Health Tip of the Day
A diet rich in beans,
A diet rich in vegetables and fruit,
Will keep your body lean.
But if you wish upon a fish,
And rub upon a chicken,
Too often will your body gawk,
And your arteries will thicken.
What Is Food?
Mind Over Food
The Poo-Poo Word of the Day: Diet
Use Simple Logic
The Mediterranean Lifestyle Pyramid
Pictured above is the Mediterranean Lifestyle pyramid. It’s actually one of many, but I like this one because its the simplest to read and understand. “Diets” can become over complicated with rules and laws, and rules...things you can’t eat and things you should. Some may tell you that carrots turn into sugar, which is true but...it’s a carrot. Applying a negative connotation to an otherwise pure from-the-earth vegetable complicates the entire idea of what diet truly means. It truly becomes a DIE-t when you have to think about a carrot as being bad for you. True, there is a difference when you are trying to lose weight, but if you are maintaining a Mediterranean Lifestyle while trying to lose weight, I almost guarantee success. It’s all down to willpower.
- Eat food that comes from the ground that doesn't take long to prepare (along with whole wheat or whole grain food items), and here’s the kicker: along with these foods use olive oil in moderation, but as one of the only sources of fats and oils.
- If your source of food is challenging to obtain or takes slightly longer to prepare (catching, gutting, preparing fish), eat less of this kind of food.
- Food that is processed (unless you make your own cheese and kill your own chickens) and is of light-red meat, eat in moderate proportions.
- If it’s sweet or if it bleeds, eat very sparingly.
That’s basically it. You don’t need to think about it much more than that. If you’re in the store and are stumped think to yourself, “Does it come from the ground?” If so, buy a lot of it. “Does it bleed and how much?” Logically, a cow bleeds more than poultry or fish therefore buy the poultry or fish before buying the beef. “Is it sweet?” Stay far away and don’t look back.
- If you are a cookie monster and must have your sweets, stick to the highest percentage dark chocolate bar that you can buy. Buy organic too. The extra money you spend on organic dark chocolate is justified by purchasing fewer sweets. Chips come from bags, crackers come from boxes. They didn’t come from the ground so don’t buy them (it’s not real food despite the label telling you it’s ALL NATURAL and contains WHOLE GRAINS).
- When you’re shopping, forget reading the front label of a product. Pay attention to the nutrition facts. Buzz words like “All Natural” mean companies are allowed to use the word if they use ingredients that come from the ground. That goes for high fructose corn syrup, which is bad for you. The only thing manufacturers aren’t allowed to "mess with" is “Certified Organic” or “USDA Organic.” You can almost guarantee that the ingredients and processing was tampered with the very least.
- Stay away from the cereal aisle. Breakfast foods are for suckers because breakfast is a marketed meal. Also, the yummy boxed cereals are coated in sugar. Lose the Kashi. No matter how much they tell you it was made from the finest ingredients and sweetened with honey, the fact of the matter is IT WAS MANUFACTURED. Buy eggs. Since breakfast counts for only one meal and eggs are near the top of the pyramid, you don’t have to worry...you’ll only be eating these kinds of foods once per day! That goes for cheese and yogurt too. And hey, while you’re at it, make some poultry and eat it during breakfast. It’ll supply you with more calories and healthy protein during the most important part of the day. Think about it. You’ll be using that energy all day long. Plus, you’re out of ideas now that cereal isn’t an option anymore. If you have to eat something with a spoon, eat steel-cut oats.
If you read more about the Mediterranean (Diet) Lifestyle online, you may notice that most of these foods are associated with how many times per week you can eat them. Forget it. If you aren’t eating this way, simply introducing yourself to this lifestyle is for the better. It may not be easy to think in these terms at first, but once you’re accustomed to it, you’ll become a pro. That’s when you might want to start organizing in your mind how often you should be eating specific types of foods from this particular lifestyle.
I’ll leave you with an ancient nursery rhyme my grandmother used to recite.
Grandma’s Mediterranean Nursery Rhyme
Can cleanse your arteries nonetheless.
It’s green and glossy,
And sometimes bossy.
And pours from a bottle
Which Italian’s know best.
This is Dr. Pooper telling you to eat your beans, forget the beef, and go outside and play.