Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 90-10 Rule

It’s no secret that I value a healthy lifestyle. At this age I can no longer eat and drink like some twenty-year-old at a frat house or even like I used to before I turned 30. That’s why I have the 90-10 rule. It’s a way of eating and living that balances good health with pleasure.

Here’s how it goes...Ninety percent of the time I eat for fuel. What I mean is that I eat to keep my blood sugar from dropping and my stomach from growling, not because I have a craving and not for enjoyment. It’s basically salads, vegetables and grilled, lean meats. But because we can’t live a life totally void of decadence, ten percent of the time I eat with “gusto”! I enjoy crèmes and chocolates, the “widow maker” at Prato and every other goodness you can imagine. The ninety percent is a sacrifice so that I can truly appreciate the ten.

This kind of living has taught me a few things. The first is that I need to be mindful of what I indulge in. I no longer blindly snack on whatever happens to be sitting in the break room or waste my calories on treats that don’t satisfy. Instead, I indulge in quality food and I am present and aware of every sinful bite. The other thing I have learned is that I don’t put limitations on the 10 percent. I make it a gastronomic indulgence moment or GIM as I like to call it. I eat outside my comfort zone. Rather than the same meals time after time, I’m adventurous. I try new things and challenge my palette. Finally, I indulge with company. That way it’s more about the experience than it is about the food.

Sure, I’d rather have chicken wings and anything made of chocolate for every meal but I know I can’t. If I ate with the same desire all the time, I would never stop. So instead I’ve learned to fuel up and hold back so that every once in a while, I can surrender to my appetite and truly appreciate the best of what the kitchen has to offer.

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