Cereal, Muffins, Pop Tarts, Bagels for breakfast. McDonalds, Burger King, Fill-in-the-blank toxic fast food for lunch. Dinner on the run, either in the car or sprawled out in front of the TV. It’s become the typical American Diet, and it’s killing us. When health related knowledge is at an all time high, and we’re spending billions of dollars on research to figure out how to cure all of our self-induced medical problems, people seem to forget the simplicity of watching what they eat. I think Grandma right when she said, “You are what you eat!”
It seems to me that every where you turn there’s a new diet program promising magical weight loss results, and they never seem to work. In fact, no diet does. It’s not the diet’s fault, it’s the users fault. That’s you. Yes, I’m saying it’s your fault. Why?! Simple! People look at dieting as a timed process, that begins with motivation and ends with a goal. They’re right about the motivation, but eventually all diets end in failure, and when process is repeated the motivation is a little bit lower. Eventually we run out of motivation, and justify this repetitive failure with rationalizations such as “Oh, it’s so hard to lose weight,” or “I have bad genetics,” or “All of the magazines are airbrushed.” Outside of true medical issues, I think the only problem going on with these people is in their heads, not in the belly.
See, diets fail because once people reach their goal of weight loss, they tend to revert back to their old habits. The healthier eating was a temporary behavior, and they never ingrained the idea that eating healthy should be a life long habit, not one related to an aesthetic goal. Everyone should be following some sort of diet, but not for weight loss; instead, eat healthy so you can live a better life. It’s more simple than you think actually:
In reality, I care about the macronutrient ratios of diets, how many minerals and vitamins are in the food you’re eating, and how they benefit your health. For now, it doesn’t really matter. If you don’t eat processed crap, all of those numbers end up taking care of themselves, which is a pretty beautiful thing. Few people know exactly how the foods they eat affect their body, and most people don’t want to know. I’m not saying that you need to know the nuances of digestion, but we need to change our mentality.
It seems that the common thinking is: “Does it taste good? Is it convenient? Great, I’ll eat it.” Do you realize what you’re doing to your health?! That thinking is killing you. Sure, we’re all dying from the moment we’re born, but why don’t you try to improve the quality of the time you spend here? Try eating for fuel instead of pleasure, and you’ll start to feel a lot better.
I’m not a salad eater; in fact, I’ve never eaten one in my life. I’ve hated eating vegetables for as long as I can remember. Once I became more health conscious, I realized it was a mistake, and I’ve been trying to incorporate more and more vegetables into my diet. Sure, I can make spinach smoothies, and eat broccoli with my chicken, but I’ve still never gotten over my salad phobia. As a life long vegetable hater, I probably end up taking in more vegetables than someone with the typical Western eating habits, but I can still do to eat more. While a plain salad might still be a ways away, I’ve been trying to incorporate as many vegetables as I can into what I’m eating. Once I have the time to document some of these experiments, I’ll share some of the ideas and recipes that I have, so you can try to make some improvements in your own diet. Before I go, let me share a quick and simple one with you.
How many people put ketchup on their eggs? Plenty of people do. If you’re a fan of the ketchup and egg combo, I’ll give you some simple ideas to improve this. The easiest; get organic ketchup. The Heinz version doesn’t have the High Fructose Corn Syrup, and it actually tastes better. It takes minimal energy to replace one product with a healthier one, right? How about this improvement: Put salsa on your eggs. It’ll taste even better, and you can add nutrients to an already awesome meal. You may not want that capsaisin kick early in the morning, so try a mild salsa instead. If you’re already at that level and you’re trying to pack in the nutrition, try adding spinach to your salsa:
Last night I decided that 5 scrambled eggs was a good idea for dinner, and I wanted to try out an idea that I had. I put a handful of spinach in the blender, added about a quick splash of olive oil, and blended it up into a paste. Then I added 3 spoonfuls of Salsa, and blended it again. The result, this rich green salsa, tasted amazing!
I’m definitely going to be making it again and testing it out on my family and girlfriend to see how they like it. All it took was some creativity and care about adding nutrition to my diet, and I feel like more people need to experiment like this in the kitchen. Find great ingredients, mix them with more great ingredients, and cook them with other great ingredients. It’s simple fun, but it goes a long way for making you feel better and live better.
Do me a favor this week, and do yourself a favor. Try creating your own healthy food experiment and see how you like it. If you want, recreate my spinach infused salsa and put it on your eggs. Eat real food, eat less processed crap, and feel better.