I have had enough of bad food in my life, and my goal is to change it. I think that eating healthy would help me feel better, become healthier and make me feel happier in general.
However, I don't know where to start. So far I have a very limited understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet, and obviously I want to know more. As a complete nerd, I also want to know a little bit of the biology behind good nutrition.
Can anyone recommend a good book or website that would help me get started?
I don't want to go super hardcore with this, and I still want to occasionally eat well-prepared meat. However, I do want to make informed choices about the food I eat.
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I've been trying to post this for a while now, but for some reason my posts could never be submitted.
I read about Paleo diet and I liked the idea, but it seemed at little too extreme at this point. I still have to get through a year in college dining hall, where I wouldn't find anything to eat.
Tynan's guidelines seemed reasonable and easy-to-follow, so I'll try to stick to those. Do you also eat diary products?
I still have to take a look at the other suggestions listed here.
Thankfully, there's tons of well written literature out there. I found In Defense of Food by Pollan to be an easy/good read.
The "Eats This, Not That" mentality (the book series, that is) is bad. Avoid food's that are products, instead eat produce.
Eating DVD and The Rave Diet and Lifestyle book:
(neither are affiliate links)
Watch the DVD first and you'll know if this is for you.
I was already vegan (a self-described deep-fried vegan) for years and didn't think I could or would be vegan for health reasons. I could do it out of compassion for animals, but for my own health, no. Then I was introduced to this book and DVD after reading this magazine article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_46/b4203103862097.htm Few minutes into the DVD I knew I was a believer. It took me a while to wean myself off fried food and junk,it definitely was a process, but now I'm a green smoothie guzzling convert.
Oops.. that should have been "Neither is an affiliate link"
Hey Tynan, if you are reading, why not take a page from Amazon's reviews/comments and allow replies to be edited/deleted by the author?
To get started, stop eating any sweetener of any kind as well as all refined grains. Next eliminate oils besides olive oil, coconut oil, and butter. Then start eating only well raised meat. I haven't read the paleo books, but I've heard that they're good.
Before I get into that, I want to explain why I eat what I eat, so that people considering changes based on my opinion can make sure that my goals align with theirs. I choose what I eat for long term health and longevity. That's it. I love animals and think they should be treated kindly, but if factory farmed meat would make me healthier, I would eat it. Taste is important within the range of healthy foods, but if styrofoam packing peanuts were the secret to health, I'd be pounding them down. I don't eat to gain association with any group or subculture. Whether I'm considered vegan, vegetarian, paleo, carnivore, or anything else doesn't matter to me.
I'm not trying to be right yesterday, I'm trying to be right today. Sometimes that means admitting that I was wrong and making the best change I can. I base my identity around adapting quickly to the best information I can find, not clinging to the previous best information.
Also, I don't care how much money I spend on healthy food. If $5 buys me a meal that's somewhat healthy and $10 buys me a meal that is completely healthy, I will pay the $10. The act of eating is amongst the most intimate processes we undergo. The food we choose alters our bodies, minds, and futures. That makes it a top priority financially and otherwise. I once read an exchange where someone asked someone else why healthy food was so expensive. Because it's more valuable, he replied.
I've been tracking everything I eat lately, and putting some calorie numbers on them.
6 November Indian food: Rice, chicken, curry, vegetables.. Small banana. 900 cal.
9 November Lunch: Big portion rice, curry sauce, chicken. 1000 cal.
12 November Lunch: Two kinds of vegetables (one in very light curry), piece of chicken. 400 cal.
This is kind of crazy. The only difference is, I ordered more vegetables and didn't get any curry on the chicken.