Category Archives: Conventional Wisdom – How I hate you
So on Thursday Ryan and I started our road trip up the Cali coast for Carmel where a friend of Ryan’s was getting married on Clint Eastwood’s ranch.
While I’ve been to a few spots in Northern Cali, I’ve never taken a road trip up the coast and let me tell you…it was an eye-opener!
Along the way I kept rambling on to Ryan about two certain thoughts…one was about “cheat days” and the whole debate over them and whether they should even be called “cheat days” and the other was about our farming systems and the environment.
And while I’ll talk about cheat days tomorrow after my food hangover wears off, today I do want to talk about the nature of farming while the images from our drive are still fresh in my mind.
So I am a Midwest girl. And I grew up driving through farmland. Just about every tennis trip we took, my mom and I would drive through hours and hours of farmland.
Mostly I just thought it was boring. Super flat land with rows and rows of the same crop. Basically just corn as far as the eye could see.
There would be a few horses…Maybe some cattle…But mostly just CORN.
But anyway, my point is, I’ve seen lots of farmland before and never really given it a second thought…until now.
And I don’t know if it was all the cool and new scenery or the fact that I’m more conscious about where my food comes from now, but a lot of what I saw really made me question…
Ryan told me the scenery would be cool even though we would be driving through a lot of desert. He said we would also drive by the ocean, through some interesting scenery in the hills, through more forested areas and then finally on our way home…lots of farmland.
What I didn’t realize is that I was going to see everything right next to each other and at times, all at once. I saw ocean next to farm next to desert next to forest next to great huge hills.
I also didn’t expect to see wildfires right next to the road.
When I was younger, I remember learning that wildfires could be good and necessary for some ecosystems. But that wasn’t the case with all of the fires popping up around Southern Cali. These fires were damaging not only potentially to people’s property but also to the land and natural vegetation.
The fires made me shake my head in disbelief. I never thought I would see one.
As we drove on through a slightly flatter area a bit away from the ocean, we passed strawberry fields and blueberry farms.
And then as we entered back into a few more hills, we saw a whole bunch of cattle roaming the hillside….
I was like “AH!” Grass-fed, free range BEEF!
So right now if you are a vegetarian, you may want to tune out as I’m going to start my whole YAY for meat thing. Just giving you a heads up…
Anyway, I was excited to see the cattle roaming the hillside so close to our home especially since a local meat shop owner here had recently told me that the reason it was hard to get grass-fed beef is because we are so surrounded by desert terrain.
Here was proof that there actually was local grass-fed beef!!!
All those happy cows roaming and eating and enjoying the sun.
I was excited!
But then I turned to Ryan and said, “I wonder why there are so few. There could be whole herds roaming these hills!”
And I’m sure now if you are a vegetarian still reading you want to now tell me about all the bad things the animals we raise on farms do to our environment.
But don’t. Because pasture-raised animals don’t have the same impact on our environment that industrial farms’ conventionally raised animals do. Pasture-raised animals are actually GOOD for our environment. They actually help regulate the ecosystem and can help keep it way healthier than our freaking monocrop farming does…but I’m getting to that…
Anyway, I was excited to see the pasture-raised cows and just sad that I didn’t see more of them. There was a ton of hillside that could be grazed and as Ryan pointed out, “The areas where the cows seemed to have grazed look healthier!” (Which in fact they did…way more green on the hillside with cows!)
Maybe if we had more animals eating the grass and renewing the soil like they used to, we wouldn’t have as many devastating wildfires as we do now….Just a thought….
So sometime after seeing the cows and the wildfires, we stopped in San Luis Obispo. We met with a friend for a hike, which ended up turning into more a mile straight up climb…AH!…before heading out to dinner in town.
We were also super lucky in that there was a farmer’s market going on that night. And on top of produce and meat from a ton of local farms, there was a stand with RAW MILK!
It was the first time I’d seen a stand with raw milk since there is so much pressure by the government NOT to sell it…And it isn’t usually worth the headache for the farmers.
As cheesy (bad pun?) as it sounds, seeing that raw milk and pasture-raised cows really made my day.
I was like “YESSSSS! There is some hope for good, naturally raised and grown food here!”
