Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Moroccan Diet

When I was living in Morocco I was lucky to be forced into eating pretty well. Aside from eating way too many carbs, and feeling it, I was eating the way I should be.

Last week I went to the Grand River Market in downtown Jackson and enjoyed being able to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. I was put back in Morocco when I walked through the market to buy a majority of my food. I would load up my bags with a kilo each of tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, apples, and bananas. I walked home with heavy bags full of pure nutrition. When I visited the small stores I would supplement my fruit and veggies with eggs, cheese, milk, and bread.When it came to eating I kept with the concept of KISS-keep it simple stupid.

I want to return to this way of eating. I want to be eating mostly natural foods and here is why:

  1. Human beings have survived for millions of years on unprocessed, straight from the Earth, foods that contain no chemical enhancements that give them a shelf life of months.
  2. If I don't have to be eating processed foods, I don't want to.
  3. I want to know what I am eating comes from the ground, not from a factory.
  4. I want to support local economies.
I am not one of those crazy, health nuts that won't let a Dorito or a McDonald's french fry touch my lips. I enjoy these things and realistically I know it's too difficult to cut these things out completely. I always believe everything has it's place, in moderation. 

For me this is simple. It just means buying lots of fruits and vegetable, hopefully mostly from farmers markets, lean meats, whole grains, and alternative sources of protein such as lentils, beans, and brown rice.

A lot of people complain that eating healthy is expensive, myself included. I have found a few ways around this. 
  1. Having a Sam's Club or Costco membership is a great investment. I have been buying large bags of frozen fruit there for months. I use this fruit to make fruit smoothies as a quick and easy way to get a couple servings of fruit each day. A $13 bag can last me a month or more.
  2. I have always enjoyed Clif granola bars but rarely would by them because they are pretty expensive at about $1.50-2.00 a bar. I found them at Sam's Club in a 24 count box for $19. Easy to afford when they are less than $1 a bar.
  3. I buy frozen, boneless chicken breast at Sam's Club also. It's a good price for a lot of chicken and since it's frozen you don't have to worry about it spoiling.
  4. Buying vegetable from farmers markets can be cheaper plus you are supporting a local family business. You can often find other dry goods like oatmeal, beans, lentils, or other salty snacks in places like this.
  5. Having dry goods on hand like the ones I have mentioned above are good and also cheap. Things like this don't differ much by brand so you can usually save .50-1.00 by buying the store brand.
If you have any other questions for me or have some suggestions or advice on eating natural foods please feel free to leave them in a comment!