For the past year or so, I've begun looking at food with an imaginary price tag.
Basically, when I look at a piece of food, I consider three factors:
- What I get (the nutritional benefit)
- What it costs me (calories, fat, toxins, etc.)
- How pleasurable it is to eat (taste, texture, satisfaction)
Based on those three things, I calculate a sort of value in my mind. A juicy red apple is basically free, because it is a pleasure to eat, contains some beneficial components, and apart from a tiny bit of natural sugar, is in no way detremental to my body. Lobster, on the other hand, doesn't offer much in the way of nutritional value, maybe some protein and minerals? It is fatty, contains all kinds of yucky ocean-born toxins, and is packed with salt. If it didn't taste amazing, it wouldn't be worth eating. Basically, it's expensive, but worth the money. Bad pizza, on the other hand, would not be worth eating at all, because it offers crappy nutrition, is bad for my body, and doesn't taste good enough to justify those costs.
There are "expensive" foods on the other side of the coin as well. For example, I might make myself a greener than green glass of kale and cucumber juice just because it is good for me. The health benefits of this are huge, but the taste is decidedly unpleasant. That's the rub of adulthood though, right? Sometimes you have to spend a bundle of loot on something because you really do need it, not because it's fun. Drinking juice without fruit in it is sort of like spending a pile of cash at the doctor's office. You know you should do it, but it hurts.
So how do you decide what to eat and what to skip? Is your philosophy methodical, or do you throw caution to the wind and just eat what looks good?
I'd love to know if anyone else has an obsessive (I mean ingenius) method for determining their diet.