In the past 2 years, I have read… OMG how much I have read! All about FOOD: about nutrition, marketing of food, harvesting of food, mono-cultures, GMOs, chemicals, additives, emulsifiers, CAFOs, farmed fish, pesticides, ethical eating, vegan diets, obesity, diabetes, name it! After countless documentaries viewed, articles & books read and many, many blogs and website visited, I have come to these simple conclusions about food.
- Keep it simple! Fruits, veggies, meat (or not), nuts… Nature is bountiful and there is something for everyone, including grains.
- Be mindful: buy enough but not too much, waste is not a good thing. Buy closest to home when possible but don’t get sick over it. If you must buy imports, chose from countries with ethics
- Be leery of «Brand Power»… Doesn’t mean you need to shun some of your favourite’s foods forever and always. Just know the impact they have on your daily diet. If most of your «food» need a commercial, well…
- Cook «normal»: not every day needs to be a gourmet meal. Eggs for diner are fine. So is toast with peanut butter… An apple requires little prep. Rachel and Jamie have a full crew to prep stuff and then, clean up after them!
- Plan ahead: yeah, yeah, we keep hearing that one. But it is true!
- Explore new foods and new techniques but don’t ditch what you know. Be inspired, not frazzled!
- Your mom and nana’s recipes are probably the best ones you will ever own!
- Know your limits: time, equipment, skill, obscure ingredients…It is A-OK not to want to cook like a Japanese chef: I love Asian cuisine but when I want a real Chinese feast, I go out for it! That is why we go to restaurants no?
- If it comes in a box, it probably isn’t really all that great for you. It may seem cheap, or easy, or nutritionally sound, or actually look good but deep down inside, without anyone on the news or the internet telling you this, you know that is not food… Keep the boxed pasta but ditch the pasta helper: a great way to start.
- Filter your grocery cart: any junk food purchase should be subtracted from your weekly food costs. Just as you would never add the cost of your popcorn and pop at the movies to your weekly grocery budget, neither should the Twizzlers you just threw in there because “it’s Friday, I am tired, I am hungry and dammit, if I want Twizzlers, I will have Twizzlers!!!”. Keep two carts going: the must haves and the splurges. I can assure you, it will be shocking.
- Ditch the «ABSOLUTES» in eating unless you have a severe condition or allergy. Why should we be so cultish and so absolute about food these days? I swear some groups’ eating habits out there sound more like extremist movements than simply choosing the food they like to eat. Whoa people, we need to chill: live and let live. Omnivores are NOT murderers.
- Be smart: so many power foods, super foods, belly fat busters foods, metabolism booster foods are announced every day, it is enough to make anybody’s head spin! Olive oil is good but a bucket a day? Well… probably not so much! Whole grain bread is good but 10kg a day? Get where I am going with this?
- CALORIES, unlucky number 13|Calories, unfortunately, DO matter. Yup, so sad to bring it up yet again… Good source calories will not only give you the fuel you need but will nourish all that bio-organic chemistry your beautiful body is made of. Poor source calories will only pump up the gas meter. Eventually, your body will feel the deficiencies. Too much of any caloric intake results in that surplus which we all know ends up in the savings account found in thighs, bellies and even chins
And finally, exactly how I started: KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! If you enjoy spending tons of hours in the kitchen, fill your boots my dear. If you prefer the sandwich and a sliced tomato, then go for it. Just remember to choose well, to be kind to yourself and the environment (and to others) and to «treat» yourself whenever the need arises. Then again, you probably already know all of this…