Beef Up Your Diet

Most of the information and advice I provide regarding health and fitness is related to exercise and physical activity, but it’s also common for me to hear nutrition related questions.  The landscape of dietary information is as scary as Mordor, and there’s plenty of crap out there.  I’d venture that my three biggest tips include:

  • Eat less processed crap.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more protein.

These three tips will help almost everyone, and I think should be stressed in that order.  Your McDonalds’ burger doesn’t count as vegetables and protein, Mr. Smarty-pants, just because it’s “meat” and they throw some papery lettuce on top.  Nice try.

Rather than subscribe to a specific dietary approach that’s been bastardized by the media and agricultural corporations, I find it simpler to recommend eating food that’s as close to nature as possible; Animals and what animals eat.  You’ll cut out most of the processed products that line grocery shelves, and provide yourself with a variety of nutrient dense foods.  Unfortunately, with our nutritional misconceptions, I’ve had people decide that eating meat is the cause of all of our ailments, and declare that humans have been only eating meat for a few thousand years.  Apparently reading Skinny Bitch is more important than learning nutritional anthropology. We shouldn’t be scared of eating meat.

If you’re considering nutrient density, you can’t get much better than steak.  It’s packed full of protein, an assortment of vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats.  Check out this infographic:

Fortunately, it seems the nation is slowly switching from fear of fat to a fear of carbs, which may help to keep our absurd rates of lifestyle related disease in order.  Unfortunately, we still haven’t addressed the fact that pretty much all of our food is highly processed.  There’s a big difference between buying a fast-food burger or hot dog, and the meat that you’d get from your local farmer or butcher:

 

I strongly believe that your nutrition should enhance your health, and it would behoove you to find the healthiest meat you can.  It tastes a helluva lot better, is better for your body,  and better for the environment.

There are plenty of healthy, tasty foods that you can include in your diet that can enhance your health and enable you to reach your fitness and physique goals.  Steak is one of them, and you should enjoy it responsibly.  To assist you in this, I’ve searched for steak recipes on Punchfork and Tastespotting, and clicking through will take you to some delicious recipes.  Filter them for vegetable content and you’re good to go.

Too often do we associate eating red meat with highly processed foods, either from fast-food stores or our own preparation of questionable goods.  During a conversation about red-meat consumption, one gym-goer concluded that it must mean that I get pepperoni on my pizza.  I calmly explained, “No, but I get steak on my salad.” This shirt from Lift Big Eat Big sums it up:

 

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