After leaving San Luis Obispo, we began to move a bit more out of farmland as we wound through the hills by the ocean although I do swear we saw farmland with cattle roaming free and ZEBRAS…although I didn’t manage to snap a picture, but instead failed epically getting only a picture of my finger…
The view on our drive we beautiful and definitely different from anything I’d seen in the Midwest or even on the East Coast. And as I raved about the view, Ryan told me to just wait till we drove back home the less scenic way.
On our way back home, we were going to drive through Salinas, which is a huge farming community. It most definitely reminded me more of the farmland in the Midwest even though it wasn’t endless corn.
As we drove through Salinas, the winds were terrible. Ryan then remarked that the winds were a problem when it came to organic farming and pesticides.
He said that most of the time organic farms and pesticide-using farms were right next to each other and that when the wind blew, the pesticides would be blown right on to the organic produce.
So much for thinking your organic produce was so much better huh?
Of course, if we didn’t promote monocrop farming, maybe we wouldn’t have the same insect and soil problems that we have now and wouldn’t need to use the pesticides…But then I forgot….It isn’t plant farming that is causing the environmental problems is it?
Anyway, even worse than the fact that our organic produce isn’t really organic, is the serious health problems created by pesticides for people within the community.
Ryan then started telling me about how the community has a whole bunch of health issues because of the pesticides.
I couldn’t believe it.
Like honestly, couldn’t believe it.
What the heck is wrong with us? For all we talk about “eating well” and “living a healthy lifestyle” we don’t seem to really care that we are using all this crap and following farming practices that will kill us.
Quality matters people.
Anyway, what was a very scenic drive really opened my eyes and made me look around and think.
I’ve driven through farmland before, but this is the first time I think I’ve ever really looked at it.
While I’m sure “Roasted Chicken and Broccoli Slaw” doesn’t sound utterly delicious, it really really was.
But while I meant today to be a simple recipe post, I feel the need to comment on a lot of what I’ve read this morning..and well…this week in general actually.
A lot of you have probably seen, or heard about by now, Bob Harper’s new dieting tips…Jumpstart to Skinny and the recommendation that women eat 800 calories a day.
Can I just pause to comment and say, “And people call me crazy because I do intermittent fasting and skip breakfast sometimes!?!”
At least I’m not starving myself! I’m just eating when I’m hungry. Whereas 800 calories a day is simply NOT eating! It is LITERALLY starving yourself!
I’m sorry but if you have to eat 800 calories a day to make his diet work on time, it isn’t a diet you should be doing!
Because it isn’t realistic! That isn’t something you can maintain for longer than the three weeks if even that long!
Yes…yes…I get that it is a JUMPSTART…And yes I do see the benefit sometimes of going stricter or working harder to break a plateau or get the momentum going, but honestly 800 calories a day is just ridiculous.
And so many of his 13 rules just sound like the same old bull crap. I mean come on don’t eat carbs after lunch?
I mean I even promote going low carb but believe that statement is utterly ridiculous! If your body needs the carbs, protein, fat…WHATEVER…it is going to use it no matter what time you eat them.
And really go to bed hungry!?! COME ON! No wonder everyone thinks that a healthy lifestyle is impossible. Who the heck wants to go to bed hungry!?!
Also, did anyone notice that his list says “Eat protein with every meal” and then also says “Make one day a week meatless”?
Yes I do realize that you don’t need to eat meat to get protein, but do you know how much harder it is to get all the essential amino acids if you don’t? Do you also know what most people turn to when they try to get protein without eating meat and aren’t supposed to drink their calories so protein shakes are out!?!
Most people don’t go eat beans and rice and do all the research to find out what foods pair together to give you a complete protein. Instead they eat some processed veggie burger….or a whole jar of Jiffy Peanut Butter…that has some protein right!?!
Anyway, I was utterly annoyed by his list, but really not surprised. It is the same old conventional wisdom crap spewed out over and over again.
Shoot if people really sold the truth, they wouldn’t get to keep churning out book after book!
And you want to know what the truth is!?! I can sum it up in four basic, and slightly redundant, rules….
