At a recent dinner out, a friend of mine announced she was “dieting” and ordered the fish, a dry baked potato and steamed broccoli. She dutifully ate it, all the time eyeballing my husband’s flatiron steak. She didn’t enjoy her meal in the least and it made me sad and more than a little frustrated. It wasn’t the time or the place to go into my healthy foods lecture, so I bit my tongue. But this is the rant that was going through my head:
Last week I consumed twenty-one meals and approximately fourteen snacks. I ate foods that I grew up with like roasted chicken and potatoes, lentil soup and meatloaf. Waffles were on my breakfast menu; pancakes too! For snacks I munched on fruit, trail mix and popcorn. Some of my salads contained nuts and cheese and none of them were consumed without dressing.
I ate out twice, sipped red wine with some of my dinners and downed my share of brewskis.
I made vegetable lasagna with goat cheese, not because it is a meatless entrée but because this recipe absolutely rocks. I whipped up my first-ever batch of quinoa, not because I am a health fanatic, but because I wanted to expand my horizons and try something different.
True, I didn’t eat anything that was uber-processed, but I also didn’t eat anything that was boring, or tasteless, or that made me less than happy. There was no choking down a bowl of broccoli only for its low-calorie, high-fiber content, because I don’t care for broccoli and secretly think it smells like pee.
I won’t martyr myself in the name of health and — good news — I don’t have to. The truth is, it’s not only what you eat, but also how much you eat. For most of us, if you consume a normal amount of food, become mindful about your true hunger, have an active lifestyle and work out conservatively on a regular basis, you don’t have to subsist on “diet” food. Everything’s a go in moderation.
Now for this superfood business, well that’s just getting the most bang for your buck. You don’t have to mix chia seeds into your smoothie to be healthy, but they do give you an extra boost of Omega-3s, so why not?
It just twists my knickers that healthy, wholesome foods are still labeled as either “bad” or “good.” Eat everything in moderation, get some exercise and for gosh sakes don’t eat anything you don’t like. “Dieting” with bland and boring foods is no way to go!
Good health is tastily attainable. Experiment and find foods you love that will make you healthy and happy. Do that and you’ll naturally settle into the right weight for you that feels good. Life is just too short.
Do you ever eat something you don’t like only because it is good for you? —Karen