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Eight Thoughts on What to Eat Daily

Veggies and Meat

What do you eat is a question I get a lot.  In the Science Lab we have a whole thread where people talk about Recipes and Ideas about meal planning.  It all comes up a lot in our live webinars.  Both of which you get free when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

  1. Although taking a multivitamin every day can help you get the vitamins and minerals your enzymes need to function properly, you can’t beat eating real food.
  2. A great way to get your micronutrients is to have a humongous, colorful salad for lunch.
  3. Salads are also a great way to get some extra fat in. Olive oil and vinegar is a common dressing choice, but don’t be afraid to throw in some seasonings and herbs like paprika and cilantro.
  4. Making sure you have a kitchen stocked with nutritious, whole foods is one of the best ways to make sure that when you’re hungry, you don’t make bad decisions and go for convenience/junk foods.
  5. There’s a big difference between binging on a slow-cooked, bone-in roast and eating a whole bag of Doritos. Real food will satisfy you whereas junk food will typically make you hungrier; don’t be afraid to eat when you’re hungry!
  6. Don’t force yourself to eat breakfast if you’re not hungry in the morning. Listen to your body, and break your fast with quality nutrition rather than processed foods!
  7. Cravings for junk food and relying upon poor food choices to fuel your body can lean to negative body composition changes as well psychological hang-ups that reinforce the bad eating behavior.
  8. Satisfy your nutritional requirements first, and then consider satisfying your taste buds.

If you want to views the original article check out “Preparation over Precision“, and check out our “Foundation of Foods” article.

Click the image to enlarge

Click the image to enlarge

Pumpkin Sausage Soup – Food Prep Sunday

“PUMPKIN SAUSAGE SOUP
serves 6

ingredients:
1-1.25 lbs bulk breakfast sausage (if you want to make some yourself, I have a recipe here: http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/03/turkey-or-pork-breakfast-sausage.html)
1/2 a large onion, minced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 small cooking pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (or one 15-oz can of pumpkin)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
pinch of dried rosemary
1 tsp paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
2 T butter or some other more paleo cooking fat
1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat the butter in a heavy deep pot and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat until golden. Remove from the pot to a small bowl, leaving the butter. Add the onions to the pot and saute them until golden, then remove them to a separate bowl. Add the sausage to the pot and brown it until it is cooked through and looks tasty. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.

Add the pumpkin to the pot and deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the onions back in and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 10 minutes. Puree the soup (a hand blender is easiest, but a regular blender will do). Add in all the remaining ingredients except the coconut milk (don’t forget to add in the cooked mushrooms and sausage!), and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk.

———

That’s the hard way to make the soup. :) The easy way is to cook the onions, mushrooms and sausage all together at once and use canned pumpkin, saving some steps and a dirty blender. The easy way makes perfectly fine soup, but it won’t have the same layers of texture and flavor that the harder version does.”

http://cavemanfood.blogspot.com/2009/10/pumpkin-sausage-soup.html

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Fixing Paleo Challenges for Crossfit

sweet potato

Dialing Paleo in for performance is a big part of what we do in the “Science Lab” seminars that we offer free when you purchase things that support our site (it’s mostly stuff you would buy anyway).  Click the link and it will give you more details.  

Easy additions to make your Paleo Challenges go from broken to unbroken for Crossfit (this is a Crossfitter page after all):

1. Don’t eliminate Paleo starches like sweet potatoes (some do)

2. Don’t eliminate salt or condiments that make healthy foods more palatable.

3. Quit asking athletes to workout in a distress mode eating at a deficiency. Not only is this not necessary it is actually detrimental to their body composition and athletic progress goals. I will concede that noob gains offsets some of this but if you are a Crossfit Affiliate you are probably aware that you lose some clients that end up sick or hurt as a result of not eating enough food trying to adhere to a standard they don’t fully understand.

4. Let’s stop the demonization of Energy Dense Paleo foods. Examples might be pulled pork, 85/15 grass fed ground beef and grass fed rib eyes. It’s hard to eat enough unsalted chicken breasts to meet your energy needs daily.

5. Lastly and most importantly, let’s keep in and encourage energy dense Paleo friendly dessert options like my coconut milk smoothies (it doesn’t need to be every day but I do it every day). I’ll even throw in 80% or more Dark Chocolate (yummy with fruit like blueberries or strawberries) and even red wine.  Or Coconut Milk Smoothies like these.

I try not to be too preachy but we are “Weight Watchering” Paleo and it’s leaving our athletes worse as a result. 100% Paleo for life is unrealistic, do 6 month or year long challenges that whole families would participate in because we don’t need to make Paleo suck for it to work.

Some conjecture and Science on why Fats are important

grass_fed_steaks

It might seem somewhat ironic but “Carb Back Loading” is a book about eating fats most of the time and using carbs to most effectively use those fats.  You can support this site and get a free science lab membership by purchasing items using the links on this site (much of which you probably already buy or want to buy).  Check this link out for directions on how that happens (or you can now purchase a Science Lab membership for $4.95 monthly).

Fat cells are part of the endocrine system, and, as I’ve discussed before, they have the power to influence the degree to which muscle cells prefer glucose versus fats as an energy source. They exercise this control by releasing two signaling peptides: leptin and adiponectin. Adiponectin promotes glucose consumption by the muscles, and it also acts directly on the fat cells to encourage them to take up glucose and convert it to fat. Leptin, on the other hand, stimulates the muscles to prefer fat consumption over glucose consumption.

For several decades now, Americans have come to believe that the following two practices are foundational in a healthy lifestyle:  eat a low-fat diet, and  stay away from the sun. Additionally, if people consume adequate amounts of calcium, then all three nutritional deficiencies that have led to obesity will be overcome: vitamin D, calcium, and dietary fat.

Lack of Dietary fats is a precursor to metabolic syndrome

The lack of adequate dietary fat contributes to the metabolic syndrome in at least four ways:  vitamin D is only available in fatty food sources because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, calcium uptake is more efficient when the calcium is consumed with dietary fats, calcium uptake depends critically on the presence of vitamin D, which is deficient due to (1) above, and the burden of fat cells to manufacture fatty acids from sugar is alleviated by the dietary availability of fats from ingested food sources.

