Obviously, I have a lot of opinions about food. I would be in the wrong career if I didn't. However, there is a difference between the advice of Desiree, the dietitian, and Desiree, the eater. Why? As a dietitian, it is my job to give each person the utmost in support on their healthy eating journey which includes remaining open to different perspectives, cultures, emotional attachments and deeply held beliefs about nutrition. As an eater, I have my own perspectives, culture, attachments and deeply held beliefs. So here are some thoughts on what I think it means to eat well...as contradictory or irrational as some of them might seem. Love them or hate them, I offer them in hopes they will help open a dialogue for you on your own personal definition of eating well so that you can continue on your own journey towards being as healthy as you can possibly be. I encourage you to share your own views here, to add to the discussion.
1. If your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, steer clear. Your grandmother thought margarine was food...she was wrong.
2. Genetically modified foods are useless at best and toxic at worst. At the very least, corporations should be forced to label them so we, the public, would finally realize how much of them we are eating and have the power to choose.
3. We should not be eating refined wheat 6 times a day, regardless of whether you believe it is healthy or not. Time to drop the granola bar and pick up a carrot stick.
4. Whether we love steak, crave cheese or pine for vegan cocoa cupcakes, we should all be 80% whole foods vegan. That means that 80% of the time, eat unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. If you do that, whatever tickles your fancy the other 20% of the time, your body can handle.
5. Remember, it's just food - constantly obsessing about the merits of almond versus hemp milk or counting every gram of sugar will drive you (and all of your friends and family) crazy.
6. Food is medicine. Not the blunt force object that pharmaceuticals are, but no less powerful.
7. The reason that all of us bleeding-heart, organic-touting, farmers' market-obsessed foodies wax lyrical about bloody heirloom beets is because our society is so fooled into believing that cocoa puffs are actual food that we need to make a religion out of real food so we can all get back to our senses. See point one.
8. Eating well is not reserved for the rich. You don't need goji berries. Rice and beans, one of the humblest and cheapest foods around, will save your value-meal-eating soul.
9. Good, healthy, safe food is a human rights issue. Get political.
10. Yes, nutritionism got us into this mess. However, if rhapsodizing over the anti-oxidant values of kale gets you to eat it, I am all for it.