DAY #87 FULL PORTIONS; No Longer a Bread Racist…

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Breakfast
Weetabix x 2.
White toast x 2, butter. (…honey with a ‘hint of cinnamon’ on ½ slice)

*EXTRA apple…

Lunch
Stewed steak, herb dumpling, boiled potatoes, baby carrots.
Strawberry mousse.

Afternoon snack
‘Seabrooks’ crisps.

Tea
Baked beans, jacket potato, butter, side salad.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).

Supper
Chocolate brownie.

…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.

I wonder what Mr Warburton’s doing up there…

Perhaps he’s playing chess with Michael Jackson – with clouds for stools, and a bigger one for a table. Or ‘Battleships’ with Cilla Black whilst sipping Martini’s (or Jagerbombs).

Whatever he’s doing, my guess is Mr Warburton is feeling pretty sad. He’s probably sniffling into a Kleenex to avoid dribbling on the chess board (maybe a bit dramatic)… at how much a simple, hearty loaf of bread in the 19th century has TODAY become one big, confusing, over-thought and misunderstood political debate:

“Brown versus white (said in dramatic American film-star voice): what’s ‘best’?”

We may as well take this one to parliament. Bags of flour sat in seats to await the verdict. (I don’t know ANYTHING about politics of people and countries; I TRY to be interested… but it’s something I just don’t get. Can’t lie. Too much information, too much hate and all that jazz. Too many angry people in suits… but as a determined recovering ‘Anorexic’, my passion for politics seems to settle somewhere in the foodie world!) Four months ago, before this commitment to a well and true s*dding off to my Eating Disorder, and the final embracing of a ‘full recovery’… I didn’t realise food and politics could relate so much.

What I CAN be sure of, is all this food politics going on DEFINITELY doesn’t help prevent OR heal Eating Disorders… the politics stirred with a mammoth-sized wooden spoon by the media…

…all the skewwhiff beliefs across the world held about what foods are ‘good’ and what are ‘bad’. As humans, we LOVE to put things in boxes… to create ‘sense’ and order’. To try and make the world easier to understand… when really there’s little logic behind it and we’re killing our own self-esteem and emotional relationship with food by training ourselves this way. Creating black-or-white thinking. All food wants to do is give us energy and pleasure. It’s up to us what we choose to do with it…

A common b*ggar of a belief is connecting ‘good’ to all the low-fat foods (FAT IS OUR FRIEND, PEOPLE! Don’t give him a hard time. I’m thanking the geezer for my fuller, stronger hair and softer skin! And depression-squasher… okay, it’s not QUITE squashed, but the fat helps happy chemicals to be released in the brain, putting me in an emotionally stronger position…)

*A healthy diet contains EVERY single food group, type, taste, texture, colour. And yes, believe it or not, it means we CAN eat, on a regular basis, all the foods we ENJOY.*

What’s healthy for a rabbit, isn’t healthy for a human. So put your guns filled with carrot-stick bullets away, flush your kale smoothies down the loo (unless you genuinely LOVE the taste of that green gunk that looks like it’s been taken from a river in the ‘Tomb Raider’ game… then go ahead, knock yourself out) …and stock your cupboard with foods that you find lovely and are true to YOU. And not what you ‘think’ you should force yourself to like…

I feel like a lot of us subconsciously relate ‘healthy’ to eating foods that 90% of the time don’t taste particularly nice. We assume that to be ‘healthy’ we need to feel unhappy, deprived, to tolerate some flavours we’d rather not have, and feel admiration for the foods we really like but don’t feel like we CAN have. You CAN!

*It’s a mouldy, smelly cliché covered in cobwebs… but EVERYTHING in moderation. (that means – chocolate eclairs, brussel sprouts, double cream, cherry tomatoes, spinach, crispy bacon, butter, cucumber – they’ve all got your best interests at heart!) That’s all you need to know when it comes to a healthy, balanced diet and weight management.*

So apparently, now, in this world, food and politics are a THING. Without actually knowing any logic behind it. It’s like playing ‘Simon says’ with what we read in magazines – and we somehow believe it, hoping that a new or trendy tweek to our diet will be the quick-fix to happiness, a better life, and general health.

When it comes to bread what do we mean by ‘best’? …‘healthiest’? And what do we mean by ‘healthiest’ anyway? ‘Less fat’?

