By Timothy O'Shea of Maker of Giddy Up Bars. It seems like a shame that food has become so darn complicated. But that's life, and as we "advance" as a species things can get a little tricky. The more we know, the more questions we seem to have. Plus, sprinkle in the fact that there is BIG money in...hmm... lets play nice and call it... miscommunication. For example, "The 'Gluten Free' Egg!" Or my all time favorite, "Carbohydrate Free Ice!" It's funny for those in the know, unfortunately for a lot of people "Carb-Free Ice" is an example of "good info to have." The Reality: Millions of people need to eat. If over night the world went on a "clean" eating system, Utopia would NOT ensue. Chaos would. However, that does not mean we as individuals cannot make smart choices, when it suits us. As an example, at our local store you can get six, yes six, red non-orgnic peppers for 4.99. or you can get roughly 1.5 organic red perres for the same price. What's a person to do? Buy one when they have more than let their family duke it out? I look at it this way, our brains have figured lots of stuff out through the course of evolution. We have created some wonderful, some not-so-wonderful, and some flat out awful things. For me, some of the silly food items that the masses consume fall into the not so wonderful category. But we have them, and nobody lives for ever, so if you are a good person and you want hoho's,...giddy-up! They're delicious! Ideally, you would see the big picture, not eat them too often, and realise you would feel better each day without them and change the way you satisfy that hoho craving with some raw honey and sprouted almond butter ( man, I sound ike a nerd saying that)! For now, yes, you are not going to live forever and no "superfood is gonna give you that "get out of death free" card. My goal is not necessarily to live forever, not even to burn long ( in fact routinely punishing and pushing myself through ultra/s and mountainous bike races is probbaly slashing my life span a bit), but to burn bright. For me, this is why I believe in cutting the out crappy food.
My theory is simple: Eat what you want, be a good person, and all will be good. But if you makes some changes, I assure you will feel better, have more fun, and burn brighter each dayIt has been said plenty: " think of food as fuel," "eat to live, don't live to eat," " you are what you eat," I like to say, "Eat what you should, not what you crave, and soon you will crave (I promise) what you should." It's a mouthful, but so is a a bucket of leafy greens, so I'm sticking to it! So, for those that scroll down to the bullet points, here are my a few nicely organized food rules I pass along to my clients:
- I dont believe in a panacea, super foods and diets.
- I only exclude junk food (again, not juding the people that flock to the trends trends out there, but I dont believe in excluding any food groups from my diet. Of course, if you have a clear medical condition, avoid what you must.).
- Eat like a clock, I tell folks who are watching what their weight, try to eat at roughtly the sames times, the same foods, out of the same containers, every day... that makes dialing up/down the calories easy, and you dont need to be measuring food or using a scale, which btw, is just NOT cool and can get obsessively out of hand.
- Ideal body composition? Do the proper sports specific training (including strength). Eat about 1.5-2 grams of quality protein per kilo, and then get your body fat down to about 5% (higher for women). But above all, whatever your body weight is, if you're trying, and you're healthy, it's a good body weight for you!
- If you are under stress or not getting enough sleep your screwed when it comes to losing weight..it will be almost impossible! get enough sleep and do what every mental gymnastics you need to to reduce stress, for sure, easier said then done!
- Start with vegetables and quality grains. *Note on grains--if it's an easy day of training or even just an average day, you can greatly reduce or skip the grain.
- Add lean protein
- Add healthy fat