"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weekly Challenge: SANE Eating

It's been an interesting week and I decided to lay low (hence being a little MIA with the posts). Part of the week's weirdness entailed a little blender "episode" a few days ago while making some baby food for my son. We'll just say that instead of simply putting the lid back on all the way (it was coming off while blending), I accidentally knocked the whole jar over... In case you were wondering, that equals a broken blade and jar that no longer works. :( I was surprised at just how out of commission I felt without my blender. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime because the new jar came yesterday and I feel like I have my right arm back ;0)

Enough of my rambling... What did you think of The Calorie Myth? I hope you've enjoyed Jonathan Bailor's analogies as much as we did! It might take some time to get past some of the strongly entrenched weight & fat-loss myths in our culture but we'll get there! Hopefully you're seeing that long-term health and fitness doesn't have to be complicated or expensive as far as eating or exercise.

Are you ready for the next challenge? Let's dig in!

This week, the challenge is to stick to "SANE" eating as Jonathan Bailor describes in his book The Calorie Myth. Ultimately, the goal is to incorporate this way of eating into your lifestyle as much as possible. It's basically paleo or primal with a little more guidance on suggested quantities. The really nice thing about "SANE" eating is that you never have to worry about weight gain/loss if you eat this way as much as you can because it's a low-confusion, high nutrition diet/lifestyle. You'll be healthy and slim for life. You don't need a bunch of special products and pills to be healthy. It doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive, and you don't need to count everything that goes into your mouth every day. What a relief, right? If you didn't have a chance to read the book yet, here is what SANE stands for & a few details to help you with the new challenge:

S - Satiety: how quickly the calories fill us up and how long they keep us full
A - Aggression: how likely the calories are to be stored as body fat (look for a post on this next week!)
N - Nutrition: how many nutrients-vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, essential amino acids - the calories provide
E - Efficiency: how many of the calories can be stored as body fat (also in a post next week!)

There are the 3 main components to SANE eating:

1. Non-starchy Vegetables = SANE Carbohydrates
2. Nutrient-Dense Proteins = SANE Proteins
3. Whole-Food Fats/Low Fructose Fruits = SANE Fats & Sweets

SANE Carbohydrates
I've written about this before but for SANE eating, start by filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, frozen or fresh are great. These are the veggies you could eat raw. You don't have to eat them all raw but could & that's how you'll know if they are considered "non-starchy" or not. Corn and potatoes are examples of foods that do not qualify as non-starchy (please tell me you don't eat them raw...). The deeper the color, the more nutrient-dense they are. The goal is to get in 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables every day. A great way to do this is to add veggies in an omelet or egg hash for breakfast, a green smoothie, stir fries, salads, etc. Get creative and please share any fun ideas you come up with!
Photo from The Calorie Myth

SANE Proteins
Protein will be the next item to serve up and should make up about 1/3 of your plate. We're aiming for 30-55 grams per meal, which would be 1-2 pieces the size of your palm. For example, a serving size would be a can of tuna, a cup & a half of cottage cheese or greek yogurt, 3 eggs, or a large piece of fish or lean meat. Make sure you eat protein every time you eat. The most nutrient-dense proteins are seafood/fish, which Jonathan Bailor suggests eating DAILY. If you never eat fish, no worries... add it in slowly. There are great wild-caught frozen fish at places like Costco that aren't seasoned so you can quickly broil/grill them however you want! Ideally, you'll want to stick to the fish lower in mercury and higher in omega-3's such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, oysters, etc.

SANE Fats & Sweets
"When we eat whole-food fats in place of starches and sweets, our bodies start to prefer burning fat for fuel instead of sugar." This was the at the beginning of the fats & sweets sections and I've found it to definitely be true. He talks about how there are always trade-offs. A sweet potato or a piece of fruit might be a better alternative to a bag of candy or chips but lots of non-starchy vegetables trump the sweet potato or piece of fruit. So remember, whatever you're eating is potentially a trade-off for something better. Don't get hung up on it but be aware :)

Bailor also mentions that there isn't anything in fruit that you can't get from non-starchy vegetables as far as nutrients go (there could be deficiencies if you're not getting enough non-starchy veggies & are also eating less fruit). With that said, the remaining portion of your plate should be filled with whole food fats like avocados, olives, coconut, nuts, cocoa/cacao, chia, and low fructose fruits, which are citrus and berries (which have more nutrients and less sugar than other fruits). Fruit makes a great "dessert" when you need something sweet. Bailor suggests keeping fruit to 0-3 servings (fresh or frozen) a day. For example, half a grapefruit, one orange, 6 strawberries, 3/4 cup blueberries etc. With fats, the whole food is always ideal compared to part of the food. For example, olives are more nutrient-dense than olive oil.

Final note on fruit... "Fruits and vegetables are not one food group. While eating at least ten servings of non-starchy vegetables per day will do nothing but make you healthier and slimmer, the same thing is not true for fruits, owing to their dramatically higher sugar content." There you have it. Enjoy some fruit but don't go crazy :)

Don't fear, he's got some "SANE dessert" recipes in the book we're going to try this upcoming week!

To simplify the life-long lifestyle for a lean body & the challenge for this week:

1. Eat as many non-starchy veggies you can this week (1/2 your plate each meal - go for 10 servings/day).
2. Eat protein at every meal about the size of your palm (1/3 of your plate), two palms if you have a larger frame.
3. Eat whole food fats for the rest of your plate, while enjoying a little citrus and berries (0-3 servings).

Alrighty... are you in? You won't feel deprived, trust me. Check out what we had for lunch today in the post picture. I like to call it "B's Primal Burger" along with some celery & almond butter on the side. There's a grilled grass-fed beef patty, bacon, grilled onions, sometimes cheese, & fresh avocado slices on a bed of spinach. I've even been known to throw a fried egg on there on occasion ;0) Seriously, who needs a bun with all that goodness & flavor? Let's kick yo-yo dieting to the curb and enjoy health and vitality so we can spend less time worrying about fitting into our clothes/standing on a scale and more time living!