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A Recipe for Eating Well

It took me five decades, but I figured out healthy eating: I stuff myself. All these years, I was trying to cut back what I ate, but I needed to do the opposite. Let me tell you what worked for me. It may not work for you, or it might, or it may give you some ideas. 

It does involve fruits and vegetables, I won’t sugarcoat it (yes 😂). That’s ok by me, I like most of them, except bananas, and kale which doesn’t agree with me. 

My diet, as in what I eat, not a meal plan fabricated to lose weight (how did these two meanings get into the same word, one of which is natural and the other some form of mentally unhealthy self-denial?) consists of:

  • lots of fruits and vegetables, mixed into my meals
  • lots of spices, garlic, ginger, herbs and hot pepper flakes
  • little added sugar or salt or oil. Sauting involves less than a teaspoon of butter or a tablespoon of oil.
  • few sauces, but vinegar or tomato-based when I use them
  • a variety of meat and seafood
  • bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in moderation
  • my own baked goods, which have butter in them, and fruit, and less sugar than the recipe calls for

And hell, yes, every now and then a chocolate bar, bag of chips or donut, is awesome. And fries, with gravy please. Overall, my approach allows me to consume as much food as I want, maintain a weight that I like and makes my digestion happy. 

I think the key is knowing yourself. For me, denial works in reverse. The more I try to convince myself I shouldn’t have something, the more I want it and consuming it consumes me. 

I apply anti-psychology psychology to portion size. Rather than trying to cut down how much I eat, I eat as much as I want, in certain categories. Carrots, oranges, dill pickles etc. I can hear those little voices, you know the ones, that call you out as evil and inappropriate, telling me I’m eating ‘too much’. As a child, when I told my mothers I was hungry, she said, ‘you can’t possibly be’. Weird psychology and family dynamics aside, my belly seems to need more filling than most. I embraced that and stuff it full of cauliflower, beans or melon. 

Here is an example, a meal for one I cooked recently, that has all the components of my ‘diet’ and tasted awesome.

  • 1.5 tsp corn oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger – from the jar
  • a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes

throw into wok

  • 1 mid-sized sweet pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • half a pound of chopped Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
  • 1 rib celery, sliced

add to wok, with 1/4 cup water

heat on low medium for 10 -15 minutes (water should be gone by then)


  • 150 gm. pork chop, sliced

turn up the heat and saute with lid off for a few minutes


  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 1 serving (according to the package) of rice noodles, soaked in water as advised by manufacturer

saute a couple of minutes until hot all through.

Eat and enjoy.

The total added fat was the 1.5 tsp of corn oil and that the sauce comes from the juices of the fruits and veggies. This is a one person portion. Total calories about 6001, which is fabulous for a filling, tasty meal. 

Going off sauces and sugar takes some getting used to. But after a few weeks, it’s amazing how sweet carrots and fruit taste. Without a chocolate bar to compare to, they’re a treat. Dinner time!

1 Based on calculator found at WebMD and info on the package of rice noodles and ginger puree.

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