Food Attitudes

Andrew and I were having a conversation this morning about our relationships with food. We are VERY different when it comes to what and why we eat what we do. I asked him who he thought had a better relationship with food, and he answered that I did. But I countered and said that I thought HE did. This is clearly an example of something we both tend to do, seeing our own flaws more readily than we see our successes or positive attributes.

I love food and I love eating. I look forward to every meal and food is very emotional to me. When I cook and eat a wonderful, filling, healthy, meal, I feel a great sense of happiness and satisfaction. I haven't always been this way, but once I really embraced the paleo lifestyle and left all processed foods behind (and didn't have to eat to support the Iroman training anymore) I gained a new appreciation for food as one of life's great pleasures. I could go on and on about this, but I will keep it short and say that doing paleo and intermittent fasting totally changed the way I approached food. It stopped being my enemy and became a dear friend instead.

I eat whole foods. I eat eggs and bacon almost every day. I eat a ton of veggies (many of my veggies come from my local farm CSA share that I pick up every Sunday which makes me feel even MORE engaged with my food). I eat a lot of raw nuts, chicken, fish, shellfish, beef, and bison. I eat a ton of fat and protein and limit my carbs but not to the point of driving myself crazy when I am out at a restaurant. I try to eat grass fed, organic, free range, or pastured meat and eggs and raw, organic dairy whenver possible.

Now, Andrew is way different. He doesn't love food. He eats mostly because he has to. He never seems to care where we go to eat or to crave certain things. I believe the way he described all this the other day was that he has a "bland palate", which maybe has some merit. I wonder, though, if passion for food is inter-related with passion in general. Andrew enjoys lots of things but there aren't many things he totally loves and gets excited (outwardly) about. So to him, the next meal is more of a business arrangement than a chance to have some fun. He doesn't get worked up about nutrition either. He has single digit body fat even though he eats plenty (I would easily say excessive) of carbs and a moderate amount of processed foods (carbs again...granola bars, breads, crackers, cereals). He is triathlon training so he also frequently consumes sports drinks.

He is a creature of habit and he eats the same thing for lunch every day. Turkey sandwhich, carrots, yogurt. He eats double protein bread but I don't think it's whole wheat. He uses Kraft "cheese" and mustard and tries to eat lower sugar yogurt. His breakfast and dinner routines vary but not very much. He avoids eating out when he can and he does cook for himself frequently. He likes cereal for breakfast, or perhaps a protein smoothie with frozen strawberries and milk. Dinner is most often a burrito with frozen, pre-cooked chicken, shredded cheese, rice, and salsa. When he does eat out (1-2 times a week), he goes for the gold and eats whatever he wants (burgers, fries, chicken wings, sushi, etc.).

So who do you think has a healthier relationship with food? I envy him for his nonchalance. Even though I do find pleasure in food, I stress out a lot about nutrition. I talk about my food choices and my weight too much, and I talk about OTHER people's food choices and weight too much! He eats what is put in front of him and doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects. He doesn't seem to feel any lasting guilt about his nutrition like I do. Of course he thought that I had a better relationship with food because I like it and I eat a greater variety of food and perhaps make more intentional choices than he does.

When it comes to food, what does a healthy relationship look like? Is it not caring about food in a society that worships eating or is it maximizing nutition and enjoyment of food in a society flooded with frankenfood?

A (Boring) Week of Food In Pictures

I thought it would be fun to take pictures of the food I ate for a week so people can SEE what a paleo diet looks like.
Standard disclaimers: I make exceptions to the Paleo doctrine. I use a small amount of dairy, mostly as butter and heavy cream, and for this week (due to health issues) kefir and greek yogurt. 

I started this on a Tuesday afternoon, so I don't have a picture of my breakfast. It was 2 eggs over medium, 3 slices of bacon, and sauteed kale, spinach, and green onion (all veggies from my CSA share). That's my daily breakfast on most days. About 1.5 hours after I ate, I went for a 5 mile run and did a 10 minute high intensity bodyweight routine.
Tuesday Lunch: 2 bison polish sausages (Whole Foods), ketchup, and beet greens sauteed in bacon fat. Beet greens are my favorite green, but I have to buy the beets to get them, so I roasted 3 beets to get my beet greens.

Tuesday Dinner: Taco salad on lettuce leaves. Grass fed ground sirloin (Whole Foods although it's usually from the Farmer's Market), taco seasoning mix (Trader Joes, has sugar but it's otherwise "clean"), grated zucchini, scallion, avocado, dollop of full fat plain greek yogurt (Whole Foods is the ONLY place I can find full fat greek yogurt), and the roasted beets I cooked earlier. Yes, it sounds gross but the beets tasted good mixed in with everything else.

Tuesday Carb Count: 67g (had beets, yogurt, chocolate, and pom. seeds)
Tuesday Exercise: 5 mile run and a 10 minute HIIT session

Wednesday Breakfast (10:30AM): 2 eggs, 3 pieces bacon, kale.

