Friday, April 29, 2011

Just what exactly do you eat?

(I did eat one of these - whole wheat banana muffins (with honey) because the hubby made them)!

What a loaded question!  And one that I hear so often - not only from clients, but from friends, and even strangers (especially at the grocery store).  I thought I'd share some of my food philosophy with you and even a peek into what I eat.  Keep in mind, that I am very disciplined with my food, just as I am with training.  It helps that I have a bit of OCD mixed with ADD and that I treat neither with medication.

My philosophy after years of struggling with yo-yo diets, overeating, binging and even a purge now and then, is that food is for fueling my body to do what God created it to do.  Food is no longer my emotional go to friend, but purely fuel.  The less fuel I input, the better I feel (for most people, this tends to be opposite).  For me, this realization didn't kick into until 3 years ago.

I saw a show that talked about overweight people who struggled with finding a sense of "fullness".  It shared that some people didn't understand the feeling and it was because they lacked a certain enzyme, (or something scientific like that) that simply didn't make their brain register that their stomach was full.  So they just continued to eat.  It talked about how most people get to the full point and know it, yet choose to still eat; while others might chose to not eat more.  I looked at my husband and exclaimed (no really, I exclaimed) "I've never felt full!"  And began the journey of finding out what a portion was, what food really was meant for, and how to teach my body to register a "full feeling".

Through that journey, I discovered Clean Eating.  It is simply eating food in their most natural, healthy state as God created them.  It is about using honey and agave to sweeten food as they are natural, and using natural sugars (such as those food in our fruit) instead of man-injected sugars (cookies, cakes, sweet rolls, etc) to satiate our sweet tooth.  It is about figuring out what your body really needs for a run, a strength training session, or laying around the house and sticking to just those foods.

Clean Eating means cutting out processed foods, preservatives, and for me, white foods (pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, etc).  Making wise choices (Greek yogurt vs a sweet yogurt), and enjoying food, instead of depending on it to solve our problems.  Tosca Reno has created a great recipe book, website, and basically empire based on this whole theory of clean eating.   I encourage you to google either Clean Eat or Tosca Reno for more information.

In short, my favorite foods and/or grocery list looks something like this:

Fruits & Veggies

colored peppers (red, green, yellow, orange)


berries (straw, blue, black)

frozen fruit (by the bag fulls)
green bananas
green beans
edamame (one of the favs!)
canned tomatoes

Dairy Products

greek yogurt (by the tons)

creamer (fat free french vanilla - my vice)
skim milk (for the fam - If i have to drink milk,  prefer vanilla soy)

Grains & Cereals

whole grain oatmeal
fiber one cereal (which I have now given up in exchange for glutein free Chex)
vegetable fiber whole wheat bread
glutein free bread
whole wheat pasta

extra lean ground turkey breast - (unless we still have venison in the freezer)
chicken breast (your butcher will ground it  - no kidding!)
cans of tuna fish

This is pretty much a typical week long grocery list.  Some of my favorite snack foods are: Reduced Fat Peanut Butter, Nutella,  celery, berries, salsa (I use carrots, pepper strips or celery for dipping), homemade Kale chips (you can google a recipe), and PopChips.  I have recently discovered Peanut butter with Nutella on a whole wheat tortilla - a "job well done" treat for a long run!  Or what about - Pop chips and guacamole?  Black bean salsa & celery? Greek Yogurt, honey and frozen fruit!? Or my fave - greek yogurt & nutella?  Whole grain oatmeal and frozen berries?  The combinations for healthy snacking is endless - you just can't grab a bag of potato chips and munch down.  It just doesn't work.

Bottom Line:  Food is fuel.  It should be eaten as naturally as you can eat it - of course I cook our meat and fish but I don't cook vegetables, I eat them raw.  I don't eat a bunch of preservatives or foods with 14 letter ingredients that sound like science words in them.  I keep it simple.  I don't believe we should live without our favorite foods, I just believe we don't need to overindulge in them.  That we need to use food for the fuel that God created it to be instead of the comfort that we've created it to be.  You'll have to find your own personal balance with food.

btw, foods listed in green are foods I simply cannot live without!

And if you want the recipe for the amazing whole wheat banana bread (sweetened with honey), well, you'll have to ask the hubby for that!
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