Rather than prescribing a diet, I would like to talk to you about better and worse eating strategies, and from them, if you, like me, are trying to learn a better way to eat, then perhaps you would benefit from some of the ones I have identified. Or perhaps you could leave some eating strategies of your own in the comments below, because I am interested.
EATING A LOT is generally considered to be a poor eating strategy. For one thing, its expensive. For another, it makes you overweight. In our culture, overweight not only means unhealthy it also sometimes cruelly is interpreted to mean uncool or even ugly. I think coolness and beauty are both qualities of the spirit, but I do think it is best not to be overweight if you can help it, because overweight people have less energy and cannot enjoy as much of life, because life is action.
EATING FAST FOOD is a horrible way to eat because the food is of questionable quality, very messy, and society's most fattening.
EATING FRUIT is an excellent strategy because fruit is ridiculously cheap, available everywhere from farmer's markets to convenience stores to FOR FREE in certain trees that you can find in many parks and public places. Fruit is nutritious and unbelievably delicious. Fruit doesn't have to be prepared but can be eaten raw, at the ready, most times even unpeeled.
EATING ORGANIC is an excellent strategy because organic food is of the highest quality both nutritiously and taste wise. Organic, however, can be expensive, which in my book lowers the excellence of the strategy by several degrees. Each person must balance out for themselves whether the pros of organic outweigh the cons, but I have estimated in favor of organic food - whenever I can afford it.
THROWING FOOD AWAY is a horrible eating strategy. Food production rates are unsustainably high throughout the world, and in some cases, food itself is still scarce. This contradicts logic, until you take into account the stockpiling of food and the wasting of food by the wealthiest nations, and the wealthiest individuals within those nations. But seriously, NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE EATING, even if it is the greasiest, most unhealthy burger, please do not throw it away unless it is for real needing to be thrown away or will be a health risk.
EATING LEFTOVERS saves you prep times, saves you money, saves the Planet from the Scourge of Food Overproduction.
FOREGOING MEAT, whether altogether or even just one meal a week. Opting for a bagel with cream cheese instead of a sausage biscuit. Having a cheese quesadilla instead of a chicken quesadilla. This is an excellent eating strategy because meat is high in fats, low in energy, makes you complicit in the killing of an Animal who had a life of its own, and is EXPENSIVE. The human body, biologically, requires not a single nutrient that cannot be supplied by a vegetarian diet. Even so-called "animal proteins" are manufactured naturally by your own body given the right plant ingredients in your diet.
EATING STUFF YOU HUNTED YOURSELF is a good strategy if you really have a meat craving. Fishing and hunting are both enjoyable activities, they get you out in Nature, and plus, you will have an appreciation for the food you are eating that McDonald's could never duplicate. Plus, food you killed yourself is FREE.
EATING LOCALLY PRODUCED FOOD is an excellent strategy because you are helping out your friends and neighbors involved in the production, which makes everybody think you're a helluva fella. It makes you a bit of an expert on local tastes and eating joints and farmers and just what's up in your community. It makes you an interesting conversationalist. Its good for the Environment because chances are your 'local farmer' isn't deforesting vast acres to run his factory meat mill. Also, food produced locally doesn't have to be loaded on diesel-consuming trucks and carted all over the Nation instead of eaten by the people next door to it. So, less gas. Less pollution. Less corporate bullcrap. BETTER TASTE. Cuz there's nothing like the taste of stuff that grows in your own state's dirt.
DRINKING WATER is an excellent strategy because WATER can be found in abundance, FOR FREE!!!!! Get a bottle, fill up at a water fountain or at your own tap! Keep it with you! Next time you are thirsty, you won't have to stop for a Coke! Cokes are expensive and unhealthy and after a while they start to lose their taste. If you are the kind of person who has been drinking a soda for the past year just about everyday, I GUARANTEE YOU that you have lost the ability to taste that soda, and simply haven't noticed the loss. For proof, go without it for a week, then come back and take a gulp. It will shock you to rediscover the original taste that you had forgotten about. So really... if you aren't even tasting Coca Cola when you drink it habitually, why are you wasting the money and empty calories?
LIMITING DAIRY is a good idea, too. In my own mind I think of vegans as the saints of the Human Food Chain. I aspire to be one of them as I once was before. (I am a fallen-from-grace vegan). But you don't have to give up all dairy to make a difference! Limit it. Because dairy is also costly, often high in fat, and has a large carbon footprint.
EATING FOR FREE is an amazing strategy, because chances are, if it is available for free, that means it is not in high demand, and stands a chance of being thrown away. Refer to above to see that throwing food away is a horrible eating strategy. These days, any dollar you save on food and put into savings will help out your future ENORMOUSLY. The economy has never been more unsound so why waste money on food when you can get it for free?
Where can you get food for free?
-- If you find it in Nature (like growing on a Tree in a park). Looking at a few field guides will identify countless species for you, then all you have to do is look while having a pleasant walk in the Woods.
-- If it is about to be thrown away by less scrupulous persons. (This happens ALL THE TIME.) Your friends aren't finishing their food at the restaurant and they aren't asking for a box... Swallow your pride and ask for the box! Also, ask around and you may find out that a local restaurant throws away its unpurchased food at a certain time each day or each week. There is nothing wrong with the food, and they may give it to you. A place at the college I graduated from does this, and they have good food, well-packaged, and they actually give people a chance to take it off their hands before they throw it away.
-- At a friend or relative's house! And no, I am not talking about being a freeloader. If you eat food that someone else gives you, you should be polite and return the favor. But if you are, in fact, having a short month, that is the very best time to go over to someone's house for dinner! I am sure they will not mind.
For some people, getting food for free is unfortunately the only way they can get food, or at least, food in the quantities they require. These folks have been led to eat straight out of trash cans, which is certainly not ideal, but nevertheless, can sustain them. And there are soup kitchens. And if there's not, there needs to be. If you really want to make a difference, volunteer or contribute to one some time. And then you can use them if you ever need them, without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt, or of feeling like you are getting a handout.
Eating insects. The fact remains, eating cows, chickens, and pigs, as they are currently produced in the United States Meat Industry, is such a destructive process that truly, eating insects is a much better strategy. 1,417 different species of arthropod are edible to humans, all are more nutritious than eating mammals or birds. The idea sounds strange but people of 300 different cultures all have insects as a normal part of their diet... And even in the West certain insect dishes are considered delicacies. Honey, for God's sake, is an insect product, and its downright delicious, and there's nothing weird about it. Insects can be found in the Wild, for FREE, if you are ever in a pickle and have no money for food.
Just a few thoughts, friends. Munch on them and digest them and then leave something behind for me.