I mentioned awhile back that I had read Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism (on the recommendation of Cathy Zielske) and it had influenced my diet quite a bit. It has been on my list to write a post about it, especially after sharing so much of my food choices during Week in the Life.
To start, thanks to running and Bar Method, I have reached a weight I am happy with that works for me. Now, my goals involve maintaining, building more muscle and continuing to have a good relationship with food.
I should also say, I have struggled with food in the past. In college, I went on a crazy calorie constricting diet that took the weight off, but really messed up my emotions, sleeping pattern and life. I know for certain that calorie counting is not for me. It was addicting and terrible.
Because of past struggles, I am really happy to have a new outlook on food. Food is something that keeps me going and that I enjoy, but not something I stress over or worry about. I have been focusing on eating real food. Stuff that expires. Stuff that needs to be refrigerated. Stuff with minimal ingredients on the package. Stuff that's naturally colorful.
Real Food. What a concept.
And the focus of the book is Real Food along with an exhaustive list of reasons for why it's good to eat real. It's pretty science-y and reads a bit like a textbook. And at times, in the words of my friend veronica, "the author can be a little alarmist." And that's totally it.
But for me, at this point in my life, it was really great. I soaked up the information like a sponge and was bummed when it turned out Paul already knew about all that science stuff. He reminded me that he'd already told me a lot of it. But I guess I had to read it for myself to make the changes.
So what are the changes I've made?
- no yellow cheese. Cheese is white when it comes out of the animal. Keep it that way.
- no non-fat or low fat dairy. Except for milk, it's now whole everything. (I just haven't made the whole milk switch yet.)
- I eat a bit of protein with fruit. (slice of cheese, swipe of peanut butter)
- I eat all natural peanut butter - just peanuts and salt on the ingredients list
- no extra stuff in my coffee except just a bit of milk.
- I eat trader joes sprouted wheat bread
- coconut water instead of gatorade
- greek yogurt (I add a bit of honey for sweetness)
- less sugar in general
- no crackers or cookies in the house (which we don't have anyway)
- I eat EGGS. Real eggs. I was an "egg beater" girl for years. And now I eat cage free eggs for lunch all the time.
- real butter. No chemical crap.
- more wheat flour when I'm baking
- more greens (still really, really working on this.)
And what are the results after a month of this?
Overall, I am less hungry. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. But rarely need snacks. And when I do, it's fruit or almonds. Before this, I was eating low-fat or non-fat crap, but a lot of it. Basically everything that I have added to my diet has more calories : butter, eggs, all that non-fat dairy. But I have not gained any weight.
And more importantly, I feel so much better. The difference was really noticeable when Paul and I spent last week in a hotel room in Ventura. We were eating almost all our meals out and I felt like a sloth. I had a list of things to do while he was working and nothing got done. Instead I laid around the hotel room all day and bummed out. No good. Now, after almost a week of being back to my normal eating routine, I feel motivated and in general have a higher energy level. Much better for my health and sanity.
I think after a while of eating Real Food, what you crave changes. I really believe that eating better fuels better eating. It's like a ride. And that book helped me hop on.