Monday, March 12, 2012

Big Rocks and Little Rocks

Dr. Stephen Covey revolutionized the time management concept with his ground breaking study and subsequent book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  In the audio version of the book he provides an example of doing the most important things in ones life first.  The example is a person placing rocks in a large container.  The person fills the container with large rocks first until it is filled to the top.  He then asks if more rocks can be into the container.  Most reply in the negative.  He then pours smaller rocks, pebbles, and finally sand into the container.  The moral wasn’t that we can always find more time but if we do the big things first the “little” things have a tendency to fit as well.  The same idea applies to eating healthy.
The typical diet contains large amounts of meat (saturated fat) and potatoes cooked in a way that renders them unhealthy (fries, baked with sour cream and butter, mashed with butter, etc.).  Most people do not eat raw fruits and vegetables and it is a contributor to the epidemic of obesity, adult onset diabetes, and heart disease. 
Imagine you want to eat steak and baked potato for special meal.  You get the customary salad that is iceberg, a few shreds of carrot and maybe a tomato wedge.  To that, you add shredded cheese and about 150-300 calories of salad dressing.  Out comes the steak and I don’t know of any restaurant that sells a 3 ounce steak – a petite is typically 6 ounces.  On the side is a large baked potato that requires 2 tablespoons of butter and an equal amount of sour cream.  What if we used our big rock/little rock paradigm?
First course get an expansive salad.  About 2 cups of romaine, a cup of shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped bell pepper, broccoli florets, and tomato slices.  Slice a slit in a baked potato and insert a bay leaf inside and wrap it in tin-foil and bake it until it is tender.  Eat the entire potato (the skin!) and flavor it with a few drops of Braggs Liquid aminos or some salsa.  Now the steak becomes a side dish not the main dish.  As Dr. Joel Furhman states emphatically, “The salad is the main dish”. 
I don’t advocate eating meat because it really has no nutritional value.  The problem is not simply eating meat is bad, it is that people aren’t eating sufficient fresh vegetables.  It’s an opportunity cost thing. 
Now for dessert: Fresh fruit!

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