I would also argue that one should make sure to ingest adequate amounts of dietary fat, especially dairy fat . Whole milk (assuming you are not intolerant) is particularly outstanding because it contains substantial amounts of calcium and vitamin D, and it contains the necessary fat to assure that these two elements will be well utilized rather than just passing through the digestive system unabsorbed. Animal fats such as bacon are good sources of vitamin D, while also supplying fatty acids to help with energy needs. Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines are particularly good because they contain both omega-3 fats and vitamin D. One should assiduously avoid the trans fats found in processed foods such as cookies, crackers, and margarine. Butter and eggs are also healthy choices. Egg yolk is particularly good because it contains both fats and vitamin D. Nuts, particularly walnuts, almonds, and macademia nuts, are excellent sources of omega 3 fats.

The fat cells are able to influence the muscles to preferentially take up fats rather than glucose by releasing certain hormones into the blood, hormones that also have a powerful influence over appetite. One of these hormones is leptin. While leptin influences the muscle cells indirectly through its signaling in the hypothalamus, it also stimulates the muscle cells directly, and influences them to oxidize fatty acids in their mitochondria. Leptin also encourages the fat cells to release their fats through lipolysis. All of these actions work in concert to redirect fuel usage away from glucose. The programming of the muscles to preferentially consume fats aligns well with the fat cells’ infusion of fats into the blood and absorption of sugars through their fat-producing factories.

Leptin influences appetite

Leptin also has the effect, via the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, of suppressing appetite. Adiponectin is another hormone released by fat cells, and it is generally agreed that adiponectin induces hunger. Leptin and adiponectin levels would ordinarily fluctuate throughout the day, with leptin levels rising at night to encourage a switch from glucose-based to fat-based energy management. However, in the obese person, the leptin levels are typically high all the time, and the adiponectin levels are kept very low. High levels of leptin in the blood signal to the appetite center in the brain a sense of being full, whereas high levels of adiponectin are hunger-inducing. This means that the obese are being informed both that they are full, and that they are not hungry. You would think that this would protect them from overeating. However, it is likely that the observed insensitivity to leptin as an appetite suppressant in the obese is also related to calcium depletion, because the signaling mechanisms that respond to leptin in both the hypothalamus (Details) and the pituitary gland (Details) depend on changes in internal calcium concentrations.

Confusing signals cause deficiencies related to blood sugar 

The result of these three deficiencies is defective glucose uptake in both muscle and fat cells. The obese person becomes trapped in an endless metabolic cycle of trying to supply the energy needed for a steadily increasing demand. The fat cells are at the center of the storm, because they are burdened with the arduous assignment of converting the excess consumed sugars and carbohydrates into fat. The fat cells must do this because the muscle cells are impaired with a malfunctioning ability to metabolise sugars. Even if the metabolic problem were not fixed, if the obese person simply ate more fat, and therefore consumed fewer carbs, the fat cells’ burden would be greatly alleviated. In addition, getting plenty of vitamin D and calcium, either through diet or sun exposure, would alleviate the core problem of impaired glucose transport across the cell wall. Now that the heart and muscles can utilize sugars directly, the excessive burden on the fat cells to expand and proliferate is relieved, and the body fat will inevitably melt away.

The metabolic syndrome is a term used to encapsulate a complex set of markers associated with increased risk to heart disease. The profile includes insulin resistance and dysfunctional glucose metabolism in muscle cells, excess triglycerides in the blood serum, high levels of LDL, particularly small dense LDL, the worst kind  low levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and reduced cholesterol content within the individual HDL particles, elevated blood pressure, and obesity, particularly excess abdominal fat. I have argued previously that this syndrome is brought on by a diet that is high in empty carbohydrates (particularly fructose) and low in fats and cholesterol, along with a poor vitamin D status [Seneff2010]. While I still believe that all of these factors are contributory, I would now add another factor as well: insufficient dietary sulfate.

Why being “fat adapted” makes your body run better

Glucogenesis is the process where the body breaks down proteins and possibly fats for energy, what this means is that in the absence of glucose the body can make glucose which is important for brain function.  This is also important for all those people that think they need carbohydrates every fewer hours to maintain their energy.  When a good majority of your energy comes from fats you are said to be “fat adapted” and less prone to voracious hunger related to blood sugar changes.  There is nothing wrong with glucogenesis, nor is there anything wrong with carbohydrate restriction. A glucose fueled body and a fatty acid fueled body are both healthy body’s (the latter arguably more health promoting and anti inflammatory). Insulin in and of itself has little to do with body weight and weight gain. The liver, pancreas and brain take care of this. One could potentially eat a ‘perfect’ diet totally devoid of carbohydrates, and still gain weight. if whatever you are eating is spiking your blood sugar and your pancreas is not releasing efficient amounts of insulin to clear the spike, then in turn you will store fat. This goes the same for EVERYTHING YOU EAT. Insulin is required to live, without it you would die. I think people are missing the point when the carbohydrate junk is thrown around, as well as the fear of blood sugar rises.  To suggest that one macronutrient is “bad” or “good” misses the whole point, conditioning your body to be able to exist on either is not only healthy, it’s optimal.

Lets say, for example, you do a 20 minute heavy lifting session in a fasted state (like first thing in the morning). Your body is PRIMED to produce a spike in blood sugar regardless of what you eat. NOT TO STORE FAT, but to reinstate hormesis in your muscles and deliver nutrients. This is the job of amino acids, but to deliver it you need insulin.

Dealing with Inflammation

In the body, to ‘inflame’ is to swell or agitate. Everything from a sun burn, knocking your big toe against the bed, to arriving at work to a boss chewing your head off results in inflammation. Taking your body out of its equilibrium and homeostatic environment will inflict inflammation.  The body uses inflammation as a way to correct and heal imbalances.  When you get a cut on the outside of your skin, that part of your body becomes inflamed in an attempt to deal with that injury.  This acute inflammation is necessary for your body to heal itself.  If there were no resulting inflammation from a burn wound, there would never be a scar to heal.

The same process happens on the inside of your body due in large part to your dietary habits.  Everybody is different in regards to what causes chronic low grade inflammation and what doesn’t. One who is lactose intolerant will deal with inflammation of the gut from dairy products while a celiac will be fine with cheese but grain products will rip apart their intestines. Just because a food is ‘real and whole’ does not automatically assume the body should be able to deal with its consumption on an everyday basis.

