Repeat after Me: Food is not the Devil
So I find it very sad how often food is vilified. Sad and ironic, because despite this vilification, we’re fatter than ever. I think we should take that as simple proof that seeing food as the problem is not an effective, healthy mindset.
Despite how much I love food, how much I love to eat, and yes, how much I actually eat, I am not fat. I am sure that part of it is to do with genetics; some, certainly is to do with activity level. But I’ll still give myself some credit for my health. Have I ever dieted? Nope. Do I feel deprived? Never. (Ok, well sometimes I’d like to have 2 and only allow myself 1, but that’s not exactly deprivation.)
I’m not a fitness, nutrition or health expert. I’m not a doctor. But others have found my philosophy on food and health helpful, so I thought I would share. This “philosophy” isn’t necessarily my own. It comes from everywhere–books, magazines, tips from friends, my upbringing, travels and trial and error. It’s also not a weight-loss “solution” or diet plan–it’s just a collection of thoughts I find helpful to stay on track!
Stop thinking “I must eat less” and start thinking “I must eat better”
We need food to survive. There are lots of important things in food that contribute to our health. I like to think of the number of calories I need in a day as precious real estate. When you consider all of the nutrients and vitamins we need, you’ll realize it’s a challenge to consume all of the good things we should be eating in a day!
Educate yourself about what you’re eating.
Through various courses, books, discussions with friends, documentaries, I have learned a lot about what’s in the food we eat. This information really inspires me to only put healthy things in my body. There are plenty of excellent resources. “Foodie intellectual” Michael Pollan‘s work or a documentary like “Food, Inc.” is a great place to start!
Consider Michael Pollan’s simple advice:
Eat food. Mostly vegetables. Not too much.
In his book, In Defense of Food, Pollan makes a big point about focusing on eating REAL food. Basic, unprocessed, not chemically manufactured or altered food. And the message is simple: if we eat food, real food, and not too much of it, it should be pretty easy to stay healthy.
Don’t buy junk.
This is a basic one. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Don’t keep soda, chips, candy and such in your house. When they’re in my house, I eat them, too. So just don’t buy them. Simple.
Having a healthy mindset about food and making eating an enjoyable, guilt-free process is, in my opinion, very important. Eating should be a wonderful experience–to enjoy with friends and family, to relish and to delight in. Not something to do in shame, in the kitchen alone, in secret, with sadness. Food should be happy.
This advice is pretty simple, but it’s all about having a positive mindset and being mindful about what I eat.
What advice and tips do you have to eat well and stay healthy?