I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. – Lloyd Dobler Say Anything
My wife and I have two different perspectives when it comes what we consider healthy. She likes to count calories. I like to count carbs. She asks me if something is fattening. And I say not really, I just used a little bit of heavy cream and 4 tablespoons of butter.
That aside, there is something we both agree on. Processed food is not good for you. Getting to where I am today in terms of food philosophy has been a constantly shifting evolution. There are some rules that I follow when choosing what is (what isn’t) healthy and when to eat what I eat though.
Here are the basic rules I follow when deciding what to eat…
With the exception of a few condiments, I won’t eat….
- ..products with more than 5 ingredients;
- ..products with ingredients that don’t grow in the ground or on a tree;
- ..products that didn’t exist 20 years ago.
- ..products that won’t or don’t rot fairly quickly.
Things like Sriracha, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise aren’t included because, simply from a practical perspective, they are a pain in the butt to make and, in the case of homemade mayo, don’t keep for longer than a few days.
Whole foods are good for you…
Here are my “approved” foods in relation to this website:
- …fish, beef, poultry, wild game, pork, preferably sourced organic;
- …fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds of all varieties;
- …eggs, yogurt, cheeses, and dairy;
- …butter and oils (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avacado oil, sesame oil);
- …rice, cous cous, pasta and breads in moderation (see below);
- …sweets as long as it passed the 5 ingredient rule and in moderation(see below).
Cook whatever you want but watch the carbohydrates
I don’t have a personal vendetta against carbs but I do believe that most Americans eat too many of them, as they are in almost everything processed we eat. And even when you commit to eat only whole foods and grains, pastas, breads, etc, you can still overdo it.
From a personal standpoint, if you are trying to maintain your current weight, you should probably have less than 200 carbs a day. This is despite what the FDA recommends (which is closer to 300).
While I don’t rule out any food that is prepared at home, when it comes to carbohydrates, I tend to watch even natural foods like rice or grain products(I make no distinction between ‘whole-grain’ or white), bread, pasta, beans and potatoes. Moderation is the keyword.
…and my final rule is to forget the rules every once in a while…
Don’t overthink it, man! Eat cake and ice cream. Have chips and dip. Eat some lobster ravioli. It’s good for the soul. Just don’t do it often….