I’m a big fan of simplicity, and food is no exception.
I can cook nearly anything if I have enough BTU’s, but complicated recipes and gourmet foods are not my preference for everyday fare. People generally expect me to be a “foodie” just because I can – but left to my own devices, if I were only feeding myself, I doubt I’d eat anything requiring more than a knife and FIRE for preparation.
But it’s not just me. I have children to feed, and their nutritional needs are different from mine – as are their tastes. I’m not SO far removed from childhood that I don’t remember exactly how foul a lot of the foods I love today tasted back then. My husband likes most of the foods I like (at least, he likes them the way I prepare them) – but dietary variety is more important to him than it is to me… and he does have a little bit of a foodie streak. 😉
I have a personal philosophy that diverges a bit from what “conventional wisdom” seems to dictate, when it comes to feeding my family. I see no reason – short of dire need, or having no actual choice – to EVER serve a dish to somebody when I know they won’t like it. Kids included.
TBH, while I think eating together is important, I don’t really buy into the idea that the entire family should sit down and eat the exact same things, either. Part of living very frugally, as I prefer to do, is having a steady stream of odds and ends and leftovers and things of that variety. Sometimes these bits and pieces can be combined or transformed into something that will feed the whole family – but sometimes it just makes more sense to feed people different things, so that all of the food that ought to get eaten, gets eaten – while it is still fresh and appealing. Sometimes things get divvied up based on who likes what – and sometimes based on who needs more of what.
So, in spite of my penchant for minimalist eating, I spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen. I cook a whole lot of food that I can’t or won’t eat. And you know, I don’t really mind. Because it also gives ME the freedom to eat what I want to eat. Or, as is the case now… what I need to eat.
I said I was going to put together a bit about my diet, so here goes.
I learned years ago that in order to feel healthy and fully functional as a human being (which I am, btw, just so we’re clear), I have to keep my diet pretty tightly under control. There are a lot of ways to lose weight, which is a biiig (lolol) part of what I aim to do by revising my diet. But I don’t want to do it like a retard.
This means no shortcuts. No gimmicks. No unsustainable eating. And I don’t mean the LEETLE GRAYTAH TUUNBAERG eco-nazi kind of sustainable. I mean: no subjecting the body to a diet that is not suitable on a permanent basis. There is not “going on a diet.” There is: changing how I eat, period.
I will start counting calories eventually, but my first step is to simply pare down what I eat to a relative few basic foods.
How do I decide which foods make the cut – and what gets cut?
Well, first I keep the foods that make me feel good – and I cut out all of the ones that don’t. A food doesn’t have to make me feel bad to get the boot. For me this means: no grains, no legumes, no uncultured dairy protein.
Then I eliminate all of the foods that contain added sugars or added starches of any kind. I ALSO eliminate all of my favorite, starchiest, sweetest fruits and vegetables (think potatoes and dates). It doesn’t matter that these foods make me feel good in small quantities – because these things tempt me to gluttony, straight-up.
Finally, I eliminate anything that is too exotic or expensive. If I’m not going to make it a staple of my everyday diet, I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist. You might balk at this, but I’ve found that my “austere” ways have made my life orders of magnitude better when faithfully implemented.
I very nearly crossed a handful of things off the list on account of the fact that they’re always imported – but then I got down to “coffee” and I scrapped that whole silly misguided idea right then and there. It might not be totally “sustainable” if (when?) global supply chains are ever seriously disrupted, but I’m not crossing that bridge a moment sooner than necessary.
This leaves me with a VERY PRACTICAL list of foods that I know I can eat pretty much whenever I please. I’ll add that this time around, I also gave the list a once-over and nixed anything that I know my husband doesn’t like, because he told me he wants to try this diet with me. The only thing that got the axe was beets. Kale barely made it. In most other things, our tastes our blessedly similar.
Once I have my list (I usually do this sort of work in a spreadsheet so that I can easily drag and drop and shuffle things around), I sort it into categories and break it out into what I should be eating more of and what I should be eating less of.
Then I throw it into a format that is easy to digest visually, so I can print it out and subject myself to looking at it regularly.
Here’s what I came up with:
Note that I also added “fasting hours” down there at the bottom. This is not hardcore “intermittent fasting” – 10 hours between dinner and breakfast is the absolute minimum for me. In reality, if I were not so partial to cream in my coffee, I wouldn’t have any interest in calories until early afternoon most days.
That’s it. That’s all there is.
In order for this diet to be sustainable, it needs a handful of provisions for occasional exception.
Those will be on the other side of the page, along with guidelines for supplements and medicines. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised by how much easier it is to remember to actually take these things, when I ought to, when it’s written down like this. And yet, I am.
I’ll be sure to post a picture of what I come up with for the other side, too, as soon as I’m finished nailing it down.