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 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.

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