Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eating Healthy Isn't All That Complicated

We make eating well out to be much more complicated than it is.  Here's the big secret: 


This is the new food pyramid.  I eat as much as I want up to the third row of the pyramid.  If you eat a lot of veggies, legumes and fruits your stomach will be full of fiber and nutrients.  This signals to your body that you are full.  Unlike eating food weighed down with lots of sugar, fat etc. when you eat healthy food your body loses the desire to stuff itself.  Think about it this way: Your stomach is a container.  When the food that we eat is very concentrated in fat, calories and sugar your stomach does not become full, this is why we stuff ourselves.  We have a ton of calories in our stomach but the stretch receptors are not activated, so we do not feel full.    On the other hand, when you fill your stomach with very low calorie, fibrous food like all of the things listed above your stomach gets full and you stop eating naturally.  

It can be difficult to start this pattern of eating, but once you get started it becomes much easier.  Eat way larger portions of any of the things above than you are used to.  Eat as much of that as you want, just avoid cooking with oils and butter.  For example, yesterday I had:

Breakfast: 1 mango, 1 tin of blackberries, 1 banana, 2 tblsp. chia seeds, walnuts
Lunch: Leftover Quinoa with mushrooms, butternut squash & walnuts
Snacks: A handful of wheat thins, a fruit and nut bar and a couple handfuls of fruit/nut trail mix.
Dinner: 8 ball zucchini stuffed with veggies cooked in a bit of olive oil, tomato sauce & pesto, a bit of goat cheese and an egg on top.  On the side 3 slices whole grain bread, a large helping of the stewed veggies (zucchini, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, onion).
Dessert: Peanut butter, honey & banana sandwich on whole grain bread.

This was a pretty heavy eating day for me, I was really hungry, but I kept it pretty healthy.  Everything I ate gave me nutrients that help my body function better, there were no gratuitous calories.  You just have to learn to build your meals in a new way.  Fruits are the center of lunch, veggies/legumes are the center of lunch & dinner.  Throw some lean meat in there if you want.  The key isn't necessarily eating vegan or vegetarian, it's eating things with a high nutrient contect and a low caloric content.  A vegan that eats a lot of non grain carbs as the basis of their diet will be a lot more unhealthy than someone who some meat every day but also eats a lot of fruits and veggies.  And that's my spiel on healthy eating.  It's common sense. 
And here's the key: The more you eat healthy, the more you lose your taste for unhealthy things.  When you start eating healthy, unhealthy foods lose their appeal and don't make you feel good.  It's all about inertia.  Start working out, start eating healthy and it all snowballs until it becomes a force of habit.  It gets easier, a lot easier.  It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle choice.  For more information about it, read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman or go to his website at

My favorite quote of the week: Real strength is breaking a chocolate bar apart with your bare hands and then eating only one small piece. 

I've just been staying off the sweets altogether because one does not simply consume only one oreo. 

I've been slacking off on my running since Sunday.  It's difficult trying to balance crossfit and running, especially trying to do crossfit on my own since I haven't been able to go after work.  It's a lot harder to stay motivated and push yourself during the workout without other people doing it as well.  I've been making up my workouts or basing them on exisiting workouts since I don't know the form for a lot of the crossfit exercises.

Monday: 10 rounds total with 2 min rest in between each round:
4 rounds 1 km bicycle
3 rounds 500m row
3 rounds 400m run
It might sound easy, but I pushed each of those intervals to max effort.

Tuesday:  30-30-20-20-10-10 with five pushups in each set
Walking Lunges
Abmat butterfly situps
Kettleball swings (15 lbs)

I was exhausted after work yesterday, so I neglected running.  I'm trying to learn to listen to my body and give it rest when it needs it.  No way I'm getting sick before Greece.  We leave on Friday for our Santorini/Athens trip!

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