Eating Well–Without Trying So Hard or Worrying So Much

“Healthy eating:”  Two words with the power to spark enormous stress.  Those two words can easily send our minds swirling with confusion–and likely as not, a good measure of guilt as well.  “Am I doing enough?  Am I eating too many carbs?  Should I be juicing more?  Are eggs on the good list or bad?”

Suspended Judgment:  There’s a secret for happy and healthful eating, but can you first even imagine that eating well is a lot easier than you think?  Could you believe that it doesn’t have to be really hard, guilt-laden or worrisome?

 

Autumn Bounty

Seasonal Bounty. Limiting our produce choices to what’s in season has the curious consequence of making it easier to cook meals that are healthy and delicious.

Seasonal Eating:  The key to eating well, happily and easily, without worry or guilt.  Let me make the case, beginning with a definition of “seasonal eating.”  Seasonal eating is really place-based eating, i.e., for the place where you find yourself, eating what the earth provides, when the earth provides it, in the amounts provided by the earth.

“Place” is a critical to seasonal eating.  The term is otherwise meaningless since at any one point in time, a produce item is “in season” somewhere in the world and can be found in the produce aisle of your local grocery store.  Only when eating is tied to place do we reap the many benefits of a true seasonal approach.  In an interesting paradox, it is the limiting aspects of place-based eating that are the source of its many advantages.

Read on to discover the many benefits–health and otherwise–of seasonal eating. . . .  I’ve discovered at least a dozen.

In the meantime, if you’re ready to start the seasonal eating journey, join us for one of our Healthy, Seasonal Meal Making Classes.

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Imagine Your Way to a Healthy Eating Lifestyle

The next step in the Imagination series . . .

You may have heard of Nutrition Action.  It’s a great newsletter that has really opened my eyes to what is actually inthe processed foods we so merrily munch.  A recent article was particularly interesting.  It  pitted the Top 10 Super Foods against the 10 Worst Processed Foods, providing the nutritional lowdown on each entry.  Here’s an abbreviated version:

Super Foods vs. The Worst Foods

*From Nutrition Action Health Letter: http://www.cspinet.org/nah/10foods_bad.html

As usual, I lapped up the dirt on all the fat, salt, calories and chemicals in foods like Marie Callender’s pot pies, Campbell’s Soups and the Olive Garden trio plate.   But I could only do that because I had imagination, i.e., I can look at the list of 10 Super Foods and imagine a dozen alternatives to the Top 10 Worst that are not only scrumptious but health-giving as well.  I don’t have to depend on Marie, Campbell or Olive for food, flavor and comfort at end of the day.

For a lot of people, however, those foods are a main source of food, flavor and comfort, so it isn’t so fun to read the dirt on processed foods.  Lacking the imagination to free ourselves from that trap, we look at the Super Food list and think, “Oh great, a dinner of salmon with spinach and brown rice plus fat-free milk to drink.  Oh great, crispbreads with oranges for snack.  Oh great, frozen butternut squash steamed with kale for lunch.”  Faced with that kind of lineup, it’s hard to imagine healthful eating as anything but dismal!

But what if the Super Food list were enhanced by a little imagination.  Take a look my Super Food meal list from the past couple weeks:Super Food Imagination List

What you will gather from this list is that we face a  translation problem.  Each of the plain old super foods on the list actually translates into a delightfully delicious dish!  But we often don’t know this–and very often can’t even envision it.

Hence the need for need for revving up the imagination.  If 2012 is your year to begin a healthy eating lifestyle, here’s a good starting point:  Envision the Super Foods as the basis for hundreds of incredible meals that beat the heck out of Marie’s pot pies.  You may not be able to picture those meals, and you may not fully believe that statement, but can you at least:

  • Imagine a world where healthful meals are as good, satisfying and comforting as a bowl of Haagan Daz or Cold Stone.
  • Imagine eating foods and feeling really good–not guilty–about what you’ve eaten.
  • Imagine that you could experience incredible health by eating deliciously delightful meals.

What you need to know is that these imagined scenarios are all true.  I can say this with complete confidence because I’ve been in this wonderful world for many years and it only gets better and better.  I hope you’ll join me this year–starting with just a leap of imagination.

Ready for the next steps:

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