, “why, you want to lose weight?” Yes! Jesus. WTH?!

The communication totally baffles me. I know she thinks we were trying to save her effort. I can see the wheels in her brain thinking we said we will eat whatever you make for yourself, because we don’t want her to work harder. That’s probably how she perceived the request. Then she chooses to make the effort to make the other stuff for us thinking we will like it. I’m telling you the miscommunication is incredible in this family. When it’s me with the whole language problem it’s worse, but they miscommunicate in fluent Spanish.

She does know I have a cholesterol problems and early heart disease in my family. They just like when we light up and love the food. Well, that’s fine when we visit for a weekend and eat a bunch of comfort foods, but this is different.

We move out the 22, so I’m not going to say anything else.

Right now I want my FIL to stop taking vitamin D because his calcium was high for two tests in a row. It’s really bad to have high calcium. He was having problems with his hand shaking and I told him vitamin D might help, but to get the test. I always say get the test. His wife was already taking D. Anyway, he started taking it too and finally after me pushing for him to get tested his D is superfine. Over 50, but his calcium is high. He needs to stop taking the D and see if his calcium comes down. He won’t. He thought I was smart to suggest the D, but now looks at me like I’m nuts when I say stop taking D to see if his calcium changes. It’s impossible and his do for only told him to stop taking calcium and eat less calcium foods. He did that and the calcium level is still high. She should check his parathyroid too. Ugh, it drives me crazy.

JLeslie's avatar

Typo: doctor not do for.

Cupcake's avatar

Thanks @canidmajor. I’m a bit defensive and don’t like talking about my diet with most people because of the many reactions I’ve gotten. I agree with you that food shaming, body shaming and any kind of shaming is unacceptable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Last night was a good example. I was feel really punk all day from a minor dental procedure from the day before. I wasn’t really hungry. All I had was that enchilada and the ice cream.
Then, at about 8:00, this hunger hit me like a freaking truck! It was the mild hinting I get at that time of night. Out of the blue, and all of a sudden it just grabbed me by the throat!
So I grabbed a hogey bun, split it, butter, garlic (lots of garlic, I don’ t know why) and onion flakes. Toasted it up. I was thinking, “Just cook half. You’ll never eat both rolls.” But I baked both rolls. I was so impatient waiting for the oven to do its thing!
Then they were done…and I hardly stopped long enough to chew. Both rolls were gone! And I was satiated.
It’s like my body said, “OK, we’ve been fighting all day for you to make you feel better, but we’re taking a break and we need energy NOW!!!” Oh, yes ma’am!!
I wonder what the extra garlic thing was about….maybe I should Google that.

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