How’s it going? How we feelin’? 

Here’s what you need to know… staying out in the sun ALL WEEKEND…just don’t do it. Tans look great and all, and I like being able to turn a few shades darker from just a little bit of time outside, BUT every now and then I overdo it. I shed like a snake. I’ve got water blisters and skin peels coming off left and right – especially on my face. Which is nice since we get to have headshots for the CFEC website done this afternoon with THE Josh Wilson. How do you smile in headshots? Like big smile? Soft smile? You definitely want to smile though. Pics of me not smiling never turn out. 

Anyway, NUTRITION!

So, we’ve gone over nutrition being the FOUNDATION of any fitness/health change of lifestyle you’re about to make. And then last week we talked about H2O! This week let’s talk about WHOLE FOODS (not the grocery store). 

But before we get into it, here is a disclaimer (very similar to the past weeks):  I want to be clear. I am not a nutritionist. And more than that, I haven’t put in the grueling hours or practice to become a “dietitian” either. BUT I want to help people (and in the process, help myself) with nutrition! I am always learning. I’m at the gym coaching, training others, working out, or maybe even hanging out every morning and every evening. It’s fun. But I also have a couple of hours in the middle of the day, most days to read and try and learn a thing or two. This of course comes after I make sure I’ve had food, and the kitchen is clean, and laundry is folded and done. It’s a tough life, but I guess someone has to do it! 

Here’s the thing…we have complicated nutrition and diets and what to eat/what not to eat. Everybody is different. We all have different goals, restrictions, crazy hormones, and chemical makeups that make us unique. We fight about things like “Is keto better than paleo?” and “IS counting macros really all it’s cracked up to be?”

Well here is where we can ALL agree: Eat real foods (foods that used to be alive, foods that come from the earth, and foods with as few ingredients as possible). 

Greg Glassman said it best in the first couple of sentences in his “Fitness in 100 Words”: 

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

We’ll get into HOW MUCH to eat later on. But for today, let’s talk about the WHAT. 

WHAT ARE “WHOLE FOODS?”

  • First of all, reference the Greg Glassman quote from above. 
  • Most of the things on this list are going to be found in the perimeter (edge) of the grocery store. So, next time you are in the store, try to get most of your food from the perimeter – the outside of the store, if you will. 
  • And while we’re at it, eat as many colors and varieties of those vegetables and (some) fruits as you can. Taste the rainbow, yo. 
  • Most of these foods have a short shelf life. They need to be refrigerated. They can’t sit out on your counter or in your pantry for a long time because they will expire. 
  • Most of these foods have a short ingredient list. If they are packaged, you can hopefully somewhat pronounce most of the ingredients on that label. 

In other words, we are talking about whole foods here. And you may be reading this and thinking, “Duh, this is common sense” But truth is, so many people have been eating so much crappy, processed foods that they don’t know what it even means to eat real food. 

WHY EAT “WHOLE FOODS?”

  • First of all, these foods have a wide range of nutrients in them – (macro and micro) We need these nutrients to feel good, look good, and really just be more awesome (in and out of the gym). 
  • We can eat more of these foods, yet take in less calories per gram. I dunno about you, but I like to eat, so I want to get the most bang for my buck. 
  • Think of food as fuel. Do you put crap fuel in your car? No. You give your car the best your local gas station can provide, even if it is unleaded. You don’t just put random crap in your car to make it run. The same should go for what kind of foods you are eating. 
  • Whole foods will help us eliminate inflammation. It’s hard to get rid of it completely, but what you’re eating definitely helps. If we start messing around with weird ingredients we cannot pronounce, we’re essentially putting crap in our body. This leads to leads to
  • FIBER – from the veggies, (some) fruit, and good meat. We’ll talk about fiber eventually. But for now, know you need it. It helps with digestion, breaking food down, and it keeps everything running smoothly. 

A FEW TIPS TO GETTING MORE “WHOLE FOODS” IN YOUR DIET:

  • The next time you go to the store, hit up the perimeter. I think I’ve said this 3 times now. I mean it. Stay away from the middle. 
  • Start slow. Don’t go “cold turkey” if you’re not used to this way of eating. Try implementing 1-3 new *REAL* foods into your diet each week if you’re new to eating cleaner, non processed foods. 
  • Celebrate small victories. Maybe a good start for you is to just get one serving of vegetables and a serving of lean protein (cooked by you) in every meal. 
  • As much as I’d love to say, “just quit eating pizza.” Or “just quit eating sugar.” I know it’s not that simple for some people. It’s addicting, and it’s all some people know. SO, maybe for you, it’s just cutting half of that out at first. Maybe eat half the pizza, and throw some veggies on it. Commit to changing even just one habit a week. 

**AND WITH ANY OF THESE SMALL CHANGES EVENTUALLY BRING BIG RESULTS – IF YOU CONTINUE WITH WHAT YOU STARTED AND FOLLOW THROUGH. AND THE CHANGE YOU WILL NOTICE IN YOURSELF – IN HOW YOU LOOK, FEEL, AND CARRY YOURSELF – IS ADDICTING. AND THE GOAL IS FOR THOSE SMALL CHANGES TO LEAD YOU TO MAKE MORE SMALL CHANGES. OVERTIME.

GODSPEED, Y’ALL.

That’s all I’ve got today! Check back next week for more tips, tricks, and *SIMPLE* info to help you live YOUR BEST LIFE. For right now, each week will build on the week before. As always, let me know if you have questions, concerns, or input.