January Rules

Calendar

I’m not hugely into “New Year’s Resolutions,” but as the calendar flips, I can’t help but reflect upon how things have been going, and how I’d like them to go in the future.

In the past few months, I’ve sort of drifted away from my three eating rules (which also happen to be the foundation of this site).  I’ve become a bit lax about following them myself, and it’s time to re-invigorate.

For a quick refresher, here are my rules (also, please check out my “Start Here” section for further explanation):

  1. When you eat grains, eat only 100% whole grains.
  2. Don’t eat high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Don’t eat hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or anything that’s been deep-fried.

There’s also an important corollary: Once a week, go ahead and “cheat.” Eat anything you want.  (If you’re trying to lose weight, I suggest limiting it to one weekly cheat meal. If you’re trying to maintain your weight and health, you may choose to have a cheat day. It’s up to you.)

These rules aren’t perfect, of course, but I think they give you a lot of “bang for your buck” in terms of having only three absolute rules to follow. It’s simple and effective. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is important, too, of course, as is limiting other added sugars (not just HFCS).  They also don’t address the need for physical activity, the other half of the health equation.  Even so, I believe that everyone who follows these three rules will be far healthier, leaner, and happier.

Quite a few folks have asked me what challenge I’m going to issue for January, so here’s what I’m thinking:  Come January 1st, I’m going to start following my eating rules again, absolutely, for the entire month (and beyond)… and I want you to join me.

(I’m also pledging to get back to the gym… cliché, perhaps, but important nonetheless!)

I’ve asked a few friends to participate publically — Michelle, Jayne, Kimberly, and Rene — and they’ll be sharing their experiences in a few guest posts throughout the month.

I invite you to join in! Just leave a comment below, and commit to following my three rules (plus the cheat meal, of course), for the month.  It’s that simple.

I’m optimistic that these rules will be helpful for you — and I’m hoping by the end of the month you’ll have some good feedback about how it all worked out. Will you want to continue eating this way? Would you change anything about the rules?  So let’s try this experiment together, and see how it goes. Cool?

(I’m also looking for a few more guest posts to share throughout the month, so if you’d be interested in writing about it, please let me know.)

Photo by bubbo-tubbo.

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Michelle Stern
Contributor

Thanks for the invitation to participate! I am on a label reading rampage and am working on getting better at meal planning so that I don’t slip into old habits. Whole grains are on the agenda, for sure, along with more homemade bread so that we are in control of our ingredients.

Natasha
Guest

Definitely got to get my diet cleaned back up. After my trip to Disneyworld it’s been very junky. I feel terrible and can’t wait to start feeling like I did during the October unprocessed challenge.

Liz the Chef
Guest

I’m going to cut back on meat and dairy. Trying to emulate Mark Bittman re his “vegan until 6:00”.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I’m going to try. I have no problems with the last 2 rules, but rule #1 is tough-I love bread! And although I make my own bread, I have to admit that I often use all-purpose flour, especially in my new favorite French bread recipe! But, I love the challenge, so let’s give it a try!!

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Your three rules are definitely a part of my every day eating. Cheating once in a while is a must, especially when traveling and/or eating out. I will absolutely try to continue to follow these three rules. Looking forward to the New Year.