Everything Fits When it Comes to Food

 Happy National Nutrition Month!

Ah the beloved food pyramid! This certainly has changed over the years, and now as many of you may know it has become MyPlate. I can remember learning about the food pyramid multiple times in my 21 years of life, and I remember being slightly confused about all of it (well almost all of it and we will get to that!). As a little kindergartener I remember thinking:

O.K. so all food has a category- my wheaties in the morning are at the bottom along with my sandwich bread and mac n cheese.

I am not really sure I like the next two categories very much…

I get milk in my cereal and my dog does too when he finishes it!

Dad makes me chicken and I like eggs sometimes for breakfast on the weekends. But it might be cool to be a vegetarian though.

O and that last category! That is the special one where it says I can have my doughnut in the morning and the birthday cake at the party right? But not too much or…

OR WHAT?

Back then I wasn’t really sure. You see I new what all of the other layers of the pyramid represented, but the top point was sweets. Not fats and oils. and as I grew older the top of the pyramid started to disappear. and the sweets certainly disappeared.

Until my very wise dietitian that was the tipping point of my recovery brought out the food pyramid again and taught me what it was really about. And that the top of the pyramid was the one of the most important parts! My health relied of the top where the fats and oils were located. So bring on the nut butters, avocados, nuts, olive oil… but I forgot about the cake.

You see I may have had a lot wrong (like skipping the fruits and veggies…) when I first learned about the pyramid and then the second time I forgot that it wasn’t just healthy and natural foods on there either. The awesome thing about the old food pyramid is it shows us that all foods are needed to help us as individuals achieve the best overall physical and mental health. We need it all. Those whole grains and complex carbohydrates provide us with our body’s fuel of choice and quick energy, fruits and veggies are packed full of some awesome vitamins and minerals and fiber, protein… well protein (or the amino acids protein is made up of) is in everything… like our cell membranes or the collagen of our skin!, milk, cheese, yogurt- healthy bones baby!, and fats? We need them for our hormones, our mental health, and as a source of energy! We also need our favorite foods and things we just enjoy to make us happy and content in life.

You see, everything fits. The old pyramid doesn’t discriminate. Foods are not good and bad. They all build off of each other, and you need every category.

I encourage everyone to celebrate National Nutrition Month with a well-rounded diet approach. Use the old pyramid and create a new plate full of all of the nutrients your body loves!

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8 thoughts on “Everything Fits When it Comes to Food

  1. I’ve missed you girl 🙂 fabulous post darlin…I love this reminder, which i think we all forget at times for various reasons. There is more than enough room for everything in the food pyramid and in our diets, which is a lesson we were taught at a young age…just have to figure out how remember that as we get older and different influences try to say otherwise

    • exactly! I think it is amazing how perceptions change throughout our lives and history! Today we learned the history of the food guides dating back to the 1940’s it was so cool to see how food perception and diet has changed over the years

  2. Great post as usual! The food pyramid is such a great way to learn and enjoy that balanced diet. Cakes, mac and cheese, candy… they all fit on the pyramid. They all have a place in our diets. I feel like while I was taught that very young, I forgot about it as I got into the influential middle/high school age where everything was about eating “healthy” all the time. Now, I definitely enjoy those cakes and cookies more than I used to when I was younger- but that’s okay because I’m craving them for a reason. It’s a learning experience, just like everything else in life.

    • They make us happy. They are a part of the pyramid for a reason. No food is bad food and every food has a place. Too much of anything can be a tad harmful (hello vegetable belly bloggers know too much about) and too little of anything is even worse!

  3. Exactly and I actually have a lot to say about this. (And I think we have brushed on it before). Diet is not about the exact healthiest physical things for your body. It is mental too. It always saddens me when I see people saying (a lot..not just once in a while) that they can’t have certain foods because they aren’t healthy ect. In moderation most things are okay and especially good for your soul.

    • My thing is there are good and bad things to all foods. Yes vegetables are good for us but you can’t live off of just vegetables or just bread or just meat. (Paleo cough cough). And food is so much more than just nutrition. It is about the experience and the traditions and relationships formed through those food experiences!

  4. OH my gosh I’ve never thought of the food pyramid this way!! But it’s so true….everything is on it because we need EVERYTHING. Carbs, fats, and proteins. I’ll argue that different people have different needs – for example I can’t eat dairy, so I have to get my calcium by other means (almond and soy milk, some greek yogurt, beans, greens, salmon etc). And many people choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons (my little sis is vegan for animal rights and I totally respect that), but if they plan well, can still get their nutrients. Paleo….well, whatever, at the very least you cannot eat like that and be a competitive endurance athlete…not enough carbs). And grains! If you can tolerate them, EAT THEM seriously. And you’re right- there are no BAD foods, but every food becomes bad when you eat it in extreme excess – which shouldn’t happen ever if you’re eating a balanced diet. RIght on girl, loved this post.

    • That is what the food guides are all about from the very beginning. BALANCE. Our bodies need a balance of nutrients to function correctly for the activities we love to do in life 😀

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