Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eating Simpler and Closer to Home for Happiness and Health

In the eight years that I have been living with my wife, she has supported a total change in my eating habits, and thus an enormous change for the better in my life.  I characterize our  lifestyle as a modified macrobiotic lifestyle, and credit it with ending my asthma problems and helping me find a happier, healthier lifestyle.

These are my suggestions, but basically the keys are to simplify and keep it close to home.

I. Eat local
Eating food grown locally means eating food that is balanced with the seasons where you are. It's possible to grow food in greenhouses, and we avoid that, but other food that grows near where we live is in a similar synch with the environment around us. The big implication here: if it doesn't grow near you, avoid it. If you live in sugar producing country, enjoy whole sugars. If you don't, avoid it. Same goes for coffee, bananas, or anything else that grows far away from you.

II. Eat seasonal
This mean to consume foods that are growing where you happen to be. Eating locally and eating seasonally are linked, bringing us the same benefits. If we eat what is close to us and what is growing now, we can't go wrong. If nothing is growing because everything is covered by snow, then canned food that grew around you in the summer is the next best thing.

III. Eat simply
There are so many cookbooks and recipes floating around out there that our expectations for what we  consume are artificially exaggerated. We don't need meals that originated exotic restaurants. Simple meals cooked at home by and for people who love each other are the ticket.

We eat brown rice, miso soup and a simple vegie dish, sometimes with a piece of fish nearly every day. From time to time we may have a pasta dish, but we eat simply and enjoy everything we have.

IV. Eat with people you care about
Sharing a meal brings people together. There is just no question. Cook it and share it with people that matter to you.

V. Avoid meat
No one needs the negative energy from meat, and while cutting it out entirely may be very difficult, cutting back should be no problem. We very rarely consume meat from warm blooded animals and feel great. Our children have never had meat in their lives, and have had very little fish. They eat like horses and play and study as well or better than other children their ages.

VI. Quit micromanaging your food
Media and marketing entities try to focus our attention on the micro nutrients that we are or are not getting. I have found this microscopic view is crap. I was brainwashed into thinking vitamins and supplements, calories, grams of protein and fat were important. If you are following the above hints, you need not concern yourself with anything else.

There are ways to improve our lives through our habits surrounding food, but none of those ways involve making it more complicated. Simplify, and enjoy what you have cooked with people who are important to you. 
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