Different macronutrients have different inflammatory properties as well. Carbohydrates assist the healing process inside your body in instances of workout recovery by refilling spent glycogen. Sweet potatoes, bananas or white rice after workouts are a way of reconciling the imbalance (lifting heavy results in inflammation, good carbohydrate sources and timing increase absorption of glycogen and keep inflammation low which keeps healing high).  Eating protein is another way.  Both of which inflame your system in an attempt to heal it.  This periodic inflammation allows a maximum amount of healing. Muscles would not grow post work out if they did not get inflamed. The anti-inflammatory stage (recovery) is when muscle grow and become more dense.

The level of intensity, length, and episodic routine regarding weight lifting will determine your inflammation. The body’s breaking down and healing process is happening over and over all the time.  For those not working out, regularly eating foods causing inflammation does not allow your body to fully heal itself. Working out involves the process of breaking down tissue, some fat, some muscle.   Short, intense, heavy lifting requires more ‘healing’ and recovery time than a ‘runner’ who jogs for an hour every day. Their diets to de-flame their systems will differ as well. Often, you see heavy lifters perform best with only enough glucose post exercise to distress their hormonal system. Runners who spend hours on the elliptical and performing bodyweight workouts will function better with more carbohydrates in their diet simply because letting the body know it will be distressed (from fruit etc.) will allow it to optimize inflammation and its turnover.

In our inactive, desk job, long route to destination lifestyle, it becomes easy to see why the large carbohydrate intake of the standard diet is resulting in chronic low-grade inflammation. This exact inflammation, which is prolonged and never dealt with, plays a key role in the development of several chronic diseases. These include but are not limited to: as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s, and many others (http://www.achooallergy.com/chronic-inflammation-disease.asp).

Ridding your body of inflammation is quite simple

The three focal points of inflammation are what leave the body under prolonged pressure: mental stress; lack of sleep; and excessive exercise. Tackling these three aspects is tackling inflammation. Eating in a way to eliminate inflammation will allow for a better mind set, sounder sleep and short sweet to the point workouts.

Chronic inflammation is not acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is best tackled with anti-inflammatory substances like oregano, turmeric, and a sound diet. When low grade chronic inflammation is present, learning to eat in a way to eliminate it is key. Attempting to lift heavy, run or endure any inflammatory activity on top of low grade inflammation is like getting a burn on a broken arm.  Said differently, starting a workout routine to deal with chronic inflammation should be part of the solution but the majority of that solution should come from your diet.

Understanding inflammatory responses will allow you to customize your own diet to benefit your lifestyle. If you just love you some cheesecake but are lactose intolerant, understand and realizing the cause and effect to eating a slice will allow you to set-up and deal with the situation as it arises. Having an idea of what inflames you will allow you to also realize what you need to get rid of it.  Assuming the lactose intolerant individual eats the cheesecake, he should expect water retention, bloating, gas and possible indigestion as well as skin breakouts or rashes. For each inflammatory intake, the body has to hold a certain amount of fluid as a way of processing.  The more fluid your holding, the more inflammation you have, and the more body fat you are likely to store because under stress the body likes to hold onto and store body fat (it is unhappy, so you’re going to also be mentally unhappy when you see what has accumulated in the mirror).  Once again, generally speaking, the more body fat you have will make the processing of these fluids more difficult.

Remember from the fat chapter, omega 6 fats serve as inflammatory agents while omega 3 fats serve as anti inflammatory agents. Both have their place, but need to be balanced for a homeostatic environment in your body. Excess inflammation from years of vegetable oil, excessive processed carbohydrate products and indoor living will often times benefit from extra omega 3.

Take two basic meals and compare inflammation. You will be able to see where people run into problems.

Meal one: Slow cooked rib roast and a salad including a dressing of vinegar and coconut oil (spiced with garlic and ginger) with spinach, shallots, carrots, and dried cranberries

Anti-inflammatory Properties: slow cooked meat allows easier digestion and assimilation, garlic, ginger and cranberries are full of antioxidants and a wide range of benefits relating to decreasing inflammation, coconut oil is an immediate energy source for the body and known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

Meal two: Char grilled chicken breast on stone ground wheat bun with tomato/pepper, side of potato salad (mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt/pepper)

Inflammatory Properties: most people will digest white bread better than a stone ground wheat but both choices result in inflammation, char-grilled food leaves a burnt aspect to the outside of the food and will often lead to digestive troubles and dangerous by-products. Peppers and tomatoes are not a one size fits all in regards to inflammation as some people handle them well and others get inflamed joints, arthritis and other inflammatory symptoms. Potato salad, serves as an excessive carbohydrate intake coupled with the grainy bun, and made with store bought mayonnaise guarantees the omega 6 ratio in this meal as a whole is screaming inflammation.

A note to the chronically inflamed

Better awareness of your body is a means to an end in fixing chronic inflammation issues. Being in tune with your responses to food, sleep or lack thereof, and working out will all enhance your optimal health status.  A long term approach involves all three of working in unison for hormesis within the body. Lack of sleep will elicit a stress response and this response results in a low grade inflammation, as well as reduced insulin sensitivity and concentration. One other area worth looking into if you feel you may suffer from inflammation is the use of antibiotics. Balancing your bacteria in your gut means not flushing away bacteria through antibiotic use.  Antibiotic use, stress, and poor diet can all the balance of gut flora (and this is a delicate balance), resulting in undesirable bacteria overload that can lead to inflammation. You can tackle this with a good probiotic such as acidophilus or bifidus, and also by including naturally cultured foods in the diet.  The obvious ones include sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, and kombucha (fermented tea) and also yogurt and some raw cheeses.

Why you should pack up your scale and mail it to your worst enemy

Scale weight is mostly irrelevant from a day to day basis.  Checking your weight occasionally is fine but many factors contribute to that number and it rarely represents the true nature of your body composition.  When the number is too high it rarely represents just fat, too low and it rarely represents lean mass.  Hence from this chapter, inflammation will play a big role in what the scale read on a day to day basis, even an hour to hour. Taking a weekly weight and noting progression or lack thereof will help you find an idea of what is working for you and what isn’t.

