2008: The Year Of Healthy Eating

One of my goals for this year is to take control of my eating. Here is a little background:

When it comes to the kitchen, I have never done anything more complicated than heating up soup in a pot — have never learned to cook nor been particularly interested.
I loathe breakfast foods (cereal is awful, toast doesn’t fill me up, eggs make me feel queasy), so I usually end up going out to buy lunch, instead (at about 1pm, by which time I am grumpy & starving).
We eat out about 6 nights out of 7.
Most of that “eating out” involves Japanese (not too bad), pizza (terrible), Chinese (greasy & full of sugar), Thai (not so bad).

I recently read How To Eat Like A Hot Chick — while I was getting my hair done, actually — & it was a real eye-opener. The book isn’t perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, & there is some stuff in it that is weird & obnoxious (like using the term “Mary-Kate” to mean “messed up about food” — which is totally not cool). But aside from the bits where they are bashing other people, when they’re talking about what they know — like food — the book is very interesting & quite informative. Jodi & Cerina, the authors, have quite a cool view of nutrition.

They don’t believe in being obsessive over food. They advocate balance. They say it’s okay to eat a chocolate-chip muffin for breakfast, just balance it out with a big bag of spinach for dinner. (Spinach is their miracle food.) They’re not insane about eating x amount of meals a day, or sticking to a certain number of calories. They think it’s okay to snack, & have pages of advice on healthy snacking choices. There are some good dinner recipes, too, as well as a guide to healthy bar-hopping (if there is such a thing).

Reading the book really woke me up to the fact that I’m not eating properly. I’m not going to get all crazy & guilt-trip myself or talk about how much chocolate I eat, because that’s counter-productive. All I know is that I’m trying to make some improvements.

My aims are to…
Eat breakfast every morning (& find something I actually like, that doesn’t take a lot of time).
Make myself a healthy, tasty lunch — like a huge sandwich or salad.
Start cooking dinner.
Continue drinking lots of water.
Make meal plans so that I don’t leave it to the last minute & eat rubbish because I’m too tired to do anything.
Eat more fruit. I am really not into fruit so this is probably the most difficult part.
Reduce my dairy & meat intake. (My body works better without it.)

My boyfriend read Do You! the other day & realised that if he truly respected life, he would have to stop eating meat. So he has. Of course, this means that if I’m going to cook for both of us, which makes sense, I’m going to have to make vegetarian meals. To say that our eating is in a state of flux at the moment would be a major understatement!

I think that in the long-run, we’re both gearing towards a vegan diet, though neither of us are interested in eating that way at the cost of living an enjoyable life. We still want to be able to go out to great restaurants & eat on the run. When I was vegan a couple of years ago, it limited my life, & I hate being that person who asks a million questions about what I’m being served. The aim is to eat well, but not to let those conditions swamp our lives. Everything in moderation. We’ll see how we go.

On Saturday I went to Borders & bought Cook With Jamie by Jamie Oliver as well as The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater. Nigel’s book is awesome — it is what the title says, a year’s worth of meals, as well as what the weather was like, what was happening in his garden, & what he was in the mood to eat. I love Nigel Slater, he is fantastically entertaining. I have been going through both books with little Post-Its, marking off recipes I want to try. I also have some vegan cookbooks, which I haven’t looked at in years, so I’m going to check those out too.

If there’s sufficient interest, I’d be happy to keep you all updated on what I’m eating & if I’ve come across a good recipe. But really, I’d like to know about your positive eating habits. Let’s not get into that “I ate so much, I’m such a heifer!” thing — tell me what you do, nutritionally, that makes you feel good.

What do you have for breakfast? Do you cook yourself a great meal every night? What do you do to minimise your grocery expenditure? Do you take vitamins, drink a lot of juice, only eat organic? What is your favourite lunch-time meal, & how do you treat yourself?