Friday, June 8, 2012

What to eat? My answer to a simple question

In my last blog post I wrote my thoughts on the "cleansing" diet fad. I figured I would follow that up with a my thoughts on what we should be eating. I get questions about diet quite a bit, and figured I would tell you all about how I eat. Also, I just read Mark Hyman piece about the "last diet you will ever need" and in many ways, I couldn't agree with him more.

I like to practice what I preach, and in my opinion I lead a pretty well balanced life. I LOVE to eat. Really I do. Me and food are besties. I love all flavors and textures, love that I live in the food capital of the world (in my opinion), and I love to cook.  So, I don't want you to think I live in an imaginary lala land where my diet dictates my life.

To be clear, I don't believe in "diets". I believe in eating healthy, eating in moderation, and enjoying life. I've had friends on every kind of diet imaginable: Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, South Beach, low carb, low fat, high protein, cookie, shakes. You get the picture. Personally, I just could never do it, and I definitely could never sustain it. I like to be able to have cheese (I REALLY love cheese) and bread, and meat, and wine.

This is my thinking when it comes to food: as touted Mark Pollan:  "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It is also how I grew up, so I am lucky that my palate has developed in a way that has made it easy to follow a healthy diet.

I love my veggies, and we pretty much keep vegetarian at home. That way, when we eat out, eating meat feels like a treat, and I appreciate that I am eating something that used to be alive.I love fruit, and growing up, we usually had fruit after dinner and I have been sticking with that. I don't believe in sugar substitutes. I would always rather have a teaspoon of real sugar in my morning coffee and not have an extra cookie than substitute. I try to keep processed food to a minimum and the few processed food that I do eat are made with simple real ingredients (like Triskets, which has only three ingredients). When it comes to carbs, I eat whole wheat/whole grain, even in pasta (you get used to it and it is much more filling).  I am not a big snacker, but when I do it is yogurt,  a piece of fruit,  nuts, dried fruit, or hummus and veggies. I don't like sodas (high fructose corn syrup gives me migraines, and you know my feelings about sugar substitutes), so I drink mostly water, or I mix a little bit of fruit juice with soda, or add a lemon or a lime to seltzer or water. My home is always stocked with these yummy healthy things, so I can never make a "bad choice."

I love to try new restaurants and eat out as well, and I never feel like I am denying myself anything. When I do indulge, and trust me I do (did I mention I love pizza?), I try to balance it out with a good salad. And if I really go overboard I go a little harder at the gym.

That's it folks. Nothing fancy. No diet. Just real food in moderation.

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