Doesn’t the barrage of nutritional information out there give you a headache sometimes? Or perhaps you feel you could cope with the abundant information if it wasn’t so mingled with dogma, contradictory theories, conflicting studies, institutions with huge vested financial interests, not to mention fanatics.
(Perhaps some people include me in the latter? 🙂 )
On one level, when I began to study about food and nutrition, I found what I was learning exciting and empowering. On the other, you can run the risk of being blown hither and thither by every wind of nutritional “doctrine”, each study seeming to contradict the previous, and the joy of food is reduced to a table of quantities in grams/milligrams/micrograms for our fuel needs, or perhaps in the case of others a calorie counter, or a list of permitted points or “syns”.
If you do feel like that, then I recommend you look for true and guiding principles among all the hullaballoo, and try to follow those. This is the first set of guiding principles I read, and I think it is a fantastic place for people to begin. It’s Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food”. I love it! It’s easy to read, eye-opening, and gives you plenty of food for thought. Allow me to give you a taster of what he outlines- among other things, and reiterate- read the book!!
EAT REAL FOOD (not processed”Edible Food-like Substances”)
- Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food
- Avoid food products that contain ingredients that are unfamiliar or unpronounceable
- Avoid food products that contain more than 5 ingredients
- Avoid food products that make health claims (eg “Low fat margarines”, “fortified cereals”)
NOT TOO MUCH
- Pay more, eat less.
- Eat meals
- Eat your meals at a table
- Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
- Eat slowly
- Cook from scratch.
- Plant a garden if possible
EAT MOSTLY PLANTS
- Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
- Buy food grown in healthy soils
- You are what you eat eats, aswell (Consider the source, diet and living conditions of the meat you eat, if applicable)
There. You may not concur with all of it, but I am pretty sure that didn’t give anyone a headache, and there is plenty to think about and put into practice, if so desired.
Just to stress, I do not believe in One True Path towards health, though I do think that there are similar principles to be found across different cultures that enjoy great health. And truthfully, I think that eating REAL food, not to excess, and eating mainly plants, are three of the true principles, particularly, eating those plants in or close to their natural state. (Frying in oils at ultra high temperatures changes your food, people. And not in a good way)
Wherever you are in your dietary habits, there is something here for you. You could start today, by eating a large leafy salad with plenty of raw veggies in. Or switch from a bottled dressing to a raw-wholefoods dressing (Avocado and orange dressing anyone?) or a simple and delicious home-mixed vinaigrette. You could dig out your bread maker and make some fresh wholegrain bread. Make some granola. Almond milk. Buy a few more organic items when you go shopping.Eat meat-free more often, starting today. Ditch the supermarket cakes for a home-baked one. Or ditch the home-made cake for a mango 🙂 Drink water, and home-made smoothies. Try a new vegetable. Order an organic veggie delivery once a week, and get recipe-hunting to use them. Sprout on your windowsill. Eat a handful of pistachios over a milky way, even if they have the same number of “weightwatcher points”. Definitely don’t eat at Macdonalds today. Oh, and make some recipes from this site 🙂