Alright y’all… here we go… a blog series that I know needs to be written, but I hesitate because of the flack it will most likely get online due to it’s vast controversial topic… but I guess that’s what this is all about. Voicing my thoughts and hoping to get people thinking and discussing. So here we go… this series is going to be about… wait for it…. nutrition! But it’s not just another post preaching to eat grass fed everything and organic everything else. It’s a post REALLY ABOUT FOOD!
Let me give you a brief history of my food intake. I grew up in a family that hunted so we usually had wild game to eat. We had veggies everyday (not every meal). My parents were and are health conscious people and have always been aware of what they eat for the most part… but not neurotic about it. They instilled good eating habits in me for the most part. I ate cereal most mornings for breakfast until I was 28. I ate a sandwich or left overs from dinner for lunch. I ate meat with salad and potatoes for dinner. I also ate Pop-Tarts and Digiornos pizza and Doritos and Little Debbies and a ton of Skittles… I love me some Skittles!
As long as I can remember I would often have terrible stomach aches after I ate. It wasn’t until college that my mom suggested I eliminate dairy, thinking I was lactose intolerant. So, I did and had a bit of relief. Then when I was 28 (7 years ago) I was introduced to The Paleo Diet and eliminated all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and other non-paleo stuff and 2 weeks in my stomach aches were gone! My performance was going through the roof. My body was strong and lean. I felt comfortable and confident. So… it was an obvious decision to stay Paleo… it worked. Until it didn’t.
I didn’t stop eating Paleo because it wasn’t working in the physical sense for me anymore. I stopped because it wasn’t working for me in the mental and social sense anymore. I was sick of always saying no to people when they offered me rice with a meal or picking around a soup because there were beans in it. I felt like every time I ordered at a restaurant I was the problem child that created my own menu. I wanted to go to the movies with Marcus and have Milk Duds and not feel guilty. I wanted to eat tacos with corn tortillas and cheese and not feel like I had to go run an extra 5 miles the next day to burn it off. I wanted to enjoy food because it was food.
I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food for the first time in my life (and I am still battling off and on). I was obsessed with eating “Paleo” and sadly admit that I was silently judged others who weren’t. I put food in these boxes of things I could eat and things I couldn’t eat because some “diet” said so. I put my clients in that same box and as a result felt even more compelled to stay strict. In the last couple of years I was removed from the environment that led me into that box and it was freeing to see the light.
I didn’t dive back into Pop-Tarts and Doritos, but I started reintroducing things slowly to see how I felt. Turns out dairy doesn’t bother me (hallelujah for heavy whipping cream and Kerrygold cheese!), I didn’t get fat when I ate rice, I didn’t develop diabetes when I ate sugar and the occasional beans don’t make me gas out a room. However, gluten is still out as the culprit for the stomach aches (minus an occasional sip of Marcus’ beer).
What did happen though, I enjoy my food again. I don’t eat because it’s what I’m “supposed” to eat. I eat because it’s what I want to eat it. I eat because it’s healthy, nourishing and its yummy. I eat because someone I love made it for me. I eat because the social fun from it all.
Let me say that I don’t think eating Paleo is bad. It worked for me and served it’s purpose. It was a great place for me to get a slap in the face as to what real food was and eliminate the non-food. It was a great place for me to start learning a bit more about how certain foods make me feel, perform and look. But that’s just it, it was (and is) a great place to start, but not a great place to stay in my opinion (unless goals and health require it).
You may be asking, so, what do you eat? I eat food. I eat real food. I try to buy from local sources as much as possible. I eat from my own garden. I eat food that makes me feel good. I occasionally eat dairy (it makes me break out if I eat too much). I occasionally eat sugar (it’s still not good for us, but it’s okay). I eat potatoes and rice and other starches. I also eat salt and vinegar potato chips on occasion and have Swiss Miss dark hot chocolate when I’m camping (and actually right now as I’m typing this at home). Basically I eat real food and let some junk in once in awhile and I love both!
So, why so much on my food history? Because I think it’s important to know where you were and where you are so you can find where you’re going. This is a constant evolution and chances are in 2 years I will look back at this blog post with a different perspective than I have today. At least I hope so, because that means I’m growing! Bottom line, I don’t “eat clean” and I don’t “eat Paleo” and I don’t “eat Keto”… I eat real food and I feel good!
“I walk around like everything is okay, but in my shoe, my sock is sliding off.”
Exercise of the Week
Getting that posterior chain moving!! This is a big one for endurance athletes and power athletes and people that sit all day and people that run around with their heads cut off all day… basically this is good for everyone!
Made this one this week out of whatever I had in the house
- 1 bag cauliflower rice or 1 head of cauliflower cut into “rice”
- 1 large carrot sliced into thick pieces
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger (or dried ginger)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp grass fed butter
- Heat 2 Tbsps butter over medium heat in dutch oven
- Add chicken and coat with butter
- Squeeze juice of lemon on top and add rinds
- Add ginger, sea salt and black pepper
- Cover and let cook for 30-40 minutes, move chicken around occasionally not to burn
- Heat 1 Tbsp butter to skillet over medium heat
- Add in cauliflower and carrots
- Season with salt and pepper
- Stir regularly and cook until carrots are soft (about 8 minutes)
- Serve chicken over “rice” and have with a side of greens and Jenny’s Dressing