1. Eat WHOLE NATURAL FOODS!
2. Cut out PROCESSED CRAP!
3. Eat when you are HUNGRY! (Not bored, or stressed or tired, but when you are hungry…be that one meal a day or 20).
4. Don’t starve yourself. (Not eating enough can stall fat loss and hinder performance and make you feel like CRAP)
But those rules wouldn’t sell. There is no secret there. No super specific directions to make you drop weight instantly.
But guess what?
Those are the truth!
Anyway, I’m done rambling about this. If you want a blog post that tears apart these rules much better than my rant above just did, check out Nia Shanks’ post.
Back to my original posting topic…FEEDING THE BEAST…aka feeding myself!
Recently, Ryan and I have become very into “Asian inspired” dishes. I use the term “Asian-inspired” rather loosely…basically meaning we used some sesame seed oil, rice vinegar and Tamari in our dish.
Anyway, Ryan made a great roasted chicken dish the other night and I wanted to share it!
1.5lbs chicken legs
2 cups Broccoli Slaw
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp Jalapeno-Kiwi relish
1 tsp Siracha
1 tsp garlic
3 green onions
1 tbsp Rice vinegar
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine oil, tamari, relish, siracha, garlic and onions. Remove a few tablespoons and combine with rice vinegar to mix into the broccoli slaw.
Brush a bit of sauce onto the chicken and bake for 20 minutes before applying more sauce. Total baking time will be about 45 minutes.
In the last five minutes dump on the rest of the sauce. Mix broccoli slaw with the sauce/vinegar mixture.
Then enjoy the roasted chicken legs and broccoli slaw!
So recently I’ve had a few of my female clients ask me about cleanse diets.
I personally would NEVER ever do one…or for that matter recommend that any of my clients do one.
I know they are the popular thing, but honestly, they are stupid.
Really? Drink juice for a week and your body will be cleansed?!?
Sounds like a week of feeling crappy and overloaded with sugar!
And when I tell most people that I think cleanses are stupid, they say to me, “Well then how do you rid your body of all the toxins that accumulate?”
UHM…I DON’T EAT CRAP FOOD MOST OF THE TIME!
You shouldn’t need to do a cleanse if you are eating a healthy diet 80% of the time. That healthy eating will, itself, make your body healthier and remove all of the “toxins.”
And really you think that one week on a “cleanse” is going to remove all the toxins from your body that you’ve been consuming for months and months and months eating a poor diet!?!
If you want to make your body healthy, you need to eat healthily most of the time…not for one week!
And the funniest thing is, when I say they should eat healthy 80% of the time if they really want a clean, healthy body, they tell me that only cleanses TRULY remove all of the gunk. That eating healthy doesn’t get it all out.
Some cleanse diet is going to remove some hidden gunk that eating only whole natural foods won’t remove!?!
UHM…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!
Sometimes I want to ask people obsessed with cleanse diets what this supposed hidden gunk is? I mean really what is so supposedly stuck in us that only a cleanse diet can rid of us?
Also, I would just like to point out that most of these cleanse diets really AREN’T THAT HEALTHY OR GOOD FOR YOU!
You really thinking drinking juice for a week is that great for you? All you are consuming is a ton of carbs in the form of SUGAR!
That isn’t healthy!
But when I tell people that cleanse diets AREN’T healthy, I usually get a response like, “Well I saw a cleanse diet by Dr. Oz!”
Dr. Oz….Usually I would have a rant against him, but in this case…Well I actually kind of like him.
When they say that to me, I usually say, “Have you looked at the difference between your FAD cleanse and Dr. Oz’s?”
The Dr. Oz cleanse is basically like eating just a super clean all natural diet!
It isn’t juice with cayenne pepper! It is chicken and veggies. It is just SUPER CLEAN NATURAL FOODS!
If you want a TRUE cleanse, you don’t need to do some crazy diet that cuts out all but one food group! Just eat whole natural foods that aren’t processed at all!
Or you know what…maybe even add in some intermittent fasting…Now fasting a bit…that IS truly good for your body!
Oh but wait….you aren’t doing a cleanse to be healthy? No…you are doing the cleanse because your friend supposedly lost 10lbs in one week?!?
Oh well then of course do the cleanse! It must be the magic pill for weight loss!
