My first food blog was titled “The Promiscuous Vegetarian.” I guess my gustatory philosophy is technically classified as “flexitarian,” but that sounds like I eat yoga instructors or amateur bodybuilders.
However, it’s not original. I believe (sources unknown) that I manipulated the term from the guys at Ben and Jerry’s. One of them (again, my memory is hazy on this) referred to himself as a “cheatin’ vegan.”
But enough of the name, you want substance. While never having read the book, or followed the person, I think Michael Pollan’s rules are a simple yet elegant mantra for how we should eat as well as an explanation for all that ails us with respect to obesity and related health problems. The prescription:
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Let’s break that down:
Eat food – if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, and the ingredients imply it was made in a beaker and not by nature, don’t eat a lot of it. Food should look more like it does out in nature rather than processed.
Not too much – self explanatory.
Mostly plants – allows for meat.
Why allow for meat? For me, it boils down to the fact that I (i.e., humans) have a few canine teeth in our grill (for tearing meat) and vitamin B12, which is a) essential and b) not found in plants (and don’t fill my comment box with garbage about certain groups of vegans who don’t have the deficiency, and how we’d be B12 if we weren’t so uber sanitary with our food supply). I could take a B12 supplement, but what’s the first line in the mantra, again?
The second reason is, well, meat tastes damn good. It’s just that too much of it isn’t good for my heart and waistline.
I tend to eschew recipes. This will make some readers upset. Sorry. If I need inspiration or ideas, I’ll surf some recipes, get a basic idea, and then go from there. Other times, if I’m feeling uncertain, I’ll double check with a recipe in the middle of cooking just to see if I’m on the right track. Even when I do, I will only check for ingredients, not amounts (okay, maybe…sometimes…I’ll look for a ratio of ingredients). Why? Two reasons. First, I’m lazy. Second, if you see a recipe online, and you read the reviews, most of them say things like, “Tasted great, but I had to double the [insert spice here].”
My favorite time of the week to cook is Wednesday and Thursday. Why? Because that’s when I need to get creative. My refrigerator isn’t full, but it isn’t empty, either. I have some ingredients, but I may need to do some substitutions. I shop for groceries on the weekend, so I do most of my planning then, but midweek is always a hodgepodge. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but necessity is the mother of invention; so when I win, I file the idea away for future use!