I've been scrupulous about eating whole foods for years so this is a challenge. I've wanted to be off meat completely but it's hard in a household with others that want meat and i'm the primary cook. So I'm careful about sourcing it locally, avoiding red meats as much as possible, keeping portions small and not serving it with every meal of the day--usually just dinner. I've been trying to cook a new vegitarian ethnic dinner dish each week to expand our pallets using my favorite Moosewood cookbooks. We're learning that we love coconut milk and oil! And hot peppers.
Food Challenge #3
Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
It takes 2,500 gallons of water and a dozen pounds of grain to make one pound of beef for your table, generating more CO2 than the average European car driving 70 miles.
It can be tricky to move away from the Standard American Diet of red and processed meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, refined grains, high-fat dairy products, and drinks filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners - and all in huge portions. Thanks to the writing of food expert Michael Pollan, these are the simplest guidelines around for helping people eat in a healthier way: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
- Check out the Resources for details on what these suggestions mean.
- When you look at the three suggestions - Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - where do you see the greatest opportunity for improvement?
- Why is this the place where you believe you can have the most impact?
- Pick one change you can make, try it out three times, and share how it went.
- What advice could you give yourself to make it go a little easier?
You're already a pristine eater? Tell us how you got there.
What Do We Mean?
- Eat Real Food: We're referring to vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and meat - as opposed to what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."
- Not Too Much: Your stomach is only about the size of your fist. You don't need all that much to fill it up. Try eating smaller portions more slowly, and then waiting 20 minutes before you check to see whether or not you're still hungry.
- Mostly Plants: Mainstream animal agriculture takes an enormous amount of energy and emits a lot of greenhouse gasses. Reducing your meat intake reduces your climate impact. Make sure what meat you DO eat is organic and local. It might be a little pricier, but treat it like a condiment, rather than a main dish.
Changes You Could Make
- Apple instead of candy bar
- Oatmeal instead of Sugar Smacks
- Lemon water instead of Fresca
- One cookie instead of two
- Veggie burger instead of beef burger
Where It Comes From
Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.