Eating “Healthy”

My family is currently obsessed with their health, more specifically eating “healthy”. The trend dates back at least to January 2006 when I decided – mostly as a New Year’s Resolution – that I was going to lose weight, eat better, exercise more and drop my sympathy pregnancy weight/body.

As I’ve documented here on many occasions previously, I’ve been pretty successful due in large part to eating a high fiber breakfast (usually oatmeal, a flax-fortified cereal or just plain, old Wheaties), cutting down on snacking a junk (no soda or candy bars) and working out religiously (I’m averaging almost 5 out of 5 workdays). So most of it is no-brainer stuff. Don’t eat like you’re fasting, just eat less and eat pretty socially-accepted “good” foods. More salads and fruit for lunch (my favorite is soup and a yogurt), less obvious crap.

I’ve also dialed back the gargantuan amount of water I was drinking. At one point I was flooding myself with 2 liters or more every day and I spent a good portion of my day in the restroom. It wasn’t so much water ownership as much as it was leasing/renting.

Anyhow, success is contagious and, fresh off having our second child, Jenn decided she too needed to tone up a bit. Vacationing in Hawaii will do that to folks. Plus, watching me get thinner by 40 pounds. Am I piling it on too thick?

So Jenn is doing a “Fit Trip” that encompasses 12 weeks of eating right by virtue of a food diary, working out more by turning in a weekly chart and 3 hydrostatic weigh-ins to see how she’s progressing. I participated in the second, mid-point weigh-in a few weeks back and it only made me want to get weighed-in again. Fascinating stuff [see original post].

The real topic of today’s post, though, is the eating portion of staying healthy. There’s a great lecture/chat/Q&A on You Tube of UC Berkeley Journalism Professor Michael Pollan speaking at Google about his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto:

[Via BoingBoing]

There are too many gems to succinctly summarize but here’s my shot (actually Pollan’s own shorter version): “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much”

He tackles topics ranging from “nutritionism” to government farm subsidies to “Orthorexia“. A truly delightful speaker who obviously spent some serious time obsessively researching the topic of food and nutrition in America. I strongly recommend viewing.

Lastly I wanted to jump back into the personal. Since Raelyn is an impressionable, school-aged eater she’s just now starting to have real, lengthy, substantive, dinner-time conversations with us about her likes, dislikes and questions regarding food and nutrition. We have certain lists of “good” and “bad” foods, but we don’t deprive her of anything. She gets more than enough treats and traditional, memory-inducing childhood sweets, but we’re also trying to instill in her a sense of well-rounded consumption based loosely on “all things in moderation”.

It really is neat to see the gears in her head spin. Just this evening we had a discussion of the concept of “tender” meat. She concluded our talk by declaring the roast chicken we had was “tender AND juicy”. Good girl.

Aside from showing folks that video, my impetus for posting was to gloat a little bit. Judging by the basic guiding principles Pollan laid out in the talk (and my own success on the scale, in the gym and, most importantly, in the mirror) I’m doing pretty well.

Just thought I’d share.