Life can get away from a person. Quickly we can succumb to our fast paced society. Eating food that requires little preparation, filled with chemicals and preservatives, hurrying on to our next meeting, our next workout, our next run. Eating protein bars and energy drinks that have ingredients that we really aren’t sure what they are, let alone pronounce. Endless amounts of processed foods easily at our disposal. We don’t have the time, it tastes bad, it’s too expensive. Endless excuses. The, “I wants”, far exceed our true needs. I’m not perfect, I’m guilty too, my college self would be appalled! I drifted from an athlete who ate tuna out of a can, apples and veggies to a person who would throw down 1/2 pound cheeseburgers after a 4 hour trail run because I could, until it caught up. I’ve looked in the mirror and hated who I’ve become. Awful race results, a body that can’t keep up with the demands of training, weighing too much, no energy. Burnt out. “I want to quit.”, “Why am I doing this?”. The answer was simple. Whether it’s our diet, our lifestyle, who we are as a person and how we treat others. You can change, I can change. I won’t quit because in my heart I want it bad, real bad, and I won’t stop till I get it.
*** Disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist, or physician. This is something that has worked for me, try at your own risk. I am not responsible for any complications you may have if following this program. ***
So what I did was went back to the basics, the food I ate in college, real food. I got a couple of friends to join me and work on optimal nutrition together. That whole thing about strength in numbers? It’s true! I’m only eating real food, nothing with added sugar, no weird preservatives, even trying to forego beer! These foods are all HEALTHY, REAL FOODS. Also, there are foods that can cause inflammatory effects on the body, and some that can mess with hormone balances and make you tired and not performing optimally. These foods are being avoided for 30 days, and reintroduced one at a time down the road. What I’m following is sort of a hybrid diet of Paleo and whole 30, with a few additions. So for lack better words, I will call it The Ultra Diet 🙂
So here is a short list of the types of food I am eating: Veggies, Nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews only), Fruit, Eggs, Seafood, Poultry and other red meats, olive oil and coconut oil, steel cut oats, and rice. Below is a shopping list courtesy of the Whole 30 program. I use everything on this list, but add in rice, and oats. I have done so knowing that it works well with my body in previous experiments. I recommend following the Whole 30 program, and at the end of the 30 days adding in one HEALTHY item (quinoa, brown rice, etc.) at a time and see how it reacts with your body and energy levels. Eliminating sugar is hard, don’t cheat, don’t have any, just do it cold turkey. In a week you will feel changes in your body. Two weeks in cravings will start to go away. The important thing is to wrap your head around the fact that food is fuel. You can make plenty of tasty food out of this list, but try to disassociate food from being an item of pleasure.
Shopping List by the Whole30 Program
Foods that I’m not eating: Anything with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, no dairy, no grains (except oatmeal and rice), no legumes, no gluten, no alcohol.
It’s hard to be perfect, but this is my every day goal! For 30 days you can try with all your might and nail all of these foods, if I can do it so can you. After that there may be times when it just doesn’t work out and you eat something not in the, “list”. That’s okay, get back on track and remember that real food builds big engines. Don’t let a cheat meal turn into a cheat day, or worse!
Thanks for reading!