From the February 2007 issue of Texas Monthly.
Eating Myself AliveHere are Jim's top 10 things to gourge on. Read more in this month's issue.
Jim Atkinson cures what ails us.
I’M A BIG BELIEVER in New Year’s resolutions. Nine years ago I decided to quit smoking, and while it took me a few months, in March of 1998 I stamped out my last butt. At the same time, I resolved not to gain any weight after giving up nicotine—a more difficult challenge—and began exercising at least an hour a day. Nearly a decade later, I weigh the same thing. This year? I’m attacking my diet. And I’m not just referring to cutting out the fries. Healthy eating is proactive: It means consuming more of those foods whose properties prevent such life shorteners as heart disease and cancer. With the help of Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical dietetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, I’ve settled on ten things I’m going to gorge on in 2007. Try my plan yourself—and see how many years you can add to your life by eating more.
1. Go upstream: salmon.
2. A tomato a day keeps the Big C away.
3. Synergy, baby: garlic.
4. Brown power, part I: whole-grain pasta.
5. Brown power, part II: whole-grain bread.
6. The new mayo: avocado.
7. Say yes to red meat.
8. Pintos with that?
9. Fig out.
10. Room for dessert? Cave to cantaloupe.
So, you may say, resolutions are good and well. But are there any caveats to this healthy feeding frenzy? Well, yes—two. The first is that I’ll still allow myself a cheeseburger or soft tacos once a week. It’s not that the human body can’t handle any cholesterol or fat; it just can’t take too much of it. The second is that, even if I falter at incorporating one or two of my ten foods here, I’m intent on, uh, staying the course. Because proactive eating is not just a year-long project—it’s a lifelong one.
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