What I Eat: From Kale to Forbidden Black Rice

Given all the ways that food serves as medicine, as sacred substance, as a boost to divine vitality, I often get asked by my patients, yoga students and tribe what I eat. Not vague generalizations and broad categories, but nitty-gritty specifics.

I happen to do well with nitty-gritty specifics. Do you? I learned at the ripe age of 40 that I’m a bit of a compulsive overeater. And, to compensate and fit into my skinny jeans, a compulsive overexerciser. Elliptical? Interval training? Excessive running? Yup.

It was not welcome information. I spent way too much of my brain power with complex calculations of caloric input and output. I spent way too much money on finding the right diet for me, and the right amount of the right exercise.

I’m a stress eater. I eat and drink wine to celebrate life’s great moments. I eat when I need to calm down. It’s not a good habit. I realized I need to right size the role of food in my life. I need to find more peace and serenity around food.

Here’s the food plan that gives me peace and serenity, weighed and measured and gloriously free of debate.


2oz oats (weighed dry, then cooked) + 2oz nuts + 6oz fruit

(note: when initially losing weight, I started at 1 oz of dry oatmeal)


6oz cooked vegetables + 6oz tofu/tempeh/beans (or 4 oz meat) + 6oz fruit + 2oz whole grain

(note: when losing weight, I skipped grain at lunch)


6oz cooked vegetables + 6oz tofu/tempeh/beans (or 4 oz meat) + 8oz salad with 2T dressing


What vegetables?

The non-starchy types such as organic kale from my bag yard (6 oz of kale is a big ol’ pile!) or chopped baby bok choy with garlic and spray coconut oil. Yummers.


Chinese Forbidden Black Rice or Red Quinoa. Crazy good. Massa’s brown rice. Yes yes OH YES!

That’s it. I love it. Food is neutral. Not overly romanticized, not used to cope with emotional turbulence. This is an optimal food plan for balancing your hormones. Tell me what you think and let me know if you’ve ever struggled similarly.


  1. Lara on June 17, 2011 at 1:45 am

    This is great, Dr. Sara. I struggle with compulsive overeating and have just started Overeater’s Anonymous. I realized recently that I have big issues with food…and it’s time to do something about it. Your article is helpful.

    • Sara Gottfried MD on June 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Right there with you, Lara. Let’s keep talking!

    • Sara Gottfried MD on February 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Lara, so grateful for your comments. How is OA going? We should TAWK! Start a consciousness-raising 12-Step of our own! XOXO

  2. Cortney Rock on August 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I really liked this blog post (as well as all of your other blog posts). Wish you had an option to email others.

    • Sara Gottfried MD on August 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

      Cortney – you mean email others who eat this way? What a great idea – I’ll take that to my team. We want to create more community around sticky topics like food, so let think through how we can create and support that idea! — SG

  3. mimi on October 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    stop caffeine
    its not good long term for appetite control
    morning power greens hemp powder
    l glutamine with almond milk stevia and supplements
    salad spinach tomatoes walnuts avacado almonds sprouts with a lemon flaxseed oil dressing with a heaping teaspoon of chia seeds ground on top(helps with cravings!)
    dinner (byw 90% liquor and sugar free)
    steamed broccoli edamame huge pile of kale with dulse and seanings and coconut cream (the best from tropical traditions.com)
    water and herb tea with almond milk during snax

    • Sara Gottfried MD on February 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Love it, Mimi! Your dinner sounds like what I’d like to serve His Holiness if he came to my home! Right there with you, Darlin’! XOXO

  4. mimi on October 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    sorry for spelling errors

  5. Lucinda on February 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Great site and wonderful outlook. I’m wondering about your diet on a couple levels.

    It seems actually a bit slim on vegetables. You also don’t emphasize green leafy, and at least some raw. I’d also throw in a list of veggies (and fruits) that because of pesticide counts, must be organic- and others that can be non-organic if necessary for cost savings.

    Fruits?! Do you not eat fruit? I don’t see any mentioned.

    Variety is the slice of life, and also promotes health and a diverse intake of nutrients. I don’t see much variety.

    Emotional overheating, binge eating- if this is a compulsion or disorder for people, as it was / has been for me, the pathway to healthy mindful eating is full of unique challenges. In my experience, after three years. Of weekly coaching and reaching a point of balanced mindfulness in my eating, this is a symptom of distraction and disconnection. It is not very much about dieting or even weight. This means, at least for me, focusing on caloric intake & measuring food quantities contributed to my disconnection from my body, my spirit, my food.

    To sum up three years of work and several years of deepening connection to my thoughts, feelings, body is too much for this comment. I can say it involves a good measure of letting go, slowing down, getting in touch with my core attributes, self acceptance, and connection in all it’s forms. The urges cannot be controlled, they must be released, or perhaps the spirit within must be released from the urge or compulsions that run afoul of a healthy being.

    A wonderful blog & a thought provoking post. Thank you!

    • Sara Gottfried MD on February 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks, Lucinda, for writing! Yes, I eat 6 oz of fruit at breakfast and lunch. For my clients who are trying to lose fat, I recommend 1 serving of low-glycemic food per day, and 5-6 servings of low-glycemic vegetables (for me, captured in the salad). There’s incredible variety within this form for me, but to each his own.

      I completely agree about the root of emotional overeating: distraction and disconnection. For some, weighing and measuring food feels like more restriction or even prison, but for others (such as myself), it feels like peace and serenity. It depends on how an individual responds to being bound.

      Isn’t the answer always to let go? Amazing how I keep arriving at that place: surrender to what is true for me. Acceptance. Contented acceptance.

      Love your musings and can’t wait to hear more from you.

      All the best,
      Dr Sara