Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fundamenals of Clean Eating (Part 2)

Last Post I began talking about methods of eating that have worked for me in my weight loss and athletic efforts. I want to continue that conversation and invite you to try a few recipes and eating changes that may kick start a more wholesome lifestyle.

Here are concerns I hear from those trying to change:

I don't want to deprive myself of the things I like.
Let me be clear on the "cheating". I "cheat" everyday. The indulgence in comfort foods is not a bad thing and they should be a part of your eating habits in order to make the big change to better eating as a whole. BUT, You have to change your idea of cheating. Indulgence should be a treat in small amounts. To blast your body with tortillas or ice cream or a huge bag of chips is not a cheat...it is a train wreck. Convert your "cheat" to a single meal once a week or a special something once a day. Eat one thing a day you REALLY love. No matter what it is, just do it (enjoy it, eat the portion, savor the flavor and texture). Then stop. Reset to your healthier eating again! That is the success.

Clean eating seems really boring and limited. I don't want to eat the same things everyday.
Think about your daily diet now. How often do you have the meals you prepare or buy outside the home? Chances are, you eat the same 4-5 things over and over anyway...the difference? They are not portioned correctly or they are just not nutritionally good for your body. Yes, clean eating usually ends up being the same 4-5 meals every week. Yes, it can get boring just like any other nutrition habit. Would you rather continue with your comfort level where it is with your nutrition or would you like to make a change here or there? There are thousands of clean meals on the Internet that are quick and easy. I bet you can find a few that are really tasty! Bacon makes everything better.
My easy and excellent Salsa

I want quick results.
You will read a ton of claims from pills and nutrition supplements that promise fast weight loss. Clean eating boasts the same claims based in sugar and processed food reduction. Most people who switch to clean eating see a weight loss of 5-7 pounds in the first week without the aid of pills or processed chemicals tricking your body to lose water. After the first week, if you are consistent, you can see a weight fluctuation of 1-2 pounds a week. This is a healthy rate of weight loss. If you don't see those changes, all hope is not lost! A nutrition guru can help shed some light of how to improve results.

I don't want to have to think too much so I just buy prepared meals.
It is a daunting task to try and figure out what to eat.
Remember, when getting started, you need to put meals together with protein, fats, and good carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables. When you do this, you can eat till you are full and not have spikes in hunger later. when a plateau occurs, you can seek help to take it to the next level! But start somewhere easy...the basics.
If you really just want to buy prepared meals, go to a company that specializes in clean eating. There are tons of local catering companies developing prepared meals just for you. Google it.
Paleo Shrimp n' grits

The prep work required of clean eating takes too long and takes a long time to clean up.
Yes. It takes a long time. Prior planning goes a long way. This is the main factor preventing results. Not the ability to hold off eating junk! It is up to you to plan a meal, have a solution, and follow through with your nutrition change.
-Always have a clean snack on hand.
-Take a day to prep salsa, cold proteins like chicken breast for salads, and cut cold veggies for easy sides.
-Buy nut butters, almonds, prepared guacamole, and lots of fruits in its own peel...like an apple.

Remember, you have a support system. I am here to help and I want to be a voice of hope and reason. You will see huge changes in your body by eating clean. You don't need a gimmick to get to a happy body. You will be a better athlete by fueling right! Just do it!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fundamentals Of Clean Eating (Part 1)

A friend recently told me she was sold on the idea of all this talk of "paleo" eating and wanted to get on the boat. Her big hang up was the burning question, "What the heck do I get to eat?"

I named my site Not So Paleo because I am not a stander on soap boxes. I am not a regimented eater. I am by no means a "dieter". I wanted a little corner of the Internet to call mine and generally attract attention to the awesomeness of my ego. I also want to help. So many folks who run blogs try to fancy themselves as dietitians with all the answers when in fact, anyone with enough time and know how can learn the ins and outs of sounding credible about nutrition. Anyone can technically be a nutritionist because it is not a recognized term of official-ness.

Call me a nutrition enthusiast with a lot of time and personal experience on what works for me (and a ton more in what does not!). Fortunately, what works for me is backed by science and countless hours of real and credible research that I will not bore you with because it's just a little silly to think you want to read more regurgitated snore fest material.

So, you want to get healthier huh? Probably you want to lose weight and have more energy? AND most likely, this is not your first attempt to do those things.

Here are a few things to know:

1. Sugar is really bad. It's like a gateway drug for crappy eating cycles and it screws up everything in your body.

2. Processed food in general has a ton of sugar.

3. Real food is simple and cheaper than processed food but takes more time to prep and clean up after. If you eat real food you won't over do it with sugar.

4. Water comes in many forms and hydration should not include sugar in any way.

5. There are really only three food groups: Fats, Carbohydrates, and Protein. You need a solid amount of all three in equal parts to function as a human.

Lets talk for realz about these first few ideas...

If you skipped the little movie, go watch it now. It pretty much explains everything in a super fantastic way.
When you skip sugar, you also skip the triggers in your body that cause the sugar rush and crash that keep your cravings for more junk going. If you lose sugar for only a few days you will see what I am talking about. You won't have the compulsion to eat that tub of ice cream any more...weird but true.

