Sunday, August 30, 2009

Eating Right Takes Focus!

When Bill Maher, TV comedian, was asked by Larry King what he thought would be the silver bullet for solving our health care crisis, Maher quipped: “Eat right!”

Maher doesn’t even shop at a grocery store ~ he gets his whole produce elsewhere. But the rest of us shop at supermarkets most of the year ~ except maybe when we can take advantage of seasonal farmers’ markets.

People generally DO want to eat right, Bill ~ I just don’t think they know how to go about it.

I would say a big part of the issue is lack of focus.

Feeding our bodies is somehow jammed into lives already crammed with way too much detail. In our culture, we have to take time to program our TV remotes, remember passwords for any online transactions, and read ingredients on food packaging. If you’re a diabetic, you’ve got another whole array of calculations to deal with.

The problem with focus generally translates into too many choices.

You know you’d eat right if you were hiking in the boonies with a backpack containing only bottled water, some apples and nuts, and a cheese sandwich. You wouldn’t even have to think about portion control. You’d have focus because you’d eat and then you’d walk, and if you got hungry, you’d stop and eat some more.

But when I opened up the fridge today at lunchtime, I found it difficult to focus because there was so much in there. (My husband also grocery shops. Ideally, one person should have that job!)

Lunch used to automatically mean a sandwich. I’m trying to get away from that routine. So as I gazed at the food, I decided once again to leave bread out of the equation. I filled a small salad plate with several things. I spotted a tropical turkey salad from the deli. The currants, pineapple, celery and turkey would all be good if they weren’t swimming in mayo. So I just took a spoonful, but also added some hot spiced cabbage and carrots I had picked up, and a few yellow pear tomatoes. I then sliced part of a nectarine to top it all off.

My focus was making sure most of what I had on my plate was whole, unprocessed food. The turkey salad was the exception. Most of what was on the plate was fruits and vegetables.

The litmus. I felt satisfied ~ but not stuffed. Food truly is an appetite suppressant if you choose the right food.

With the exception of the turkey salad, there were no ingredients to read ~ and since I only took a spoonful, I figured it didn’t matter that much anyway. Using a small plate cuts calories right away.

I’ve made a habit of eating small amounts more often during the day ~ so midway between lunch and dinner, I’ll have some nuts and the rest of that nectarine.

Right now there’s still way more food in there than we both need, so I need to call some friends to come dine and share it.

But I have to say it’s liberating to know that you need to eat relatively little to sustain your life ~ and to eat well, at that!

So, Bill ~ what do you think?

1 comment:

Sheri said...

Amazingly enough, Bill was correct when he said, "eat right." I liked your comment about having too many choices and the backpack/hiking analogy. What I find too is that the food tastes better out on the trail.

One other nugget in this post is that the foods that are best for you don't have labels or complicated ingredient lists. No labels usually means whole, nutritious foods.

Great post!