Cleanse diets might help you lose a bit of weight, but the second you stop the cleanse, do you really think you are going to maintain the weight loss?
You haven’t changed your normal daily eating habits so how do you think you are going to keep that lost weight off?
YOU AREN’T GOING TO!
So why waste a week of your life on a completely miserable diet only to lose weight that you will probably gain back in less than two days when you return to your old eating habits?
There is no quick weight loss solution. If you want to lose weight, eat clean whole, natural foods. Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and meat. (Shoot I would even say a well-balanced diet of vegetables and meat, which is completely the opposite of some of those fruit and sugar-laden cleanses!)
If you want to truly lose weight, you need to start a diet you can maintain for more than a week.
And if you are completely and utterly set on doing some sort of “cleanse” go super strict the first couple of weeks on your diet. Eat only vegetables and meat.
Then maybe after those two weeks of super clean eating, add back in a few healthy treats…like fruits or maybe a glass of wine or some dark chocolate or a little full-fat dairy here and there.
The point is that these fad cleanses aren’t healthy AND they don’t truly help you lose weight. If you want to be “clean” and lose weight, your only solution is to eat whole natural foods.
Even Dr. Oz says so!
So in college I had a couple of teammates who definitely lived by the philosophy of eat what you want and burn it off…aka exercise so you can eat badly.
I even know a ton of people now that have that do the same thing…
“I workout so I can eat what I want. And when I eat badly, I just go workout to burn it off!”
But that is probably the worst mentality you could have.
Working out doesn’t excuse the CRAP calories you are putting into your body. Exercise doesn’t truly cancel out the bad food.
You may not necessarily gain weight on the scale because you burned off the calories you consumed, BUT you definitely aren’t being healthy and I guarantee you would see your workouts paying off way more if they weren’t simply a way to allow you to eat badly!
For one, you aren’t fueling correctly to really get the most out of your workouts. And your body composition is probably not improving.
Actually it is probably getting worse.
And two, you are probably going to at some point really start overtraining. I know a ton of girls that would lift and then even run just to make sure they “burned off” the food.
Let’s just say this is DEFINITELY not a healthy attitude.
Actually I HATE the attitude….So when I saw a restaurant in London that now allows people to eat and WORK OFF the food, I of course had to write a rant about it.
The restaurant is called Steam. And while I like the idea of a restaurant serving whole, natural foods or even healthy meals, I HATE the idea of a restaurant promoting workouts to work off the meal.
I like the fact that you can play games and have a place to eat and be active, but the whole philosophy of working off what you eat is what kills me. And honestly, maybe it is just the way the restaurant is promote that really bothers me.
I don’t mind offering people a place to be active and healthy while enjoying a healthy meal, but I don’t like when you offer exercise and activities just to burn calories so that you can eat without guilt.
And vibrating chairs to burn calories!?!
I mean…yea promoting eating well and working out is great…but not if you are promoting working out to BURN OFF what you eat! This restaurant is just seems to promote the disordered eating mentality that so many people already have!
You DON’T workout to burn off what you eat people! You workout to be healthy and strong and happy!
So when writing up some new workouts, I began to think about all of the games we played in gym class…dodgeball, crab crawl soccer, scooter ball…just to name a few.
And I thought…why not include some of those moves!?! Remember when you used to swing from the monkey bar or do wheelbarrow races? Remember when you’d have to crab crawl around the gym and you considered it to be a GAME!?!
Those moves while super fun in elementary school were actually super good for you!
So now each of our workouts includes some element of elementary school play. And while it might not be as easy as it once was…it is still ridiculously “fun!”
So next time you want to work on shoulder strength, consider a wheelbarrow crawl. Or next time you work your core and upper back, consider a skin the cat.
Or what about climbing a rope? Remember when you used to climb up those poles on the playground?!? Not as easy as you remember it I’m sure!
There are so many great moves that we did as kids, but somewhere along the line we stop. And instead we start doing bicep curls and tricep extensions, which honestly aren’t near as good for us or even half as functional.
So below is a great workout with some simple elementary school moves. Try it…it might be fun! (If you don’t have some of the stuff or understand what it is, feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can either explain it or give you some substitutions!)
