The Diet: NAG

October 30, 2007

 DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  

* * *

Today’s post will outline the diet plan I intend to follow for the next year and the rest of my life. 

1) NAG Diet.  As I mentioned, at school they called it “NAG”: natural, alive, good quality.  So what does this mean?

Natural:  foods that are not processed or are minimally processed.  So nothing packaged, no frozen dinners, no prepared cakes, cookies, buns, muffins, breads, nothing with preservatives, colorings, additives, chemicals, or anything like that.  Does this sound hard?  Actually, it’s the way I usually eat anyway, ever since my diagnosis with candida in 1999.  What’s great about this category is that everything is just what you see when you buy it:  an apple is an apple, quinoa is quinoa, eggs are always eggs.  Nothing added, nothing taken away. 

If you can eat this way (at least some of the time) you’ll find two things:  first, your groceries are cheaper.  When you buy brown rice and cook it yourself along with onion, peppers, and herbs, you are paying waaaaay less than buying pre-packaged rice pilaf mix.  Second, everything you eat is more filling, more substantial, and, eventually, more satisfying.  You’re getting real food, with real nutrition.  Oh, and a third, one worth mentioning:  everything takes much longer to cook.  I’ll deal with this issue throughout the blog, as I list what I’ve cooked and how long it takes.

Alive: for optimum health, “live” or raw foods are recommended.  This is not to say I’m advocating following a raw diet. No, just raw some of the time (I’m aiming for something raw with each meal, 30-50% raw each day).  This could mean a fresh apple cut up into cereal, a salad with lunch, baby carrots for a snack, cucumber slices with dinner. Or it could mean a raw almond-veggie pate as a lunch option (recipe to follow–promise!). As raw foodists know, raw foods contain health-enhancing enzymes that also help us to digest food better.  You digest faster and more efficiently with raw. . . it only makes sense to include it.

Good quality:  this trait refers to many things, but generally I think, “organic.”  I try to include as much organic food as possible in my diet.  One thing that’s absolutely essential to me is that any animal product be organic.  After learning what’s done to milk, meat, eggs, cheese, etc., I wouldn’t even give my dogs non-organic in these areas!  (Lucky for Elsie and Chaser, they get lots of organic veggies with their organic dog food for dinner.) (“We do appreciate that, Mum, really!”)

I guess I’m lucky in that I do love healthy foods, so it’s no hardship to eat this way.  The problem is that I also love unhealthy food.  So I can eat a perfectly healthy meal of my favorite almond-curry stir-fry with tofu and mixed veggies, then 30 minutes later eat 6 cookies.  Granted, the cookies are my own creations, made with spelt flour and Sucanat or maple syrup. . . but it ‘s the quantity, man, the quantity! 

Which leads me to. . . the rest of the diet. 

2) PORTION CONTROL. Ideally, if I follow the diet I see in my head, I’ll be able to eat moderate amounts of very healthy foods, with small amounts of less healthy foods (such as my beloved desserts or a glass of wine occasionally).  For me, this is probably the biggest challenge:  I don’t feel I’ve “eaten” unless I feel full (sometimes, almost to the point of bursting). So being able to eat a regular-sized meal followed by a regluar-sized dessert would be an amazing accomplishment for me.

3) EXERCISE. Technically, not part of the diet, but an integral part of the plan related to it.  The mission is to alternate my weights with aerobic exercise, 6 days a week.  This means treadmill for me, as bad knees prohibit either running or cycling.

Interestingly, I do already walk every day by virtue of my furry girls (“No problem, mum, we’re happy to remind you to take us out!”).  I generally take them out every afternoon for a minimum of 20 minutes (this in addition to their morning walk, courtesy of C., and their evening walk, which we all take together).  I see this as one of the major benefits of having dogs. Though I have to say here, that when we watch The Dog Whisperer, one of our favorite shows (“No! Don’t watch that, mum! Don’t watch that show!”), I’m always amazed that when asked how often they walk their dogs, people say things like, “Well, I manage to get out once a week. . . .”.  Huh?  Knowing that dogs were basically born to be outside running around, I would destroy myself with guilt if I didn’t take them out at least twice a day.  Strangely, though, the twice-daily dog walks don’t seem to affect my weight.  Ergo, adding in the aerobics every second day.

That’s it for now.  Tomorrow, I’ll cover the Goals section of the plan, after which I’ll really be on my way.

9 Responses to “The Diet: NAG”


  1. A blog reader suggested your blog to me, and it does sound like we have similar plans!

  2. Ricki Says:

    Hi Sally,

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog–and for adding the link to my site! It’s much appreciated. I checked yours out as well, and it does seem that we are on a very similar plan (and–how coincidental–our weight is almost the same!!). I also found that eating this way naturally leads to weight loss. What a great outcome, when you can eat all this delish food, too.

    I do cook a lot of gluten free stuff (it’s just a natural consequence of following the NAG diet) even though I’m not totally gluten-intolerant. And since I also enjoy the gluten-free grains and baked goods, I’m looking forward to trying out some of your recipes as well!

  3. Charlotte Says:

    Just found your blog, and a big YES to the NAG “diet”! I put it in “” because it’s not really a diet to me, but a healthier way of life, no matter what your size. I try to do the same thing, and every January, I go on a Daniel Fast, which means only plant-based foods for 21 days. Afterwards, I always feel much better and in control of my sugar cravings. That is, until that first bite of chocolate …

  4. Ricki Says:

    Hi Charlotte,

    Thanks for your message and welcome to my blog! Part of the reason I love the NAG approach is precisely because I DON’T think of it as a “diet.” I also enjoy (if that’s the right word!) the occasional cleanse. And boy, do I hear you about the chocolate.


  5. […] options in the list, since I can actually eat gluten (some) without problems.  Still, I suppose a NAG diet inclines naturally toward GF foods.  (And chocolate is, after all, gluten […]

  6. stilllifeinbuenosaires Says:

    Hey Ricki,

    This post dovetails so well with my response today about my mom’s processed foods fixation. I love the NAG concept. Since I’m veggie, it’s not too difficult to follow.

    After this post, did you post the almond pate and almond curry stir fry recipes on your blog? Just curious, as I’d love to make them. Thanks!🙂

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    I really like this philosophy! Its so simple and perfect!!! I agree 110%!!

  8. jessica~ Says:

    Oh, I totally know what you mean about portion control. It took a long time for me to realize that I could be satisfied with a meal even if I wasn’t belly-busting full afterwards. Now I feel so much better after I eat! What a great eating plan, lots of common sense!


  9. […] with the tint of the beet juice and the flower flour of the spelt.  And she found her salvation in the NAG, and the young bean, and the heavenly nectar of the cactus.  And she learned her lesson: while The […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: