Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Foods

I am asked what DO YOU eat these days?  While I am still adding new foods to the routine and getting more consistent about plant based foods I thought I would give a high-level overview of where I am today.  Many of you may think, “How can he run a marathon and train everyday eating so little of “these” food?”  Well the answer is very very simple, when you eat the right foods you provide your body the nutrition it needs then you do not have to eat as much to satisfy your hunger.  Believe me I do not go hungry, count calories or any of that, I have learned to listen to my body, feed it when it is hungry, drink when I am thirsty and take note when I am not a 100% and look at my most recent food choices to consider what is not making me feel more energized!

Keep in mind I did NOT make all of these changes overnight.  It has been a journey, as I learn more about food, then I make changes along the way.  I will admit that I do still have a weakness for sweets, whether it is peanut butter M&M’s, sugar in my coffee, the occasional ice cream, or other deserts, it is all about consistency over the long haul!

Water, Water Water!  Nothing will quench your thirst like pure water will.  I do drink coffee in the morning (working on cutting this one out) but I avoid any other drinks throughout the day except water (sometimes with lemon), coconut water or fresh squeezed juice.  No concentrates for me, the juices that are packaged have been cooked and devoid of their natural benefits.  Packaged juices normally contain added sugar/fructose and are very acidic due to the pasteurization process.  I also avoid sports drinks, even while I am training.  I never had a Gatorade or similar drink while training or running my marathon.  As a side note, the whole 8 glasses of water a day theory is a result of our diet.  If we eat foods that are plant based then we can listen to our bodies and drink when we are thirsty.  When we are told to drink this much water no matter what, it is because we eat foods devoid of natural water, i.e. eat more fruits and veggies to stay hydrated! 

Breakfast:  I always eat fruit in the morning – period!  I will have a cup of coffee, especially if I am headed to the gym or going for a run, I find the caffeine helps to get me going.  My fruit choices include apples, bananas, grapes, melons, strawberries and oranges.  Fruit is God’s perfect food, it contains many of the nutrients our body needs, it is very high in water so it helps the body cleanses itself and it takes very little energy to digest it.  Many of the fruits out there are zero calories to our bodies, meaning it takes as many calories to digest the fruit as it contains.  Be aware, fruit should really only be eaten by itself.  Mixing fruit with other foods, especially cooked or packaged foods create a toxic environment in our stomachs.  The fruit, which is readily digestible, becomes acidic and ferments in our gut if it is slowed down by our bodies digesting other foods at the same time.  Just look at how quickly an apple turns brown – now just imagine mixing an apple with scrambled eggs and letting it sit for an hour…….YIKES right?  Fruit should also be avoided as a desert after dinner for the same reasons above.

Lunch: Well this one really depends on my day.  If I am out with customers or eating out then I normally eat cooked veggies, salads and potatoes.  I avoid all meats, including fish.  Look at it this way, if it poops then it is meat and that includes fish!  You may think this is hard to do, but I have yet to find a restaurant (not counting fast food) that does not have grilled/steamed veggies, potatoes and salads.  Your best bet is to eat the greenest salad on the menu, i.e. mixed greens or spinach over iceberg.  Choose vinaigrettes over creamy dressings; have them hold the eggs, cheese, and bacon.  If possible, choose grilled veggies over smothered or creamy ones.  Limit the butter and other toppings on potatoes.  Try salsa on potatoes, it is an excellent topping.

If I am not eating out, then I usually stick with more fruit, nuts, or cliff bar for lunch.  If you need more than this, then add some beans, rice or pasta to help fill you up.

Dinner: this one changes depending on what is going on.  At home, I will eat some of the following choices:  Beans, rice, grilled veggies, potatoes, pasta with marinara, homemade veggie pizza, fresh breads, and salads.

Snacks: My snacks include fruit, cliff bars (or other similar options that are not processed with lots of sugar and flour), nuts, popcorn, dried fruit etc.

What to avoid:  While this could be a long list, I will just say this, if it is packaged then be cautious.  Your focus should be on fresh foods, those given to us by God naturally.  Our government has allowed the food industry in to tricking us – if you doubt me then consider ketchup is now be considered a vegetable and french fries are counted as a potatoes meeting some dietary requirements.  If you can focus on a plant based diets, no meats or animal products, several things will happen.  You will lose weight, feel better, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your chances of chronic illness such as heart diseases, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.!!!  

Our medical community is just now making the correlation to diet and many chronic diseases.  Consider for a moment who funds the training, journals and the massive advertisements?  Drug and food companies……and do drug companies make money by telling you to eat better?  Do they benefit from you being healthy?  I am not trying to be paranoid but just think about it and make your own conclusions.

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