When it comes to nutrition we are all apparently experts. We all have a sense of what we should and should not eat whether be hearing it from a friend, the TV, the internet or just very old outdated myths that you grew up with. No matter what you say you eat to someone more than likely they will tell you what they know and why it is bad for you or what was the latest they have heard. Take eggs for example: they went from being really good for you, to really bad for you, to they are okay for you as long as you only eat the egg whites and not the yolk. In my mind, I think it is all a bunch of hogwash. If you were like our paleo/primal ancestors, you would eat EVERYTHING of ANY food you came across and would not discard any of it. I honestly believe anything that comes from the wild, nature or animal should be eaten in all its entirety without any remorse for what the food may or may not do for your body. Yes, eggs are high in cholesterol, but they are also a good cholesterol that your body needs and can not function without. One of the interesting points I remember reading was that high cholesterol foods do not cause high cholesterol but more so the damage is caused by the oxidation that occurs when you eat too many grains or highly processed foods. The more bad unhealthy, processed foods you eat the higher your chances for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Stop eating C.R.A.P.
C.R.A.P is an acronym I came up with to help us eliminate all of the bad food choices we all have a tendency to ingest daily. In order to get to where we want to be health and weight wise we have to eliminate these from our eating lists.
C. Canola Oil. Canola oil is one of the biggest culprits in the downfall of our health today. Be very ware and use extreme caution because it is everywhere.
R. Refined. Refined sugar, refined flour, refined wheat, anything that says refined on it you do not need to put in your mouth
A. Alcohol. Alcohol is a big one to eliminate for most of us out there. We feel the need to drink to relax, to be social or to get away and drowned out the pain. Whatever the reason may be, alcohol is just empty calories adding to your waist line. Most alcoholic drinks are loaded with sugar and does a lot of damage to your kidneys and liver and not to mention how we all feel when we have had one too many.
P. Processed. Processed anything is pretty much just bad news all the way around. If it comes from a can, a box, or out of the freezer and gets thrown in the microwave then it more than likely is no good for you at all. Foods that have an exceptionally long shelf life and that can sit in your pantry, cupboard or freezer for a really long time without ever going bad should make you think twice about what it will do to your body. Processed foods include and are not limited to: cakes, candies, soda, bread, instant oatmeal, twinkies, top ramen, mac n cheese, cereal, chips, crackers, anything fast food, etc.
Now that we have eliminated the foods we should avoid lets talk about the foods we should enjoy. I truly believe if you want to be healthy, happy, energetic and feeling good that eating naturally is the way to go. I have been eating primal/paleo for the last 3 years and I am impressed with how much better I feel and look just by changing what I eat. I strongly believe we are meant to only eat natural foods like eggs, meats, nuts, vegetables and fruits. My energy is through the roof, my blood sugar never crashes down, I sleep great, I have great skin and also I never get sick. I have not been sick with the cold or the flu in almost 2 years and I believe I owe it all to what I put in my mouth. If you want to feel that way to then lets start eating C.L.E.A.N.
C. Complex Carbohydrates. Complex carbs are pretty much all of your vegetables. The more you can eat of all the different colors, the better off you will be. Taste the rainbow is how I like to look at it. Make sure you eat your red, blue, green, purple, yellow and white vegetables as much as you can. Try to incorporate them with every meal and you are on your way to a healthy body.
L. Lean Meats. All meats are great for you but if it is weight loss or body fat you are after then the leaner the meat the better. The less legs the better so fish, chicken and turkey would be the top dogs followed by the rest. Try not to completely eliminate the red meat all together because you would be missing out on a lot of great vitamins and iron if you did. Maybe only limit the red meats to once or twice a week.
E. Eggs. The whole egg. Like I said early, eggs are great. I think they are the perfect food because they are the perfect blend of fat, protein and vitamins. One egg contains about 60-70 calories and about 7 grams of protein. I generally have about 4 eggs in the morning with some spinach and mushrooms and it holds me over quite nicely. I think a lot of us, women included, could benefit from having at least 2 to 3 eggs a day.
A. All fruit. All fruits are fair game to eat. Sure some may be higher in sugar than others but all fruits are natural and should be enjoyed. The fruits that are your power players are most of your berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. These fruits have the most antioxidants in them are just tasty to eat. Be a little cautious with your fruits consumption if it is weight loss you are after and maybe only limit your fruit intake to once or twice a day. If you are like me and crave something sweet after dinner one of my favorite go to’s is a banana with some almond butter and honey. Yum yum.
N. Nuts (and seeds). Nuts are again one of the foods that get a bad rap. Just like with eggs, just because nuts are high in fat and you eat a lot of them, they will not make you fat. I can not stand this misconception. You do not get fat from eating fat, you get fat from eating too much and from eating too much sugar, not from fat. Almost all nuts are great for you except for peanuts. Peanuts are considered a legume and should be avoided including peanut butter. The top nuts to go for would be almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and macadamia nuts. Please do not be afraid of the calorie content either. A handful or two will be just fine.
If you want to make a change and get your body headed in the right direction then it all starts with you. You have to be willing to want to make the change, be disciplined and be 100% committed. Stop eating C.R.A.P and start eating C.L.E.A.N and you will be on your way to being a lean, mean, fighting machine.