When I meet new people, they ask, “What do you do?” I respond by letting them know I work as a Registered Dietitian, which almost inevitably leads to their next question, “Oh, cool—so what kind of a diet do you have?”
I tell them, “None, I just eat well.” To which they give me a puzzled and confused look. So here’s what I really mean by eating well and not dieting:
I eat everything: I’m not a vegan, a lacto-ovo vegetarian, not a raw foodist nor do I eat follow a “Paleo Diet” (mostly because it doesn’t exist). In our home, we enjoy eating meat and we do our best to source organic and local cuts. Even still, we chose not to eat meat a few times during our week to encourage a higher intake of legumes, lentils, and plants. In the summer time you’ll catch me nibbling on fish here and there. And eggs – eggs are a staple in our home (and yeah, I eat the yolk too).
I enjoy dairy milk and cheeses—not only because my digestive system can tolerate them, but also because the taste is nostalgic and I feel its properties are nourishing.
I don’t have much of a green thumb; one year I tried to garden, it was an epic fail. But I am determined to master it one day soon! In the mean time, I try to purchase organic produce when my budget allows for it, and take pride in centering my meal around what’s in season. When the Farmers’ Markets open you’ll find me frolicking around with fresh produce, lemonade and kettle corn from local vendors.
And, probably to everyone’s greatest shock, in our home we are not carb-phobics (intense fear of carbohydrates). In fact, we usually include a grain or starchy food in every meal of the day. For some it may not feel right, but grains are a staple for our family. I often enjoy experimenting with quinoa, barley, and wheat berries, but also stick to basics (whole wheat flour, rice, oats, corn flour).
You’ll find very few packaged and processed foods tucked away in my pantry. I do my best to prepare fresh meals but when time is my worst enemy we don’t mind a bowl of Kraft Dinner with a fizzy Coca Cola.
After struggling with creating and maintaining a balanced lifestyle, I feel like I’ve finally got it. It’s taken me years to get past the calorie counting, the myths and fads and now more than simply eating to live, I now live to eat. The kitchen is the heart of our home, it’s where I spend most of my time and where I feel the most empowered to be the best me.
So, what’s your food philosophy?