Wednesday Dinner (wasn't hungry until dinner at 6:45): leftover taco meat on lettuce with avocado, full fat greek yogurt, and a yellow bell pepper. 

Wednesday Carb Count: 39g (from pepper, chocolate, avocado, and kale)
Wednesday Exercise:1 mile walk, 3 mile run, .5 mile walk. Then a 20 minute HIIT session with one of my classes. Then some kettlebell swing rounds with another class with walking in between.

Thursday Breakfast (11AM): 2 eggs cooked in microwave with about 1/2Tbs pastured butter, 2 slices bacon, heavy cream and blueberries. I ate the heavy cream and blueberries first (I had just bought the blueberries and HAD to have some), and then I was still hungry so I had a smaller than normal breakfast.

Thursday Dinner (6PM): Ribeye steak (Trader Joes, not grass fed), organic squash with pastured butter. I ate some greek yogurt right before dinner, so I wasn't hungry for a big meal.

Thursday Exercise: Ran 1 mile, walked .85 miles
Thursday Carbs: 40.5g, mostly from the foods I ate between meals (blueberries, 1/2 lara bar, and the greek yogurt and squash)

Friday Breakfast (1PM): 3 egg omelet with raw cheddar cheese, kale and spinach. Three pieces of bacon.

Friday Dinner (7:30PM): Mahi Mahi from Trader Joe's. Pre-seasoned with olive oil and spices, 12 minutes in the oven. Salad with all my remaining lettuce from the farm since I will get a new batch tomorrow, plus avocado, bacon, pecans, and red bell pepper. I didn't finish dinner...wasn't very hungry.

Friday Exercise: 1 mile walk, 3 mile run, .62 mile walk. 40 minute boot camp with my clients.
Friday Carb Count:39, from blueberries, strawberries, pecans, chocolate, kale, and cheese

Saturday I wasn't feeling good and had no desire to eat, despite being very active. I didn't consider any of the things I ate to be meals, so I didn't take any pictures.
Saturday Breakfast: heavy cream and blueberries.
Saturday Lunch: deli turkey, avocado, and lettuce
Saturday Exercise: early morning easy jog with a friend, 2.5 miles. Afternoon rock climbing, 2 hours. Evening walk, 1 hour.
Saturday Carb Count: 32g from chocolate, avocado, lettuce, and blueberries

On Sunday I still wasn't feeling good, but I forced myself to cook.
Sunday Breakfast: Crustless Quiche made with eggs, heavy cream, bacon, kale, and scallions.

Sunday Lunch: After church restaurant meal, but I wasn't very hungry. It was more for the company. I had a salad with not much but some cheese, lettuce, and chicken. No dressing.

Sunday Dinner: Pulled pork that I cooked in the crock pot all day. Leftover squash.

Sunday Exercise: 45 minute kettlebell workout, 30 minute easy spin on bike
Sunday Carb Count: 26g from chocolate, salsa, lettuce, and cheese

Monday, still not too into food. It's a reaction to some stress occurring this week.
Monday Breakfast: One slice of leftover quiche, 2 pieces bacon, sauteed swiss chard. Couldn't finish this meal.

Monday Lunch: Leftover Pulled Pork. Yummy
Monday Exercise: 48  minute walk. Very sore in the hamstrings from kettlebells.
Monday Carb Count: 47g from chocolate mousse with blueberries (chocolate mousse is made with better, eggs, and 70% or 85% dark chocolate), 1 slice of apple, 6 sun drop candies, and swiss chard

So, as you can see, I usually only eat two meals a day. That's all I'm hungry for. I do snack between, usually things like some nuts, heavy cream and fruit, sardines, or chocolate. I also have black coffee every morning. Nothing exciting, but it's my real-life diet. I like it. 
This week I am doing a "survival week", which to me means:
1. no dairy
2. carbs under 50g every day
3. no food shopping
4. fast 14-16 hours every day unless extremely hungry
5. no sugar or chocolate or sugar substitutes

I have only done a survival week twice before, as they usually cause me to rebound and eat badly when I am done, but I was feeling up for a challenge, and I want to challenge myself to eat what I have in the house already. That's the fun part!

Attention Triathletes! MUST take the time to listen to this interview on Rockstar Triathlete with Robb Wolf. If you have ever considered trying a paleo diet or are just curious about it, LISTEN. If you want some info on why athletes should avoid grains, LISTEN. If you want to know how to improve your performance through diet, LISTEN! And if you have questions, like what Robb means when he recommends medium chain triglycerides or what kinds of oils are inflammatory, or anything else related to the paleo diet, leave me a comment or send me a note on Facebook.
Copyright © 2010 FTP Nutrition All rights reserved.
Wp Theme by Templatesnext . Blogger Template by Anshul