There’s certainly no shortage of dieting advice these days. The no-carb diet, the diet cleanses… it’s obscene the type of marketing that is done and time committed to all of this junk.
Because most of it really is junk.
Before I go any further, I think it’s important for me to mention that I have ZERO professional experience, training or qualifications that place me in position of real authority here. I also have nothing to gain if people ignore my advice. I really don’t care either way, but I got a wild hair and decided to write, and this is it. Enjoy!
Everyone always says that you eat to live. Don’t format your life around food– but isn’t that exactly what dieting is? It’s reformatting your life(style) to EAT better, which then leads to better moods, and a more active lifestyle. Having a healthy diet, aides in almost every aspect of your well-being. Actually… maybe I’m being conservative: having a healthy diet aides in EVERY aspect of your wellbeing. All of it. Mood, appearance, energy… everything. I’m fairly confident that no ‘professional’ would disagree with me so far.
I think a big problem in our culture is that most people don’t actually know what real food tastes like. Our tastebuds are so oversaturated with salt and copious amounts of sugar, that we can’t taste and appreciate the subtleties of food as it is naturally. It’s like trying to see the stars on a dark night immediately after walking out of a too-brightly lit room. You can’t. But once your eyes adjust, suddenly, you’re looking at a whole new night sky. And it’s beautiful.
So, I suggest doing something similar with your taste buds. Stop drinking soda. Stop adding ANY extra sugar too foods (coffee, tea, cereal, etc). Most foods already have natural sweeteners, and if you’re really hating the taste of your oatmeal, try some fruit for sweetness instead of sugar. Just try it for a month… at the end, reward yourself to a trip to a good (I’m not talking a CHAIN) restaurant. Get a steak, or a great cut of lamb, or your favorite fish. Ask the waiter (–again, don’t do this at a chain, the teenage waiter will look at you like a deer in headlights) for a drink (wine/beer) pairing. AVOID adding anything to the dish until you’ve tasted it the way the chef prepared it.
Now, you can taste the garlic, the fresh herbs, the way the peppers taste when they’re roasted BEFORE being added to the sauce…
This type of revelation is what turned me from a “I hate to cook” mentality, to a “ooohh, I wonder what would happen if I…” in the kitchen. Even better, when you do splurge on a great restuarant, ask for specific reccomendations from the chef. They love that, and may cook off the menu, just for you.
If you like something that you normally buy pre-packaged, try… just TRY one time to make it yourself. Get crazy, and add different things. Experiment. Make GOOD food, REAL food a priority in your life. It’s not easy, but it’s very rewarding. You have to plan, you have to go to the grocery store sometimes two, or three times in a week. You might spend more initially, until you get used to HAVING to cook regularly (if you don’t, real food expires), but I’ve actually been SAVING money because I don’t eat the crap anymore – any crap – I don’t go out, I cook at home, prepare lunches for work at home.
Food IS a priority in my life, in that I take the time to create, seek out, and treat myself only to the good, real kind.