…what do we actually, EVEN mean? How could something as simple as BREAD start creating racist divides of ‘brown – good’, ‘white – bad’? If we find strength to put together the logic behind this myth… there’s barely any fat in EITHER colour bread. So that bit can’t be the ‘issue’. Calories? Again, barely a difference. So what IS different… ?

What I’ve learnt and found reassurance in, hugely, are the dietetics sessions on the Unit exploring these kind of misleading diet beliefs. The ONLY difference is (if we’re talking nutrition), that brown bread contains a BIT more fibre… and white a BIT more calcium.

Everyone’s a winner and they BOTH have little quirks and perks.

But lots of us still perceive white as the ‘bad’ guy… or at least not as angelic as wholemeal… so then, there’s this argument about ‘wholegrain’… brown still contains the ‘bran’ which we probably associate with being more ‘natural’ and white bread is processed to remove the ‘bran’ so is slightly lower on the overall vitamin and mineral content, making it white…

…as a confessed ‘wholemeal/brown brainwashed’ to white toast convert, would it have that delicious crunch if it still had the bran? Probably not. The bran in the brown stuff gives it texture – lovely and all that, don’t get me wrong… I love them BOTH (like two non-identical twins I’m proud of) …but when it comes to toast, WHITE gets my toast vote – hands-down. I’ve found that butter spreads better on it too – it has a sturdier surface (thanks to that gold-winning crunch)… and the bran bits in wholemeal make this a more tricky little task.

If you’re reading this and craving a bit of toast, but automatically reach for the brown (you bread racist, you)… spice your life up a bit (just a little bit) and pop a white slice in the toaster. Or two. And remind yourself you have that option, whenever you want… white bread does not make you ‘fatter’ than brown. People have their flavour preferences, that’s a given. But all I’m asking is to question your decisions around WHY you reach for brown or white…

…it’s quite strange really, how the personality of a type of bread can transform a taste-bud experience! Like for me, personally, I prefer the taste of brown for a cold sarnie (perhaps it’s a texture thing)… and princess of the toast kingdom (for me) – white!

Not long ago… bread altogether was a ‘fear’ in itself. No logic, just mental and emotional ‘fear’ – controlled and encouraged by Anorexia shaking it’s pom-poms. Now I have no time for that, and as my exposure to bread (starting with ‘brown’ when I first ‘had’ to eat bread on the hospital menu) has grown in confidence… and I’m watering the trust in myself… I’ve now felt able to let my taste-buds roam (what at the moment feels such a novelty after giving white a bad, unfair press for so long) the Amazon jungle. I can appreciate white bread for it’s perks, just as much as brown. It’s equally valuable twin!

I will continue to fight ‘bread politics’ and listen to my own fancies. Yes, it’s difficult though to drown out the noisy music of information and articles, or diet-gossip hopping around… all that is not driven from facts. And sometimes it’s even harder to trust yourself, even when you’ve learnt the facts, when everyone else around you is still brainwashed. And living by those mini life-crushing beliefs.

Okay, okay, it’s not like never having white toast again would crush my life… but it’s certainly made it that little bit better by knowing it’s OKAY to eat. (just also turns out I’m also a number one fan!) That now I have another option, I never knew was there before – that never used to feel ‘allowed’.

Knowing you ‘can’ (with ANYTHING, I guess) is quite empowering… it reminds you that you might only be ONE change away from a better life.

After I wrote this, I fished out my meal-planners from over the weeks, to see how my attitude/fear towards white bread has changed. If you read my blog-post ‘DAY #59 FULL PORTIONS; Neon Magic…’, you’ll understand the whole idea about highlighting certain foods over each day…

It sounds quite weird, but it gives me a sense of peace that I no longer have this ‘beef’ with white bread… it was therapeutic to see how the ‘Neon Magic’ has decreased as the weeks have gone by… from a full-whack thick line through… to a smaller, less fearful underline… and to now – I don’t need to shine my highlighting wand on the words ‘white toast’ because the fear and misguided beliefs driving that craving to highlight as a ‘warning’ or ‘new opportunity’, is a dust of ash compared to the fire it once was. The fire fuelled by my Anorexia…

Breaddddddddddll

So Mr Warburton, I’d like to declare that I am no longer a bread racist. I appreciate both your white and brown slices for their individually colourful personalities, and all they have to offer.

Is Michael Jackson any good at chess by the way?

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