A balanced diet is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. We should seek to adopt a diet that we can reasonably stick to for the long run – not just temporarily for a few weeks or months.
Eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, and seeds and keep everything else in moderation/to a minimum.
Things to keep in mind:
- Choose fresh/clean/organic produce, preferably no more than 3 things on the list of ingredients. The cleaner the better.
- Eat regularly, 3-4 meals per day. Don’t skip meals.
- Eat carbohydrates, protein, and essential/healthy fats every meal.
- Moderate portions. One serving containing:
- Protein – size of your fist
- Essential fats – size of your palm
- Fruit and vegetables – one half of your plate
- Water – drink plenty of water
- When you cheat – choose a moderate portion of something you love and enjoy it to the fullest. Then, return to your regular diet.
It is a general misconception that in order to attain good/great physical shape one must drastically reduce calorie intake. If you want to get into shape you must train (hard) and stick to a balanced nutrient dense diet. A great way to achieve this goal is something called Whole 9 Life which begins with an introduction, so to speak, called Whole 30.
WHAT IS WHOLE 30?
Whole 30 is a 30 day period where you follow the instructions to a tee. Once the 30 days are over you adopt the Whole 9 lifestyle, based on the same instructions as Whole 30, but tailored to your preferences and occasional “Cheat Meal”.
Consumption of certain foods (e.g. refined sugar, cereals, dairy products, and legumes) can be having a negative affect on our health and wellbeing without us even being aware of it. Our energy is low or even non-existent and we experience aches and pains which could be linked to overuse or injury. We find it difficult to loose weight and might be suffering from some sort of skin disease, digestive problems, allergies, and even fertility problems. Too often we turn to medication when the solution can be directly linked to our diet, even though it is “wholesome/healthy”.
How do we know if the food we are consuming is causing these effects? That is where Whole 30 enters the picture and we eliminate those factors. We exclude all foods that are high in calories yet hold low nutritional value and known to cause inflammation and digestive problems. Whole 30, one can say, reboots our system, increases our metabolism while reducing inflammation and all those negative effects our dietary can be causing.
HOW DOES WHOLE 30 WORK?
What we want to eat:
Real food, meat, seafood, eggs, PLENTY of vegetables, some fruit, plenty of healthy fats from fruit, oils, nuts, and seeds. We are looking for produce which has as few ingredients as possible – the cleaner the better.
What to AVOID:
Avoiding the following foods will result in us regaining a healthy metabolism, reduced inflammation. Last, but not least, we will learn how these foods affects our bodies.
- Avoid all added sugar and sweeteners. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave, stevia, xylitol, etc. According to Whole 30 this is all sugar. Briefly, the argument is that all this has the same mental and physical effects on us, the only difference is that some only contain fewer calories.
- No alcohol – in any form – not even for cooking. This, of course, also includes tobacco and/or tobacco products.
- Avoid all cereal. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, grains and rice. This also includes products such as quinoa. Note that it is important to read the labels carefully when we do our grocery shopping since many of these items are frequently added to various products.
- Avoid legumes. That includes all beans, e.g. black beans, red beans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts (that also means peanut butter – Almond butter is, however, fine).
No dairy products. That means cow milk and goat milk, and any product derived from milk e.g. yogurt (Greek yogurt also) and sour cream. Exception is Icelandic butter and cream. The argument is that the milk proteins has been, Casein and Whey, have mostly been removed to leave only the healthy fat. Keep in mind, however, that moderation is key.