Mostly, I eat healthy. What exactly does that mean? Apparently it means different things to different people. So, I’m just going to tell you what it means to me.
First of all, I’m not perfect. I reserve the right to change my rules from one day to the next, since I’m the one who gets to make the rules. I don’t feed any children or significant others. My dog eats mostly organic, raw food. He doesn’t get to pick his food, so I try to give him the best I can get. Even his “treats” are organic and wheat and corn free (Thank you Paul Newman!).
Here are this week’s rules:
- I eat relatively little processed food. I like whole food. Real vegetables, fruit, meat. I love to cook, so I do. Almost every day. I do eat cheese, kefir, and the occasional baked good (usually from Whole Foods).
- When I’m at my parent’s house, I eat whatever I’m served. They don’t quite get what’s important about eating organic or grass-fed or even hormone-free. I bring in what I can, but sometimes I have to eat a regular steak. I’ve finally convinced them that I don’t eat chicken or farm-raised fish.
- Fish is wild-caught. Preferably from Alaska. Apparently, east coast Atlantic fish are exposed to a lot of pollution. That’s a topic for another day.
- Meat is grass-fed, without hormones or antibiotics. No chicken. Only organic turkey. The chicken is not a health thing. I hate, hate, hate frozen chicken, and it’s really hard to get fresh organic chicken.
- I do have cans in my cupboard – wild caught Alaskan salmon and tuna, sardines, Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Everything that can be gotten at the Farmer’s market will be gotten at the Farmer’s market.
- I will try every vegetable at least once. I grew up really, really picky. Can you imagine, I didn’t like onions, mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage. There were possibly hundreds of vegetables I missed out on in childhood. I’m doing my best to make up for it now. I used to get my food from an organic delivery service — they’ve since gone out of business — and I made it a point to try all the new and different fruits and vegetables Annie presented on a regular basis.
- I still don’t like zucchini or bell peppers. Sorry, that’s non-negotiable.
- No deep-fried foods – no french fries, no doughnuts, no fried chicken (well, plus, it’s chicken).
- Bacon is its own food group and is to be enjoyed within reason. I buy uncured, applewood smoked bacon from Niman Ranch or Applegate Farms. No nitrites (oh, that’s rule #11!). Prosciutto has similar exemption.
- No nitrites. No deli slices. No hot dogs – not even the veggie ones.
- No corn products. That’s a daily project in itself. Corn is hidden in everything. But my sinuses just hate it.
- Drink a green coconut daily. It’s true, they’re not organic. Nor are they local. But they are extremely good for you. Lots of potassium and magnesium. Much better than Gatorade after a sweaty workout.
- Fiber, fiber, fiber! I’m a colorectal surgeon. I have to get my plug in.
- I love dessert. Good thing there is organic white whole wheat flour, organic whole wheat pastry flour, organic eggs, organic free-trade chocolate, etc. Plus, there is this great coconut milk “ice cream”.
- Enjoy what you eat. Don’t be afraid to try it raw if you’ve never had it that way. Don’t be afraid to try cooking it a different way than usual.
- Simple is perfectly fine. Throw some beet greens in a pan with a little white wine and olive oil, maybe some shallots, and eat it. Goes well with that canned alaskan salmon. 10 minutes tops. Perfect weeknight food.
Books to consider: