I eat healthy.
So why is it when I tell anyone I eat healthy, they immediately think I am a rabbit and I deserve lettuce. When did the term healthy mean vegetarian or vegan or eat only organic or only this or that? As Mark Twain once said ” water in moderation never killed anyone” Same applies for food and eating.
So what do I do?
It starts with what I did first. Overweight, and cholesterol and sugars up and severe lack of exercise, like ever, I changed my diet first. No Alcohol, no sweets, no carbs( breads pastas rice), no fruit. Plenty of protein and moderate fat. Lost a lot of weight felt great, and lost 8 inches of my waist in 8 weeks and lipids and sugars were amazing and then started to exercise and joined Crossfit for the first time. So was this diet Paleo? Maybe.
I then did a version of Keto as the year went by and was very focussed on my nutrition. Then I was obsessed with anything protein and then went to protein shakes, protein icecream( GF), protein cookies, protein bars…. yes anything protein !! I checked my labs again. Total disaster. Everything was completely out of whack even though I was bulking up and getting stronger. Ok so all protein wasn’t cutting it. I had to get control of The pendulum swinging. I did another version of Keto and got the swinging to be less. In between training for races I was doing only protein and now LOTS of vegetables( as my starch carb). This worked short term, Adding more fats helped ease my intensity a little. I even tried numerous nutritional challenges with groups of athletes and friends. I even tried out the Zone diet.
Yes I have tried almost all combinations of high and low protein, carbs, fat. Spoke to various experts, researched and tried different things. Trial and error was the only way that I could see what worked for ME. Then came intermittent fasting. At first my mind said NO WAY !! Then I tried it. 12 hours, 16 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours.. I pushed 24 hours !! Then 32 hours. That is my record to date. The more fasting I did, the more stable became my hormones. The greater clarity of thought, then greater energy level. The more I started using different internal sources of fuel for my workouts. I went from immediate glucose source to glycogen and then to fat burning. The fat is more stable and slow burning and a reliable source for intensity. My running stamina improved, my crossfit workout intensity improved. My weight has not budged yet muscle building and fast burning are steady.
So intermittent fasting coupled with moderate protein, moderate good fat ( like avocado olives etc) , low carb ( with some complex vegetables) and obviously staying away from alcohol, sweets, fruit and carb such as breads rice pasta have made a tremendous difference. I only introduce GF bread or little quinoa brown rice in my diet when I have done or will do serious work outs.
I went gluten free almost 5 years ago, and then recently dairy free too. I stopped caffeine now almost 3 years ago ( I was an addict… 8 shots of espresso a day with cups of coffee and tea at midnight) have also made a huge difference in my life, work and crossfit work outs. Interestingly when I do my workouts in a fasted state I feel better, as I am working on internal fat slow and efficient burning sources. I average 18 to 19 hours of fast a day as well as 2x 24 hour fasts a week. I gave up ALL pre and post work out drinks, shakes, supplements. Didnt need them anymore.
So by what definition am I eating healthy? Trial and error and proven methods combined from years of research and resources. No ONE method has the answer to help as each tool is designed to help a particular type of body. We all try to live healthy for the most part depending on the reasons of why we choose to do it…reduced inflammation, arthritis, autoimmune disease, looking good, becoming stronger, increasing stamina etc.
Do what is right for YOU? Live long and prosper.
I love you