Warm up (make sure to get shoulders, glutes, back and core warm)
3 rounds (Rest in between each round or do with a partner for a relay):
Rope run and drag and then plank hinge and pull (Run down about 50ft and drag a 1.5 inch rope behind you until it is stretched out along the ground. Then go into a plank/table top crawl position facing the same way as the way you ran. Reach back between your legs and grab the rope. Sit your butt back to really get a good reach and then pull the rope through as far as you can, extending your hips as you pull. So you will go from about a plank position on the hands to almost a child’s pose still on the hands to really get a reach back and through. Pull the rope until it is completely piled in front of you and run it back.)
Rope Climbs (can sub in inverted rows if you don’t have a rope…5 reps if you do it on a rope and 10 reps slowly if you do rows)
Crab Crawl 50ft forward and 50ft back (Crab crawl is with your hips facing the ceiling)
Skin the Cat (This is the move where you hold a pull up bar or monkey bar and swing your feet through over your head between your hands and all the way down toward the ground behind you. If this is too tough, simplify it by just first tucking the knees to the elbows and then next by doing a straight leg lift up to the bar) 8-12 reps
Rest and repeat for all rounds!
For our conditioning we actually played tug of war with a few stipulations to prevent injury.
You may be thinking…”Oh that isn’t a workout!”
But trust me….it really really was!
So what does “being healthy” really mean?
Is being healthy NOT being sick?
I mean cause really just because you aren’t sick doesn’t mean you are healthy.
So then what is HEALTHY?
Is it having all of your vital stats fall within that “healthy” range set out by the medical community?
I mean is that really healthy if the person eats crap all day yet has supposedly falls within the healthy ranges for cholesterol and blood pressure and such!?!
Ehhhhh…doesn’t sound healthy to me.
They might look healthy on paper, but frankly I don’t think that is any guarantee that they won’t be plagued by illness or die at an early age.
Eating crap is eating crap. And frankly, I think it will come back to bite most people.
So then…what is “being healthy?”
Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you. And neither does anyone else.
That is why people are so confused about what diet or exercise program to follow – there are studies used to say that almost a bazillion different things are healthy!
So how do I judge when I’m being healthy?
Well I took a look at all of the evidence and picked a side.
I choose to pick the side of eating whole natural foods – real foods. I choose this diet because it seems most logical to me.
People have called it a “fad diet,” but as someone said in “The Perfect Human Diet” documentary that I watched last night, “It then is a 2 million year old fad.”
We evolved the way we did because we ate meat. Our systems are adapted to eat whole natural foods.
So processed foods? Foods that we only started eating with industrialization?
Those are not whole natural foods. Those are NOT foods we were meant to eat.
Those to me aren’t healthy.
And there are people who will site studies saying I’m wrong and that my diet is a fad.
You are going to call my diet a fad when there haven’t been any early vegetarian human fossils found? You are going to tell me that I should eat grains when humans didn’t eat grains until recently!?!
I have the whole of human evolution behind my beliefs…How many years are behind yours!?!
And yea…now some of you will say…”Well we didn’t have science then”….or “We didn’t know any better”….or “We lived way shorter lives back then.”
Yea we didn’t have science…we ate what didn’t kill us. Just like all animals seem to eat what is right.
I mean if a study came out today saying we should feed lions grains are you really going to believe it?
And yea…we did live shorter lives. We didn’t have medicine back then to keep people alive. We also now don’t have to contend with a lot of the dangers that they did!
And don’t get me wrong, I think science helps us learn a lot and even better ourselves.
But please don’t use it to tell me that grains are healthy and natural animal products aren’t.
We use grains to fatten animals…Maybe…Just maybe then grains really are at the heart of the problem.
Anyway, one last little factoid before I get back on topic, which was mentioned in The Perfect Human Diet….
Look at cattle feed nutritional info….the feed used to FATTEN cattle. It recommends low-fat, moderate protein and high carb.
Think about who else recommends a diet set up this way….
OH! The food pyramid! That is where I’ve seen this diet before! And guess who came up with the food pyramid orginially?
So yea…I chose my side.
And once I picked that side, I tested it and realize just how much freaking better I felt day in and day out while eating, living and working out that way. So because I felt better than I’d ever felt before, I decided that I was being healthy.
Feeling energized and strong day in and day out to me is feeling healthy.
Not having to down 50 cups of coffee to make it through the day to me seems healthy.
Not feeling bloated. Or sluggish. Or winded at the slightest exertion….
That to me is healthy.
Being able to constantly achieve greater and greater fitness goals because I’m fueling proper, sleeping enough and not overtraining.
That to me is healthy.
That to me is healthy.
I honestly sort of believe that we can FEEL when our body is in order especially when we’ve cut out all the crap.
Trust me, anyone who has gone to a clean whole foods diet can now recognize how crappy they actually felt when they ate all of the processed junk.
So I challenge you to ask yourself, “Are you really healthy?”
Do you actually feel good day in and day out?
I frankly think that developing a healthy diet is simple.
People make it seem like it is super complex. Heck companies want people to think it is complex so they can sell supplements and weight loss products and processed foods that supposedly have all these health benefits.
But honestly, you really only need to remember one thing when it comes to eating healthily - eat whole, natural food!
Cut out all the crap!
Don’t worry about freaking supplements even if they were on Dr. Oz. Don’t worry about your micronutrient intakes. Don’t worry about exactly how many fruits or vegetables you eat or how many omega-3s you are getting.
Just cut out all of the processed crap!
If you started focusing on just eating natural foods, so things that spring out of the ground and aren’t processed…aka usually have a short shelf life unless frozen, your healthy and the way you feel will improve exponentially.
Just by starting to even cut out one processed thing a day, like the crackers you eat for a snack (even if they are supposedly “healthy” crackers), you will be cutting out a ton of crap from your diet.
Processed foods are loaded down with vegetable oils and sugars. I mean take a look at any nutritional label on any pre-packaged food at the grocery store. I bet there are a ton of things listed in the ingredients that you’ve never heard of.
AND I bet all of them have way more sugar than you expected…but then again you were probably more worried about the fact that they were supposedly advertised as low-fat or “all-natural,” right!?!
But seriously, those pre-packaged foods can do some damage.
Here we are worried about the amount of saturated fat in an animal product and yet people are consuming a TON of simple sugars and vegetable oil (which is SUPER bad because it causes inflammation because it contains a horrible ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s) in all of the processed crap out there!
Anyway, the point is if you cut out processed, pre-packaged foods and focus on eating whole, natural foods, you will instantly cut out a TON of bad things.
Once you do that and have a good diet baseline, then start looking at ratios and exactly what natural foods are best and how you react to gluten, dairy and carbs, in general.
Don’t make it complicated to start!
At work we constantly talk about getting back to basics. And that is exactly what you’ve got to do here. Don’t make a ton of changes and complicate your diet.
Make one simple change and get back to the basics – eat whole, natural foods!
I LOVE talking about diet and exercise.
I LOVE when people find out I’m a trainer and then ask me a ton of questions.
I LOVE when people ask me about my diet or exercise program.
I HATE when people tell me they’ve started doing Paleo and then tell me about the latest Paleo baked good they made.
To me Paleo and baked good (aka sweets) can’t legitimately be used in the same sentence unless you are saying you’ve switched to Paleo and only eat baked goods on cheat days now.
Paleo baked goods…those three words combined like that make me want to scream.
Paleo has become a joke.
The whole point of Paleo or Primal is to eat WHOLE, NATURAL FOODS. To eat meat, fruits and vegetables and cut out all of the processed crap and sugar.
The whole point of Paleo is to make you healthier and reduce the inflammation in your body.
The whole point of Paleo is NOT to make a less bad for you version of traditional baked goods.
If you are TRULY doing Paleo you aren’t eating freaking Paleo muffins or Paleo pie or pizza.
You aren’t baking with almond flour or using a ton of honey or maple syrup to sweeten things. You aren’t buying “gluten-free” processed products.
Why AREN’T those things truly Paleo!?!
Because they totally miss the point!
It’s true…nothing is ACTUALLY paleolithic, but the point of the diet is to cut out all of the crap and eat naturally raised products!
For example, the reason the Paleo/Primal diet tells you to cut out grains is because of the inflammation grains cause which is what causes cholesterol to build up in the arteries and cause heart problems.
Grains also contain phytic acid, which hinders your body from absorbing many vitamins and minerals.
Guess what also contains phytic acid?
So when you eat your normal serving of 1/4 cup of almonds you are fine…BUT a pizza made from almond flour!?!
That is a ton more than the 1/4 of a cup you should be eating.
And that means a TON OF PHYTIC ACID!!
You cut out grains because someone doing the Paleo diet told you to, BUT you didn’t understand WHY you were supposed to cut out grains. So you end up making your freaking Paleo almond crust pizza and get the exact crap that the Paleo diet is supposed to help you eliminate from your diet.
So because most people don’t really UNDERSTAND the point of the Paleo diet…because people don’t really understand why the diet has them cut out certain foods…because people just do it because their friend lost weight doing it…People end up destroying the diet and eating crap that is disguised as being “Paleo.”
Basically, don’t tell me you are doing Paleo or Primal if you are going to tell me about the latest cookie, pie, pizza, muffin or WHATEVER that you just made.
Don’t tell me you won’t eat cheese or rice because it isn’t Paleo and then freaking go eat gummy worms because they are gluten-free.
Don’t tell me you don’t eat beans (which you probably don’t even realize you don’t eat because they contain phytic acid) and then go eat farm-raised salmon or coconut milk with a ton of extra additives.
Understand why the heck you are doing something! Farm-raised salmon is just about the WORST thing you could possibly eat!!!! It is like Paleo 101 that you eat NATURALLY RAISED animal products!
And if you are going to buy something like coconut milk, READ THE FREAKING LABEL.
Ok…deep breath…I’m done.
Now all of you recent Paleo bandwagoners…go ahead and tell me why I’m wrong…I dare you.
So I definitely have solid views on nutrition, but I actually don’t vocalize them as much as you would think considering I rant and rave all the time about them here.
If someone asks me my opinion, I will tell them what I personally think.
Like yesterday, the volleyball girls asked me about post-exercise nutrition.
My answer? Eat a lean protein source and a simple carb. Those will be quickly absorbed by your body and used as fuel.
When asked what counted as a lean protein source or simple carb, I answered…
Turkey, chicken, whey protein, rice, potatoes, fruit.
Notice I didn’t say no gluten. Notice I didn’t say no protein bars. (Heck notice I didn’t even say, “Well honestly, I don’t even worry about pre and post workout nutrition…That is something that really only a top few elite competitors/athletes/bodybuilders need to worry about…That the most important thing truly is to eat a whole, natural food diet throughout the day and make sure you are eating when you are hungry!)
I simply listed things I believed are good – things that I would eat.
When asked specifically about bread or gluten or processed foods, I usually say, “Well I don’t believe in eating those things, but there are other people who do x, y and z and it works for them.”
I will almost always present the other side. (Except of course for here where I get to rant about the other side! YESSSS!)
Because it isn’t up to me what you choose. I can provide you with information about my reasons for my decisions, but I can’t tell you what is right.
Because it is a gamble. There are literally thousands of studies and people on both sides of the fat/gluten/carb/vegetarian fence.
Which side you decide to pick is ultimately up to you.
I’ve picked a side and am constantly doing research to make sure that I know WHY I make the decisions that I do.
Anyway, the reason I thought about all of this is because I’m writing up a “10 Healthy Lifestyle Tips” for this Heart Healthy Expo Jeff and I are going to tomorrow.
I was reading through a lot of the different heart-healthy tip things online and I couldn’t bring myself to provide people with recipes or tips that included canola oil and other such crap as healthy.
So below are the 10 Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips I came up with. I managed to make the tips stay pretty darn mainstream WITHOUT going against my beliefs. I didn’t say not to eat whole grains…I just most definitely didn’t say to do it!!!
- Eat whole, natural foods and cut back on processed, pre-packaged food items. Processed foods are loaded with sugars and bad fats that cause inflammation.
- Use healthy fats such as olive oils, coconut oils and naturally-raised animal fats INSTEAD OF canola and soybean oils, which cause inflammation because they are loaded with omega-6s.
- Cut back on sugar and consume more complex carbohydrates especially fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals that protect our health.
