Normally, I’m prompted to write a blog post by how nuts the subject of an article is. This time, to my great joy, I’m writing because there is some common sense. I’m talking about this article I read on Yahoo Shine. Just like the bible says, “can anything good come from Nazareth?”, I wondered when the title was “Celebrity Diet Craze That Doesn’t Sound So Crazy”. However, I had to eat my skepticism (mmm, yummy and low cal) after reading it, because there is nothing in it I disagree with. I can only vouch for what Andrea Howe, the author of the article says. I did not read the actual book.
The only thing I might quibble with a bit is that, according to Andrea, not measuring food is ok. I say that’s fine at first, and if you it is working for you. However, if you hit a plateau, or are not seeing any results, measuring can help you see where your calorie intake really is. While this style of eating is what I heartily endorse (endorse, endorse, can I endorse it again?), measuring and tracking calories is the only way to know how much you are eating. As a whole though, if you are “eating clean”, or not eating processed foods, with a concentration on fruits and vegetables, while you might not be a stick, you shouldn’t be very heavy. It takes ice cream, donuts and cake to really put the pounds on. Or lots of cheese and nuts, but most heavy people I know didn’t get that way on cheese and nuts.
So, go read the article and breathe a sigh of relief. For this five minutes there isn’t any nuttiness running around.
This is better than food?
Time for me to ride on of my favorite hobby horses. I just spent some time with a friend who was using and selling supplements. The conversation that occurred spawned this blog. I am not anti supplement. I take several, based on their efficacy and my perceived lack of nutrients. I’m not in favor of “proprietorial blends” of ingredients, mostly involving tiny amounts of natural foods. Could I be wasting my money on what I do take? Sure, that’s why I don’t buy super expensive ones, and they are all specific ones, to address specific needs. Expensive ones always try to tell you that theirs are superior in purity, quality, nature of ingredients. They may be right. I just don’t have money to spend unless there was a measurable difference in my health. Occasionally I’ve allowed myself to be talked into buying some of them, and haven’t seen any difference. Turmeric, rosemary, onion, and garlic can all be bought in the produce aisle, or even cheaper in bulk from outlets. Rose hips can be grown in your own yard. Why are you popping a 5$ pill with blueberry in it when you could just eat some? Could some forms of Glucosamine Chondroitin be better than others? Possibly, but the cheap form I take works, and it isn’t cheap. No one herb is magical, and if you start to eat right, most of the issues these “magical supplements” are purported to solve will solve themselves.
But this isn’t even the biggest point to be made. My real beef is with people spending a fortune on supplements, and not watching their diets. If they are watching their diets, they don’t need the supplements. When I see an ad for “supergreens” I get irritated. First, greens are everywhere. Spinach, kale, lettuce, celery and other greens are readily available in the supermarket. Just throw them in the blender and tada! You have your own super greens. Don’t want to drink them? Chop them in a salad. People- it’s FOOD. Why are you taking your food in a pill or powder? You want a powder? Dry them and put them in your blender. If you are taking them in a pill or powder, you leave a lot of room for bad things in your diet. If you think you can drink a powder in a shake, then eat a hot dog, you’re kidding yourself.
Clean up your diet, and you will get everything you need:
- Fat is an acquired taste, you can “unacquire” it.
- Start with veggies you like, find ways to branch out to other veggies.
- Don’t batter and deep fry anything.
- Don’t eat out.
- Hate veggies? Eat a variety of fruits, or drink a green smoothie- fruit with spinach added. Keep trying new recipes and ways of eating them to find ones you like.
- Eat whole grains- wheat berries, bulgar wheat, brown rice, quinoa (technically not a grain, but used that way), amaranth, buckwheat, millet
- Limit red meat to once or twice a week.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Eat healthy fats- olive oil, walnuts, olives, flax,
- Eat beans- lots of them
Try all these things, see how you feel. I won’t have any sympathy for “how expensive it is to eat right” if you can afford all those supplements. I know a lot of ads are very persuasive, but the real answer is a lot less expensive, but does require more of a commitment on your part.