We all eat food, we all need to eat food, we all enjoy food but do we eat food for the right reasons? Sadly for most the answer is no. Many will think the title of this post is a silly question but in my opinion is a very important one.
If I asked someone why they were eating a big mac and fries they would probably say because it tastes good. Now enjoying what you eat is of course very important and is something Keris and I are very passionate about, many of you will know this from our Fitter Food Facebook page. For many the problem is the foods they enjoy eating are certainly not the best options in terms of health, longevity and well being. I enjoy ice cream but I don’t eat it everyday, I enjoy bacon but I don’t eat………oh hold on I do eat it everyday 😉 the point is we can still enjoy what we eat and be healthy we just need to train ourselves to pack our plates with nutritious food.
Lets keep this straight forward and simple. Here is what Fitter Food believes should be the guiding principles when it comes to your meals:
1) Your meal should be as nutrient dense as possible:
This is without doubt the most important point. Every meal should be packed with nutrients that are going to enhance your health, support your training regime and lifestyle. If anyone starts to look up the nutritional benefits of a big mac you are a pleb, there aren’t any and I don’t care what garbage you may find on the internet stating otherwise. Get a balance of macronutrients (protein, fat & carbohydrates) in each meal, sourced from grass fed meat, wild fish and seafood, eggs, vegetables and fruits as these ensure you get a good dose of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
2) Your meals should enhance your performance and compliment your goals:
If you are training for a marathon do you think following a low carb diet is best? Hell no! Whether you are looking to bulk up, lose body fat, get faster, play a sport or just perform better at work your diet has to back this up. Decide on one goal, do your research and speak to a qualified coach or nutritionist rather than guessing based on what you have read in a few magazines.
3) Your food choices should make you feel awesome:
If you have frequent energy dips, bloating, bad skin, take a long time to recover from workouts and carry excess body fat then these are all sure fire signs that your nutrition is not working for you. Of course things like stress and lack of sleep play a huge role but these are often improved through diet. I work long days, 12-15 hours some days. I’m not complaining as I love what I do and because my nutrition is good I wake up with good energy levels and maintain these throughout the day. My plates are always nutrient dense (as above) to fuel these long hours. I can’t afford roller coaster energy levels so sugar is obviously out and I’ve even cut caffeine down to one cup a day. In a world of convenience and plain old laziness we are constantly tempted by foods and habits that might seem like a good idea at the time but long terms they don’t allow us to thrive and trust me they will kick you in arse at some point.
4) Enjoy what you eat:
Many would place this number 1 but until you can enjoy a grass fed steak, sweet potato and steamed greens more than your microwavable ready meal then this will stay at number 4. I love cooking and I ensure all my meals taste awesome but it just so happens they are full of nutrients too. Imagine eating great tasting food and knowing that its doing you nothing but good. Seems impossible right? Not when you know how.
For me it’s that simple. I might have a cheat meal here and there BUT even my cheat meal has to offer some nutritional benefit or it’s off the list. Fast food cooked in rancid oils with meat sourced from god knows what or where is a big NO, a homemade pizza on the other hand (on a gluten free base of course) piled with some good quality protein and vegetables or some dark chocolate or even some red wine can offer some nutritional goodness whilst nourishing the soul 🙂
In a nutshell….
Fill your meals with nutrients, ensure the balance supports your goals, make sure you feel awesome most of the time at least, enjoy your meals and have a cheat when the time is right. I love what I eat and knowing its full of goodness is even better. Stop feeding yourself [email protected] food that offers your body nothing and train yourself to enjoy the good stuff. Anyone who has ordered a copy of our debut book “Fitter Food – A Lifelong Recipe For Health & Fat Loss” will know that eating healthy food can taste awesome 🙂 Check it out here.