100 “pearls” excerpted from Promiscuous Eating: Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship With Food

1. Clichéd but true and relevant regarding the path to achieving our desired weight: long and arduous journeys start with small steps—it is not a race, sprint, jog or marathon, but a lifetime walk at a comfortable pace

2. Don’t worry about a little fall or stumble off the journey—compensate with improved eating and exercise

3. Make an effort to eat only when physically hungry, not emotionally hungry

4. Exercise portion control

5. Food journals tell it like it is

6. Be calorie-conscious, but not calorie-obsessed

7. Understand that the goal of eating is satiety, not fullness

8. Try not to skip meals

9. Grazing is good

10. Minimize nocturnal noshing

11. Get plenty of sleep to help keep the pounds off

12. Keeping busy and productive is a great alternative to boredom eating

13. Eat nutritious snacks

14. Indulge with a small taste of temptation foods but try to avoid trigger foods

15. Keep healthy foods accessible, junk food poorly accessible

16. Read nutritional labels carefully—as if you were reading the back of a bottle of medicine before administering it to your child; be attentive to the size of a “serving” as delineated on nutritional labels

17. Try to eat the highest quality foods possible—better to spend it on good food than on avoidable medical care

18. Try to eat as many whole grain products as possible: wheat, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, buckwheat, oats, spelt, etc.

19. The closer to nature the better it is: fresh, unshelled peanuts trump processed peanuts, which trump peanut butter; oranges are superior to orange juice, which is superior to orange drink

20. Fiber is fabulous—soluble fiber slows down absorption rate of food and regulates glucose and cholesterol levels; insoluble fiber slows transit time and lessens risk for colon cancer as the fibrous materials “brush” their way through

21. Fruit is better than fruit juice, since fruit has less calories and more fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and phyto-nutrients (plant-based healthy components)

22. Unshelled nuts and seeds—unlike bottled, canned and packaged—they are unprocessed without added salt and oil and are difficult to over-consume because of labor-intensity of shelling; the act of shelling keeps us busy and occupied

23. Beware of energy-dense foods like dried fruit as it is much easier to overdo caloric consumption: raisins vs. grapes, etc.

24. Limit fast food and junk food

25. Limit processed and highly refined foods: beware of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, enriched wheat flour and trans fats

26. Limit fats that are solid at room temperature

27. Limit tropical oils (coconut, palm kernel and palm)

28. Beware of consuming any chemicals in foods that are also products in moisturizers and cosmetics!

29. Sugar and salt in moderation

30. Avoid soda (liquid candy), with its empty calories and high fructose corn syrup

31. As a soda alternative, try flavored seltzers or squeeze a piece of citrus fruit into regular water or sparkling water

32. Avoid products that contain unfamiliar, unpronounceable, or numerous ingredients

33. Avoid food products that make health claims, since real foods do not have to make claims as their wholesomeness is self-evident

34. “Organic” does not imply healthy, low-calorie or low-fat

35. Avoid “mystery” meats

36. Avoid doughnuts and their ilk—the only healthy part of a doughnut is the hole (and I don’t mean Dunkin Donuts “holes”—aka “munchkins”)

37. Avoid preservatives in our food

38. Avoid hormones in our food

39. Avoid antibiotics in our food

40. Avoid pesticides in our food

41. Avoid bacteria in our food

42. Animal fats in moderation

43. Eat red meat in moderation, trying to eat the leanest cuts possible

44. Lean turkey meat as beef alternative for hamburgers, meatballs, chili, etc.

45. Try to substitute vegetable protein for some of animal protein in diet, particularly legumes—peas, soybeans and lentils

46. Try to eat wild vs. commercially farmed foods (salmon, poultry, pork, beef, etc.)

47. Good fats are healthy and filling—mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated—olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, avocados, nuts, fish, and legumes

48. Consider olive oil as main source of fat

49. Soy: high in protein and healthy fat—edamame (fresh in the pod), soy nuts (roasted), tofu (bean curd), or soy milk

50. Skin poultry, because much of the fat adheres to the underside of the skin

51. Eat some fish, particularly those containing omega 3-essential fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines

52. Use low-fat or non-fat dairy products

53. Use soy, rice or almond milk as dairy alternative

54. Baked, broiled, sautéed, steamed, poached or grilled are preferable to fried, breaded, gooey

55. Baked chips as opposed to fried

56. Drink plenty of water as thirst can be confused with hunger—jazz water up with ice, lemon or lime

57. Light beer instead of regular will save some calories

58. Alcohol-free beer and wine will save some calories

59. Cook healthy meals as opposed to dining out

60. Easy on creamy dressings and sauces

61. Order dressing on the side with salad, so it is not drowned in needless calories

62. Incorporate Mediterranean-style diet and other healthy ethnic foods—Japanese, Italian (careful, not too much pasta!), Greek, etc.—as Western diet alternatives

63. Shake it up by eating a wide variety of different foods as diversification will enhance proper nutrition and please the palate

64. Shop the periphery of the supermarket since this is where the fresh foods are located

65. Farmer’s market as alternative to supermarket

66. Eat local—good for us and our environment

67. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves, as they are a great source of antioxidants, phyto-chemicals, fiber and omega 3-essential fatty acids.

