For my first actual content post relating to my experiment in fat happiness, I want to kick it off with a resolution.
My first happiness resolution is in the Health category. In my own interpretation of HAES (Health at Every Size) I subscribe to the whole "varied eating with fruits and veggies" theory of healthy eating, but frequently fall down in practice because I don't make time to prepare daily complicated meals. It's so much faster and easier to make a plate of nachos or a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner so that I can get back to the day's project. But I do feel a physical difference when I'm eating a more varied diet with unprocessed ingredients. I feel better, my energy is lighter and cleaner, and my mood is elevated. I know that for a lot of people it makes no difference at all in how they feel (or not enough of one to compensate for the trouble). So all FDA claims aside, is this actually something that would improve my personal health or do I just get a "feel better" feeling from eating "right" according to pop theory which then wears off when it becomes routine?
So I'm starting a resolution that is also an experiment. Each week I need to choose a new base food (an unprocessed fruit, veg, meat, grain, etc.). It should be something in one of these categories:
1. Something I've never tried before.
2. Something I haven't tried in years since I hated it as a kid (our tastes change as we get older!)
3. Something I've made but only have one recipe or preparation I make over and over again.
I have to eat that new thing at least once per day during that week, each time prepared in a different way.
The theory is that doing so will force me to widen my options and explore new foods. There's no restrictions on how I prepare it.
So, for the next week, I will be eating Grapefruit. I've only eaten it in the traditional diet prep many years ago: raw with artificial sweetener. It was miserably gross. I've always associated Grapefruit with dieting, which made them too bitter on many levels. But now I can go and re-visit them as a "real" food, instead of some kind of obligation. By the end of this week I'll know for sure if there's such a thing as a Grapefruit I like.
I'll find some help from the all-knowing google, including:
By the way, a real Mexican margarita is made with grapefruit juice, with accents of orange (triple-sec) and lime, not the sickening-sweet fake-lime stuff you get in stores and restaurants. I usually make them with Squirt soda as the base: a trick learned from my parents when they lived in Ajijic. I wonder if my "no restrictions on how it's prepared" rule extends to booze? :-)
Also, I'm adding the following to my Reading list, based on Gretchen Rubin's recomendations:
Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Why the Meaningful Life is Closer Than You Think
Daniel Nettle, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile
David Lykken, Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment
Gregory Berns: Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
Martin Seligman, Authentic Happiness
Kahneman, Diener, Schwartz, Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology
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