Real talk on food matters

With the start of a new training cycle, I’ve been doing some thinking about my nutrition. Generally, I know that I eat pretty healthy, with lots of fruits and vegetables already in my diet. And while I like to think I have a pretty good handle on what types of food my body feels best with (e.g., instead of pasta, I’d go with a sweet potato), there are often times I feel yuck and bloated.

I’m focusing on eating REAL food, with more balance throughout the day (vs. a huge meal a night). I should note that this is not some “diet” in the Weight Watchers sense (good for Oprah, though), but rather, a recognition that the fuel in my system was low grade cheap stuff, and I’m making it a priority to go HIGH OCTANE. 

Full disclosure, at the beginning of January I bought a digital scale and realized my previous standard scale had been lying to me by 7-8 pounds. Yikes. While I don’t really care about the number, it was a bit of a reality check. A reminder that the extra pieces of chocolate and  other junk (I’m looking at you Terra chips) are probably not needed, but also a light bulb moment on the quality of my overall diet. 

Since then, I’ve come to two conclusions. One, and this is a huge one, is that I have a lot of artificial crap in my diet. I’m talking a diet coke a day, processed protein bars, and buckets of Splenda (in my oatmeal, coffee), not to mention the hidden artificial sweeteners in things like yogurt and protein powders. Ugh. I’m bummed just thinking about it. Like many of us, I ate this food thinking it was “good” for me, based on that low-fat, low-calorie mentality. What can I say, I was spun, big time.

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In the past two weeks I’ve taken steps to cut the garbage. For example, I am now using raw organic honey in my oats, rather than splenda. It’s much less sweeter, but I’m actually really liking it. I’ve gone back to using Vega protein powder for my shakes. My previous whey protein powder had so much junk hidden in the ingredient lists, it blows my mind! I’m also eating more vegetables throughout the day. For example, my mid-afternoon rice cakes and almond butter have been replaced with carrot sticks, hummus and a hard boiled egg.

Secondly, I’ve decided it’s time for me to stop taking my heart burn medication. I’ve been on it for a while, because I was dealing with some heart burn issues in 2011-12 and just kept taking it. Jeeeze. Reflecting on that now, I shake my head. I have no idea if my body even ever really required it! I’m also pretty sure that all the artificial crap (diet pop, aspartame) was a key ingredient creating the discomfort. I will need to taper off of this stuff, but I know that cleaning my diet up will help.

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I’m reading lots on nutrition now days. I’m so excited to get my hands on Practically Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a cook book! I’ve even toyed with cutting grain for a few weeks to see if it makes any difference. It’s time to start taking better care of my body!

What is your favourite recipe book?

5 comments

  1. It’s hard to eat “crapless”. I’m impressed by your efforts! I really like ‘The Green Kitchen Travels’. It’s a cookbook by a scandinavian couple David and Luise with vegetarian, nutritious, clean recipes from all over the world. They have a blog full of amazing recipes as well: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/

    Check them out!

    Besides that I’m in love with Jotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ and ‘Plenty more’. The possibilities for cooking with veggies are endless!

    Good luck! 🙂

  2. It’s difficult to eat without all that artificial stuff. You really don’t notice what is in all the things you think are healthy until you start looking at every label. It’s exhausting; good for you for being cognizant of it, though! I grew up in a family where “real” food, especially fruits and vegetables were not a priority. I’m trying to change that now, but my tastebuds aren’t keen on it. Thankfully, I’ve got a boyfriend that loves to cook and we’re trying a ton of new recipes!

    1. Hi Brittany! I hear you! The first time just using a bit of honey on my oatmeal vs. Splenda was a bit blah, but I’m growing accustomed to it and actually prefer the (real) taste! So great you have a bf who likes to cook!

  3. Good stuff! OMG, that oatmeal looks delicious. I was going to have an egg and toast for breakfast but I feel l like I have to have oatmeal now. Oh decisions. Good for you for cutting out the artificial stuff. I love using honey as a sweetener and also for smoothies- I’ll use dates for sweetener too. (though if you get a flavored vega you won’t really need sweetener) The dates are sort of high calorie but they taste great and are natural sugar! OK, about to work on you next two weeks of training now!! 🙂

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