GH 101- Food
The first wheel of the Hero-mobile. (Man, that is dorky sounding.)
My opinions regarding my most and least favorite subject.
Eat reasonable portions of REAL food and drink a lot of water. It can be that simple. Really.
Whatâ€™s a reasonable portion and what is real food? Does this mean I can never eat a bag of Cheetos again? Okay, the idealistic part of me wants to say “No never will I again have a Cheetoh” but the realistic part of me says “Come one every once in a while?” Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE and ENJOY good whole food but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I also enjoyed nachos smothered in cheese every once in a while. So I focus on consistency not perfection. I aim to make 90% of the food I eat real food. By real food I mean fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, beans (preferably soaked), nuts, some whole grains (brown not whites and preferably sprouted), and some dairy. If I couldn’t t grow it, raise it, pick it, or make it (with some effort) then I limit it. I’m not saying that I grow or raise my own food. (Although it’s not a bad idea….errrr yeah it is.) I’m simply saying most of the food I buy looks as close as possible to what you would find in nature. I’ve yet to come across a graham cracker tree. That’s not to say that there aren’t healthier versions on the shelves but for the most part I choose and enjoy real food. Real food doesn’t have a long list of ingredients. Real food is not found in brightly colored boxes with pictures of smiling kids on the grocery shelves. Those are crummy foods. Crummy foods are a crummy way to nourish a body (and they often leave a lot crumbs). In fact, most donâ€™t offer much, if anything, in terms of nourishment. Processed foods like crackers, chips, doughnuts, most cereals, white bread, and cookies are all crummy foods. I read the labels, the less and more recognizable the ingredients the better. Our bodies were designed to use real food not crummy food. We will never reach optimal health by eating a diet high in crummy food, regardless, if Aunt Sally who lived to be 103 and ate nothing but Spam and doughnuts. That’s just not and will not be the case for most of us.
But a girls gotta have fun (and stay sane). Right? Enter sane days.
I said it can be simple but it’s not always easy. At least not for me because like I said I like to eat food. Good food, bad food and even food that’s questionably food. To help solve my dilemma, I allow up to approximately 10% of my food to be crummy food . In other words, to maintain my sanity and keep binging at bay, I take what most call one free day or a few free meals a week which I call sane days. On sane days crummy food becomes fun food or sometimes it’s just LARGER than normal quantities of real food. (It’s just downright frightening to see me at an Indian food restaurant on a sane day.) Do this 90% of the time and I can almost guarantee you will see results of some sort ranging from increased energy to clear skin to less mood swings, to a stronger immune system andâ€¦yesâ€¦.most likely (drum roll) weight loss….all without counting calories assuming you are eating reasonable portions and not stuffing yourself with peanut butter.
A reasonable portion usually mean stopping when I am full instead of stuffed. Again simple but not always easy. For me, it’s palm sized portions, a deck of cards, with everything except veggies and fats. I try to eat twice as many veggies as other foods. I don’t avoid fat but I’m aware it has over twice the calories as carbohydrates and protein so have I have some not a lot at every meal. A palm sized portion coconut oil would be a lot of calories. Some butter, a few teaspoons of oil, a few slices of avocado, a tablespoon of almond butter, ect. What about counting calories? There are those who swear by it and those who despise it. I’m somewhere in the middle and tend to go back and forth between counting and following my intuition. I’ve found if the jeans are getting a little too snug then counting calories helps me to be honest with myself. Honesty is very important if you are trying to lose weight.
Another thing I do is eat more often to eat less. What!?!? When I wait until I am hungry enough to eat my firstborn I’ve waited too long. However if I eat 4-5 times a day I will be less likely to overeat or binge (and save my offspring). So every 2-3 hours I try to eat some real food (a snack) even if I’m only a little hungry. , I want to eat before that primal instinct to devour anything that is not nailed down kicks in. This has been the only way to keep myself from overeating.
I drink water for my main source of hydration. I aim to drink 10 -16 cups of water a day (depending on temperature and my workouts) and I make sure at least 8 of those are pure water. Yes, I go to the bathroom often. Yes, people have wondered what is wrong with me. Yes, my body thanks me. Personally, I prefer whole fruits over fruit juice. However, if I want juice, I make my own (which rarely happens). I think store bought juice is a waste of money and calories. I also limit alcohol to a few nights a month. I’m pretty much a homebody so that one is actually easy. I’ll go a month or two without a drink. I’m convinced that soda is going to be the cigarettes of tomorrow so I rarely have soda even on sane days. Yes even diet soda. Sorry. No, I don’t smoke not even on sane days, although that might help ease my stress.
Lastly, I plan, plan, PLAN. I plan a flexible weekly menu and include my sane meals. Then I make a shopping list. In my half-whacked opinion, this is ALMOST as important as choosing real food. It saves me time, money and unnecessary calories. I’m working on a weekly meal chart and a shopping list. I’ll let you know when they done. :-)
There are hundreds of expert opinions out there and itâ€™s easy to get lost in the details. Not too mention the conflicting opinions. Whose is right? Whose wrong? Eat meat don’t eat meat. Avoid grains, grains are your staple, sprout your grains. I’m sure “they” all mean well but it’s overwhelming for many people who are just starting out. If that’s you, forget all the â€œtheysâ€ and focus on you by making real food a habit because real food is one thing almost all “diets” have in common. Unless we’re talking Slimfast and we surely won’t be talking about Slimfast on this blog.
I’m not qualified to tell you what the “best” nutritional plan is for you. I believe we all need to find the specifics that work for us. You can find some of the specifics that work for me in the FAQs. In time, you will figure your specifics based on your body and personal convictions. It may take some experimenting and researching. My point is not to give you a detailed map but to point you in the right direction is you are unsure where to start. Eat mostly real food. (for the 572nd time) The low-carber who lives off of Velveeta and Oscar Myer franks isn’t any better off than the vegetarian who subsists on Ho Hos and Doritos (and vice-versa). My advice, if you don’t know where to start, start simple, eat mostly real food. It won’t be long until eating real whole food will become your lifestyle and you’ll be able then you can concern yourself with details. First build a solid sustainable foundation on real food. Once that foundation is strong you’ll have an easier time tweaking and adding to customize your diet lifestyle.
Hugs and High Fives,
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