Several weeks ago, I wrote a somewhat critical entry about Michelle Obama’s crusade to make our kids eat right. While I’d support any effort to get any American (especially children) to eat properly healthy, I was skeptical of her probable means to make that end. If you recall (and if you don’t, click here), I started out with a picture of our esteemed first lady walking up a flight of stairs with two other wives of foreign leaders. She’s very obviously larger than the other two.
Is that a problem, really? Well… If there’s one thing that I’ve noticed as I kick around this sub-culture of ours is that your body sells your message. It’s definitely a lead by example kind of world. It’s difficult to be taken seriously if you don’t look the role. Sure, I’m sure it’s possible to have the knowledge of how to be strong and healthy without actually being either but without the body to sell the method, the message reeks from lack of authenticity. So, our thunder-thighed first lady trying to get our next generation to eat more fruits and vegetables smacks of hypocrisy.
So, we’re greeted (yet again) by a good message delivered by a bad messenger. Obviously, we need to eat right but this messenger doesn’t know how to do it. Even if she did, would we really believe her?
With so many people fat in the United States, we have to ask some questions. Is this a case of willful ignorance of not knowing how to eat right? Or, do people genuinely not have a clue? Well, if I assumed the former, I’d be forced to write yet another angry, rant-style blog entry… which I’m in no mood to do. So, we’ll assume that the situation is this: people want to eat right, don’t trust the over-fed, “eat right messenger”, and are left in a diet limbo, not knowing which direction to turn.
So, I’m going to try to make it easy. Yes, you read that right: I’m going to try to simplify the healthy diet. Most of us who are knowledgeable (or pretend to be) about such things know that this is not an easy topic to simplify. There are so many different diets competing for your faith (and your money) in them. Still, I think that this is doable and I’m going to take a stab at it. Right here. Right now.
First list; stuff you should be eating (in order of highest quantity and most important):
2. Meat (not processed)
5. Nuts and seeds
6. Whole Grains
7. Milk (okay, it’s a drink, sue me!) and cheese
How you should prepare these foods (in order of priority or relevance to the food)
3. Broiled and/or grilled
6. Boiled and/or poached
What you should drink:
This list should pretty much sum of 6/7th or 85.71% of your dietary intake for the week. In other words, you eat right six days out of seven, letting it all hang out one day of the week. Your daily caloric intake shouldn’t really swing much higher or lower than 2000 calories. You should also be preparing the overwhelming majority of this food yourself.
Is this “diet plan” the best? I’ll fully admit it’s not. It’s not even a diet, really. It’s a guideline on how to eat right. It’s also a far better description of how most Americans dine. We can split hairs about whether or not dairy is the worst thing to consume, how legumes shouldn’t be consumed at all, or how I didn’t mention the word organic at all but let’s be honest: there are several cultures who have ate the two formers in profusion and lived long, mostly degenerate disease-free lives. Furthermore, many of us don’t have the ability to eat the most perfectly farmed foods ever but the next best thing is still far better than resorting to McDonalds. Those of us fortunate enough to be both (supposedly) knowledgeable on the topic and honest with our audience will admit that there is no perfect diet anyway.
They drink milk. Lots and lots of it!
This list also is a good description of my diet...well, most of the time. I’d like to think that I’m in much better shape than the average American. My Life Insurance agent gave me a rate that roughly 7 out of his 800-or-so clients don’t get so I assume that I know what I’m talking about. I think I can prove that I know more than the First Lady does. So, if you’re feeling ignorant about how to eat right, and assuming that you didn’t skip over vast swaths of this entry, consider yourself informed. Now, it’s time to follow through.