I mentioned a few posts back about my brainstorming for the next BIG THING I want to do. A lot of my plans usually revolve around new work outs, races, or funny physical obstacle challenges like the Urban Assault & Warrior Dash. But if you haven’t gotten this memo, it’s a good thing you are here today: the biggest predictor to whether your journey to become more fit and healthy is successful? What you are eating.
Diet (and I don’t mean cutting calories or counting calories or whatever when i say this word – I literally mean the food you are putting in your mouth) plays a HUGE role in meeting your health goals. Of course, you can’t build muscles if you aren’t working out – but if your goal is to get some extra pounds off, you really should spend more time thinking about your diet in general. What types of food are you eating? How big are your portions? What variety of food are you eating?
I’ve known this fact for awhile now. It’s not new information for most of us, but if you are like me – sometimes I would rather work out than to change how I eat. Growing up on a “fast food diet” – it’s been a real challenge for me to improve my eating behaviors. At one point in my life – it was perfectly normal to eat out for dinner 3 or 4 times a week. My husband has been a huge help as I’ve tried to put on the STOP SUCKING AT EATING HEALTHY saddle over the last few years and we do a LOT of making our own meals and eating at home now.
Despite being better at eating at home – I’ve felt a nagging sensation for the last little while that I could do even better and maybe that would help me see the results I want. What if I spent half the energy on what I was eating that I did on the workouts I did? I admit that I’ve fallen victim to the low fat/low calorie/non fat food products that are on every aisle of the grocery store. I feel extreme guilty buying the full fat version of anything. FAT IS BAD! Right?
Or maybe it isn’t, after all. What if fat is not the REAL enemy, after all? What I’m really starting to
understand and internalize as it relates to my health goals is that a lot of that low fat, non fat, low calorie “food” really isn’t food in the first place. It’s like lab food. Processed with ingredients added. Ugh. What have I been doing all these years?
I think a lot of people who are my age probably would say the same thing…it’s how we’ve always eaten. How do we learn to eat? From the people we grow up with – for better or worse. But I’d say my parents didn’t eat the same stuff that we did growing up, right? Because it just wasn’t available. Today’s grocery stores are WAY different than those of yesteryear (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence).
When I think about meals at my grandma’s house growing up – it was always green beans from the farm, gravy made from scratch, even biscuits made from scratch. She didn’t make desserts from a box – it was all made from ingredients right there in her kitchen. And maybe these ingredients weren’t always full of awesome for you nutrients – but at least they were REAL foods, right?
So a lot has changed in the last 50 years or so when it comes to what we eat. How we eat. Where we eat. And my mind is like…over-floweth (I know it’s not a REAL word) with information I’ve been reading about this change and what I can do about it. What should I do about it?
I’ve definitely decided my next challenge after my TurboFIRE summer push series is complete (4 weeks from now) – will be a Food related challenge. And I’m placing my bets that the challenge is going to be about eating LESS processed foods which includes moving away from those fake non fat/low fat products that I’ve been eating for my whole life. This is scary – which is why I’m spending the next 4 weeks researching this topic so I can be educated on the choices I make – not just for the challenge, but for the rest of my life. As I research, I’ll share it here with you too, in case you are interested!
Some of the resources I’ve been digging into lately for information and opinions on this topic include:
100 Days of Real Food – A family started out with a pledge to eat real food (nothing processed) for 100 days – and this is a blog with lots of resources and meals, recipes, etc
Nerd Fitness – Specifically some of his opinions/examples of Paleo Diet got me thinking about the way we eat
Michael Pollan – He has several books about the change in our diets over the past century, and promotes eating real food. I’m thinking of reading a few of his books, starting with: In Defense Of Food
Eating Rules: Funny enough I actually found his site before a friend told me about 100 Days of Real Food – turns out the guy who writes Eating Rules is actually on the blog team at 100 Days. Small world!
40 Day Clean Eating Challenge – This is a challenge that one of the blogs I follow is doing currently. Very cool!
Food, Inc – This is a documentary I plan to watch this week. It’s available on instant stream with Netflix if you subscribe!
But I’m still doing my research and looking for information that will help be an informed eater. I think I’ve nailed down the working out thing – I know how to incorporate that into my daily life, but I’ve just not spent enough time on the food part. I would REALLY love to be done with calorie counting. Ultimately, it’s just not one of those things I want to do for the rest of my life. If i could find a balance in eating REAL food that is nutritious and healthy for me and keeping up my work outs – perhaps that is the right path for me. And it sounds like a more sane lifestyle than counting up calories every single day.
Sorry – I know this blog today has been a bit of a roller coaster, but I’m wondering if anyone else out there has experimented with this and what their ideas are – or have you read a book or follow a blog that might be helpful to me? Would love for you to share in the comments section below!