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Expert Q&A: Heart-Healthy Eating

An interview with Dean Ornish, MD.

How do you balance indulgence and healthy eating?

Life is to be enjoyed. What is sustainable is pleasure and joy and ecstasy and freedom. If we try to control ourselves or others, we do not get sustainable change -- and we just make ourselves and others feel bad.

If you overindulge a little, do a little extra exercise rather than feeling you are morally weak. The people who eat the healthiest are those who allow themselves indulgences once in a while.

And when you indulge, really enjoy it. If you just chomp down a piece of chocolate and don't pay attention to it, you get all of the calories, all of the fat, and none of the pleasure.

Instead, meditate on it. Savor it. Invoke all of your senses. Close your eyes, let it melt in your mouth. Notice how the flavors and textures change and evolve. You can get exquisite satisfaction with a very few calories. It is not just what you eat but how you eat.

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Reviewed on December 03, 2008

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