I just spent the weekend stalking wildlife in its native habitat.
And by wildlife, I mean a really skinny, gorgeous friend of mine. And by habitat, I mean a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city--in this case, San Francisco.
What did I learn? Lots, Dear Readers. I had quite the education. Tip-toeing after her in my pith helmet, I discovered:
1. Exercise. I'm talkin' the real stuff, with the hotel gym, and the running shoes. Not just strolling around with a gelato in your hand. And did she slack off because she was on vacation? Not a chance. She was up at dawn, gettin' it done. I, on the other hand, was blissfully snoozing.
2. No snacking between meals. The key to this is having a large cup in your hand at all times, filled either with coffee or tea. Both of them are satisfying and suppress the appetite. As I discovered.
3. Gluten is verboten. Why? Because all the really fattening stuff is basically gluten with food coloring and decorations. When you avoid bread and pasta, you have calories left over for lots of other stuff.
4. No meat. Meat often comes in the form of fried things, and fat-covered things. Fish, however, is fine. As is cheese, but not in gooey piles. More like arranged in delicate morsels between some fruit and nuts, or shaved gorgeously over salads. (Note: I don't like fish. So I had chicken.)
5. Life is only worth living with chocolate, so eat chocolate. But make sure it's quality high-cacao dark. Then go for it.
6. Same with wine. A glass or two on vacation enhances that vacation-y feeling. No mixed drinks, though, which are basically bread squeezed into a glass full of high-fructose corn syrup.
7. Enjoy fancy restaurants, but avoid those wallet-busting, waist-boosting entrees like steak and pork belly. You can have THREE beautiful veggie or fruit-based appetizers for fewer calories AND less money.
8. When in doubt, on the side.
Because it was Passover (which is basically the Jewish version of gluten-free) I followed a lot of these tenets on my trip. And the most shocking things happened.
1. I didn't feel hungry.
2. I didn't feel sleepy.
3. I didn't crave stuff.
Since these three states are basically the triad of my existence, this was surprising indeed.
Now, I like to think that when I'm at my best, I know something about nutrition. But maybe I have some pondering to do.