You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat….Literally (Food Fact Friday)

Let me repeat that…YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

I think the gravity of it may have slipped by some people.

Yes, you actually become what you eat.

No, this doesn’t mean if you eat fat you will be fat. It goes deeper than that.

I’m talking about food quality.

The food you eat is broken down, digested, and the nutrients get used to building new cells all over your body.

Our body makes billions of new cells every day and the fuel has to come from somewhere…our food!

On a moment to moment basis, we are creating our future body. The next time you eat something, ask yourself…”Would I be OK with building a new body from this food?

Aim for the best quality you can find/afford, and eat well at least 80% of the time. For the 10-20% of the time when you indulge, still choose quality in your treats!

Keep reading for tips on how to accomplish these things.

You are also HOW you eat!

By this, I mean the timing, portions, choices, habits, and mindset that go into preparing and consuming the ingredients that fuel your body.

I write at length about this in my book The Fitness Curveball but I chose this topic today because getting back from vacation has been a great reminder of how food choices have a direct impact on our health, fitness, and wellbeing.

I’ve just returned from almost 3 weeks of vacation, plus a work trip and my body is in recovery mode.

The vacation was definitely a good time, but I indulged much more and was less active than I normally would be. There were multiple daily cocktails and a large meal each night, combined with a lot of relaxing and lounging on the beach…Yes, it was hard work 😉

While much of this food was high quality (BC produce and fruit in the summer is out of this world), many items weren’t. I also consumed a number of things that I only consume on a rare basis  (processed meat, candy, cookies, baking, etc.).

After having reviewed thousands of food logs from clients, I can honestly say that my vacation indulgences were probably better than many people’s regular weekly food choices.

However, I still noticed a dramatic impact on my overall functioning. This includes my sleep, digestion, energy levels, mental clarity, and exercise performance.

What does this mean for you?

It means that if you are struggling with any of the above issues, or the ability to lose weight (fat), then dialling in your nutrition is a way to make a tremendous difference and get past the barriers you’ve been faced with.

When I left from vacation for my business trip, I made a concerted effort to get back into my regular eating and activity routine. Even these past few days have produced a great improvement in overall function.

Not that I’m surprised, but this experience is always a great reminder that “the process” works.

It’s the same story I see with clients in our studio and in my online coaching program.

The simple things we do each day already (eat, move, sleep) make the biggest difference when they are dialled incorrectly.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean eating some crazy restrictive or horribly tasting diet.

In fact, dialling in your nutrition habits with a focus on food quality will lead to a wide variety of healthy, tasty, and performance producing options.

Nutrition is much more simple than most people think.

I guarantee you already know most of the things you need to do. But, if you aren’t getting the results you want, I would bet you aren’t actually implementing the things you know.

This usually comes from ingrained habits that we take for granted and that are holding us back from the results we desire.

Alternately, we may think things are going “OK”, but aren’t aware that a few simple changes can open up an entirely new level of performance in our life.

Here’s a quick example:

Many of our eating habits are based on ingrained, but often erroneous beliefs about what’s “Right”.

People might think nothing of having a healthy salad or vegetable stir-fry for lunch or dinner. But they would think you were crazy if you suggested it for breakfast.

Have you ever thought about why that is?

For breakfast, people typically think of coffee, cereal, toast, bacon, eggs, pancakes, muffins, bagels, etc. Depending on the quality and preparation of these items, some may be OK.

However, navigating these waters is often confusing for people (and something we help clients deal with).

If we can make a simple mindset shift about eating vegetables at breakfast, we can make a tremendous difference in our health, without much confusion. Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to choose low quality fresh vegetables and fruit.

Sure, you can always go local and organic, but fresh vegetables are a pretty good choice over most of the typical breakfast items I mentioned. Hey, you may even decide to add some of those into the mix too. 🙂 

So what are my biggest tips for transforming your nutrition and food quality?

1. Choose the highest quality items possible

  • Learn where your food comes from and what was done to it before it got to you.

2. Learn how to prepare food that retains nutrient quality and tastes great

  • You don’t need to be a gourmet chef. A few “go-to” meals will make a huge difference.

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3. Eat vegetables at every major meal (yes, that includes breakfast)!

  • The most simple way is to just add some raw veg on the side with what you normally have.

4. Cut back on the processed, packaged foods, and anything that has a mascot or celebrity spokesperson

  • We used to call them “non-foods”, but in the Trump era, they are now known as “Fake Foods” (since they have very little substance or nutrient value, but a lot of “fluff” in the way of empty calories and chemicals and preservatives).

5. Aim for quality over quantity.

  • You will often find that you will feel more sustenance and won’t feel the need to eat as much when the quality of your food is higher.

 

Getting back to the basics helped me remember the power of quality food, basic movement, and a good night’s sleep.

It will work for you too!

Check out our Nutrition Guide for some new recipes to spice things up! https://bit.ly/FF-nutritionguide 

Have an amazing rest of your week!

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