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Chowhounding and nutrition [Moved from General Topics]

How do you strike a balance between good chowhounding and good nutrition? Many years of indulging in rich foods like duck, pork, fried chicken and the like, has lead to some cholesterol issues for me. I have always maintained a fairly balanced diet including lots of fresh veggies and fruit, but have not always been able to exercise great restraint when confronted with a great foie gras preparation.

Personally, I have embarked on a 21-day detoxification program for starters. And, I am making a conscious effort to look and menus more healthfully. I will try the halibut instead of the pork chop, even though I enjoy pork more.

Just curious as to what other 'hounds do. How do you keep from eating with reckless abandon? I know the simple answer is to exercise more discipline, but I'm interested in hearing your collective thoughts.....

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  1. My rule is moderation in all things, including moderation.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I think that's a great rule - plus regular exercise

      1. re: pescatarian

        Oh yeah. I average around an hour of exercise a day.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Exactly... plus hounding to me is a hobby, something I enjoy... if I did it all the time, I would burn out and would have to invest in a new woredrobe. So we have plenty of borning but healthy meals (Almost every lunch and breakfast we have) and then splurge a few times a week...)

          --Dommy!

          1. re: Dommy

            Well put. And remember, there is plenty of lean pork available now. At my place we try to eat a lot of poultry, fish occassionally, I've been trying to use whole grains instead of all refined flour stuff (but I still hate wholewheat pasta), and of course lots of vegs and fruits (thatpart is easy, love fruits and vegs). Use less fat when you cook, olive oil is good for you, but you don't need as much as most recipes will tell you to use. It's not so bad, really, and you will feel much better. Think how much more you will appreciate that occassional pork chop! Oh, and eat oatmeal, it is supposed to help lower your cholestrol. But don't torture yourself either, if you don't get any pleasure out of eating, you will have trouble sticking to it. Stay away from cheese for a while, I never keep it in the house. That's harder for some people than it is for me though. One more tip, citrus is your friend...use it instead of butter (Oh I know, it's so hard!) on vegs so they don't taste flat and blah.

            1. re: Dommy

              Lean pork is horrible. Better to substitute turkey than eat that crap.

      2. That's a good question.

        I try to eat fish several times a week, try to substitute fruit (peaches/melons/berries) for sugary desserts, drink skim milk, rarely drink alcohol (occasionally Scotch) or coffee (but one cup of caffeinated soda per workday), swim. I do what I can. Hopefully that will compensate for my excesses with chocolate, bacon, etc.

        1. Exercise is my vital element every morning. That and a bowl of oatmeal or cream of wheat. I actually feel tired if I miss a morning at the gym.
          I really try to watch what I eat during the work week, and I let it all hang out on the weekend.
          But a daily exercise routine has been working for me.

          1. I eat in moderation just about all the time. I seldom pig out on very rich foods simply because I can't eat much of it. I love fresh vegetables and fruit and always have these as a big part of my diet. We eat a lot of fish, seafood and vegetarian foods. I try to exercise, though work sometimes supercedes that.

            I'm not sure how much damage is done by saturated fats. I grew up eating a fair amount of pork and food cooked in pork fat. My cholesterol count is low and HDL/LDL ratio high. I think processed foods, particularly refined sugars, are more harmful, but that's mostly JMO.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheryl_h

              There's no question that the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in many processed foods are far worse for you than any natural fat, even butter or lard. I started a topic about that on the Not About Food board:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            2. Cooking at home helps me keep things in moderation; I control the fat, sodium, sugar, etc. in whatever I'm cooking. Plus, I decide what to cook, so beef and pork are rarely used. Staying active each day and controlling my own portions has worked pretty well for me so far...I eat dinner on a sandwich plate, not a dinner plate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Val

                Yes, that's my strategy too, not that there aren't also times when I overindulge at home :) But you're right about controlling ingredients and portion size, and it's nice to have the flexibility to eat whatever combinations appeal at the time. Last night I had arugula and cherry tomato salad with a glass of good champagne, and I was happy.

                Plus, starting to prepare dinner right away is the best way I've found to head off that bad impulse of getting home tired and mindlessly grazing from the fridge.