My favorite four-letter word.

Am I the only one bothered by the overwhelming misuse of certain words in our daily verbiage? Yes? I figured as much. But bear with me.

Anxious. Ignorant. Literally.

I literally become anxious when people are ignorant enough to butcher the English language.

Anyway. I’m a word nerd. And I am also a health nerd. Pair these two bizarre personality quirks and you get the word I can’t stand to hear misused and abused: Diet.

diet [dahy-it], noun: food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health.

You should be on a diet.

I’m not talking about calorie restrictions or eating low-fat frozen foods (can we even consider that food?). A diet means thinking about your food – what it is, where it’s from – and eating with intention – providing your body with the forms of energy it needs to run optimally.

People would balk at the suggestion of putting dirty, unrefined gasoline in their brand new, shiny SUV. So what’s up with all the processed crap we eat?

Like I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve reached a point where I need to be more mindful of my diet. But knowing what I know, I can’t start my day with a high-fiber/high-sugar grain bar or guzzle diet soda all day for the sake of cutting calories in my “diet.”

In the past, I’ve used Weight Watcher’s mobile site as a way to keep accountable and my portions in check. But now, I cook 95% of what we eat and of the few recipes I actually follow, none of them are straight from that lovely WW cookbook. And there is this whole fear of high point-valued foods. I can’t eat filler foods that are low in both nutrition and calories for the sake of hitting a point goal.

Consider the avocado; they are amazing and when you are avoiding dairy, it can act as a great cheese replacement with a creamy texture and mild flavor. It’s low in saturated fat and high in protein and fiber. But one medium avocado is 10 WW points. At my height/weight, they recommend I eat 26 points a day. That’s 38% of my alloted points in one delicious fruit (yes, it is technically a fruit).

So what is a mindful diet-er to do?

Control thy portions. It is SO EASY to eat more than necessary.

Moderate. This Creamy Avocado Pasta recipe from the vegan-friendly Oh She Glows is one of my family’s favorites. We add broccoli and chicken for a delicious, filling and relatively cheap meal. We agree that avocados have a lot of (good) fat – so go easy on your oils and nuts in other meals.

Write it down. I love that companies like Weight Watchers keep you accountable by recording what, how much and when you eat. This helps you see patterns in your diet (hello, late night salty snacking) and lets you see what you’re missing (I struggle with leafy greens).

Don’t compromise. I’d rather drink plain old water than diet sodas loaded with fake sugars. Regular soda isn’t healthy by any stretch but if I really want a sweet treat, I feel better drinking a 12 ounces of the real stuff rather than something with loaded aspartame.

Don’t deprive yourself. Celebrate holidays. Bake muffins with your kids. Enjoy bacon. It isn’t a competition and no one cares if you are a martyr.

How do you keep your diet in check?

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5 thoughts on “My favorite four-letter word.

  1. I am with you. i generally eat when i am hungry and stop when i am full. except of course when i am eating giant scoops of peanut butter mixed with honey. then all bets are off. i am all about enjoying my food. i love to eat delicious baked goods and rich savory dishes but i omit all processed items (minus a fake nugget or a carton of ice cream every once in a while) and that seems to work out for us. well said liz. well said!

    • Ha! Yes, emotional eating is certainly NOT included in my dietary reformation. That aside, I just couldn’t imagine depriving myself of such delicious, artfully created dishes.

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