Sugar is in everything. EVERYTHING!! I cheat everyday. I have a beer (sugar), or I have a scoop of nutella (sugar), or I grab a few little chocolates like kisses or treasures. After those first few days of sugar detox, its really all you need to feel like you are having a treat. Long gone are the whole pints of ice cream or dozen donut days.

What is real food and where can I get it?
Real food is simple. It comes in its own package. You can find it at the perimeter of any grocery store and it rarely has a coupon. Usually there is no branding or cartoon commercial icons on the product. You can't get it at any fast food place...even Subway (I guess technically you can but it will cost you a ton and you wont get much in return).

Why do you think real food is cheaper? I just spent $5 on a freaking spaghetti squash...
Think about it, a box of cereal has 8-10 servings right? Most folks NEVER measure out that 1/2 cup serving. EVER. So lets figure you have three servings a sit-down. Even if you bought the store brand crappy frosted flakes it is riddled with sugar (the gateway food) and the box only lasts half the week. Then your hungry again in an hour (because of the sugar and lack of other nutrition sources) and you go get more food.

That $3 box of cereal causes you to want to eat more and more often. You pile on the candy bar and soda, the "healthy" protein shake, or the low fat yogurt right? By lunch you will be dumping in lots of expensive processed food and tons of sugar.

If I choose the .5 a bowl oats with strawberries (.35 a serving) and some nut butter .10-.15 cents a serving) and an egg (.18 cents) (I mix in an egg or two, it makes it creamy and I get my protein...I cook it of course and no it doesn't taste "eggy"). I can sweeten it with a tablespoon of maple syrup and I save calories and have a natural sugar source that wont crash my sugar receptors. I have a solid, clean, real food meal with all the needed nutrition sources for under a dollar. And without the sugar crash, I only need a little snack or something to carry me to lunch...if I'm hungry at all.

That spaghetti squash will cover a family of four through two meals...totally cheap source of carbohydrates and nutrients the body needs.

Don't drink your calories. It is all sugar. I'm not going to hide my problem with iced tea, coffee and most especially Diet Coke. I drink it all and lots of it. I never add sugar to my coffee. I add cinnamon or coconut milk...or I put it in my protein shake (its like an iced mocha!) My iced tea is a flavored caffeine rich hydration source. Sorry, there is not enough caffeine in there to cause it to be a diuretic. It is a hydrator on the whole.
As for the Diet Coke, I have no excuse. It is my vice, I like it and I drink lots of water too. Most likely the aspartime fairy will clip my wings eventually but I enjoy the fizz. There are worse drugs out there...like heroine.

The Food Group Trifecta
Hey there. You need three things in your diet besides water: Fat, Carbs, and Protein
You neet equal portions of all three to find the balance in your body. A portion of fat is the size of your thumb. Carbs (good carbs NOT SUGAR) are usualyy two hanfulls (one if it is fruit...because of the SUGAR), and protein is the palm of your hand.

I don't want to gnaw on some grissly fat...
Good fats help with bodily function and brain health. Omega-3 specificly reduces inflamation (from sugar) and keeps the body happy.
Fat sources that are good:
Almonds (try chocolate covered ones)
Nut butters
Olive oil

Carbs are bad arent they?
In addition to sugar and processed foods (sugar)
Fruits and Vegitables are carbohydrates and you need them! They are the big energy source for your body!
Guess what? You can cook them in butter or olive oil with garlic and salt. Yum!
Avoid processed foods, that includes bread and pasta. <----try spaghetti squash, you will like it. AND making zuchini noodles is fun.

Being Paleo means I eat endless piles of meat...right?
No, it means you eat a clean source of protein. Some folks like to get nuts and go grassfed and organic but keep is simple when you start right? It is hard enough giving up all that comforting processed food.
Protein = Animals

What about dairy?
Lots of people blah and blah about dairy. I say, treat it like a fat (because cheese is and so is sour cream)
and eat it in moderation. It comes from animals and animals are a clean source of food. Watch your "flavored" dairy. It is FULL of sugar. Avoid it.
These pancakes are nothing but eggs and bananas with cooked straberries on top...

Here are foods I eat and when I eat them:
Whey protein powder
Nut butters
Homeade salsa
almond milk

lunch meat
chicken breast (cubed in salad or in whole form)
Beef jerkey
Carrot sticks
Romain lettuce
bunless hamburgers
sweet potato
oil and balsamic
goat cheese
boiled eggs

frozen veg (KISS)
big salads
homeade dressings from oil and balsamic and spices
More homeade salsa
Ground beef
Ground lamb
Pork chops
Low sodium meatballs from the freezer section
Brussel sprouts
Grilled zuchini....
Any other green veg you can think of
cheesey sprinkles of feta or goat cheese

Part 2 will talk more about portions, meal combos and being realistic with yourself. For now, eat more real stuff, prep often, don't get lazy on your food. You are not a garbage desposal.