In my original blog post, Strength, it’s important, I said that one of the topics that I wanted to discuss and share about is nutrition. I think it is extremely important to understand nutrition but also to be able to apply this knowledge in your food choices. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you don’t actually buy the right groceries or the right meal at a restaurant, what’s the point? The fact of the matter is, talking about good nutrition and practicing good nutrition are two entirely different things. There are so many directions and tangents I could take this post to but I will try to keep it focused on what I would call the “low hanging fruits” for losing weight and living healthier. I may not focus on all the specifics right now but hopefully I will go into more depth in the future.
Usually when people talk about nutrition their goal is to lose weight. My goal is to be healthy, which might also mean that I need to lose some weight. However, I am currently trying to get bigger and stronger which is rather contrary to weight loss but not at the expense of my health. I believe that my body is a temple, which stems from my belief in Jesus. Even if you don’t believe what I believe, please understand that you only have one body and you should try to protect it. Living healthier means that you can live longer, feel better, enjoy life more, and even have lower doctor bills (WOOHOO!)
So what are these healthy low hanging fruits? (No, not those oranges) Let’s erase and replace that crappy unhealthy food for something healthier!
Tier I Fruits
- Erase all the soda! This stuff is killer and you can google a million reasons that it’s deadly but let’s start with this simple fact; It’s sugar, which is probably going to be converted into fat and they are empty calories. All I mean by empty calories is there is no nutritional value to what you are drinking! Also, wouldn’t you want to eat your calories instead? Me too.
- Replace with Good ol’ fashioned water. Boring, right? Well the truth is that your body needs water desperately to operate and function well. It also doesn’t have to be gross tasting. Add lemon, lime, slices of strawberry or orange. I personally love Joe Defranco’s meathead lemonade. It’s comprised of water, lemon juice and pink Himalayan sea salt, which is filled with micronutrients. This is essentially zero calories and actually has a nutritional benefit. Pretty cool, huh? Check out Joe DeFranco at DeFrancosTraining for training information and nutrition
- Erase those fried foods. Most people have some awareness that fried foods are not healthy but you may not know why. I think there are two major reasons you should be aware of but this is not exhaustive by any means. The 1st problem is in foods like french fries, tater tots, and fried chicken. There is almost no nutritional value in these foods, whereas sweet potatoes have nutrients your body needs like beta-carotene. Now you might say, well isn’t chicken a healthy lean meat? Well, yes it is but grilled chicken would be much healthier because it doesn’t contain all the trans fat that fried chicken does. This brings us to my 2nd point on why fried foods suck. Trans fat is the WORST! Trans fatty acids (trans fat) is horribly unhealthy. Now first let me say that I think fat can be extremely healthy and beneficial in essentially every diet. However, trans fat is never healthy. It lowers your good cholesterol (HDL) and raises your bad cholesterol (LDL). Read what the American Heart Association has to say about it! (heart.org) Not to mention it is adding calories with no nutritional benefit! Are you starting to see a pattern? You can eat food with nutritional benefit or something that is harmful with basically no nutrients.
- Replace with grilled foods. By grilling, baking or even sautéing your meats and veggies you can still reap the nutritional benefits the product without having to add all the nasty trans fat and it can still taste good! This is why seasoning is so important in healthy cooking. When you don’t have all that nasty but delicious trans-fat, seasoning becomes paramount and honestly more enjoyable. Check out Flavor God for some great all in seasonings that are delicious and really healthy! There are also some delicious and healthy fats that you can add like olive oil and coconut oil that provide nutrients and many hormonal benefits. Olive oil has even been shown to help people with type 2 diabetes. Your body needs those fats to produce testosterone which is incredibly important for men but also women!
These are my Tier 1 Fruits to healthier nutrition. It’s not rocket science and it’s only two steps. Try it out! Dallas and Melissa Hartwig really opened my eyes in their book It Starts with Food (amazon link! It Starts with Food). They said that everything you eat has a negative or positive influence on your body. There are no neutral foods – there is no Switzerland! This really opened my eyes to what I was putting in my mouth. If you focus on trying to eat nutrient dense foods as opposed to foods and drinks that are nothing but empty calories, then you will become healthier. Simple as that. No crazy diets or supplements, this is a first step to living more human. Our bodies need nutrients and lots of them! Take a step and reach for these two simple fruits.
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