A quick guide to healthy eating
So a huge part of being healthy, looking great, feeling great and performing well is eating the RIGHT foods.
If you don’t fuel properly, your body isn’t going to run properly – it’s as simple as that.
And while I’m most definitely not a car aficionado (and I’m sure anyone who really knows anything about cars will roll their eyes at how I use the analogy) I do believe that one of the best ways to describe eating healthily is by comparing it to fueling a car.
If you use bad fuel, your car won’t run properly. You will get bad gas mileage and your car will probably break down. However, if you give your car the proper fuel, your car will run great and you most likely won’t have near as many problems with it.
Same goes for your body…Eat crap food and your body will run, but not near as well as it could. Eat healthy food and you will be able to perform a lot better (not to mention you will FEEL a lot better!).
And you may be thinking right now…I haven’t had problems so why should I change my diet.
Let me just say this..Just because you aren’t having problems doesn’t mean your body feels or functions as well as it could.
You might not even realize you aren’t running as well as you could until you fuel properly and see just how great your “mileage” could actually be. And once you do fuel properly, trust me, you won’t want to go back!
Ok so let’s say you buy it and know that you need to fuel properly.
How do you then decide what you should eat?
I live by these two simple rules:
- Eat whole, natural foods – Foods raised or grown in the way they should be. Cage-free chickens, grass-fed beef. Organic fruits and veggies. Unprocessed. Local. Seasonal.
- Eat as little processed food as possible – There is a spectrum of processed. From a veggie you can pick and eat right of the ground to a Twinkie which is so processed it will never ever go bad and doesn’t contain even one ingredient that you can even pronounce. If something lasts longer than it should, like the difference between freshly home-made bread and store bought bread that last years, you know that it is highly processed. Your goal is to eat as much as you can from the unprocessed to only slightly processed side while still occasionally indulging in deliciousness from the processed side.
On the image below that sums up this post, you will see that I break down foods with the best options in green and the worst in red. There are a lot of different levels of processing…To keep it simple, I’ve broken it down into four different levels. If you follow the two rules above, the majority of your diet will come from the green list (which is by no means all-inclusive) with some of your daily foods coming from the yellow list. You will also occasionally indulge in foods from both the orange and red lists, which are more highly processed foods that contain little to no nutritional value.
Anyway, take a look at the infographic below for a quick guide to healthy eating!
Would you rather….
So yesterday at work one of the other trainers asked me a few “would you rather…” questions.
One was about which piece of equipment I would choose from the gym as a weapon if a zombie apocalypse happened…
And the other was about which I would rather give up, nuts or dairy.
Which got me to thinking, isn’t a healthy lifestyle really all about “would you rather?”
I mean think about it…If you could eat whatever your favorite food is every day and look and feel great and be healthy, wouldn’t you? Would you really eat vegetables or cut out gluten and processed foods if you didn’t have to?
BUT that isn’t reality.
The reality of it is you are always playing a sort of “would you rather” game. Would you rather eat that pint of ice cream and feel crappy later or eat a natural, whole foods meal and feel energized and good later?
Would you rather eat pizza and chips and not perform well or eat a burger without a bun and a salad and get in a great workout?
I personally would rather eat well and feel great, be healthy and perform well. That is why I eat well most of the time. Plus I do find that I enjoy all of the whole natural foods that I eat. I love grass-fed beef and fish and fruits and veggies (especially cauliflower for some reason haha).
BUT there are those cheat days when I WOULD RATHER indulge and even risk feeling super crappy the next day than eat healthy.
Eating well is a choice and sometimes it isn’t always an easy choice. When you are stressed or pressed for time or put into situations where the EASIEST thing to do is cheat, you are more tempted to just give in without really thinking about the consequences of your choices (and how you will feel tomorrow about them).
Eating well and working out isn’t easy (yes it is easier for some people than for others), but it is a choice.
So think about it…What would you rather do?
So off course not everything is healthy at the farmers market.
There are people selling baked goods and chips and popcorn. But at least everything is fresh, local or homemade!
Most of the food is from no further away than a few hours. And a lot of it, like the peaches, was literally just picked yesterday. No pesticides. No preservatives. Straight to from the farm to your table (or your belly if you are like me and want to eat it all right away).
I love the fact that everything is so fresh at the farmers market. I love that everything is local. I love that everything is grown without chemicals and evil farming practices. I love that everything is as natural as can be.
But most of all I love that everything tastes so darn good and is picked and sold exactly when it is in season.
In season….that isn’t really a word that concerns us much any more when it comes to foods.
I mean something is in season somewhere right? So we can always have it.
I do wonder though how much better off we’d be if we only ate foods that were in-season at that time. Granted it would stink depending on where you live, but still.
They do tend to taste a whole heck of a lot better when they are in-season and local. Just look at those peaches and strawberries. I can tell you for sure they are sweet and juicy and delicious!
What do you think? Do you try to eat fruits and veggies that are in-season? Or do you not care? And are you as obsessed with your local farmers market as I am?
Happy Saturday Man Bicepers! Sorry that I’ve been missing in action. Back to more regular posting this week!