Monday, July 26, 2010

What am I supposed to eat?

We are constantly bombarded by messages about how to eat and be healthy. Sparked by Crossfit and learning how to eat for better performance I began to take a deeper look at what is actually healthy and what is not. Did you know that the food pyramid created by the US Government was made up by politicians who needed a quick answer to Americans that were getting fatter and sicker?

So, how much of the information that you hear/read/see or think of as truth is actually true? Some of the latest buzz is that Stevia is healthy…but who says so and what proof do they have? Where is the information coming from? Did you know that the heart healthy claims on packaged foods are earned by the food company paying the American Heart Association to use a heart healthy tag line on their packaging? Makes you reconsider why you’re eating oatmeal every morning doesn’t it.

With all the misinformation out there, how do you know what you should eat, what actually is good for you, and what makes you healthier? The root cause of many chronic diseases: Heart Disease, High blood pressure, Dyslipidemia, Type 2 Diabetes and most cancer is excessive inflammation in the body. Eating things like grains, legumes, and dairy actually causes your body to attack itself, within your gut and intestines (where you digest your food) resulting in inflammation and reducing the ability to attack other foreign things that it should be spending its energy on instead of the food that you eat.

Now that I know to avoid the low fat craze, the detox diets, and what you think is truth -the question of what I should eat still remains. My searching has led me to a change the way I think about food and to make quality food choices that focus on fresh foods that aren't processed. So what do I eat?

What I Eat:
• Meats
• Seafood
• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Nuts
• Seeds

What I Don't Eat:
• Grains: Bread, flour, rice, pasta, etc
• Legumes (beans)
• Dairy
• Processed Foods
• Sugar

What I've outlined above is where my food choices have evolved over the past year through the start of my nutrition research sparked by a Crossfit "No Sugar" challenge. I've evolved from cutting sugar out of my food choices to adopting an unweighed and unmeasured Paleo/Primal diet. My general rule of thumb is to try not to eat anything with more than 5 ingredients listed (if its packaged) and if you can't pronounce the ingredients...then don't eat it either. I realize it sounds like this limits what you can eat - but that is far from the truth. By focusing on fresh and quality food choices, I have lots of variety, get an abundance of vitamins and minerals, and feel great throughout the day since I don't have insulin spikes and crashes related to processed foods and grains. Are you ready to experience life without energy crashes and food coma? It's as easy as changing what you fuel your body with.

Here is a sample breakfast for me, notice the color...what colors are your breakfast?


  1. What's in the cup? Do you drink coffee? Without cream or sugar?

  2. @mudrickr - Yes its coffee in the cup (with caffine!) I drink it black and limit it to about 2 cups a day usually in the morning. As long as you don't overdo the caffine and feel anxious/stressed by it, its fine to keep in your diet.

  3. I've heard that things like greek yogurt and cottage cheese are a healthy options, and substitutes for the fats and proteins in nuts (which some of us are allergic to). For example this morning I had a hard boiled egg and greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries for breakfast. Do you think these should be avoided altogether or maybe just eaten in moderation?

  4. Very clever title and interesting writing with much merit. Without going "against the grain," I am wondering if you get any vitamin D from the foods you eat? Knowing you, I am sure they are in there somewhere!!

  5. @Kelly - Dairy is another topic I plan to tackle soon through the blog. As for a substitute for nuts, since they are not very high in protein you can easily supplement the protein with another source (like 2 eggs instead of 1) and you can substitute the fat in nuts through things like coconut, coconut milk, avocado, and oils (olive oil and coconut oil)

    @Mom Pappas Vitamin D is actually one of the few vitamins that is difficult to get through any food, even supplemented in grains. In short the best way to get it is through sun exposure or supplementation (e.g. in the winter). Check out the post on Constantly Varied that covers Vitamin D for a short video

  6. also, nut protein is nothing like meat protein. thanks for the shout on Vit. D LP!