IIFIYM and why it probably won’t work for you

EATING HEALTHY


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WHAT EXACTLY IS A FAD?

First, what ever happened to a simple cheat meal? The concept being, that after staying on track, eating wise and healthy for a specific amount of time, we reward ourselves with the meal of our choice. Guilt free. Your inner self thanking you, you revel in high caloric deliciousness, and your metabolism possibly getting a little jump start as well.

fad   noun

  • an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.

IIFIYM


The acronym gone Instafamous, If It Fits In Your Macros, i.e. “flexible dieting”, has gone viral and taken the industry by storm, and not without it’s controversies. This one, in my opinion, has asked for it. The concept behind it seems simple enough. Stay within your “count” and you can be “flexible” and eat what you want, on a regular basis.

Yeah, no.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO, HMMMM

Pizza once in awhile is probably not going to cause you a lot of problems. Keep trying to justify eating it on a regular basis because 2 slices “fits in your macros” will probably lead to some issues, though. By the way, who says restaurants and companies are telling the truth on all that serving info? There are such things as “empty calories”. Unless you cooked the food yourself, fully aware of exactly what went into it, how does one know the truth?

We don’t.

“The only way to get the fat off is to eat less and exercise more” – Jack Lalanne

The man lived to be 96. Personally, I believe he was doing something right. Second, to be clear my favorite cheat meal happens to be onion rings. I love them dipped in everything from honey mustard to ranch. However, knowing that a typical serving has anywhere from 15 – 18 grams of fat, in roughly 6 – 9 pieces, do I just figure this into my daily count and eat them whenever I want?

No.

Fried food clogs arteries and contributes to a whole host of health problems. All of this leads me to my main point. Eating clean means different things to different people. To the majority of us it simply means consuming more fresh, relatively additive and preservetive free foods that are proven to be good for us. And full of flavor!

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Diets and fads come and go, but one thing remains the same, we have to watch what we eat and exercise more.

As with starting any new diet or exercise regimen I would suggest first consulting a physician.

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EAT LIKE AN ANCIENT GREEK?

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“Now if you want an onion, just consider what great expense it takes to make it good; You must have cheese and honey, and sesame…to dress it up with; for by itself the onion is bitter and unpleasant to taste.” – 

Much can be told by the type of food one eats. Interestingly enough, onions were fed to Olympian athletes in large quantities. Believing they helped to cleanse their bodies, the ancient greeks in the gymnasiums treated them a sort of detox. Previously worshipped by the Egyptians as a symbol of eternity, the greeks also took to them for strength and soldiers rubbed them on their skin.

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MODERATION

The ancient Greeks had a saying that summed up their overall atittudes.

Meden Agan

“Nothing too much”.  It was inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Delphi, a sacred site a little over a hundered miles northwest of the Capital Athens, was considered the center of the world. If anyone practiced what they preached, surely it was here.

2500 years ago before supersize, this society ate straight from the land and sea. With fish, fruit, and copious amounts of olive oil, evidence shows they ate smaller meals throughout the day. Dinner being the most important. If you were of means, animal proteins were typically saved for special occasions. Although diluted wine was served at breakfast, wine was not meant for excess consumption.

“Though in reality old wine is not only more pleasant, but also better for health;…and being thinner it itself  more digestable;” – 3rd Century BCE poet Alexis

Studies are still out as to the true benefits of red wine, specifically for the heart, but dare we say it surely better than soft drinks? And in moderation, isn’t a fine, aged Cabernet oh so delicious?

Onions, now widely thought of to be an incredibly healthy food are high in antioxidents, or powerful free radical fighting agents.

More on onions

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More and more we try and “clean up” our diets. Rightfully so, too many foods today contain additives, preservatives, and large amounts of ingredients we cannot pronounce. While it can be very confusing keeping up with the newest “discoveries,” two principles remain clear and easy to understand;

  • Moderation
  • Fresh

The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised & Updated 3rd Edition, states “Cutting back on fat or switching to healthier fats doesn’t need to be a huge change. Even small changes add up.”  Suggesting more seafood consumption, fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains as well, one can imagine perhaps a late Athenian afternoon, warm breezes off the Agean Sea blowing over a table of terra cotta pots full of freshly picked olives and hardboiled eggs. With honey to dip your cheese in, and lemon to squeeze over lightly seasoned fish. Finishing with a dessert of perfectly ripened and juicy figs, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think twice about the content of our meals.

And just enjoy.

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For a free copy of my upcoming ebook on ancient greek fitness and diet subscribe by email!

 

 

 

Summer Staple

Nutrition


MEAL PREP IDEAS

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A cleaner version of a summer classic, this recipe substitutes plain, greek-style yogurt for mayonnaise, not only cutting fat tremendously, but adding more protein per serving. You can do half and half, or cut the mayo out all together. Strained to remove it’s whey, greek-style yogurt has a much higher protein content largely of casein.

