People worry about what they eat between Christmas and New Year’s, but really they should worry about what they eat between New Year’s and Christmas. Just yesterday my husband came home from the grocery store and exclaimed how wonderful and plentiful to boot, the produce looked. (This may explain why he bought lemons to go with the 2 or 3 I had bought a few days earlier looks like avolemolo is on the menu for dinner one night this week.) That got me wondering if the local grocery store is trying to help people not just stick to their “I-am goin-to-lose-10-pounds” resolutions but to inspire them to eat well between New Year’s and Christmas.
We have all heard the statistics about American’s diets and the gross impact this had on our collective health. We consume an enormous amount of processed foods, as well as mammoth volume of food. Believe me I have a legendary appetite, as a kid I could eat 1/2 pan of lasagna by myself with all the salad and trimmings as well. Impressive but not pretty. As an adult I still LOVE to eat and cook. Many years ago in my early teens I took off about 20 pounds which I have kept off for nearly 30 years without a “diet”. Building on a foundation composed of love for food, access to locally grown fresh vegetables and fruits (Mom’s urban garden that was out little yard), a bit of willpower and willingess to experiment with different flavors and textures, I now find myself eating very much along the lines of what Mark Bittman calls his “Food Matters Rules”.
Food Matters Rules plus my metabolic boosting rule.
1. Eat more plants. That’s fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts.
2. Fewer animals, animal byproducts, and processed foods. When you do eat them think of it as a flourish to highlight a meal, not the focal point.
3. Watch your weight, to check in if you are eating too much– if it is watch what you eat a bit more closely for a few days.
4. Give yourself a break. The collective of what you eat adds up and really matters, a treat here and there is not going to be the end of things.
5. Figure out what works for you. Different things work for different people. The editors at Prevention Magazine put together 5 tips with the science to back them, to help.
6. Get moving and keep moving. You need to burn off what you take in, so move: walk, run, dance, use the stairs, come to my Thursday afternoon Zumba class, cross-country ski, chase the kids around the yard, jump on the bike, swim, join an indoor soccer league, try volley ball, Pilates, try a workout DVD.
Truthfully my diet is not a diet for 2 weeks, 30 days or 12o days, its how I eat day-to-day, month to month year to year. It works. It might take time to adjust what you eat and how much, but it can be done. Rule 6 is my secret weapon, because I still love to eat, to cook, I move a lot. My friend Jenn Douglass Campoli has her own story about find her own eating well diet and learning to love to move. We’d love to hear your story.