Recently I resolved to “Eat very right.”
I wouldn’t be able to eat this right forever – and I wouldn’t even try -- but I decided to take a boot-camp of approach to cleaning up my eating habits.
1. No sweets
. Not even a bite. I gave up my beloved Tasti D-Lite
-- ah, I miss it. I’d already pretty much given up food like cookies and cupcakes, but boy, I do love to eat candy. For mini Tootsie-Rolls, peppermint patties, butterscotch disks, etc. I’ll have to wait until November.
2. When possible, choose fruits and vegetables, and after that, lean protein. So if I have a choice between rice and roasted vegetables, I choose vegetables. If I have a choice between pasta and fish, I choose fish.
3. Only one bowl of cereal a day. I love cereal and would eat it at every meal. Also, I do the bottomless-cereal-bowl trick, where I eat all the cereal, and when I see the milk that’s left over, I fill the bowl with cereal again to use it up. Not this month.
4. Nothing in the cracker/pretzel family.
5. Keep tempting food in an inconvenient place, keep healthy food in a convenient place. When I’m hungry, everything looks good. If I see a lovely fruit salad ready to eat in the fridge, that’s what I’ll want to eat.
6. No juice and no alcohol.
7. No “bites” of other people’s food. I take one bite of the Little Girl’s grilled-cheese sandwich, then another, and then pretty soon I’ve eaten half a sandwich.
8. Eat at home whenever possible. My brother-in-law worked at a restaurant, and he told me that whatever you might order, and however it might be prepared, it has tons of butter on it.
9. No bread from a bread basket, and no bread as a snack. Well, except that sometimes, when I really need a quick, fast snack that I can eat on the run, I toast a whole-wheat pita pocket and eat that.
10. Don't eat when I'm not hungry; eat as soon as I do get hungry.
When I told my sister about the changes I was making, she said, “You basically eat very well. Why cut this stuff out altogether? You can have treats once in a while. It’s a more sustainable way to eat.”
Well, yes and no. I wouldn’t want to try to live by these rules forever, but the fact is, it’s easier for me to give things up altogether than to indulge moderately. I agree with Samuel Johnson, who wrote, “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.”
Take Tasti D-Lite, which I was eating twice, sometimes three times, a day. It’s easier for me to give up Tasti D-Lite altogether than to eat it three times a week. I’d spend way too much energy thinking about whether I should have it today, or tomorrow; or now, or later this afternoon; or whether this cone should “count” or whether I should get a freebie for some reason. For me, a happier approach is to give it up altogether, so I don’t fret about it.