👉 What you’ll need

  • 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Poached or baked. Shredded.

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👌 For a “Waldorf” style (my favorite) add honey and apples.

  • 1/4 cup plain, unflavored greek-style yogurt
  • Salt & pepper

Mix & chill.

👉 Suggestions

Drain yogurt before folding in. The salad will keep longer.

Add different ingredients to each days meal. Variety is a good thing.

Wait until eating to add seasoning.


Bon appetit!

Time to Shop

Eating Clean


The Grocery Store

“The odds of going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are a billion to one”

– Erma Bombeck

Known for her wit as well as her keen observations of everyday life, Mrs. B was right on point here.

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CHOICES

Truth be told, the aisles in today’s supermarkets are overloaded with choices.  According to consumer reports, between 1975 and 2008 the average item count in a supermarket went from 8,948 to 47,000. How many flavors of Triscuit does a person need? The article goes on to say that for some researchers, “Variety exists for a reason.” Be that as it may, every day, more and more people are trying to eat better, healthier, and cleaner. The more choices, the harder it gets.

Simplify, Simplify

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Jwilliamstrains Top Three Tips for An Efficient Shopping Experience. 

  • Making a list, checking it twice Write it all down. Forget Adult ADD, it is simply to easy to over buy with so much to choose from. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t include treats/cheat meal foods either. 
  • Avoid going to the grocery store hungry Hunger can make us Hangry, and that isn’t good for anyone. So avoid it all costs. It also leads to overbuying. Which in turn leaves less for the snappy new gym outfit. Priorities. 
  • Staying Outside the Box  👈Make a concerted effort to stay on the outer perimeter of the store. Stop for a moment and think about what is lining the walls. Produce, meats, dairy, fresh, fresh, & more fresh. Mostly food items that need to be consumed quickly. And as we know “The fresher the better.” 

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Cleaner eating is more than just a habit, it’s a lifestyle. And like riding a bicycle once you learn correctly you just don’t forget.

For more ideas on how to streamline your clean eating process email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

MEAL PREP MADE EASY

Eating Well


SIDES & SALADS

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This has to be one of the most versatile dishes to include in your make-ahead menu. With the dressing kept on the side, the ingredients keep in the refrigerator crisp & fresh the entire week.

An easy work lunch or a quick snack bite, it includes protein, healthy carbs, and raw veggie power.

What you’ll need

Salad

Using couscous as the base, add bell peppers, chickpeas, onion, and cucumber. For even more flavor cook the couscous in chicken or vegetable stock. Or, simply add water. When it comes time, toss in a basic country vinaigrette, or plain olive oil.

GET CREATIVE

Add what you like. Varying the ingredients keeps it interesting. Try cilantro, blanched asparagus or kidney beans. Bring along a hardboiled egg.

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No need to really measure here, it’s veggies we’re talking about. So load up!

OFFICE ENVY

“I’m staying at my desk for lunch today”

Leave this in the break room fridge and I’ll bet it will disappear.

EATING CLEAN pt 1

Eating clean is a term used quite frequently now. To each individual it means something different. I spent many years in the Food & Beverage industry and learned a great deal about various cuisines, styles of cooking, and types of service. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to run a small cafe did I really begin to fully grasp what eating clean was really all about.

I called it “my little sandwhich counter”, but it was more than that. Space was at an absolute premium and my goal, besides offering the freshest items I could, was to streamline the operation. I learned really by default.

I made all my salad dressings from scratch. I even had a customer insist she could sell my balsamic. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Now, a bodybuilder particulary during a prep phase for a show, may tell you that boiled chicken and steamed asparagus is eating clean. I learned all about that, carb-loading, and sodium manipulation when I experimented myself. That type of diet is difficult to maintain and should only be done in moderation and supervised by a professional.

For the every day person we need not go to such extreme to consider ourselves “eating clean”. We simply need to start paying attention to the amount of processed foods we consume on a daily basis. Eliminating as many additives and preservatives is an excellent start.

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Around the time I was operating the cafe I read somewhere some excellent advice I try to adhere to today.

  • When at the supermarket, try to only shop the outer parameters of the store. Produce, meats, dairy…..foods at their freshest. 

I venture into the inside aisles’ for some things. Like chunk white albacore tuna in the can, black olives, and pasta.

As one begins to appreciate food in a more natural way the palate becomes more and more discerning.

Another excellent tip to help get started is to go through your fridge. Literally.

  • Throw out anything expired, wilted, and passed it’s prime. Make it a point to read ALL of the labels.

If you cannot pronounce it you probably should not be eating it.