Implied, but not directly noted, is avoidance of processed foods. This resolve doesn't always work for me, but, particularly while reading Omnivore's Dilemma, I'd really like to keep King Corn out of my cell structure as much as possible--and it's in just about everything that's not a free-standing, unadulterated food.
I agree entirely, and when buying pre-made food tend to opt for those with the fewest ingredients.
LG offers several of her own:
ion is less about health and more about fun, but it can allow for healthy cooking due to mental flexibility: Don't be afraid to improvise! This is my main way of cooking. I improvise within a structure- I pick a grain and a protein and then the veggies and flavors start to fall into place. Then as I go, things evolve. It is always tolerable and usually delicious. One can go far with trust, intuition, and fun.
And more practically, I have decided the frozen vegetables are a-okay. I used to only go for fresh, but my lifestyle is unpredictable, so I always have a stash of frozens and in the meantime I try to use my fresh ones. I figure its better to have vegetables than to waste fresh ones that I don't get to in time.
Except for 6 months of my life, I have been without a microwave in my home. Just an FYI that it is do-able. However, I am into heating up leftovers in the microwave at school in my spiffy pyrex dishes! Yay for less plastic toxins in my food.
A rule I'm trying to keep with myself: NO CORN SYRUP! Except in decadent gummy candies every now and then or soda if caffeine is needed in a migraine or road trip emergency.
HFCS is a big no-no with me, and I do find that while life sans microwave is do-able, I really wish I had one for re-heating rice.
And KG notes:
I appreciate the part about the beer, obviously. I am constantly amazed at the bewilderment of other beer "appreciators" at high-end beer prices. Like you said, top-shelf beer is still cheaper than even Bud at a bar. I think the term is "anchoring", where people's attitudes toward acceptable prices are very slow to move from the original expected price. We think beer=cheap, even when we have the opportunity to try world-class beers for <$20. This explains why foodie Weavesters would happily pay $14 for a "mid-range" wine bottle and scoff at $18 for a six-pack of Hopslam, which, in terms of flavor and volume, is the better buy.
Moreover, there's more predictability with beer than wine, especially as regards the price:quality relationship. Spend $12 on a 6-pack and it's almost certainly gonna be pretty excellent; spend $25 on a bottle of wine and it might be great or it might be "meh." Or corked, which happens a lot more often than skunking.
Not that I don't love wine!
Great feedback, y'all – keep 'em coming!