68. Anything that grows on a tree or in the soil is generally healthy and nutritious

69. Anything that is naturally colorful is good

70. Artificial colors and dyes are best suited on palettes and canvasses, not in our bodies

71. Try to eat foods fertilized by organic fertilizers

72. Try to eat meals with your family or friends at a table in the kitchen or dining room, not in the car, while reading or while watching TV

73. Eat slowly, deliberately and mindfully

74. To slow yourself down, use a fork and knife to eat foods that you would normally pick up with your fingers—sandwiches, pizza, etc.

75. Very hot and very cold foods will slow you down

76. Use small plates and bowls to create illusion of having “more” on your plate

77. Use small utensils, such as lobster fork or child-sized spoon to help eat slowly and deliberately

78. Use chopsticks to really put on the eating brakes

79. Serve pasta prepared “seriously” al dente: I discovered this when my then 10-year-old daughter made pasta that was way undercooked and thus was very hard and chewy—pleasurably so—each bowtie requiring a great deal of chomping, slowing me down considerably and resulting in less consumption

80. Close the shop: brush your teeth after meals—this will help minimize mindless, between-meal snacking

81. Breath mints, chewing gum or sucking candy as substitute for eating

82. Eat as if you were dining with your cardiologist and dentist (or if you don’t have a cardiologist, this is someone who you just might need if you eat indiscriminately)

83. Use a good quality bread knife to slice a bagel into four slices instead of two and eat just two

84. Bialy as a bagel alternative—absolutely delicious and so many less calories

85. Coffee is A-OK—tastes great, keeps us alert and focused, antioxidant; with a tiny bit of sugar, will curb our craving for sweets

86. Great snack: microwave popcorn, but not that processed junk—brown paper lunch bag with bottom sprayed with flash of oil mist and layered with corn kernels—fold bag and microwave for 4 minutes or so until popping ceases and throw on a dash of salt

87. Squash fries—great alternative to French fries and in my humble opinion are better: Take a peeled and deseeded butternut squash and cut with crinkle cutter, spray oil mist on baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 40 minutes or so (Credit to Lisa Lillien, Hungry Girl)

88. Apple pie alternative: Cut apple into many slices (I like to use apple corer), put in Ziploc bag with a little cinnamon, shake and voilà—apple coated in cinnamon that tastes like apple pie (Credit to Lisa Lillien, Hungry Girl)

89. Carbonated cranberry cubes: instead of eating while watching TV, try cranberry juice diluted with seltzer, frozen in an ice cube tray; fill up glass with these cubes and enjoy (Credit to my patient)

90. Frozen banana: wrap peeled banana in plastic wrap and freeze—thaw and enjoy this frozen banana treat that tastes like banana ice cream and cannot be scarfed down because it is too hard and cold!

91. Greek yogurt is the best—tastes great and is really thick and creamy without watery whey, loaded with protein—Chobani is my favorite brand—6 ozs, 140 calories, 14g protein, 22 g carbs, no fat, no preservatives

92. Sour cream sub: use plain Greek yogurt on baked potatoes instead of sour cream; also instead of mayonnaise in salad dressings and dips

93. Great snack: celery, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, etc.—dipped in hummus

94. Great snack: fruit shakes—in blender: skim or soy milk, frozen fruit of your choice, yogurt (I usually use a banana as a “base” fruit and add additional fruit/s)

95. Great Australian crackers even though they contain refined wheat flour: Waterwheel Fine Wafer Crackers—super light, non-greasy, crunchy, delicious and 10 crackers have less than 70 calories

96. If you need calcium supplementation and want a delicious means of getting it, try Citrical Creamy Bites that come in chocolate fudge, lemon cream and caramel flavor—they are low in calories and taste better than candy! For a real treat, freeze them. I confess to looting my wife’s chocolate fudge Citricals, even though I am not on calcium replacement!

97. Eat muffin tops if you want to get a “muffin top”—Dunkin Donuts coffee cake muffin: 580 calories, 19 grams fat, 78 grams carbs

98. Eat doughy foods if you want a doughy abdomen

99. Perishable foods with limited shelf lives are much healthier than non-perishable items that last indefinitely, as many processed items do

100. Happy ending—let the last thing you eat before sleep be healthy, natural and wholesome, like a nice piece of fruit—you’ll feel good about yourself when you get into bed, and even better in the morning

This is just a taste of what you will find in Promiscuous Eating: Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food. The website for the book is: www.PromiscuousEating.com.  It provides information on the book, a trailer, excerpts, ordering instructions, as well as links to a wealth of excellent resources on healthy living.  It is also available on Amazon Kindle.

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