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3979

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_system#Inflammation

http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000992000000000000000.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377753?dopt=AbstractPlus

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22329799

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331646

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22332072

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22310233

Preparation Over Precision

Precision

Preparing yourself for meals and one-off situations is a topic that comes up in the Science Lab a lot.  The Science Lab is a service I offer CrossFitters that are looking to reach their body composition goals.  The classes work in a similar fashion to the way WOD’s work; they are scheduled and our coaches walk you through what you need to do to achieve your goals. 

(Click here to jump to a summary of this article)

When determining what you should and should not put in your body, there seems to be never-ending confusion not only in deciding, but also in answering to other people who do not understand what real food is.  The messages we get are not always clear; what is real food?

In short, if you can pick it, grow it, or kill it, you should probably eat it. (Chia pets not included.)

  • Protein:  Chew it!  Protein should come mostly from real food and come bundled with Omega 3s.  Include grass fed/pastured livestock and wild-caught salmon, herring, or sardines.
  • Carbohydrates:  You need carbs to fuel your performance.  Glucose is king but you need your veggies as well.  A colorful diet will provide you with plenty of fiber and vitamins!
  • Fats:  Use them as a vehicle for vegetables, fruits and lean meats. It adds flavor, density, and libido!  Fatty meats obviously do not need to be covered in butter.

How to Get your Vitamins

Do not use a multi-vitamin as a blanket for a crappy diet.  Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly, and although a multi-vitamin taken with a meal can be effective, real food is where it’s at!

BEHOLD.

The Epic Humongous Salad (proper noun): It’s a bowl of everything:  lots of flavors, lots of colors, lots of textures.  Humongous salads are the best way to throw a ton of vitamins, minerals, and good fats into one big bowl.

¡WARNING!  You may need to purchase a new bowl specifically for epic-sized salads.  Eat To Perform.com cannot be held accountable for the mess you make trying to shove all of this vegetation into a less-than-epic-sized bowl. 

This is not a premixed bag of iceberg lettuce with a few shreds of carrots for appeal.  One of my favorite additions is roasted vegetables;  warm vegetables on cold salad greens is a win.  The list of possibilities is never-ending, but to get started:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Red leaf, green leaf, romaine, butter lettuces
  • Red cabbage
  • Bacon crumbs
  • Grilled sirloin
  • Roasted chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Avocado slices
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Sesame seeds
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Parsnips
  • Collards
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Figs
  • Dried fruit pieces
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Almond slices
  • Jalapenos

Salad dressing options are endless as well. First, you need a fat source (olive oil, butter, tallow, bacon grease), vinegar if you like the kick (white, apple cider, wine vinaigrette, fresh squeezed lemon), and your spice assortment (chili, onion, garlic, fennel, paprika, cumin, coriander, sage…). Fresh herbs work wonders too (basil, thyme, marjoram, cilantro…).  Someone should program a salad generating app…

Now that’s a salad! Eat it for size; it might take a while too.  Time of day does not matter for this beast but I would suggest that your first meal should have a lot of substance.  A lot of people have trouble eating breakfast and most of us are told that breakfast is the most important meal so they start the day off with nutrient-deficient grains and very few foods that fill you up.

My suggestion is that if you do not feel hungry, do not eat.  When you feel hungry you should eat. The epitome of a healthy lifestyle is living in harmony with food.  Don’t fear it, and do not become inhumanely excited over it. I do not know anyone who is addicted to real food, but I know plenty who are addicted to junky, chemically laced and alerted food. You may be able to overeat on a 12-hour standing rib roast, but it is not the same as overeating on a triple family-sized bag of Doritos with a side of Big Gulp Slurpee and Twinkies for dessert. When you are FULL on the rib roast, and you know it- your body now requires time to assimilate and process all the vitamins and minerals in the meat. This is why your appetite is depressed for a long while. No questions asked, and you lose your interest in food. When you’re full on the junk, your stomach is huge and expanded, but your brain is not content. It keeps searching for something that isn’t there. Many overweight individuals are NOT addicted to food as they are led to believe; they are addicted to junk food. Your ghrelin receptors adjust to the crappy food you give your system, which alters your reward path to your brain from your gut. If it doesn’t get nutrients, it does not function properly.

Are you addicted to carrots? No.

Are you addicted to strawberries or oranges? No.

Are you addicted a piece of grilled salmon with broccoli? No.

Do not wallow in your own misery; the only change can be made by you when you accept the difference. You CAN go cold turkey, just like an alcoholic can. But you must eat, right? Yes, obviously you do but you don’t need moon pies and Little Debbie’s all day – you do not NEED them ever…But if you make the conscious choice to sit and enjoy one once a week with control and confidence in getting back to your regular routine, then use it to your advantage. Choose the real food the rest of the time.

After a while, your body will establish patterns that will make this process a lot easier.  Remember, you have no addiction to real food; you have an addiction to crappy food. Eat when you feel hunger, eat a lot, and make it real food. Do not be scared to prepare yourself a huge plate of real food. When you are full you are done, put it away but promise yourself when you get hungry again, the real food is coming out again in full force. It will ALWAYS be there, and there is nothing to fear or hold back on. Freeing, isn’t it? Don’t go around being a grumpy Buddha, you and only you have the power to change!

“But I Don’t Like Vegetables”

Okay let’s just be honest; acting like an adult entails eating like an adult.  When you chose real food, a whole new sensory pathway will open you up to new tastes and textures. You need to shut off the excitatory, over-enhanced, MSG-laden, chemically-pumped-and-altered, flavorless (in reality) parts of your brain that were predominant before.  You need to fill your cells with nutrients to appreciate the well-being that is possible. There are very few vegetables that do not taste good cooked in lard, or roasted with butter and a good seasoning blend, or natural spices. If you need to wean yourself into vegetables, try stuffed peppers with a Tex-Mex ground beef seasoning, or bacon fried cabbage. Two sure fire flavor-yum bombs.

Preparation Over Precision

Many people find comfort in precision and pay dearly for the privilege. Weight Watchers is an example, and so are many of the “boxed systems” that you can buy to help you lose weight.  They all work; the problem is that for many people, these diets leave them hungry and/or ill prepared once the box is gone. “Rules” become “limitations”; what if that 2 point bar doesn’t leave you satisfied and you have no points to spare? Sorry, but your appetite doesn’t run on points; it runs on neurochemical impulses.  What if the Nutri-System bean burrito tasted like crap?  You are left unsatisfied, and your brain is looking for something to fill that void. Even with such systems, you need to remember to bring the food or prepare your meals ahead of time.  Eating well will always entail this.

