Simple Sunday: Diet

by Frank Martin

Simple Sunday is a weekly series wherein I tackle easy ways to simplify some aspect of life. Past topics have included moneytechnology, and creativity.

Food may be one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and yet, it also seems to be one of the most convoluted, at least on the surface. While I don’t claim to have all the answers, this week I thought I’d share some thoughts and what has worked for me.

1 Drink water: There seem to be two camps here: drink eight glasses a day, or drink when you’re thirsty. The problem with the second is pretty simple: by the time you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Instead of drinking when I’m thirsty, or trying to get eight glasses a day, I just drink continuously throughout the day.

2 Slow down: We live in a culture thats going faster and faster, and this may well contribute to overeating and obesity. Instead of grabbing fast food or snacking throughout the day in place of meals, sit down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and take your time. Eat slowly and talk to the people you live with. In all likelyhood, you’ll find you eat less and feel better.

3 Learn to cook: It wasn’t that long ago, my parents’ generation believe it or not, that people cooked and ate meals at home together every day. Going out was something you did rarely, on special occasions. Cooking has the added benefit of portion and ingredient control.

4 Make time: Invariably whenever I or anyone talks about this stuff people complain that they don’t have time. Think about this though: What does it say about our priorities that other stuff takes priority over what we put in our bodies? Over our health? We did just fine back when we didn’t have every nanosecond of our day scheduled. Maybe its time we go back to that, or at least find a happy median.

5 Single task: Well, with a twist. When you eat, eat. Don’t watch TV, read on the computer, or anything else. Except if you live with others or are in a social situation with others. If you’re not flying solo, use the opportunity to talk. Put down your fork between bites and get to know the people around you. The meal will last longer, yes, but you’ll enjoy it more, and almost certainly feel less stressed afterward than if you’d grabbed McDonald’s on your lunch break.