Nutrition, Paleo, Whole30 & Why It Matters
My business and passion is all about helping you get to a better place physically and mentally. Your diet directly impacts every single thing that you think, do and feel.
The Fletcher Fitness Simple Nutrition Philosophy = Eat Real Food That Is Good For You
The term ‘Paleo’ (<— a comprehensive article, read it so that you can know more) is often thrown around and is suggesting that we are meant to eat what is naturally found or hunted (like back in the day). It is becoming a commonly used term and you can find tons of info on the web. Instead of debating what foods cavemen ate or didn’t eat, I stick with Whole9’s recommendations and focus on eating foods that give the best nourishment (and stay away from the foods that have many downsides).
“This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants. Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.”
What Should You Eat?
I only give nutrition advice based off of what I have learned and what I have tried myself (I have spent time eating a vegetarian diet, tracking calories, supplementing etc.). I can tell you the foods which will make you more healthy, as opposed to less healthy, and I can definitely tell you what foods I don’t believe are helping you look and feel your best.
I’ve had different goals including competing in marathons and sprint races, CrossFit, being skinny, gaining strength, and being healthy. You will never, ever see me suggesting or selling an all-in-one-powdery-every-nutrient-you-need mix, shake or bar (there are millions of other fitness experts you can follow for that…also maybe if I did, I would be out of student loan debt…hmmm…still not worth it to me). I also do not support Weight Watchers, Medifast, Jenny Craig, 100 cal packs of air chips (go Jillian Michaels) or any other supplement, or concoction that is simply not from real sources.
What I Eat, Drink & Recommend
- I eat high-quality meat, eggs, some seafood, tons of vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds and that’s about it. I suggest foods that have very few ingredients, that are all pronounceable (or better yet no ingredients or processing at all). I drink lots of water, tea, black coffee and not much else (except for my current obsession with sparkling mineral water, yes I am getting old and having a bottle of this makes me very happy). That’s it. Easy and simple. I am not 100% perfect all of the time (and I don’t want to be), but eating this way has me feeling better than ever.
- Your diet really depends on if you just want to survive and get by, or if you are trying to thrive and feel better than ever. You may be just fine with having some cheese on your salad, occasional rice, some potatoes, beer every friday or creamer in your coffee. This is simply what works really well for me, and I encourage you to find what works really well for you.
- You should know what your food is (protein, carb, fat or man-made crap), where it came from (how it was raised, what it was fed), what it is doing to your body and mind (how your hormones will react to it, if it is causing inflammation, what is happening in your gut etc.) and why you need it (or don’t need it). You don’t have to know all the science, but at least understand some basics!
What Isn’t So Healthy?
- Stuff that comes in packages and has a list of 5-50 ingredients (always look at the ingredients first, not the calories) is not food. Those fake foods with a long list of ingredients like canola oil, corn syrup, sugar, dionadional, fdaionveao, xoysousl and ereavj, etc. etc. etc., aren’t real, natural or healthy for you. If you can’t eat the food in it’s whole or original state, you should question it. These ‘fake foods’ are made by a machine, in a factory, and they are inexpensive to mass-produce.
- Stay away from or really limit alcohol, grains (pasta, cereal, bread, corn, whole wheat, etc.), sugar (in all forms both natural and unnatural), dairy, legumes (beans, peanuts, soy, tofu, edamame, etc.), and processed foods. These foods promote negative responses in our gut, immune system, hormones, and our minds. They lack nutrients, and come with a lot of potential downsides.
Why Does It Matter?
- Because these unhealthy responses keep us from looking, feeling and performing how we are capable. They make us sick, lethargic, dependent, unstable, foggy, fat, and lazy. Nearly every single thing that you could possibly complain about (acne, digestive issues, migraines, body aches, mood swings, lack of focus, sleeplessness, etc.) can be traced back to your nutrition.
- Those unhealthy foods mess with our ability to control our cravings and therefore create unhealthy patterns. Your body does not need any of those foods to thrive. At the very minimum take them completely out of your diet for 30 days via the Whole30 Challenge, read more HERE.
- I know this sounds intimidating and hard. Yes, it is okay to have some of these unhealthy foods, sometimes. I suggest that when you do, you are aware of what is happening inside of your body when you eat them, and you are okay with it. The other night, when I ate s’mores around a campfire, it was totally worth it. I hadn’t eaten anything “unhealthy” in over a month. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. That is different for everyone. Not knowing, caring or not wanting to know, means you should work on your relationship with food and yourself. In my opinion.
Remember, you are trying to create a healthy physical and mental body, that’s why you are on this website, reading about this topic.
“That Can’t Be Healthy, Sustainable or Good For You”
If you are going to question or suggest that this way of eating is not right or is just a fad I can only say two things.
1. Try it yourself, for 30 days, with no cheats or excuses. I have done this numerous times and I strongly recommend the Whole30. You will never know how good you can feel until you try it. Over 3 years ago, I completed my first Whole30 and it changed my life forever, I have also been to the Whole9 Workshop, CrossFit Nutrition Certification Course and read and reviewed “It Starts With Food”, along with many other nutrition books.
2. I am glad what you are doing is working for you. I am glad that you feel great, are happy with how you look and are performing your best. If you currently are eating foods that support a lean and strong body (with absence of excess body fat), get 8 hours of solid sleep, have lots of energy all day long (with no need for caffeine or any other artificial drink or substance) and are happy with where you are in your fitness training…then I am glad you have found what works for you. If any of that is not true, and you have any number of health issues or discomfort then it can be traced back to your nutrition.
Please never stop learning about how you can continue to improve your nutrition by reading and educating yourself. Comment below if you’d like to share some thoughts.