I often feel overwhelmed by all the dieting advice we are bombarded with every day. Google “diet”–and you get 587,000,000 results. Google “eating healthy”, and you get 32,500,000 results. Do we really need that much information about how and what to eat? Isn’t this something humans have been doing since they were tracking down mastodons? It’s amazing how complicated we’ve made healthy eating.
Obviously we have more choices, and more complicated lives than our caveman ancestors. But what to eat has not changed that much. If it grazes, or grows from the ground, it’s good for you. If it comes in a box, probably not. Oh, and if your food rhymes or has a cute name…it’s not a food. Think “ho ho”, and “ring ding”, “pop tart” and “twinkie”.
I don’t push or endorse any one kind of diet to my clients. I do see many of them have great success with Weight Watchers, in part because the program truly seems to teach HOW to eat, not just WHAT to eat. I applaud that. But in my opinion, the best diet is simply one that makes sense…it’s one that we learn in elementary school when we learn the food pyramid.
Eat lean proteins like fish, chicken and (grass-fed) beef. Eat your fruits, vegetables and dairy. Add nuts to your diet. Look for 100-percent whole grain products.
It sounds simple, but I understand that it’s not. In our busy lives, it’s difficult to work, raise children and then put together a healthy meal for families on the go. But too often we replace common sense with convenience. We grab a box of crackers and a soda for a snack. We throw together macaroni and cheese and call it a meal.
So as you think about your meals, let me give you some food for thought. Are you filling your plate with food that had few processing steps to get to your plate? Broccoli does. A granola bar and pretzels do not. If it comes in a box it has some been through some type of processing. Our bodies don’t need the preservatives, the fat, sodium or calories. Think farm to fork. It’s not possible every day. But small changes can become big healthy habits.
And back to food that rhymes. I loved Ring Dings as a child. But at over 330 calories a serving with 34 grams of sugar, I think they’re more fun to say than eat.