Health and nutrition information is complicated. Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be.
Nutrition is a quickly evolving field, and new studies are coming out all the time. If you’re not an expert, or aren’t inherently fascinated by the topic, it can get a bit overwhelming.
Where do you start? How do you eat better? How do you know that the choices you’re making are actually good for you?
We need to boil it down to the essentials. What’s the really important stuff?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t learn as much as you can — you probably should. If you have the time and the interest.
As I researched and explored what I eat and how I relate to food, I realized that when it comes to healthy eating, eating better doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat best.
Said another way: If you try to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So I continued on my educational journey, and I kept coming back to three core ideas.
I don’t claim them to be perfect — far from it! — but they’re a huge step in the right direction. I believe that everyone who follows these three rules will feel better and be far healthier.
It’s not easy, but it is simple.
- When you eat grains, eat only 100% whole grains.
- Don’t eat high fructose corn syrup.
- Don’t eat hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or anything that’s been deep-fried.
To make this work, you need to Decide Once to follow the rules. Make them simply “the way it is” in the same way a vegetarian simply will not eat meat, or a non-smoker never touches a cigarette.
Make it an absolute choice in your life, with no gray area. By doing so, it removes willpower from the equation – it’s something you just. don’t. eat. So you don’t even have to think about it.
If you find high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients list, for example, put it back on the shelf without a second thought. Simple as that.
But enjoying food is important, too! I love french fries as much as the next guy, and I couldn’t imagine never eating them again! So I’ve added an important corollary that I believe makes it possible to follow these rules without going insane: The Cheat Meal.
Once a week, go ahead and cheat. Eat anything you want. But make it special. Look forward to it all week. Savor the meal. If you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll find those french fries are much more enjoyable.
So what else am I going to write about? I’m writing about anything diet, food, or nutrition-related that I come across that seems interesting or useful. Hopefully reading my posts will teach you, inspire you, or simply show you something else you hadn’t seen before. It’s a blog, so it will certainly continue to evolve.
I’ve also been doing a series called Menu Mondays. I’ll scrutinize a chain restaurant’s menu (including all the nitty-gritty nutrition info) and make recommendations on the healthiest choices.
(I understand that it’s not possible in today’s world to follow the rules all the time. Sometimes you’re in a place that doesn’t have the greatest options. But it still pays to seek out the better options.)
I also post an occasional recipe. It may be one I found in a book or online, or that a fellow blogger shared with me. It also may be something I created completely from scratch, a complete experiment. Or, it may be a healthier take on an old favorite.
Feedback is always welcome, and I look forward to hearing from you!