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  • A good-enough meal

    The job of food is to ... well, do the job.
    To be serviceable.

    I have a nutritionist friend - a scary-smart and talented nutritionist friend who I respect- who once said “I don’t eat anything that isn’t fabulous.”

    Not me! So different. I eat lots and lots of non-fabulous things.

    The truth is her definition of fabulous is different from most. Hers: healthy, beautiful, exquisite, well put-together, colorful, digestible, required for fuel. 

    Others would say fabulous = extremely, dreamily palatable on account of the high sugar, fat and salt content.

    Which I think is fabulous, too, in a sense, but not a great way to avoid weight or other health problems.

    I like to think that fabulous food is available to me, but should not be part of everyday meals. Fabulous = feasting. The kind of food that, even just a couple generations ago, people use to have only a few times a year. 

    In some parts of the world that’s still true. In my part of the world, super-palatable, very energy-dense food is what nearly every restaurant serves and the only thing the convenience store offers (with obvious differences in price and quality).

    So one of the things I ask clients to consider is making most of their meals serviceable, rather than exciting.

    In fact, when I tell people what I eat for lunch every day it can sound really lame. It’s usually something like sautéed chicken breast - or actually, part of a chicken breast, not the whole thing - or chile-lime boiled shrimp and at least three servings of vegetables. With an emphasis on color, rather than flavor. 

    (I’ve written here before that I like to get my five a day by lunchtime so that I can eat a smallish portion of whatever fabulous Thai thing my husband is cooking at dinner. I’m sure the Thai people eat their 5-a-day, too, but just like restaurants, cookbooks tend to focus on feast food, not the plain stuff.)

    Serviceable, to me, means plain food. Simple food. Everyday food. Not fabulous, glorious food. Just something that will keep body and soul togetherwithout challenging the system and my health too much.

    The truth is that people who are thin eat like this more than those of us who struggle with weight do. It’s not because they have a magic gene that lets them eat cheeseburgers and French fries all day with impunity. And it’s not because they’re willing to wrestle themselves to the ground avoiding the fries, either. 

    It’s because either

    • they were born with a taste for simple food
    • or their their parents imposed it on them
    • or they deliberately cultivated it when they figured out that cheeseburgers and fries all day are incompatible with good health and lower body weight.

    So that’s the bad news: If you want to change your body, you’ll have to change what you eat. And if you want to change what you eat, you’ll probably have to change your tastes.

    The good news is there’s kind of a shortcut to doing that.

Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.

Download your free cheat sheet now.