Real Food

Since I’ve gained my new-found good health, I’ve been scared to death of losing it, coddling it like a helpless infant. I really do not want to end up where I was last year. If one were to search the internet for health advice, one would find no shortage of advice both diverse and sometimes contradictory. There has been one saying that sticks out in mind that seems to go along with everything I’ve learned the last few months while I was getting healthy. I had to look up who said it before I cited it here. It was a guy named Michael Pollan who said, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” That seems to be the most sound advice I’ve seen on nutrition.

As I transition off of Optavia’s pre-packaged “fuelings” (nutritionally well-balanced snacks that you eat throughout the day along with a “lean and green” meal of your own making), I try to keep this sound byte on eating at the forefront of my mind. So far, it seems to be working.

So what is “real” food?

To my mind, real food is food that, when you look at it, is immediately recognizable. If it does come in a package, the ingredient list is short, and only contains natural things you’ve heard of – and sugar likely isn’t on the list. What do I mean by recognizable? This is broccoli, that is steak, these are beans, etc. I believe if I eat like that, applying the habits I learned on the program (eating 6 times a day every 2.5-3 hours, eating shortly after waking, sleeping enough), combined with exercise, I should be fine.

Here is an example of a typical day since I have begun my transition to real food:

Breakfast – 1 serving of oatmeal with blueberries, raisins, cinnamon, and raw nuts mixed in, sweetened with monkfruit sweetener.

Fueling 1 – Nonfat plain Greek yogurt with blueberries or strawberries cut up and mixed in

Lunch – Chili made with lean beef, tomatoes, beans

Fueling 2 – Peppers and hummus with small pieces of cheese on a triscuit. Celery and natural peanut butter.

Fueling 3 – Tomatoes with basil pesto and raw almonds.

Dinner – Lean steak with broccoli, zucchini, and asparagus.

The “Fuelings” in my list, are small snacks.

As it turns out, eating real food is satisfying and enjoyable. As long as I can keep in mind that food is fuel, not entertainment (a quote I got from The Minimalists), I should be able to maintain my new-found health indefinitely. My life depends on it!


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