If you can nail the preparation part, the precision part should follow naturally.  It would be a very difficult argument to make that those people would not benefit extremely from preparation.  Preparation is the answer to succeeding in a lifestyle change. How can you eat a big ass salad with no vegetables?  How can you promise yourself to eat big when you are hungry if you do not have any food waiting for you? Preparation takes out the worry of making food choices; it leaves you calm and determined and in power. There is a confidence in looking into a refrigerator full of nourishing food, ready for when you are hungry. Again, promise to feed yourself well with such foods when you do get hungry. Preparation, execution, confidence.

“Breakfast” simply means the time in which you break your fast.  Anytime you are not eating, you are fasting.  Fasting has such a wide array of benefits that an entire book would need to be published simply to detail its benefits. Most people relate breakfast with eating upon rising – hunger or no hunger.  Others would prefer not to eat when they wake up.  There is no right or wrong here, no benefit or lack thereof; eat when you are hungry but do not allow yourself to become ravenous.  Preparation is the key.  Your first meal should be filled with nutrition.  If you are the type that says, “I cannot eat a lot when I first wake up.” then great.  You do not have to eat then.  If you choose to eat upon waking, be sure to get a good amount of protein and fats. Remember that if you prefer eating when rising, you need to remain consciously aware of this as night time draws. Instead of forgetting about hunger signals and going straight for your old couch-and-chips routine, remember that as soon as you wake up you’ll be eating again. This leaves nighttime and saying no to junk easier by rest assuring you hunger will be met.

What a small meal looks like:

2 egg omelet with a coconut milk smoothie.  If you followed that meal up with the humungous salad at noon, you are well on your way to a healthy nutritious day where your appetite is self regulated.

What a big meal looks like:

A 10 ounce grass-fed rib eye, big ass salad and sweet potatoes followed by a bowl of full fat greek yogurt with strawberries and cacao nibs.  It is extremely filling and since I delayed my meal timing it allowed my body to detox and heal a bit better, promoting cellular repair.

Getting fat has nothing to do with when you break your fast for breakfast; it has to do with learning to listen to your body and choosing real food. Most people like to go until they are ravenous and somehow justify pounding through a sleeve of Oreos dipped in milk.  “It’s okay, I was hungry…I really needed to eat!”

Going hungry inevitably leads to grabbing the most convenient options which also lack nutrition. Why? Hunger leads to low blood sugar levels, and low blood sugar levels force the brain to use less glucose, which is the only energy source the brain can use.  So, when you are hungry, your brain is lacking glucose or in need of it. A piece of junk candy bar or cookie will send a high to your brain of satisfaction, which lasts…maybe 5 minutes followed by the same scenario on repeat. Up, down, high, low. Behavior is a result of what the brain perceives (aka the reaction to unreal food). The behaviors you are addicted to, the bad patterns you get caught up in, are all direct results of the information you are giving your brain and how it reads such signals.  However, when hunger hits and you feed on protein and fat alongside some vegetables, your rise in the blood is slower, longer, and controlled. This is because both glucose and glucagon are released when protein is eaten. It leads to a steady supply of energy for the brain and a happy content body.

In the book “Nutrition Against Disease”, author Dr. Roger J. Williams points out that like all other living cells, brain cells often receive less than perfect nutrition. He goes on to observe that brain cells get nutrition from blood, which in turn gets its nutrients from the food we eat each day. At first, it takes a while to get past that and let your body readjust to a new way. Psychologically, your brain may want to get that rush back, even at the expense of feeling bad later. It’s the same reason why people like to smoke. They cultivate an addiction and then enjoy the pleasure of satiating that addiction.

So you need to deal with feelings of:

  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Futility
  • Fear of change
  • Nostalgia
  • Fear of deprivation
  • Denial
  • Obsession
  • Loathing
  • Hyper self-criticism

        It has to do with healthfulness, and mindfulness, and gratitude, and forgiveness.  It has to do with having a free mind, and using food to fuel that beautiful capacity.

        You get back whatever you put out, so don’t think about what you don’t have or what you didn’t get. That is unhealthy thinking in itself. Think about the possibilities because they are endless. Perhaps learning to let go of baseless misconceptions like ‘”artery clogging saturated fats” and the necessity of eating every other hour is the best thing to do. To be satisfied with what you have, and what you receive, are aspects of success not to be overlooked.

Summary

  • Although taking a multivitamin every day can help you get the vitamins and minerals your enzymes need to function properly, you can’t beat eating real food.
  • A great way to get your micronutrients is to have a humongous, colorful salad for lunch. 
  • Salads are also a great way to get some extra fat in.  Olive oil and vinegar is a common dressing choice, but don’t be afraid to throw in some seasonings and herbs like paprika and cilantro.
  • Making sure you have a kitchen stocked with nutritious, whole foods is one of the best ways to make sure that when you’re hungry, you don’t make bad decisions and go for convenience/junk foods. 
  • There’s a big difference between binging on a slow-cooked, bone-in roast and eating a whole bag of Doritos.  Real food will satisfy you whereas junk food will typically make you hungrier; don’t be afraid to eat when you’re hungry!
  • Don’t force yourself to eat breakfast if you’re not hungry in the morning.  Listen to your body, and break your fast with quality nutrition rather than processed foods! 
  • Cravings for junk food and relying upon poor food choices to fuel your body can lean to negative body composition changes as well psychological hang-ups that reinforce the bad eating behavior. 
  • Satisfy your nutritional requirements first, and then consider satisfying your taste buds.

Fats Could Be Called Skinnies

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Ah, fat.  Of the three major macronutrients, it is probably the most misunderstood.  Did you know that fat keeps us interested in sex?  Do I have your attention yet?  That’s not all…Fat keeps your skin soft and smooth.  Fat allows you to control your temper when your 5 year old son knocks over the 100 year old family dinnerware.  Fat is what enables you to ‘go’ on a daily basis and what protects your vital organs.  Fat lets you to go from morning to night without daydreaming about Teddy Grahams.  Let it be known, also, that fat tastes damn good!  If this is all news to you, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Where in the world did fat get such a bad reputation?

