Friday, September 25, 2009

What to Eat

Several friends, mostly men, have asked recently how do they know what they should eat. In some ways, I am confused by this question. There are millions and millions of books, links, diets, etc. out there. How can someone not know what to eat?

Perhaps the issue is the amount of information makes it all very confusing and intimidating. I'm not a nutritionist so I'm qualified to tell anyone what to eat. I can do two things - share a typical day in my food life and recommend some books and links that I find helpful.

A Day of Food
Personally, I've found I need many fewer calories than would be "prescribed" per conventional wisdom. I've also found the more I eat, the more I want to eat. If I have a few days of light eating, I feel better and have less cravings. I like to avoid sugar, white flour and all processed food (notice I say "like" - I eat some of these each week). This is really much easier than you probably think.

Here are my food standards for a day that I eat all meals at home - as much organic as possible.
Breakfast - Bowl of fresh fruit (always blueberries and a banana; as available strawberries, blackberries, plum, orange, peach or what is in season and is ripe), ground flaxseed and a sprinkle of cinnamon. A handful of almonds.
Snack - Piece of fruit
Lunch - Poached egg, avocado, sliced tomato
Snack - Cucumbers and hummus
Dinner - Chicken or fresh fish; salad greens (with olive oil/balsamic); cooked vege (peas, corn, broocoli
Snack - Recent favorite are dark chocolate covered almonds (I go through phases and my favorite changes from time to time)

I drink iced green tea all day (some might say too much). And I drink several 20 oz nalgene bottles of water. I also love red wine and have a few glasses per week - lest you think I'm a purist. If I have a day with lots of meals out, I try to balance that with a day of eating less at home. Don't torture yourself trying to be perfect, every day. Look at a few days at a time and approach your eating comprehensively.

Here are some great resources:

Again, I'm not trained or qualified to tell anyone what to eat. I can share my own experience - I feel better when I eat less and when what I eat is natural, whole foods. I feel better when I can taste the real quality in my food. And, I think we each need to experiment and find those things feel good about eating.

Good luck and bon app├ętit!

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