Want to know what I eat…..???

I get asked this question   often….really often actually. So often that I felt that a blog post to   answer this question seemed necessary. I think people assume that I must eat   like a bird, picking away at tasteless “health food” in order to   stay fit and healthy. You may expect that everything I eat is “low-fat”, “low cal” and “low taste”. You may be   surprised (as many are) to learn that I am not a vegetarian, a   vegan or survive solely on salads and tofu. Nothing could be further from the   truth. I will tell you exactly what I eat, but before I get into the nitty-gritty, I need to remind everyone, this is what I do. The way I eat   has evolved over many years. What Ieat may not suit everyone and as a   nutritionist I certainly understand that. I don’t expect perfection from   myself and I certainly don’t expect it from my clients. Reaching your   “perfect diet” takes time and a willingness to learn (and occasionally   re-evaluating your current beliefs like I had to). Always keep your mind open   to the possibility of a better diet and improved health and you will find it.   OK, on to the nitty-gritty.I’m not usually a big fan of   labels, but if I needed to give a label to the way I eat I guess you could   say I follow a fairly “paleo” diet. I eat “primal’ or   “ancestral” foods. You can call it Paleo, Primal or The Original   Human Diet. You can give it any label you like, but what it boils down to is   this; I eat food. Real food. If it was being enjoyed by our ancestors 10,000   years ago I probably enjoy it now. That’s not to say that if it didn’t exist   10,000 years ago I don’t eat it, it just may be that I enjoy it in moderation   (dark chocolate anyone?).

Let me break it down. I eat   lots of fresh vegetables and moderate fruit. I enjoy farm fresh eggs just   about every day for breakfast (and often for snacks…). I eat lots of grass-fed and pasture raised meats, wild game, and good quality fish and seafood.   Life without lobster just isn’t worth living! Snacks are often nuts and   seeds, leftovers from dinner, coconut butter (best thing ever!!), and the   occasional coconut milk smoothie when I’m in a rush and need some fuel. I love   avocado’s and eat about a half of one daily. I’m clearly not afraid of fat! I   cook with coconut oil, butter and olive oil and I incorporate these fabulous   fats into my diet every day.

I also eat some dairy, I’m a   big fan of aged raw milk cheeses, kefir and goat cheese. I drink coffee black   and I love red wine (and occasionally tequila in my fabulous margarita’s).   And yes, I love chocolate; I do keep it to the 70% dark chocolate variety   though. In short, I love food and I eat lots of it, it’s just not usually what   people expect I eat!

So before you even ask, no, I   don’t typically eat any grains or legumes. I enjoy  corn tortilla’s   or organic corn chips every now and then and will occasionally indulge in   rice or rice noodles but that’s about it. Everything that I need in my diet I   can get out of the above mentioned foods. There is nothing in a grain that I   can’t get in vegetables, fruit, meat or fish. What about fibre and vitamins you ask?   Vegetables will win every time, hands down. In fact, there are lots of   anti-nutrients (stuff that robs us of nutrients)  in grains and legumes that prevent the absorption of many   nutrients and make them far less of the superfood that they are often touted   to be. For many people they can cause a lot of digestive distress (gas and   bloating anyone?) and the gluten in many grains can aggravate or instigate all   sorts of health problems including inflammatory conditions. I promise, I will   do a more extensive post on the issues with grains, but for now I will leave   it at that.

So what else don’t I   eat? I don’t eat food products or fake foods. I avoid just about all   processed foods(obviously including grains and grain products). I try not to   eat any chemicals, additives and preservatives masquerading as foods. I steer   clear of sugar for the most part, although I certainly won’t turn away the   occasional gluten-free dessert (you will know that if you visit my recipe   page on desserts…..the flourless   chocolate cake is a favourite indulgence). And even though I do avoid processed food and   unhealthy fats (processed oils and man-made fats), I do love the occasional chicken wings and sweet potato fries   as a serious treat. I am human!

I should mention one other   important thing. I NEVER count calories. I don’t spend tireless hours   weighing and measuring my food, I don’t count carbs or fat or protein for   that matter. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat until I’m full. I occasionally   miss a meal or overeat and it’s no big deal. I don’t feel guilty about what I   eat and I don’t obsess over nutrition labels – in fact, 90% of what I eat   doesn’t have a label to obsess over, it’s just real food.

So there you have it, that’s   what I eat.

I feel it’s necessary to   mention that I didn’t always eat this way. Like most of you, I have struggled   with weight, tried a bunch of different diets, counted calories, obsessed   about food, even went vegetarian for a while. I don’t think there are very   many of us out there that have eaten a truly healthy diet our whole lives. We   grew up in a society that has changed it’s mind about what was and wasn’t healthy   a billion times (eggs? We love, then we hate em, then we love again….yeesh!). This is a journey for me,   I’m always learning and I try to never close my mind to new research and   compelling evidence; if I did I would have never landed here. I spent most of   my life believing that a lot of the foods I now eat on a regular basis were   bad for me. I bought into the idea that the cholesterol in eggs was going to   give me heart disease and stuck with egg white omelettes. I used to think that   grass-fed meat and the meat we buy in the   grocery store was one in the same – it’s not by the way. Not al all.  The point is, I kept   learning. I did my research, I weighed the evidence and examined the counter   arguments. The food I have decided to eat is what I believe to be the   healthiest food I can eat.

Lastly, I want to make it   abundantly clear that I am not saying that you need to suddenly change your   life and eat exactly the way I do to be healthy. You need to learn and grow   as well. If I had suddenly just been “told” that this was the way I   had to eat I probably would have rebelled. If you are already eating this way   that’s fabulous, I hope you keep coming back, check out the blog posts and   maybe even learn something new. If you are not already eating this way, I   encourage you to find out more! Check out the blog posts and my resources and recommended   reading section   for lots more info, learn something new and then decide if it’s right for   you. Take the time to make healthy changes, and most importantly educate   yourself so that you understand why you are making theses changes. Question   everything, that way you will get answers, not just instructions. I was   concerned that writing this post may scare some people away, but in writing   it, I now think it will do the opposite. I hope it will generate questions   and conversations. Perhaps it will make you question conventional wisdom.   Maybe you’ve never heard of “paleo” before and it will be this post   that entices you to google it. Maybe that will be the start of a new   lifestyle for you. Maybe it will be the same fabulous change in your life   that it was in mine. Here’s hoping!

Enjoy the journey.

-B

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Categories: Ranting and Raving

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