Eat Food/Not too much/Mostly Plants in action
I am at the moment in the 'buried in work' state, so I haven't had a chance to post much here for the last week or so. Hopefully I'll get out of the mire soon. In the meantime though, anyone who has any interest in food, nutrition, where our food comes from, and most importantly, how to eat at all, should read the massive (12 pages) article by Michael Pollan in the New York Times, Unhappy Meals (registration required). (I linked to it already yesterday in my daily links but in case you missed it!) I do highly recommend reading through the whole 12 pages, but if you are really impatient read page 1 then skip ahead to page 11; the salient 9 recommendation points start there. I agree with every one, and try to practice them too.
Coincidentally, or not, the basic premise of "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.", not to mention the 9 points, share a lot in common with the rules I set out for myself for trying to lose weight: eating fresh lots of vegetables and some fruit, not relying on artificial/manufactured products, and so on. I'm also relying a lot on Japanese-type food and cooking methods, with some injections of my other favorites, Italian and Provençal (plus some Swiss soups). While I have been keeping a food journal and watching the portions, I haven't really done a lot of in-depth caloric or nutritional analysis of what I've eaten (though I have noted some new, healthy recipes that were a hit.) Weight loss aside (to date I've lost a bit more than 3kg, or about 7 lb, since Jan. 1st) the major difference is that I feel pretty terrific. The first week was a bit tough - I was irritable as hell and made life for some people around me (cough) pretty miserable. I'm not sure if that was solely due to the food, but I know that I sorely missed eating sugary and salty snacks. While I don't think I over-relied on processed foods and snacks before, getting rid of them almost completely has done a lot for me already.
I still use small amounts of sugar (mostly brown/raw cane sugar), white flour and salt in my cooking, but the amount I used is controlled by me. That alone has made quite a difference. (I've made and eaten cookies and even cupcakes this past month; they were delicious and didn't affect the weight loss efforts much at all. Yes, I did do portion control!)
The main thing though is that I've been eating food: real fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, bread and grain, and so on. The only packaged foods I've been eating are canned tuna and tomatoes. And it all tastes terrific.
I have more thoughts about this...but for now, to go back to digging out of the (work) mire...
Related: The Omnivore's Dilemma.