The 80 Percent Guide

Pamela Peeke, M.D. in her book Body for Life for Women talks about her Mind-Mouth-Muscle trifecta for obtaining optimal health through the four Milestone periods of our lives.

Her foolproof advice is to follow her eating plan 80 percent of the time. That’s right: you can eat healthful food 80 percent of the time and that’s perfectly okay according to Peeke.

I don’t follow her eating plan to the letter because you have to remember the right combinations of food to eat. If you photocopied the pages with the eating plan and committed to reviewing it every day so that you could choose from it: you might start to remember the plan without looking at the pages.

Stellar advice she gives is that eating too much of any food even healthful food is not good. If you eat better food and choose quality over quantity you will also save money because you’re not buying as much food.

I don’t eat a lot of food. I try to switch up: eat organic Fuji apples when they’re available, pears and raspberries and other fruit when it’s in season (because in-season fruit IS cheaper.)

Buying seasonal produce is cheaper so it makes sense to do this. Yet I buy organic bananas year-round and I do eat bananas.

The 80 percent guide makes sense to me. I can’t resist the macarons at a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Or every so often I will have a chocolate crepe. There you go.

Keeping a food log and writing down what you eat for two weeks is a great way to keep track of what you’re eating if you want to lose weight. The equation is simple: burn more calories than you consume.

Life isn’t always easy and doesn’t always go as planned. That’s when it makes sense to forgive ourselves and move on and recommit to healthful eating.

I want to quote an advertisement in Women’s Health magazine. Jillian Michaels the trainer is pushing Krave jerky in it. I don’t recommend eating any kind of jerky or beef or meat at all. If a person does only one thing, not eating meat would be the one thing to do.

While I don’t endorse any products at this time the advertisement is right-on about the reality of life. I didn’t read the rest of the advertisement because as soon as I saw the word jerky I didn’t think the product could be healthful.

Here’s the tag line:

“I’m going to do the best I can given what I have today. I’ll never settle.”

I’ll end here with those words. They’re so apt for what happens when our lives take a turn and we have to ride out a hard time:

“I’m going to do the best I can given what I have today. I’ll never settle.”

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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