The basics of food
Here we are, with our first post about nutrition, FOREVER HUNGRY.
Hungry for food AND knowledge!
As you know, or might remember, we teach the basics of nutrition briefly in our On Ramp Course. We explain that it’s actually pretty simple. Stick to the basics that coach Glassman taught us; “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.”
No matter what your beliefs are, in other words if you’re vegan just choose vegan protein, this should be pretty easy to do. However, with all the diet and nutrition info you can find on the interweb these days, things can get pretty confusing. It’s almost like nutrition is not just about food anymore, it’s science! Don’t get me wrong, there is so much to know about how it works and the do’s and don’ts, but for the average Joe all that info is not relevant.
So, with this post we’ll try to clear things up and stick to the basics of good food.
First of all, what is healthy and what is not?
The basics are, everything that grows on land, bush or trees is the best option for you to eat.
Think all kinds of fresh vegetables, clean (unprocessed) meat, wild caught fish, eggs and fruit. When you choose fresh produce choose the kind that comes from a mineral rich soil. The more minerals your food contains the better it is.
That’s why more and more people eat organic or even organic-dynamic produce.
The thing is, most non-organic fruit and vegetables are grown on poor soil that contains only 3 minerals, while we need 98 (!) Also, you may want to avoid eating pesticides, herbicides, hexane, sewage sludge, Growth-promoting antibiotics (when eating meat), Ractopamine and other chemicals that is found in non-organic food.
Alright, more details about this might only confuse you, so let’s stick to the easy stuff.
It’s always best to cook and prepare your own meals. If you’re a really bad cook, it’s worth learning from someone close to you or even go to cooking class, to get the basics in.
Yes! This is a good idea! Think outside the box, learn something new. This pays off for the rest of your life!
When you prepare your own food, you know exactly what goes in and there’s no doubt about whether it’s healthy or not.
The easiest way is to make a food plan on the weekend, so you have time to shop and prepare.
When shopping, stay away from most isles with processed foods. Always read the labels on the back. If it has words on it that you can’t even pronounce, it’s probably not food you need to be eating.
You want to stay away from most additives like sugar and flavor enhancers.
When you go food shopping, don’t go there when hungry and make sure to bring a list. Don’t buy junk that you shouldn’t eat.
If you don’t have it in the house, it’s easier not to fall for it when you’re tired and craving something sweet/savory.
Invest a little extra time, but believe us when we say, it gets easier and you’ll be faster once you have it in your system. Try it!
Give it 3 weeks. It will change how you feel, and how you perform during the day, in work and training.
What you eat is just as important as how much you eat.
Try not to consume more calories than you actually burn.
Per meal, keep things simple.
Choose a fist size of protein, max a handful of fast carbs combined with as many veggies as you can handle but not less than 200-400 grams and a thumb size of fat. Eat fruit as a snack and try not to eat more than 2 portions per day.
Usually 3 good meals and 2 snacks per day will do.
If you want to keep track of how much you should eat, it’s really easy to use an app that helps you count calories. We know it doesn’t sound sexy, but it is the best way to measure how much you need and currently eat. You can fill in your goal, how active you are and it calculates the amount of calories that you should eat each day.
It really makes you aware of the choices you make. Sometimes we don’t even realize how high in calories some foods are. For example, a bar of chocolate can have 980 calories. That’s almost half of the daily amount of calories for most people!
Make smart choices. Choose lower calorie foods, eat your protein, carbs AND fats and stick to whole foods. If you need to eat bread, choose whole grain and preferably sourdough. Make sure not to eat too many fast carbs, like bread, pasta or rice.
It’s not the fat that makes you fat, it’s the excessive amount of carbs. For example, if you eat a meal that contains mainly rice or potatoes, you will probably not burn the amount of carbs that it has. Always accompany a smaller amount of fast carbs it with a lot of veggies, like a salad or stir-fried, steamed or cooked vegetables.
If you want to lose weight or gain muscle or do both, try not to fall for every new hype that promises a better life in one day. That’s just not how it works., like all things it will take time to develop good behaviours. Remember stick to the basics.
Eat clean and keep an eye on the amount of calories that you consume. Try not to convince yourself that this “no-bake-vegan-carrot-cake” is healthy and eat the whole damn thing in two days. It’s still a lot of calories!
Be prepared, plan your meals and don’t leave the house without your prepared food or snacks!