Why It’s Good to Play with Your Food!

When I talk about eating right, I speak with the authority of someone who’s been to the other side: Yeah, I used to be one of those guys, and I lived on an over-cooked, over-processed, deplorable diet full of chemicals and additives. I hated myself for being overweight, and worse yet I had no clue where to begin the change I so desperately craved. All I knew was that some kind of change was necessary to turn my life around.

My quest for a healthy diet and lifestyle started during my university studies in Britain. My goal was not to change the world—but to change myself by losing weight and enjoying better health. And so I delved into scores of books, magazines, and scientific reports on dietary issues and cooking techniques, signed up for countless seminars and workshops offered by acclaimed chefs and dieticians, and started experimenting with new kinds of food and new kinds of cooking. Giving up would’ve meant giving up on myself, so I stubbornly stuck with it, and it made a world of difference. When all was said and done I was not just healthier, but happier, more confident—and still enjoyed great food!

It then dawned on me that what I really wanted to do was share what I had learned with other people; people who were in the same situation I’d been before, who craved the same kind of change I had succeeded in making. Indeed, I made it my life-long commitment to help them get their own life back. Television became a great medium for communicating my own experiences—and expertise—to a worldwide audience.

People are sometimes apprehensive of those who try to tell them what to eat, and it’s definitely not my intention to do that: Each one of us has to decide that for ourselves. My role is to help people discover new, exciting options of what to eat (options they may not have considered before), as well as help them decide when, how, and how much to eat. Above all, we should all know why we eat.

I won’t pretend I have all the answers; no one does, since the right answers vary from person to person. Instead, I will help you ask the right questions, and help you make the decisions that are right for you. I’ve traveled around the world, discovered new ways of cooking and eating, learned from some of the most famous chefs and food experts: Now I’m here to share with you the experiences I’ve had, and help you use my own knowledge and expertise in ways that will make your own lives better. So don’t think you’ve tried it all before (you haven’t), or that nothing works (I’m living proof that change is possible). I want to be your partner in building a new healthier, happier you!

They say you can’t change the world, but “they” are apparently wrong. Sure, you can’t change the entire world overnight, but that’s no reason to get discouraged: If you want to set out on the road to health and well-being, you must remember that the way to do it is by making small, gradual changes to your eating habits and outlook—because those are changes you can stick to! Count on the fact that those small changes will soon add up and pay off in a big way! What we really need is big decisions to make small changes.

As we fight against the daunting waves of junk food that threaten to drown us every day, it’s important to make the decision to learn more about how to steer towards a healthier, happier direction. We should choose food that positively affects our mood and health, know why we eat the things we eat, and realize that healthy eating doesn’t mean tasteless, boring food. In short, we should develop a dietary conscience and enhance our dietary intelligence.

Food is not a necessary evil, it’s not an escape from the frustrations of our busy, overloaded life, and it’s not the ultimate source of pleasure and instant gratification.

You can eat right and still be happy, as long as you follow the five commandments of FT’s Food Bible:

Go for quality rather than quantity
Eat only when you’re hungry
Instead of rushing, enjoy every bite
Stop eating at the first sign of fullness
Think about what and why you eat before, during and after every meal

The power to follow these commandments is in our hands. So go ahead, play with your food, experiment, try new things, have fun—but do it without forgetting these commandments. The grand prize is a happier, more confident, healthier, longer life! Remember, it’s all about making big changes one small step at a time!

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