When people see the change in me, they ask what diet I am on. South Beach? Going vegetarian? Paleo? I have changed my diet, I am not “on” one. This is not an on/off game. This is a commitment to healthier eating and living. To making food choices based on taste and nutrition and to eating mindfully.
But there are principles guiding me:
- vegetables and fruit are good in whatever quantity I want them
- white bread, white rice, and semolina add calories without much nutrition: avoid them
- I don't know how to eat a handful of chips–avoid them until I am able to not eat the whole bag
- Cheese should be limited (it used to be the only food I had in the house on a regular basis), but a sprinkle of parmesan on soups, feta on salads adds taste and protein without high calories and inciting my desire for more more more
- desserts are rare–only when I really want them, not just because they are there (I don't love cake, so I don't have it just because it is a party)
- choose nutrition over empty calories
- have fun (more on that in another post)
- cook for myself, explore new foods
Another thing that has been a very important guide to me is to have a deal with myself that if I want to go out for pizza once in awhile or have a big plate of spaghetti, that is okay. It is not reasonable for me to think “I must never eat pizza again.” I want to experience food as plenty, bounty, a blessing, not live in feeling of deprivation.
That said, I have to be aware that these meals in which I splurge or break my guiding principles can't become a new habit. To live with energy, flexibility, better chances of avoiding stroke, etc. I WANT to eat good foods. It is not an “I have to” or an “ought,” and the process is not about shame and guilt and penury.