Common Sense Nutrition and Diet


This Best of MTTD post was originally published June 12, 2010.

Today’s recipe first ran on May 20, 2011.


Despite the nay sayers and the food police  fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein, and salt are not inherently bad for us.  In fact, our bodies actually need each of these nutrients to function properly. In fact, our bodies get energy from only three sources: fat, carbohydrates, and protein

Yet we are constantly bombarded with TV news, by the food police, magazines articles, books, and our doctors about the latest health study. We are told that we have to eat this, or not eat that to be healthy. We are told we have to lose weight or decrease our cholesterol or have a smaller BMI. We are told we have to add more of that food; or less of another food. We are told not to eat eggs one week and then eggs are OK another week.

It is all so confusing, sometimes I need a Big Mac just to cope.

What. Are. We. To. Do?

The simple truth is, even people at their medically desired weight, with low cholesterol, and low blood pressure die of heart attacks too. And we all know someone who eats saturated fats and drinks heavily who lives well into their nineties. And what about the French and all their rich sauces and cheese and wine? What do you food scolds have to say about that? !!!

I refuse to live my life only by the numbers. 
No Guarantees

The fact is no one can guarantee me, or you,  a long life, good health, or a perfect body with any particular diet. That doesn’t mean I should eat a  diet of  just dark chocolate. It is simply an acknowledgement that their are many variables to good health and a healthy life style.

So for the average person out there, is there any common sense, reasonably easy, every-day goals or strategies on how to eat well and healthy at the same time?

I think so.

So, with this caveat – ‘I am not a dietician and have no degrees or training in nutrition or diet’ – I will share with you my ideas about eating well and healthy at the same time.

Common Sense Nutrition and Diet
This is what I do. It works for me. It may not work for anyone else. I am not making any recommendations. I am simply sharing.

1. I pretty much eat what I damn well please.  I just eat less of it. [Portion size or Portion control]  And then I add some more fruits and vegetables.

2. I try to eat a balanced diet. I eat fats. I eat carbs. And I eat proteins. And sometimes I splurge on one or the other. I mean I just can’t pass up some chocolate desserts!! And I love a good fatty juicy steak too. I just eat less of that kind of food for the next few days to try and balance it out.

3. I eat a wide variety of foods.

4. I try to eat fish at least a couple of times a month.

5. I try to eat real food as much as possible and limit boxed, pre-packaged, and fast foods as much as humanly possible.

6. I only eat half or less of restaurant sized entrees. Or I order an appetizer with a salad as my meal.

7. I stay active. I don’t do formal exercise. I mean like how B.O.R.I.N.G.!!!

But I do things I enjoy like walk,swim, garden, and dance. And I clean my own house. Except on snow and ice, I park my car as far away from my destination – grocery store, movie theater, whatever – as I can get thereby adding a bit more walking into my life. Plus it is easier to find a parking spot there. And fewer dings on my car, too.

That’s it. Very simple.

Add one more:

8. I do not get my health information from the media.

I am very wary of  TV news, magazine stories or TV and radio personalities. Those businesses are out for higher ratings or circulation which translates to higher profits for them. It is difficult to understand a complicated topic like nutrition and health in a three minute TV segment or a three page magazine article sandwiched between advertisements for expensive medications, health services, and health care products.

I never try any diet, diet food, exercise equipment, book, or supplement that is going to cost me lots of money either. If someone is asking for lots of money for any of these items I am very skeptical. I figure it is only to make them richer and me poorer without making me any healthier.

And Finally What About Those French?

As mentioned above the French eat one of the richest diets on earth with lots of cheeses, sauces,and rich deserts. I mean they have real buttery, flaky, decadent croissants with real butter and jam every morning with the strongest coffee ever known to mankind. They have high blood pressure and high cholesterol too! Yet they have one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world too. Explain that food police.

In Closing……..

Don’t get me wrong. I want to  live as long as possible.  I LOVE LIFE. I take good care of myself. But I also want to enjoy all this wonderful earth has to offer. I don’t want to sit and obsess over numbers all day long. It is a delicate balancing act to be sure. Sometimes the goals of enjoying life and staying healthy can clash. I just do the best I can.

For me life is to be enjoyed, and savored; not feared.
Featured Recipe           Eggs with Rice and Soy Dressing

Today’s recipe is another Martha Stewart and Everyday Food magazine recipe. It is super simple and very delicious. I make brown rice with soy sauce and sesame seeds. But Martha Stewart takes this concept and takes it to new heights of deliciousness.

First she adds Toasted Sesame Seed Oil. Then she adds fresh lemon juice. And then there is the egg. She also uses white rice. Oh my!!!! Oh my!!!!! Quite frankly, she had me at Toasted Sesame Seed oil.

And to make things ever better, this is so super easy it is unbelievable.

The cost is best of all though as this dish comes in under $1.00 per serving.

I only made enough for two people, but I give you the full recipe for four. There is no difference in directions.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

1½ cups long grain white rice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes*

4 hard cooked eggs

4 scallions, green parts only

1 teaspoon butter for the rice

*I omitted this ingredient

Here is what you do:

Prepare the rice according to package directions. The rice should take about 20 minutes or so to cook.

Hard boil the egg. Cover the eggs with cold water and heat till bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat source, cover and let sit 10-15 minutes. Cool in cold water. Then peel.

At some point in time you will have “Wait Time.” That is the eggs are off the heat cooking in the hot water and the rice is not yet done.

During this Wait Time cut the green parts of the onion on the diagonal.

Also prepare the dressing by mixing the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, lemon juice and the red pepper flakes if using all together.

When the rice is cooked and the eggs are hard boiled and peeled, slice the eggs into quarters.

Divide the rice into four bowls, top with some egg slices, add some of the green onion, and drizzle some of the dressing over it all.


Bon appétit!!!


1½ cups long grain white rice           $0.72

2 tablespoons soy sauce                   $0.36

2 teaspoons lemon juice                   $0.18

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes           $0.22

4 hard cooked eggs                          $0.48

4 scallions, green parts only              $0.56*

1 teaspoon butter for the rice            $0.05

*Remember, you are only using the green parts. You will have the onion to use in another meal.

Total cost = $2.57
Cost per person = $0.64

Quote of the Day

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain


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