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My food philosophy in a nutshell

I’ve tried so many different ways of eating, it makes me dizzy just to think about it. One day I’ll definitely post about my not-so-duty-free past. But today, I’ll tell you guys about the way of eating I have followed for the past couple of years – I am pretty happy with it right now.

The Basics

I try to eat real food 80%-90% of the time, devoting the other 10-20% of what I eat to guilt-free pleasure.*

It’s kind of like what Benjamin Graham says about speculation vs. investing. Not that I am doing either at the moment. (But if I were, I would probably speculate 20% or less because a Soviet upbringing isn’t very conducive to risk-taking.) It’s the same way with food. If I stop eating desserts and nachos, my life feels woefully incomplete. But if I eat too many, I start craving vegetables. If you were to tell me ten years ago I would start craving vegetables if I ate too much chocolate, I would probably have had a very premature heart attack.**

So that’s it in a nutshell - eat healthy most of the time, and indulge without feeling bad about it afterwards. Because really, life is too short.

*This month, my diet consists 20% of pecan pie. This one was actually taken out of the freezer in the back for me by the gracious grocery store staff. Public Service Announcement: pecan pie is even better straight out of the freezer.

** That’s because ten years ago, I literally bought a cinnamon bun every third period and a chocolate bar every day for lunch. I was on a constant energy roller coaster. Usually the chocolate bar was a Hershey’s Cookies & Creme. So tasty! But I digress …

Some other mini-principles

  • When in doubt, I usually choose the fatty thing over the carby thing. I also try to eat butter at least once a day. It is heart-healthy, after all
  • I eat vegetables … almost every single day.
  • I think of “real food” as anything that occurs in nature with minimal processing. So olive oil is in, but canola is out. Butter is in, but margarine is out. Honey is in, but sugar is … oh who am I kidding, it’s still in, just not as often.
  • I eat carbs, but I do try to avoid sugar and flour as much as I reasonably can.
  • I don’t count calories or grams of any kind. I do aim to get enough fat and protein for my body, but I prefer to go with intuition over math on this one.

That’s it for me! What about you?


1 Mima { 10.20.10 at 2:48 pm }

I totally agree with your philosophy. It is realistic and healthy, though I think eating whole grains is perfectly acceptable. I try to avoid refined grains and processed foods too but it can be difficult if you don’t make your food at home yourself. Here are a few questions for you. Could you post what you eat in a typical day? What do you do to deal with eating when you are stressed and upset? What do you do when you eat out? Restaurants have a lot of unhealthy hidden minefields. And when you do enjoy a treat, how do you avoid feeling guilty? Sometimes that can be tricky!


Alina Reply:

Thank you! I will put those questions on a list of things to write about


2 Allie { 10.20.10 at 3:02 pm }

I like your philosophy and I agree! If I don’t have something I crave during the day before I go to bed I am definitely unsatisfied!


Alina Reply:

Thanks Allie. And I definitely get out of bed to hit the fridge from time to time!


3 Mima { 10.20.10 at 4:43 pm }

Hi Alina, Love the blog!


4 Ryguy { 10.21.10 at 10:47 pm }

Great concet, looking forward to more! Question: is eating half a pecan pie part of your healthy eating philosophy?!


Alina Reply:

Hahaha … absolutely it is! I didn’t document all the fruits and vegetables I had also eaten earlier that day.


5 A Saucy Evening — Duty Free Foodie { 10.22.10 at 11:54 am }

[...] I figured out I could lose it by eating butter! I am now back to my happy [...]

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