The guiding principle with nutrition and exercise is that extremes are only encouraged by corporations, and balance is guided by nature and deep instinct.
As with all things in life, a self-defined middle-path that works for you will lead to the longest and best-lived life.
Here’s some of the self-made guidelines I abide by.
PUTTING FOOD IN ITS PLACE
Food is ultimately just fuel for living the rest of life. It’s not an avenue for self-harm, self-comforting, or a social lubricant, like alcohol has long been held to be. Every industry that profits from the public holding the perception of food as being anything other than food is MORTIFIED at the idea of a person who has unplugged themselves from the hype/misinformation machine of the food industry. Let food occupy no more than 30% of your daily ‘concern bandwidth’. If you find yourself showing obsessive and/or compulsive behaviour in this area, drink some water, and go do something else.
SIMPLIFIED COOKING AT HOME
By and large, forget take-away or eating out. 70% of your eating should be at home, and self-made. Make this as simple as possible. If you’re like me, the Microwave is your best friend. Boiling Broccoli and potatoes is a snap this way. Also, use tongs - tongs take a lot of the ‘wet and unpleasant’ (not to mention getting burnt) parts of cooking at home away.
MEAL FREQUENCY AND SIZE
One Meal A Day, Intermittent Fasting - whatever system that works for which fundamentally respects the actual physical dimensions and mechanics of the digestive system, namely that 1) your stomach‘s actual size which it should stay at is two palms big and 2) the Digestive system needs to fully function to work properly, namely chewing enough and leaving enough time between meals to fully process nutrients.
My personal preference and No. 1 recommendation for this is eating once per day at 6am, before any fast food place open, before any of the day’s distractions or stresses for which food is sought for relief or distraction. Calmly make your meal at home, relaxing in the morning, wash up, and you’re done - you can put food out of your mind until the same time tomorrow and devote 100% of your attention to other things.
Oh, and if invited to food later in the day, be neither a party-pooper or a party-animal -I find the ‘polite bite policy’ helps here (one bite, not plural ‘bites’).
WATER‘S ALL YOU NEED
Every other beverage is an industry/corporation-created product that is firmly in the extreme (and addiction-creating) camp. Look elsewhere for culinary variety.
The most sugary thing you should ever have is Dark Chocolate that is at least 70% Cocoa. Anything sweeter has a seriously adverse effect on your health. Dark Chocolate and Apple is a great dessert.
If it ever comes to it, Yogurt is preferable to Ice cream (less sugar).
Avoid manufactured and fried carbohydrates. This includes pasta, bread, cookies, spongy cake as well processed corn and rice products.
Instead, enjoy your fill of boiled or baked natural carbs, mainly potatoes. You’ll find you’ll naturally have a healthy amount because it’s not filled with addiction-stoking ingredients of excessive oil, salt or fat. Rice will puff you up a bit more, so have this more in moderation compared to spuds.
Also, be neither self-deceiving nor too harsh on yourself on the issue of ‘crumbed’ or ‘breaded’ protein. I find the amount of processed carbs intake here is negligible and, as long as moderation is in effect, of little concern.
SUGAR AND SALT
Don‘t add too much sugar or salt to your food, for obvious reasons. This includes sauces, which are often packed with either or both.
VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
Your primary sources of vitamins and minerals. Eat liberally, without adding too much oil or salt. For fruit, avoid having too many sugary or fatty kinds like grapes.
I highly recommend cruelty-free protein options, and the food industry is moving towards lab-made meat which puts an end to the barbaric and wholly unnecessary practice of killing living beings to obtain protein. In order of healthiness and most-to-least ethical (from best to worst) Fish, Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Veal. Donate regularly to lab-meat research!
Avocado and Nuts in moderation. Enough said.
Brush thoroughly, floss regularly, and apply common sense when it comes to frequency of dentist visits.
Don’t go crazy with this. Just apply the move it or lose it rule, and make sure to keep the whole body awake and strong. No structure, just intuitively listening to your body. Yoga is great, as is walking and light jogging.