Recently, Rebecca and I have begun to take our health a bit more seriously than we did in our twenties. Not an uncommon experience as you wind your way into your thirties, I expect. Like a lot of people of Europearn extraction, I suppose that we grew up with more meats and sweets than is optimal.
If you’re an active kid, however – and I was in high school and again on leaving university – you can get away with a lot. I was on the football and rugby teams in high school and I don’t expect to ever again eat as much as I did then and still loose weight. Post university landed me an active job, so I have still enjoyed a lot of freedom over what to eat.
I never gave into calorie counting or food groups or anything much like that. Over the years my ‘rules of eating’, if I can call them that, evolved to something like this:
- keep portion size reasonable
- eat a variety of foods – look for different colours and textures
- always try to add veggies to every meal if you can
- start the day with high fibre cereal or bread; always choose brown bread (the darker the better)
- don’t eat the same things over and over
- don’t eat too late
- keep the amount going in tied to the amount of activity you do
- stay the heck away from sugared drinks
- eating at home is better than eating out
- buy foods in the most raw form you can; processed food is filled with salt and fat and who knows what else
The best thing about these rules is that they are easy to remember. You don’t need to keep a library of calorie values in your head and you have a lot of leeway. There’s no guilt about failing to eat only ‘magic food x’ for ten days straight, or anything like that.
Time goes by, however, and I have begun to realize that these rules might not be good enough to last me until the end of my days. In particular, I think I need to start being vigilant about the types and amounts of fats in my diet, and also to keep an eye on carbs.
Rebecca has always been better about keeping up on this sort of thing and I’m fortunate to have her around to learn from. Married men eat better and live longer than most single men; I have no doubt that’s true. I know some lifelong bachelors who eat abominably.
Look at that picture above. Rebecca has the details here. This is a very tasty dish and one that’s not difficult or time consuming to make (unless you’re idea of cooking is boiling or microwaving, which case God help you). I’m posting it because I’m sure others will love the recipe and because it’s proof that eating well doesn’t have to be a trial.
Rebecca also introduced me to a web page where you can keep track of your intake and see if it’s as good as you think it is. I used it for the first time today and what I got was this:
Fat – 60.0% (188 grams)
Protein – 17.8% (125 grams)
Carbohydrates – 22.2% (156 grams)
Alcohol – 0.0%
Other – 0.0%
Daily Sodium Intake – 5733 mg
Daily Cholesterol Intake – 420 mg
Daily Fiber Intake – 16 grams
Given my activity level, the site gave me an A- for today, and I’ll admit today is a bit better than I’ve done in the last couple of years (I have always had a soft spot for things like chocolate). It is, however, indicative of where I want to go. I’m a bit surprised that the fats were so high and I still got an A-.
Today broke down like this:
Banana – Raw
Breakfast Cereal – Muesli
Chicken, Breast, Meat Only – Cooked, Stewed
Mixed Baby Greens
Salad Dressing, Kraft Ranch Dressing
Total Calories Consumed 2,755
Since I walk a lot, my calories burned was 2,800. I will be looking to avoid things like that pepperoni stick in the future (it got a “D” when I entered it).
In September, Rebecca and are planning to drive down to the wine country in California, just north of San Fransisco. I think it will be an ideal place to try some foods and get away from things for a while, maybe enjoy a glass of wine or two.