I went to the dentist today. “I’m going to work you over a little,” the hygienist said cheerfully. I was in pain afterwards. This, I think, is because I had allowed my good habits of dental care to fall by the wayside in February. The calendar provides handy ways to rope things off if we want to. We can give ourselves new starts, just declare some year or month or week to have been difficult and start over. Tomorrow is my birthday, so having declared February a difficult month, I can look over the year — a broader perspective — and take back up my year of good habits, of clean living. I don’t know why flossing one’s teeth every day is on the Rich Habits list, along with the equally mystifying making one’s bed, but I have seen consequences from ignoring my list of habits, and I will return to them. Here’s another set of lists I’ve encountered, Alton Brown’s lists for healthy eating:

1. Daily foods

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Carrots
  • Green tea
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits

I’m mostly on this, though green tea is not a fave.

2. Thrice weekly foods

  • Yogurt
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Avocado
  • Oily fish
  • Tofu

A couple of these are on the Evil 6 list, but the others are surely good for me.

3. Weekly foods

  • Red meat
  • White starch
  • Desserts
  • Alcohol

Sunday lunch could be an indulgent meal.

4. Never

  • Soda
  • Processed meals
  • Canned soups
  • “Diet” anything

I don’t eat these things, so this part is easy. I’m interested to see all these various lists. There are some conflicts among them, but perhaps they can be harmonized. Perhaps not. Perhaps some will people will continue to eat tofu and be curious while others will avoid all soy and focus on their goals. Maybe they’ll all be fine, assuming they floss their teeth and make their beds.