Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Processed Foods and Perfectionism

I was reading my new Cooking Light today (do I sound virtuous? I'm not sure how I started getting it-was it a reward for selling a lot of wrapping paper, or did I buy from some other kids' fundraiser? Well now that Gourmet is gone....) and I read an article about Jamie Oliver. Now we watch a fair amount of Food Network, and I'd heard of the Naked Chef (never sure why he was called that), but I never put 2 and 2 together. Anyway, the article talked about how charming he is blah blah blah and then the fact that he is on a crusade to improve nutrition. Hey I'm on a crusade to improve nutrition--in my head. No really I want to be on a crusade to improve nutrition. I organize a group of concerned moms and dads and we overhaul the school lunch system into fresh nutritious foods our children will actually eat and I'll never have to make lunch again. But I digress.

So Jamie is doing a reality show from Huntington, West Virginia. The least healthy town in the USA. His premise is that he will teach different people to cook one meal. They'll teach others and Huntington, West Virginia will move out of the top (bottom) 10. He talks about "proper food." Which coming from a mother who talked a lot about "proper" things, my ears immediately perked up. He feels that if people did something from remotely from scratch half the time, it would fix 98% of the weight and nutrition problems.

So I began to think about proper food. I read all the labels of the tacos I was making for dinner. Fortunately I shopped at Fresh Market this week, so my taco seasoning only had 5 ingredients. I knew they had ground my beef and made my guacamole. But then I looked at the taco sauce, cheese (that at some point had at least seen a cow) and thought, ugh I can't do that. I can't make everything from scratch. I love the idea. I'd like to make my own taco seasoning, but I don't. And what about my Rao's Marinara Sauce? Yes it leaves a dark red grease stain, which homemade marinara would not do, but my Rao's I've got to give up my Rao's? and my easy and much loved LaRosa's meatballs--all I have to do is reach in the freezer, put them in the pot with the Rao's, boil some (protein & fiber added) pasta and shazam! dinner that everyone loves and admires. Well if I can't have perfectionism, I'm not even going to try.

So I thought about it and that's pretty much my problem all around isn't it. (And I'm having a deja vu that I've written about this all or nothing/perfectionism but I'm on a roll so I'm not looking back.) If I can't do it 100%, I'm not even going to try. If I blow the diet at breakfast, well I may as well just eat everything in sight until the following Monday (everyone knows the diet begins on Monday).

So I bought his cookbook and I'm watching his TV show and I'm trying. I even made homemade meatballs and sauce. And I'm trying to do better at not being a perfectionist--rather than reorganizing an entire room, I'm just doing a closet. Shockingly, it works! Better to have one closet organized than that guilty feeling of needing to go through everything. The only problem is that by the time you've finished the room, that first closet needs organizing--again.

Anyone want to join me: