It is true that exercise is important, but the key to achieving all of our goals is Nutrition. We’ve all heard the old adage, “You are what you eat”; and it’s the truth. How we fuel our bodies can affect skin complexion, pain/inflammation (hello arthritis and auto-immune diseases!!), performance, sleep, mood, energy levels; as well as some of the big ones, heart disease and diabetes.
There is no true “One Size Fits All” prescription for food. The key is sticking with one strategy to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Taking smaller steps towards a new and healthier lifestyle will prove to be much more rewarding than making a drastic change to your diet (often difficult to maintain). Consistency is the key! Practice perseverance when those enticing sugary, greasy, and salty foods come flaunting their stuff in your face! FACT: you’re guaranteed to fail at meeting your goals when you make NO changes to your habitual eating patterns.
Nutrition: We recommend the Paleo Diet for achieving your body composition, performance and health/longevity goals. Here’s the break down: Eat like our Paleolithic ancestors; lean meats, vegetables, fruits (limited), nuts and seeds…NO sugar, dairy, grains, or legumes. Here are some links to give you an idea of what it is all about. www.thepaleodiet.com
http://robbwolf.com/ (check out his book The Paleolithic Solution)
You can google the diet and see what comes up. There’s a ton of info out there, so it’s important to always question the source.
Step 1) Go over the food list and see what you like. Figure out how you’d like to prepare them within the guidelines. Don’t know how to cook? Take a class or look up paleo recipes on the Internet.
Step 2) Plan your meals on paper (or log). Meals should include a source of protein, fat and carbohydrate (yes, vegetables are a carbohydrate, cavemen didn’t eat bread!).
Step 3) Use your meal plans to devise a shopping list and GO SHOPPING! Make sure you check labels of any sauces and processed food (sausage, hot dogs, etc) -many of them sneak unhealthy ingredients. Be Careful of Catch Phrases like: “all natural, low fat, no added sugar!”
Step 3) Preparation!!! In today’s fast paced world, it is easy to get caught up in the day. Get ahead of the game. Always have food with you, and eat consistently throughout the day to fight those “crash cravings”.
-Cook big meals with several portions and eat the leftovers for the next few days.
-Schedule your meals. Start small with 1 meal a day being paleo, then gradually add more until your diet is completely paleo.
-Find quick foods that can hold you over in a pinch. My favorites: Just roast beef, organic apple, and walnuts.
*Something to keep in mind: try & vary foods in your diet to give you a wide nutritional base. You may want to supplement calcium with vitamin D3 and fish oil (great anti-inflammatory properties), and b vitamins for vegetarian diet.
Fish Oils- (I buy the ultimate liquid) http://www.omega-direct.com/
Don’t get too intimidated with all the information. Just read up, analyze your diet, and compare the differences. Remember this famous quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”-Einstein