Well, you can blame math (in part).  Since fat provides 9 calories per gram, health officials assumed that limiting its intake would result in lower rates of obesity and improved cardiovascular health.  Since it’s the most energy-dense macro, “the experts” assumed that eating too much causes higher body weight, higher blood cholesterol and heart attacks.  However, modern nutrition science has proven that such an idea is detrimental to our health.  It does make you wonder, given that fat provides us with so much energy, that they didn’t come to consider it a more sustainable food source.  We can thank modern agriculture for that one; carbs were more profitable.

Natural Fat vs. Manufactured Fat

Of course, fats done wrong will really screw you up.  Your body cannot effectively metabolize man-made hydrogenated or trans-fats.  They contribute to the development of all sorts of disorders, from Alzheimer’s to cancer.  Fats done right, however, enhance weight loss and keep your hormones functioning properly.  Your best bet is to correlate natural fat with good fat; a beautiful marbling on the side of a porter house steak?  Natural.  A 3- day ripened avocado?  That’s natural as well.   What about the runny yolk of a fresh fried egg?  Again, it’s natural.  The natural fat you eat blunts insulin secretion and keeps appetite at bay, shifting your metabolism towards a preference of fat burning.  Keeping insulin levels within a relatively tight range, rather than spiking them and bottoming out, is a great way to reduce systemic inflammation as well.

When natural fat is abundant in the diet, it is accompanied by a powerhouse of nutrition. The incredible, edible egg is one of the best foods you can put in your body. Fats are either accompanied by vitamins (A, D, K and E) and minerals (iron, magnesium and calcium) your body needs, or in the very least will help make sure they’re delivered where they need to go.  On top of that, fat is usually carrying protein along with it (and vice versa), which will help regulate your appetite.  Two of your best sources of fat, coconut milk and coconut oil, are two of the most highly saturated fats on earth.  They’re commonly regarded as very healthy, not to mention tasty (Who doesn’t love curry?).  Although it may appear all of a sudden that endless amounts of fat would be great, remember that too much of anything is probably bad.  Grab a stick of butter and attempt to eat the whole thing; see how far you get (Hopefully not too far from a toilet…).  Too much fat can still make you sick!  You have to pay attention to how much and what kind of fat you’re eating.

Many Types of Fat

There are two ‘classes’ of fats, if you will:  Saturated and unsaturated fat.  Two important polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Linoleic acid builds Omega 6 fatty acids, and alpha-linolenic acid builds Omega 3 fatty acids (O3 and O6).  These are essential fatty acids that your body needs to work properly.  As a whole, keeping polyunsaturated fatty acids low is a good idea.  Monounsaturated fat (MUFA) provides Omega 9 (oleic acid), which is not an essential fatty acid like O3 and O6, because the body can produce limited amounts from any unsaturated fat.

“Saturated fat” is fat with hydrogen stuffed between the carbon atoms that it’s comprised of.  It comes in many different forms, both plant and animal.  The saturated fat in a coconut and the saturated fat in grain fed beef are a little different.  Remember, natural fats are good. The fat in grain fed beef has a skewed ratio of PUFA’s, highly favoring the Omega 6, which is inflammatory. In contrast, Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory.  The Omegas need to be balanced in the diet to achieve good health; most people suffer from an overabundance of Omega 6 without adequate Omega 3, leaving them chronically inflamed.  (We talk about this in greater detail later.)

Omega 6

Omega3TeeterTotter

Omega 3

NOTE:  Omega 3 and 6 are considered essential fatty acids (EFA’s) because your body can not produce them.  Incidentally, if you have fat cravings while dieting, it is often a result of being deficient in EFA’s.

Omega 9′s can be found in olive oil, but we don’t need to worry about how much we eat because the body can produce them as necessary.  MUFA’s are found in a variety of nuts, avocados, as well as grass fed beef and other livestock.  They’re a good source of fat for a person coming off a low fat nutrition plan.  The body will more easily use them for energy as you adjust to a higher saturated fat intake.

As I mentioned earlier, an imbalanced ratio of Omega 3 and 6 in your diet leads to chronic inflammation.  This is very similar to what happens with excessive carbohydrate consumption (though admittedly to a lesser degree).  Inflammation due to an excessive intake of the wrong kind of fat, combined with excessive carbohydrate intake, is inviting for disaster.   The bad news is that practically everyone you know eats this way.

The Good News

When fats are properly balanced, they will not inflame your system.  Interesting enough, since vegetable oil (full of Omega 6) started being promoted in the 1950’s, the incidence of heart disease and cholesterol has skyrocketed.  Correlation?  I think so.   You want to focus on lowering Omega 6 in your diet and increasing Omega 3’s.  The best way to do this is to pay attention to the quality of your food sources.  “You are what you eat” applies to the animals you eat too.  Wild-caught fish have better lipid profiles.  A grain fed cow is gradually being made sick through an inappropriate balance of Omega fatty acids in its diet, and so are you.  As you probably understand now, grass fed beef is the way to go.  It may be expensive or hard to find in some areas, but it’s worth it.  Eat healthy cows, and you’ll be a healthy human.

If you can’t afford, or cannot locate grass fed meat, you can clean up your fat intake by sticking to leaner cuts of meat and adding in your own favorable cooking oil (ghee, butter, tallow).  Remember that the issue is related to fat stored in animals fed nutritionally void diets.  Unfortunately, perfect meat and perfect food financial allowances are not always an option, but chicken breasts and tuna are almost always on sale.  You can make it work.

Supplementing EFA’s

As a last resort, it is possible to fortify and supplement your otherwise not-complimentary diet.  The rate of supplement absorption is greatly enhanced when taken with food.  “Enhanced” must not be mistaken for “better”.  You want to chew and swallow whole, real food with good fats, but when that is not an option, eating foods fortified with Omega 3′s or taking fish oil supplements can serve as a backup plan.  To note, fish oil and O3 supplements are not required on an otherwise adequate diet.  When selecting a product, choose one heavy on EPA’s and DHA’s (two beneficial Omega 3’s).  If there is no mention of either on the label, don’t buy it.  Going with a molecularly distilled supplement will guarantee a superior product; rancid fish oil is the leading cause of fish burps so shop wisely!

