I Eat

Posts on food.

My Food Manifesto

“Old Truth, New Truth”: How My Ideas About Diet and Exercise Have Changed

“Old Truth, New Truth Part II”

Why I Think a Little Food Snobbery is a Good Thing

Dear Sugar

I Eat

EVERYDAY

  • Loads of vegetables

Raw, steamed, boiled, stir fried, grilled: I am not picky when it comes to vegetables.

My favorites are broccoli, cucumbers, leafy greens, butternut squash, sweet potato, and tomatoes, but I love vegetables indiscriminately.

  • Fruit galore

Melons, especially cantaloupe, are among my favorite.  I eat lots of apples, bananas, berries; in fact I haven’t met a fruit a don’t enjoy.  Well, there is one actually, the durian fruit of Asia.  This fruit is so offensively stinky it is banned from many public places!  I tried it once when a monk offered it to me in the wilds of Vietnam.  Who can refuse a monk?  I couldn’t wait to say good-bye so I could spit it out.

  • Eggs

So simple and versatile and a great source of high-quality protein, vitamins A, and E.  Make mine pasture-fed, please!

  • Yogurt

Plain yogurt provides excellent protein, calcium, and healthy bacteria, I like it on bean soups in the winter (in place of sour cream) or mixed with fruit as a snack.  

  • Beans

We always have beans soaking on the counter, most often garbanzos or black beans but I love them all (I seem to be saying that a lot around here :) ).

  • Whole grains

Quinoa (great source of protein!) is my favorite cook-from-scratch whole grain but in all honesty bread is my favorite way to each grains, period.  I truly prefer the taste of whole grains and they fill me up so much more than refined, white grains.

SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK

  • Oats

One of the best foods out there and a total comfort food for me.

  • Nuts and nut butters

Walnuts are my favorite, I love the way their bitterness contrasts nicely with just about everything.   Raw and unsalted is the healthiest way to go and my standard.  As for peanut butter; it doesn’t make it into meals often but when it does salted, crunchy, and organic is the only way to go!

  • Tofu and soy products

I grew up on tofu and it is something of a comfort food for me. 

  • Cheese

It’s just so good.  I used to avoid it or only go for the reduced calorie stuff but I found that they just aren’t as good.  When you have a good quality, flavorful cheese a little goes a long way.  

  • Coconut oil

The health claims are big and broad and it is just so damn tasty.  I use it for everything from frying eggs to making truffles!

  • Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are rich in enzymes that contribute to a healthy digestion and better absorption of nutrients.   I make kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir water soda, and kombucha and eat/drink at least one of these things everyday.


  • Unrefined Sweeteners

Dates, honey, molasses, and stevia satisfy my sweet tooth!  Check out this post to read more about the nutrients these alternatives to sugar provide.

A FEW-SEVERAL TIMES A MONTH

  • Sugar

Check out No Woohoo in Wuhan for some of my thoughts on sugar.  When I do eat sugar I prefer it to be in chocolate form, the darker the better! 

  • Alcohol

I LOVE WINE.  Everything about it, the smell, the look of the bottle, the colors, the atmosphere that sharing a bottle of wine creates, the variety, the buzz, the taste, visiting wineries, learning about the grapes…I could go on and on.  I like my beer hoppy and high alcohol and my cocktails savory; martini’s should be extra dirty and Bloody Mary’s full of horseradish.

 

AVOID!

  • Hydrogenated Fats

  • MSG

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

These three are a bit more challenging to avoid when traveling but at home, where everything has the ingredients listed, I refuse to buy a product with these in it.   This means reading labels.  I always read labels, even if it seems like a “whole food”, because these three items can be added to the most innocent looking items.  

  • Artificial Colors

  • Artificial Flavors

Artificial, enough said.  O.K, these seem easy enough to avoid but when shopping for supplements at a few different stores recently I was horrified to learn that nearly every multi-vitamin for sale at a conventional store (Abertson’s, Target, Smith’s, Walgreens) has AT LEAST ONE artificial color added to it!  Outrageous!  Read labels.  Know what you are putting in your body.

  • Artificial sweeteners

I admit it, I used to very occasionally drink diet soda.  I thought that the calories and sugar saved was worth this intake of chemicals.  Not worth it.   I don’t care for soda that much so if I am not willing to take in the calories I shouldn’t be drinking it in the first place.  I love sparkling water, kombucha, and kefir spritzer and they quench my carbonated drink cravings.

 



16 Responses to I Eat

  1. Thanks for all the tips, your blog is really inspiring!

  2. wonderful and healthy approach ! i too have a serious love for veggies :)

  3. I like how you organized this list – great guidelines to live by.

  4. Laura says:

    I love your blog, what a great way to hold yourself to your goals and also inspire others! I would love to know more about how you prepare various beans for cooking with; I had been using canned beans but cut the cans and have found that means I have largely cut beans, so how do I keep them readily available?

  5. amanda says:

    Hey Faith,

    I just found your blog through Kath Eats– I love it. It’s so much different than any other “healthy living” blog. Yours truly is about healthy living so much more so than I’ve found, as it so much emphasizes a holistic approach to being the best person you can be. I <3 it.

    I am curious, though, about your aversion to MSG. Chemically speaking, it's salt and glutamate- two compounds that are naturally occurring in many foods we eat on a daily basis, and there has been no actual research associated with it being harmful (just a lot regarding a placebo effect)… is there anything else out there about msg that I'm unaware of?

    Thanks (for everything- the messages, recipe, and response!),
    Amanda

    • Amanda,
      First THANKS so much for you wonderful comment/compliment on Gracefulfitness, how affirming that what I am doing is coming across as intended!
      As far as MSG goes, it may just be one of those things from childhood that I can’t get over. My dad had a serious aversion to MSG (as the “health nut” that he is) and taught us to avoid it if possible. I do notice that I feel a little weird, like jittery and excessive thirst, when I eat at an Asian restaurant where they probably used MSG. It could also be the high sodium that I am not used that makes me feel that way. I think overall it tends to overpower subtle flavors and leads me to crave super-salty, highly seasoned food, which is not what I prefer my diet to be.
      Thanks!
      Faith

  6. Ignatius says:

    >>

  7. Found you through Twitter. :)

    We have VERY similar eating styles and beliefs. So happy to find your site. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. This is the first time I’ve been to your blog, and wow. The photos are amazing and I love your food philosophy especially! I am a nutritionist and (self-taught) chef and know a lot about food, but had never heard of kefir water soda til now. Can’t wait to pop back over and learn more!

  9. Great tips, and really cool website. Glad I discovered it!

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