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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.