Food for thought

I spend a good number of my days talking about dietary guidelines and exercise recommendations, because so many of my patients have diabetes and obesity.  Just today, one patient decided to switch from one meal replacement plan to another (after losing 20 lbs!) because she ‘got bored’ from the meals that were being offered to her.  I understood her frustration, but I couldn’t help also wondering…what if she were *taught* how to cook a variety of healthy meals that she could then diversify on her own, to mix things up with the seasonal produce and draw from different flavor profiles??  You could have Asian food one night, Mediterranean another, etc, etc.  So many possibilities…

Eating healthily and mindfully is SO NOT BORING!  I can attest to this because I have an endless stream of recipes and ideas from the magazines, cookbooks, blogs, and websites I follow in my spare time.  J’s obsession is sports.  Mine is cooking and trying out new recipes.

I firmly believe in Pollan’s maxim: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  And by food, he means REAL food, not stuff that has been processed and then fortified because it no longer has nutrients.

I ran across an editorial in the NYT the other day that encapsulates a lot of what I believe and try to tell my patients when they ask me for the ‘best’ diet or the diet ‘most likely to succeed for weight loss’: Simple Rules for Healthy Eating.  It basically expounds a little on Pollan’s very simple (yet very valid) advice.

Some of the key points:

  1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.
  2. Eat heavily processed foods rarely.
  3. Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared from unprocessed foods as much as possible.
  4. Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine.
  5. Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol (consume in moderation).
  6. Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation.
  7. When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules.
  8. Eat with other people, especially people you care about, as often as possible.

AMEN to the last point – it is so much easier to cook and enjoy food when you are doing it with those you love!  🙂

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