Chef Jona has been cooking healthy food for some time now. Initially part of the restaurant world, he realized years ago that eating well-- that is healthy and tasty food-- was important for him. He left restaurants and took healthy cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America, worked in vegetarian, paleo/health, and juice cleanse businesses (among others) and finally settled on his own project at Cooked. However, we recently sat down with him to ask him how health and wellness advice has changed over these years-- what have we been doing well all along, and what could we do better? Here is what he said:
1. Go Quality Carbs, Not No Carbs.
The first time I remember "no carbs" really being a big trend was with the Atkins Diet. Ever since then, most diets have tried to get rid of carbs to some extent. I think that it's very, very hard-- maybe impossible-- to feel good and eat well on a zero-carb diet, unless you are on the diet for other medical reasons. Sticking to healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes, legumes, and even whole grains is a more sustainable solution to the "carb problem" than trying to avoid them completely.
2. Don't Try To Stick To Perfection Without Preparing for Some Lapses.
It's so important to take your health seriously, but we all let loose sometimes. If you spend the weekend eating pizza and watching movies, that doesn't mean you have to give up on what you want for your health and you body-- it was a break, now get back to it!
3. Rats! Healthy Food Requires Portion Control, Too.
This is the hardest thing for me! I love food, and I love cooking, and I am around healthy food all day long-- it's very tempting to snack and enjoy more than I really need.
4. Focus on What You Should Be Eating-- Not Only What You Should Not Be Eating.
As someone who truly loves not only health and wellness but also good food, it always makes me sad to see the focus move away from just what is yummy and delicious about what you are eating. Yes, there are food that are possibly on the "no" list, but try to just ignore those and focus instead on what delicious meals and combinations you can come up with. Try to come to love the different fruits and vegetables, for example-- some of them you may have never even tried before! Start a garden if you can, and see what you get grow that is new and delicious.