- Cook more meals. No matter how healthy the restaurant meal supposedly is, it never measures up to a home-cooked meal. Even with our busy schedules and long workdays, we can fit in time to cook. It just takes some planning. Find meals, like casseroles and crockpot recipes, which allow you to make huge portions all at once so that you have leftovers for all those busy days when you don’t have time to cook!
- Plan in some “me time.” Too much stress can negatively impact our health. It is important to take some time each day. This can mean going for a walk with friends, reading a book or anything that allows you to relax for even just 5 minutes at the end of your day.
- Get more sleep! Those who average five or fewer hours of sleep per night have a far higher incidence of “silent” heart disease. In a study done, 27% of those who slept five hours or less per night developed calcifications that can signal heart disease after five years, compared to just 6% of those who slept an average of seven hours or more.
- Do 30 minutes of low intensity aerobic activity (walking, hiking, swimming, chasing after your kids on the playground) 2-3 times per week. Low intensity aerobic activity helps to strengthen our heart and burn fat.
- “Sprint” once a week. To sprint means to do short, intense activity once a week where you get your heart rate up and then let it recover before you go again. The intensity of your sprint will be dependent on your fitness level. A sprint should be between 8-20 seconds of intense work followed by a long period of rest (2 to 5 times the amount work).
- Lift weights! Too often we ignore weight training when it comes to heart health, but strength training is important! Resistance training has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure while improving cholesterol levels and glucose metabolism. All of which result in a healthier heart! Add in weight training 2-3 times per week.
- Skip the two a days! More time in the gym doesn’t always equal better health. Overtraining can actually have negative effects on your health. Your workouts don’t need to be more than an hour especially if they are super intense. So don’t worry about how long you workout for – focus on your intensity!
NOTE: I am not ashamed of my beliefs, but I do believe that sometimes if you are too vocal upon first conversation with someone who you can actually get them to shut down and complete tune out all of the good stuff you are saying. Sometimes if you ease people into the unknown they are more accepting of the things you have to say!
So on Wednesday of last week, I did a lunch and learn talk at a local business with another trainer from Innovative Results.
We talked mostly about mindset, but we did touch on some basics of dieting. We talked about eating whole, natural foods. We talked about cutting calories, but making sure that we don’t cut out too many. We talked about making small changes over time so they actually take root.
And at the end a woman raises her hand with a question…a question about supplements that she saw on Dr. Oz.
UGH! (I wanted to throw up my hands and roll my eyes. I don’t have a problem with Dr. Oz just the fact that everyone DOES exactly what he says like mindless drones.)
She wanted to know what we thought about some green coffee bean thing and raspberry ketones. She said, “Dr. Oz says that these two things will help you lose weight.”
The only thing I could say back was, “KISS…Keep it simple stupid.”
She looked at me in confusion.
I just simply explained that I didn’t even want to get into discussing those supplements. That the MOST IMPORTANT thing if you want to lose weight is to eat whole, natural foods.
First you have to get the macronutrients in order before you start thinking about the micronutrients.
Green coffee beans or whatever the heck they are, aren’t a magic pill!!!! There may be some new study saying they can help AID with weight loss, but trust me, if you want real results, you have to do real work and eat REAL food.
Let’s face it….Dr. Oz has a TV show. He wants to talk about new trends, new fads…It is what keeps people tuning in!
I can’t blame him! I love researching and experimenting (I mean shoot I tried the potato diet just to see what would happen!)
The problem with it is…He has power. He has credentials and a TV show that reaches millions. He is a well-respected medical figure, and rightly so!, so people believe whatever he says. If he says raspberry ketones have health benefits, people run out to buy them.
Stop being drones!!! Use your brain!!!!!
Really you think some green coffee bean is going to solve all your problems!?! I mean if you look at most of the boxes with the supplements or extracts the boxes even tell you, “take along with a HEALTHY diet and exercise program.”
What do you really think makes you lose weight!?! The green stupid bean or the healthy diet and exercise program!?!
GRRRR Dr. Oz!
Stop making people think dieting is so complicated!
Keep it simple stupid!
If you have the healthy diet on lock…If your macronutrient breakdown is in order THEN maybe think about experimenting with green coffee beans and all that jazz!