Fats Don’t Make You Fat; Your Eating Patterns Do

As you can see, in regards to which side of the fat argument you are on and how your Omega balance is handled, the ever-popular but difficult-to-follow Atkins diet could be either a miracle or the worst thing to ever happen to dieting.  The initial phase of Atkins entails limiting your daily dietary carbohydrate intake to below 20 grams.  You could blow that after 2-3 cups of leafy salad greens.  This first phase drains the glycogen storage in your body; if you’re coming from a “standard” diet, these stores are beyond topped off. Limiting carbohydrates forces your liver to use protein to produce glucose (gluconeogenesis).  Because you’re eating more protein than you normally would, your appetite will be suppressed.  The liver also begins to turn fat into ketone bodies, an alternative energy source to glucose that your organs can run on.  This “fat burning” adaptation (ketosis) takes you from running on carbohydrates (we’ll call this a “sugar metabolism”) to running on fats.  By supplying adequate dietary fat, body fat is mobilized to be used for energy as well.  It unquestionably works to reduce body fat, but like most certainties in life, it comes with a cost.

Ketogenic diets like Atkins can be taxing on an active individual.  During stressful periods, the body breaks down muscle for amino acids to rebuild cells.  Eating a high protein diet will spare some of that muscle, but will also lead to erratic circadian rhythms like waking up at 3 a.m. and feeling exhausted in the mid afternoon.  If lying in bed all day is your idea of living life, then this may be for you.  For those of us who enjoy sports or any other recreation, a constant state of ketosis is stressful at least and unhealthy at best.  Once you power through the sugar withdrawal and initial shift from sugar to fat metabolism, such a way of life becomes relatively easy; appetite and cravings are greatly reduced and the body is flushed of excessive inflammatory stores of PUFA’s and carbohydrates.

Assuming you don’t gorge on deep fried bacon, health markers are almost always improved initially.  Note the word “initially”, as the point of the induction phase is to set the body up for long term health.  That does not equate to living off of 20 carbohydrates a day forever; it entails building up from “scratch” with the right foods.  Mobilizing fat for energy is the selling point of Atkins, but eventually you reintroduce carbs and you run upon the biggest issue relating to the diet.  After you go back to eating relatively “normal” amounts of carbs again, you’ll start to regain weight (with interest!)  Your body is extremely sensitive to insulin at this point and it soaks up all the water and glucose that it can.  Your appetite comes back, you over eat and while this is kind of a good thing, the net loss of fat isn’t really worth all the frustration.

What If There Was a Happy Medium?

The fact that surviving on fats and proteins alone is possible does not imply that it’s optimal. It just means that dietary carbohydrates are not essential.  Periods of our evolution involved unavailable carbohydrates and also periods of incredible carbohydrate intake. Regardless of what you eat, your body is going to produce glucose, because it needs to.  Can you eat in a way that not only takes advantage of fats and proteins to keep you full, but also allows enough carbohydrates so that life doesn’t suck and food is still tasty?  Well, of course!  It’s brilliant actually.  The key is to eat enough fats from the right sources to achieve a good balance of Omega 3′s and 6′s and consume enough protein while ingesting the majority of your carbohydrates in the form of nutrient-dense vegetables and starches.  As it turns out, mama had it right.  You should eat your vegetables, and lard should never go to waste.

I realize this is not too sexy.  It doesn’t involve copious amounts of pasta followed by whole cheesecakes for dessert, but you have a lot more “wiggle room” if you put what you need over what you want.  An adequate intake of vitamins and minerals from vegetables, along with the fats needed to make them bioavaliable, as well as the protein required to maintain muscle mass and repair your body is necessary for proper metabolic function.  The right sources of meat and fats are a key component in achieving overall health, and once you get it right, you need not worry; there is no reason to avoid all of the good carbohydrates or fat. There is a way to put it all together so you can create a plan that works for you.

Summary

  • Fat plays a vital role in many bodily functions, and doesn’t deserve most of the bad press it receives.
  • The kind of fat you eat is extremely important.  Man-made hydrogenated and trans fats are linked to many diseases, but natural fats provide valuable nutrition.
  • Polyunsaturated fats provide lineolic and alpha-lineolic acid are “essential fatty acids” that your body cannot synthesize.  They make Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) and Omega 6 (inflammatory) fatty acids.
  • A balanced ratio of Omega 3 and 6 in your diet will help control systemic inflammation.
  • Monounsaturated fat and saturated fat are a great source of energy in your diet but they aren’t essential fats.
  • While low carb/ketogenic diets can render quick weight loss, most of the loss comes from cellular dehydration.  High carb diets are inflammatory and when you cut carbs from your nutrition, you become less inflamed.
  • Improved body composition and health are possible on a diet consisting of good fats, nutrient-dense carbs and high-quality protein.  There’s no need to go to extremes.

Veggies and the moderation myth

Most people equate carbohydrate dense foods with gluttony. Mention chocolate and biscuits, and most people will mention their waistlines don’t need that. The list is pretty easy to rattle off: pasta, ice cream, cake etc.  We know common sense tells us to avoid such carbohydrates, but that is not their real problem.  Pasta and biscuits, to begin with are not a natural food source any way you look at it. Both are refined and processed foods.

To change the gluttonous attachment we mentally have to carbohydrates means changing what we view as a source of carbohydrates.  Foods like spinach, sweet peppers, tomato sauce and kale all have carbohydrates.  Vegetables are a dietary source of carbohydrates that not only fill you up but provide you with big allotment of micronutrients to add to your body’s bank account of vitamins and minerals. Such foods are very difficult to overeat simply because nature provides you with foods to eat, not gorge on so they are going to be self limiting. Try to overeat kale or broccoli tomorrow, it cannot be done without some incredibly uncomfortable side effects, at which point you are obviously not listening to the signals your body is sending.

Eating a colorful salad with spinach, sautéed skirt steak, peppers, and carrots is going to leave you satisfied from good nutrition, the crunch of fresh vegetables, taste from spices and herbs, fiber and fat to enhance digestion…but, it will never taste like a bowl of ice cream. There’s no illusion there. Learning to feel your body’s response to nutritious food is very important however, and that response will be had after such a meal. Satisfaction is feeling good mentally and physically about the food you eat feeling confident it will carry over for a long period of time. Eating in a way that leaves you feeling genuinely well and energetic will always be superior to feeding the  mental addiction and taste of overly flavor enhanced food.

