Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, where he’s the founder and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute—dedicated to non-surgical weight management since 2004. Dr. Freedhoff is the author of the groundbreaking book, The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work. He sounds off daily on his award-winning blog, Weighty Matters, and is also easily reachable on Twitter and Facebook.
I know Andrew wants us to go wholly October Unprocessed, but I’m guessing that even for many regular readers that’s a loftier goal than we’re ready, willing, or able to meet. Well I’d like to take my guest posting opportunity and offer you an easily doable, no-excuses way out.
What I I want you to do is take a few minutes and consider what I like to call your “Foodscape” – That would be all of the meals that make the regular culinary rotation of your life (meals you have at least a few times a month) and what I want you to identify is your very “worst” meal, where “worst” refers to that meal which is the most diametrically opposed to your understanding of nutrition in the context of your health and life goals. For some of you that may mean crazily high in calories. For others it may be more about sodium, and for others still it may be about being basically pre-chewed, in that it’s as instant and processed as a food can be.
I’m guessing you know what I want you to do next.
I want you to commit to not only booting it from your October rotation, but committing to an unprocessed alternative. One that you’ve cooked from as many scratch, whole, unadulterated ingredients as you can manage. Some of you may manage more ingredients than others (for instance some of you may bake your own bread and make sauces from scratch whereas others will find that to be too daunting), but don’t worry about that – you know your own limits better than anyone.
What I’m trying to say here is that your October Unprocessed best doesn’t need to be perfect to represent a step forward and perhaps it’s a step you might take in the context of a longer journey. Perhaps you could drop that one “worst” meal from your rotation altogether, and who knows, maybe each month for the coming year you could repeat the exercise so that by the time next October Unprocessed rolls around you’ll actually feel confident that you can do the full monty.
Ultimately I’d hate to see a person not try because the chasm seemed too wide, and flying leaps do have a tendency to land people on their faces. So if October Unprocessed’s leap seems too far, why not commit to taking just one tiny unprocessed step a month? Can’t think of anything you’ve got to lose, and clearly, there’s plenty to gain.
Photo © 2011 BoyGoku, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.