Making Choices

Having so many choices in our food chain has made it difficult to understand what to eat and what not to eat. So to make life more simple for my clients I decided to make a list of foods to avoid 90% of the time and a list of foods to eat 90% of the time. The reason I use the 90% rule is to see results and be healthy you need to eat high quality food for the majority of your meals. I leave 10% wiggle room to enjoy foods that may not be good for you, but are oh so tasty to eat. I also am realistic that sometimes you may be in situations that hinder you from eating healthy. So below I have outlined the foods you will encounter.

What NOT to Eat

Start by eliminating all the processed food, grains, sugar and industrial oils

Let’s first start your journey to improve your health by getting rid of the “poison” that saturates our human food chain. Take a look at the list below to get a jump-start on fat loss, improved energy, and health.

  • Ditch grains: refined grains, whole grains, bread, pasta, muffins, biscuits, bagels, cereal, baked good, pancakes and anything made from flour. Please refer to the “Power Foods” list for expectable breads, pastas, and cereals such as sprouted grains.
  • Ditch Sugar: white sugar, candy, cake, cookies, pastries, milk chocolate bars, high fructose corn syrup, soda, milkshakes. If it is from a bakery, a factory, or a restaurant and is sweet, just avoid it.
  • Ditch vegetable oils and trans fats: corn oil, soybean oil, canola, sunflower/safflower, margarine, and shortening, anything with “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list.
  • Ditch all other junk foods, most of which encompass the previous three “food” categories: potato chips, crackers, “crisps,” Cheez-its.
  • Ditch fast food: Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. Don’t eat McDonald’s and think just because you removed the bun that it’s all good. Just say no to fast food. If you are in a jam and have to pick something, pick a grilled protein source like chicken, a salad with oil and vinegar, vegetables, and fruit. Most places are now offering these items.

The foods listed above are not meant to be in the human diet. Yes, there will be some times where these foods will be available and irresistible. Go ahead and indulge if you wish ONCE IN A WHILE. Just keep in mind how it will affect your body and your health goals. If you did just what I listed above, you are already on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

What To Eat

Eat the animals, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds our bodies are adapted to thrive on

Earth didn’t come with fast food, sugary beverages, grains, donuts, and packaged foods. Man made them! We simply got too smart, and figured out a way to make food cheaper and easier. It is now time to go back to our roots. Simple, whole foods that we can find in the wilderness. Hunt, fish, and gather is the name of the game. We now just hunt, fish, and gather at our super markets and farmers markets. Unfortunately those too have the bad stuff. Take a look at what Mother Nature intended us to eat, and what not to eat.

  • Eat animals: beef, lamb, bison, pork, poultry (and their eggs). Favor organic, grass-fed and pastured animals, which have better fatty acids and contain more vitamins and minerals (and taste better!).
  • Eat animals from the sea: salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, crab, shrimp, oysters, mussels, clams. Wild-caught fish are best, though farmed shellfish are usually raised exactly like wild shellfish and thus are fine. They provide a great protein punch, as well as valuable omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eat unlimited produce: leafy greens of all kinds, colorful plants, berries, apples, cruciferous vegetables, assorted fruits, roots, and potatoes.
  • Eat some nuts and seeds: macadamias, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds, and all of those as nut butters.
  • Stock spices and flavor your food up: keep plenty of herbs and spices on hand. Cumin, coriander, thyme, rosemary, sage, chili powder, mint, turmeric, and cayenne are a few of my favorites, but you can use anything else you like. Spices and herbs add flavor to dishes and prevent the breakdown of vital nutrients during cooking so that when you add spices or herbs, your food tastes better and is actually healthier for you.

written by JustinGrinnell B.S.,CSCS. Grinnell is the co-owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing. He’s also a regular contributor to Healthy & Fit Magazine and has several columns and vidoes on the Healthy & Fit Magazine Web site. You can reach him at 517.708.8828 or mystateoffitness.com.

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