With the start of a new year, health dealers rub their hands gleefully, and prepare themselves for their favourite time of year: New Years resolution time (also known as health dealers bankroll holiday)!
Health dealers, of all kinds, are currently offering discounted gym membership rates, diet clinic passes, herbal concoctions, and just about anything you can imagine to lure in newly resolute consumers.
As we speak, strict diet plans – from the carb-free variety to liquid and soup diets – are being doled out to consumers in cities all over the world. Newly minted fad-dieters are nodding grimly at their respective health dealers, having recently resolved that this year will be their year, and those dealers are crossing their fingers behind their back and counting their bank bill spreads as soon as their payroll leaves the building. And while diet consumers envision themselves 15, 20, or 30 pounds thinner, the health dealer is laughing all the way to the bank. Forget Christmas, this is the time of year that health dealers really get excited about.
Whatever happened to eating right for the sake of feeling good inside and out? And what about enjoying food and using it to nourish your body in the proper way?
Yes, it is important to watch what you eat and watch how much you eat too (most of the time!). But what worries me as a foodie is that the diet industry and consumers as a collective have created a culture of fear: people are literally afraid of food. They’re afraid of eating too much, afraid of not eating enough, afraid of how to eat, and they are afraid of when to eat too. People just don’t know what to make of food anymore.
Here’s what I know:
Fad diets are not your friend: they last about a week or two weeks or a month, and once you’re off them its hard to reintroduce normal food to your body. Your body will have been in some kind of starvation mode, due to a discrepancy in calories and quality of food, and you will inevitably regain any weight you lose (note: that weight you lost was likely water weight and a bit of food that was already on it’s way out).
Fad diets often require you to cut out solids, liquids, or certain fruits and veg, and consequently are not feasible in the long-term. So stop doing them. Seriously, don’t. Would you like to eat soup all day every day? Or would you rather work that classic cabbage diet or the one that says you can’t have any carbs or fruits at all (which, of course, have antioxidants and other healing properties in them)? What are you thinking?
Food is not the enemy: you shouldn’t be following any diet plan that looks like it’s asking you to avoid good solid food at all costs or live with a constant hunger pang. Good food is meant to be eaten so it can sustain and nourish you. And yes, good food is meant to taste good too: so please don’t be fooled by those who claim that healthy food doesn’t taste good. Healthy food tastes really good when it’s done right.
Food is really not that complicated: all you do is eat good clean food – including lots of fruits and veg, some nuts and grains, lots of lean protein, fibre, some carbs – and move your body. That’s all. You don’t even have to go to a gym or to a fitness class to move if you don’t want to. You could clean your house or take a walk around your block (but if you do be sure to bundle up these days because it’s bone-chilling cold!). It’s really that easy.
How can you not love food? I mean look:
Yummy Vegan Spaghetti with Chickpeas and Carrots
Don’t be afraid!
I will be sharing a lot of good food and drink recipes with you this year. I think they are all worth eating and drinking with friends or on your own if you like. They taste good and they offer plenty of nutrients too. I hope you enjoy eating and drinking with me this year.
Happy New Year!