Food Matters: The Rules

I recently checked out the latest issues of Bon appletit from the library. (Hesston Library might be the only one that lets you check out current magazine issues... weird). Feeling pretty uninspired for menu options, I figured I might expand my horizons, check out some different food magazines, and maybe even land some interesting articles to blog about.

Well, I had no luck with the recipe search since I am essentially too poor to cook with this magazine (or so it feels like). I did, however, stumble on to an article by a best-selling cookbook author, Mark Bittman. I had just watched Forks over Knives the previous day and found that this article fit into my current train of thought.

No, unfortunately, this article did not mention anything about eating with the seasons. However, it did tell of this man's journey to being what he referred to as "vegan until six" or "less-meatarian" Because of health issues, it was recommended to him to switch to a more plant based diet. However, as a food critic, he wasn't about ready to give up his job. Instead, he opted to follow these six basic rules, which I will now show with you here.

Food Matters: The Rules 

1. Go (mostly) vegan. - From the time I wake up until dinner, I eat (almost) like a vegan. Not only do I cut out animal products (with the exception of milk or cream in my coffee), I eat no processed foods at all, icnluding no white flour, white rice, pasta, and sugar. Instead, I fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. 

2. Minimize the meat - Dinner is not too heavy but omnivorous. It has more vegetables and grains than the typical American diet. I eat meat or fish many nights, but in smaller amounts than in my former life...

3. Weigh it out - I watch my weight. At what level weight becomes an indicator of health is debatable, but as an indicator of whether you're eating too much, it's perfect....

4. Cut yourself some slack - No individual meal matters. No individual day matters. Even an "bad" week doesn't matter much. This might be the most important rule, and it took me months to recognize this: What does matter is the pattern of my diet has moved on from one that's heavy on animal product and has processed foods to one that's dominated by unprocessesd foods. 

5.  Make it on your own - These rules are mine (as in Mr. Bittman's). Regard them as guidelines to create your own rules. Using rule number 4 as a guiding principle figure out what works for you.

(This is me speaking again). I like this approach. It seems to be full of grace - and that is what exactly what every one needs. (Although I would strong add the emphasis on local foods - including animal products).

I thought about this article as I went through my day. This morning, I managed to have a vegan breakfast (oatmeal with almond milk, honey, and frozen blackberries the size of your thumb). I broke my vegan-ness at lunch when I had curried corn chowder, carrots, and an orange (and later some bread at work because those veggies did not seem to sustain me for very long). And since today is "meatless Mondays" (and also a day when my brother-in-law is not home for supper), my sister and I ate vegetarian (though our suppers often are not. Tonight we had left over Lentil Cheese savory, aka "Lentil Surprise").

My food habits today weren't very uncommon from my typical options and choices, I just paid more attention to it today as I tried to consume less sugar and more fruits and veggies.

Dang, that is hard in the winter.