The answer to that question, my friends, is "yes, so here’s the latest in the 11 Laws of Nutrition, a series designed to get you thinking about what, why and how you eat. Hopefully, itll inspire you to take all the hard work and commitment you use on the exercise mat and transfer it to the placemat. Here is law No. 9. (And, in case you missed the others, here are No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8, No.9 and No.10.)
So far, weve talked a lot about eating to live in my 11 Laws of Nutrition: choosing the best possible foods to create the best possible you. Today, I want to flip the coin and take a look at living to eat. When six o clock rolls around, are you excited to sit down to a hearty plate of whatever you sit down to? Do the aromas emanating from your kitchen make your mouth water? Does your breakfast prepare you for the day — in mind, body and spirit? In other words, are ya lovin what youre eatin? If not, its time to make a change.
Just like exercise, healthy eating involves commitment, determination, planning and consistency. But if you dont like your chow, theres no way on earth youll keep eating it for the long haul. Satisfaction is a very big piece of the puzzle. Even though Law No. 1 is Variety, if you don’t want to eat meat, go vegan. But if the occasional (grass-fed) steak is your bliss, then dont go vegan. If you’re a Paleo guy, it’s working for you, and you look forward to eating those meals, then stick with that. As long as its healthy, if you like it, its probably the right choice.
The trick is to always check in. Constantly take personal inventory to see if youre still in love with whats on your plate. Maybe youre unhappy; maybe you’re frustrated that whatever you believed in so strongly for the last 10 years has stopped working. Thats OK. If your diets no longer working for you, it doesnt need to be a stressful transition. Just change it. Its not like you have to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend here. Food doesn’t cry and get bummed out. Food doesn’t know any better. At the same time, it can be as abusive as a bad relationship, so don’t be a victim to a food philosophy that doesn’t work.
The Law of Lovin It holds true not just for your food system, but for the taste of your meals as well. Dont buy any of that malarkey about healthy food needing to taste like wax. I don’t like steamed vegetables as much as the next guy, even though word on the street is that theyre very healthy. So instead of choking them down as is, I spice them up. Think about a salad without healthy dressing. Not as good, right? But we put dressing on there to improve its taste. Why don’t we do that with chicken and fish and vegetables? Most people don’t think about it, yet it’s such a simple way of making that stuff taste better. Im not talking about slathering everything with teriyaki sauce and ranch dressing. What I am talking about are herbs and spices. Believe it or not, those little powder- or flake-filled jars can actually do much more than just look fancy on the Martha Stewart spice rack that Aunt Louise got you as a wedding present. Look beyond salt and pepper to liven up your foods, because a meal with spice is twice as nice.
Rosemary or tarragon goes great on fish or chicken. Ginger, cinnamon, mint and nutmeg add flavor to fruit, particularly apples. A blend of basil and oregano makes any sauce taste Italian. Cilantro and chili powder transform veggies into a south of the border fiesta. Paprika will completely reinvent your morning cottage cheese. Curry powder on anything makes for a taste of India. Whatever you do, make it taste good and enjoy it. Get creative and stay curious.
Same with your broader vision. As I said earlier, if you enjoy going macrobiotic and it works for you, then keep doing it until it doesnt. If you try it for a few weeks and its not your cup of wheatgrass, then stop, and eat another way. Otherwise, youll just fall back into old, unhealthy dietary habits. Somethings got to bring you back to eating right day after day, week after week. Love it or leave it