You’d think gawking at people’s plate’s would be taboo but food-shaming is going strong. I’ve been sensitive to it since I was a young girl when my dad, bless his heart, would say things like – are you sure you want to eat that?
He was referring to anything on my plate that wasn’t “dietetic” (that’s what they called it in his day). My dad was raised on the belief that the most important virtue in life is to be thin & beautiful. Add that to a child-born BATTLE with weight and you get some crazy “food rules.”
In a nut shell, the rules in my house were:
- fat is the enemy
- red meat will kill ya
- you only deserve to eat if you’ve exercised your ass off
- fish is the only food to eat guilt free (that and crackers & jelly??)
- sorbet is a pass, ice cream is NOT
- and fat is BAD (mentioned twice for emphasis)
Today at Alfalfa’s Oatmeal Bar, I wasn’t ashamed of being seen with oatmeal (Paleo peeps don’t scare me). I wasn’t afraid to fill my cup to the brim (I don’t hide my portion sizes). What I didn’t want anyone to see was… how much butter I put in my oatmeal (aka FAT).
The fear of FAT is steeped in our psyche.
And although I’m not ashamed of how much fat I eat – FAT saved me from incessant food cravings, imbalanced hormones, a boring diet, anxiety and depression – my fear is “what people will think of how much fat I eat.” Being a “nutritionist,” I could lose business if people turn away in disgust before they know the facts.
Are you judging the fat on YOUR plate?
Luckily, the door’s been cracked for you to hear otherwise. You’re open minded, you WANT to trust fat. BUT WILL THE FAT YOU EAT MAKE YOU FAT?
No! (I have to shout because this is important).
Fat is your friend. Fat from pasture-raised animals not given antibiotics, growth hormones or toxic waste is a “superfood.” It’s also a macro-nutrient, which means you MUST consume it in order to supply your body proper nutrients required for LIFE (you’re body doesn’t produce it).
Weight gain is caused by imbalanced hormones, stress, nutritional deficiencies, DIETING and toxins that aren’t stored or eliminated properly. Fat on your body is NOT caused by the fat you consume.
Fat is actually a digestive aid! It helps break down carbohydrates. Why do you think the French love their fatty sauces? Because in most cultures, meals are designed for digestibility. Fat, like fermented food, is intentionally included because they’re both high in enzymes which break down nutrients so your body can assimilate nutrition with ease.
Like bread was designed for butter, chicken breasts were designed to eat with chicken skin (the tastiest part)!
If you’ve taken animal protein out of your diet, you’re likely deficient in fat.
Grains need to have fat added. Like my oatmeal at Alfalfa’s Oatmeal Bar. I tucked 2 pads of Organic Valley Butter into the center to get it melted and took this photo. Then I added one more for good measure. I could have added a fourth packet (another 1/2 Tablespoon) but not in public!
The measure of whether I added the right amount of fat is – how I feel.
I wasn’t hungry or snack’y until 4 hours later. A sign of a well balanced meal!
There’s no reason to be ashamed of eating large portions of fat. In fact, you can use people’s reactions as a measure: if “jaws drop,” you’ve added the right amount. And when it happens, send them to me.
If you want to optimize your fat digestion, drink bone broth regularly. Look out for my #30DayBoneBrothChallenge coming soon!
Bone Broth increases bile acids which aids fat digestion.
Until then, enjoy more fat. Each week, notice your appetite, cravings, and satiety. Go slowly. Increase weekly. You want to listen to your body and hear what it’s saying in response.
And stay tuned! Next I’ll share WHICH fats (besides (organic) butter + animal fats) to include and which ones to throw away.