My diet used to be absolute piss poor. There is not the slightest chance I will try and throw a curtain over my pre-collegiate habits. After 90% of highschool days, religious rides to McDonalds or the deli for a mayo slathered hard roll sandwich. To even throw more fuel in the fire, that could be my pre-game fuel at times; what the hell was I thinking?
Lack of Knowledge
Sure, I still ate enough of my fruits and vegetables, whole grain oats, and lean proteins, but I did not often put into question just what was actually being used as fuel for my kick-ass human engine. After developing a love for improving the human body early in my college career, the transition of mindful eating commenced! From that time until now, I have been researching and experimenting heavily with the best recipe my body responds to; the odd, obscure, hard-to-find, and most importantly, sticking to the primal basics.
Since hopping on board with Orca Empire last June, I have become much more consistent in my actions toward creating the “optimal” lifestyle I want to live. Spending each day learning new information, adopting a phenomenal recipe of training modalities, and most importantly listening to my body to try and give exactly what it would ask for (if it had a voice, which, would hopefully sound like a mix of Sean Connery and Ian McKellen).
But, there is one huge adjustment that has made the largest impact on my everyday life that doesn’t require any athletic or fitness inclination at all:
I’m not talking about some shitty ‘Nutrisystem’ diet fad, the total elimination of fats and carbohydrates, or munching on ice cubes and pencil shavings throughout the day to fight your growling belly. Sure, those will get you to “lose weight”, technically I guess, but over time your internal functioning systems will cringe and scream with agony from restricting the essential nutrients they need! In this wonderful time we are living in, the healthy lifestyle habits are on the rise! And for that reason, it is no mystery that eating healthy viewed is expensive, and it’s absolutely true to an extent (there is always a way if you want it). The upper echelon of optimizing your body is definitely costly, but that is not the only option. There are a variety of ways to begin making changes right away without emptying your pantry or wallet that will make a tremendous impact on your health!
Nutrient Dense Fruits & Vegetables
If you don’t like them, it’s time to grow up and eat your damn vegetables! This is a nutrient source that can’t be replaced or filled with some infomercial super pill.
Aside from the individual benefits vegetables offer, they help eliminate the onset of Coronary Heart Disease; meaning the more of them that you consume them, the greater chance you avoid CHD! Try to add vibrant colors to your plate each meal (no, not like skittles). Actually wait a second! Did you know that the color of a fruit or vegetable actually has a meaning? Oh yeah! Those Super-Duper-Super Foods are Super-Duper-Smart by using their color to indicate which type of disease fighting phytonutrients they contain!
“Phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) are compounds found in plants. They serve various functions in plants, helping to protect the plant’s vitality. For example, some phytonutrients protect the plant from UV radiation while others protect it from insect attack.
Not only do phytonutrients award benefit to the plants but they also provide benefits to those who enjoy plant food. That’s because they have health-promoting properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health-promoting activities.” (source)
Greens: Strengthen Bones/Teeth, Improve Vision Health, Decrease Risk of Cancers & Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Reds: Improve Heart Health, Memory, Urinary Function, Decreased Risk of Cancers
Orange/Yellow: Carry Bioflavonoids, Carotenoids & Antioxidants, Assist Heart Health, Strengthen Immune System
White: (Contain Allicin) – Active in Healing Ulcers & an Anti-Microbial Against Virus’, Bacteria, & Yeast
Purple/Blue: Abundant in Antioxidants, Improved Memory, Urinary Tract Function, Healthy Natural Aging & Anti- Aging Effects
Sure, eating any particular amount of each during the day will give you some of the benefits these spectacular foods. But, if you really want to obtain all, you need to include +1 cup each day of each color! Unfortunately, many are ignorant to the amount we actually fit into our daily consumption. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are responsible for collecting dietary information and intake frequency across America. They conducted a study in 2013 to find what percentage of children and adults were meeting the standard consumption of fruits and vegetables, and the results may shock you:
These results indicate that <18% of adults in each state consumed the recommended amount of fruit and <14% consumed the recommended amount of vegetables. Increased attention to food environments in multiple settings, including child care, schools, communities, and worksites, might help improve fruit and vegetable intake, and thus help prevent chronic disease.
Because fruit and vegetable consumption affects multiple health outcomes (1) and is currently low across all states, continued efforts are needed to increase demand and consumption. Improving fruit and vegetable consumption for adults might start with improving intake during childhood.During 2007–2010, 60% of children consumed fewer cup equivalents of fruit than recommended, and 93% consumed fewer vegetables than recommended (2).
If you are upset as I am over these painfully low numbers, grab a tissue, clear you eyes, and let’s sulk over some dark chocolate and red wine.
The staples can seem to be difficult to master, yet the opposite is quite the case. It can be difficult to remove ignore harmful foods to our body, because of the lack of positive social influence, knowledge attained, and “budget” addicting once the process begins to beautifully unfold. Do not get frustrated if change does not happen instantly, or quit just before your good fortune unfolds. It can take time to rid the body of toxins and unwanted ‘bleh’ it has stored; patience and persistence… Since you never know how close you can actually be to you strike diamonds, why shy away before ever finding out if they truly exist?
Wishing You Great Health and Strength,