It is ironic when people question where fiber comes from with when processed grains are reduced as a result of eating more whole foods. Vegetables believe it or not are chock full of fiber calorie for calorie and ounce for ounce. There is a reason you use the bathroom after eating a salad heavy meal… fiber.  Clearly I am having a little fun here  but often people do know fruit and vegetables have fiber and still make the shocking assumption that somehow it is lacking. The nutrient density of vegetables also provide lasting satisfaction.  When you eat a diet that consists of mostly vegetables and protein you are full a lot, so the temptation to overeat is much less. Becoming full happens because you give the body what it wants and needs so little room is left for mental temptations and cravings.

“But I don’t like vegetables”

So, if you are reading this you are probably an adult so let’s quit acting like a child.  Every family can have occasional candy or sweets, but access in the house to such foods is unnecessary. Leaving the house to go as a family to enjoy an ice cream cone is different than the nightly 3 sleeves of Oreo’s while sitting on the couch watching TV shows.  If you ‘need’ something sweet have an apple. Add some nuts with the apple to make it go further and last longer.  The whole family should have confidence in being able to eat anything in the house they want because all the food provided should be healthy – there are no ‘bad foods’ ‘cheat foods’ or foods off-hands.  At every meal you should try and have a vegetable, and it doesn’t always have to be the ‘best’ vegetable. Eating spinach and collard greens is not necessary every day.  More often than not though, you will get the best bang for the buck with common hearty vegetables.  Besides if you want to have ice cream it’s just best to have it after having a big nutritious meal, that way the likelihood and tendency to overeat is reduced.

Starches

The long and short of starches is that they are higher in calories than in nutrition.  Even the few considered to be good for you like sweet potatoes and squash do not offer a wide variety of nutrients.  Starches that are good for you tend to be good for you because of the vitamins they have.  Most of those vitamins you can get from foods besides starch and will usually accompany many more minerals.  In the case of athletes starches can be a very valuable tool and we will talk more about that in a later chapter.

The case for Pasta

I love Bolognese and while I could certainly eat it with no pasta it is just better with it.  So that is how I eat it.  The difference between the way I eat it and the way that others eat it is the difference between being lean and not.  For instance, there is a local joint that serves adequate portion sizes, meaning small and worth every bite- think French cuisine, fantastic but allowing for only a few bites.  When choosing to eat for mental satisfaction, like pasta and similar empty foods, going for quality is superior to quantity. There is no point in eating empty food for size. A restaurant is a good place to allow for a treat- you get a serving and there is no going back for seconds, thirds…and then a binge.

An appetizer with meat or salad of some sort makes for less room to attempt to meet all your satisfaction with an empty food course, like my favorite pasta Bolognese.  Of course it is more expensive, but I could have eaten at home for cheaper so I am not going to use eating out as an excuse for eating bad.  Another strategy might be to have a steak with the pasta. Don’t be above ordering two entrees, not only will the waiter love you, you’ll allow less stomach room to be spent on junk. As a normal size guy I eat pretty big, so it’s always amusing to order 2 entrées.  I am pretty active and getting most of my food  from real natural sources allows me to eat more due to the efficient processing of my metabolism. My body is in tune to expecting good food and is ready to put it to use.

Moderation?

Do not get twisted what is being said with ‘moderation is key.’  The point is your waistline will expand when you do not provide an environment of nutrient dense foods.

Moderation looks like for a lot of people:

Breakfast: Lowfat Yogurt (carb) and Oatmeal (carb) with some fruit (carb)

Mid morning snack: Kashi Bar

Lunch: Subway 6 inch turkey (low fat everything with some spinach instead of lettuce because Jared lost weight this way) with baked chips

Dinner: Chicken Breast, Brown Rice and Broccoli

See how this person is left gutting it out from lunch to dinner having provided no long lasting source of dietary fat. This will leave an individual ready to eat his arm off and by dinnertime appear to be a possessed raving lunatic. This is a good set up for failure.  So the answer is not eating less of the foods you might be eating now, the answer more likely is replacing those foods with more whole unprocessed foods and eating those foods occasionally.

Oprah once told her audience not to have a single grape after 6pm so they listen, after all, she is Oprah (this example was me). Actually the original advice came from Bob Green (because who should take advice from Oprah…but that Bob Green guy seemed fit).  By 11 pm I was straight starving and choking down Melatonin, known for drowsiness, just to get to bed. Of course I usually awoke around 3am with a rumbling and furious stomach.

Following the bad diet day example and notorious night hunger, it should be obvious that regardless of what you’re eating, if you’re not eating enough you’re going to be hungry. No one should go hungry; it is the worst slap-you-in-the-back way to lose weight because it will always result in the opposite effect once you are fed up with a loud noisy stomach as your body eats away all your muscle. While sending insulin through the roof and crashing down hard is unhealthy, it is not nearly as deterring to mental well being and enjoyment in life as starving all the time. If you believe going hungry is the only way to lose weight, then you are reading the wrong book.

How Moderation Looks now

On Monday’s as a family we have ice cream.

There will be multiple examples of the meals forthcoming, but needless to say I am not dieting.  Food is a big priority in my life as well as my family’s- food has been and will always be social.  I not only enjoy cooking and eating it but I love how it fuels my body.  The majority of the time I eat things that churn the machine. In the instances where I have a treat it is not excessive because I know the results- the ill stomach, the bloat and the loss of energy all for a measly minute of tasting something my tongue wants to taste. Excessive overeating makes you sick- it is really as bad a feeling as under eating. Listening to your body and its reaction to food should be front and center when finding a way of fueling your body that will work for you, forever.

The Take Home

Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to offer variety in nutrients, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, collards and mustard greens are superior. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale and excellent and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit all contribute to overall health in a positive way.

Vegetables and fruits are clearly an important part of everyday health. Almost everyone can benefit from eating more of them, but variety and color is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. From cancer, vision and gastrointestinal health to blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and skin aging, your carbohydrate intake should always be based around a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables- an no worries, you will get plenty of fiber this way. Experiment and try new dishes, exotic fruits and seasonal vegetables- you may surprise yourself!


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