Food Blog Roundup!
There is no health topic more confounding and controversial than nutrition. People care, and they care a lot, but finding sensible and trustworthy information is a full-time job. Searching “diet” in books on amazon returns almost 100,000 hits. Doctors have their name on every kind of eating plan you can think of, from Atkins to Ornish. Popular-press health magazines report the findings of tiny, specialized research studies as if they’re The Answer (see rant).
So what’s a girl/boy/man/woman/non-gender-idenfitied person to do? My advice is to stick to the Michael Pollan method: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
I like it because it’s easy, and it cuts through bullshit, and it’s very, very good advice. Of course, it’s not specific. “Eat food” is subjective, but it means, mostly, that what you eat should be clearly recognizable as food to your grandmother— and not created in a lab. Another way to say this is to eat close to nature, or eat whole foods. “Not too much” isn’t as easy as it looks, either, but basically, it means eat the right amount to support the energy you expend. So, if you are Michael Phelps, eat more. If you are Mr. Potato head, eat less. “Mostly plants”? This one might be more controversial, but I believe, and the science supports, that this is the healthiest approach to eating (I won’t review the scientific literature here, but I’ve read a lot of it and am happy to discuss it more fully in the future!). Plants tend to be nutrient-dense foods, and they tend to have more “good” and less “bad”. Plant-based diets are also generally more efficient and environmentally friendly.
To to get from “OK, great, I get it” to “what’s for dinner?” creates some challenges. The truth is, you have to cook. You just do. You can’t eat an overall healthy diet if you rely entirely on others to prepare your food. When I started eating along these principles, it took some legwork. I don’t eat a completely vegan or even vegetarian diet, but I do eat “mostly plants.” I tend to find a lot my recipes on vegan blogs, and I am famous in my family for the recipe collection I store in an evernote library that we can all peek at. So where do I find these recipes that I make, tweak, and save? The internet, duh. Now, one caveat: Just because a recipe is vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy, and just because it calls for parmesan cheese doens’t mean you can’t make a vegan version. So use your common sense, and be creative! Here are some great suggestions for places to start, or places to go when you are feeling uninspired:
These are just a few! The internet is full of them. Are there favorites that I didn’t put here?