I’m not sure if I remember how blogging works… I write stuff… here… and then you read it and laugh at me?
Happy New Year to ya’s! Sorry for my absence. As I mentioned in the post below, transitioning from a career plus a job-ish hobby (or a hobby-ish job?) to just the job and a fledgling business is a feat. It’s a bit exhausting. A few times I’ve kinda thought… eh, f— it. There’s no way it’s happening. I’ve missed you Fitties so much and I noticed my Facebook posts were getting into multi-paragraphs so I figured it was time to blog it up again!
Luckily, I have a lot of encouraging pushers out there. They nag, they cajole, they love. Thanks guys (well, actually, thanks girls and the AntiRat)
Rest assured, I have been busy though! January 13, I’ll be co-teaching at HUGE Zumba event in Lawrence, MA. Anyone wanna come? Contact me for tickets!
In other news, I’ve got a group of hardcore Fitties participating in the Bodyrock.tv 30 Day Challenge! Yesterday was the Fit Test, which left me pretty stiff this morning. Uh oh! 😉
I’m also running a 10 Day Clean Eating Challenge on Facebook. So I’ve got 2 Challenges going on right now. I’m on Day 2 of the Body Rock Challenge and Day 4 of the Clean Eating Challenge. Sheesh, no wonder why I’m so confused! 😉
My clean eating challenge is so, so simple. 10 days. No sugar. No booze. No processed foods. Everything else is game.
What is truly shocking to me is the number of questions I got from people about what acceptable food is. Can we have fruit? Uh, is it sugar? Is it processed? Is it booze? Yes, fruit contains fructose, a form of sugar, but it’s not technically sugar, which is sucrose.
Yes, fruit is fine.
The messages continued to pour in. Wait, we can eat pork? (Yes, unless you keep kosher or halal. Or are vegetarian) Can we eat bread? (See the “processed food” stricture) What about potatoes/bananas/aspartame/milk/cheese etc. etc.
I think that the competing food “rules” handed down by various diet plans make it virtually impossible for sentient, intelligent people to understand that health improvements can be achieved simply by eliminating processed foods, sugar and alcohol. No food combining rules, no juicers need, no organic wheat grass or locally grown sustainable what have you’s. If you are currently eating processed food, alcohol and sugar, you will be healthier if you stop doing it. Plain and simple.
Now, you can ramp that up a little bit after you get those three principles down pat and start to eat organic and local and eliminate dairy or what have you, but over complication tends to lead to frustration which leads to burn-out, despair and a return to the Cheeto and Frappuccino diet.
Three simple principles. No Sugar. No Booze. No Processed Food. If you can’t nail those, all the organic locavore plans in the world won’t help you.
So this post isn’t to harsh on the poor souls who are so beleaguered by years of diet nonsense that they just don’t know which way is up. It’s merely raising the issue that, as Americans, we don’t know what food is anymore. I guarantee you that you know people who are more likely to reach for fat-free, sugar-free Cool Whip than they are to reach for a banana because bananas have too much sugar. And they will believe, to the cockles of their soul, that they have made a healthy choice by going with the chemical food-substitute.
And sugar does make you unhealthy and packs on the pounds. But fructose found in whole pieces of fruit is not a Snickers (note that fructose put into soda or crystallized and made into sugar substitutes is a different beast).
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you exactly how to eat healthy. They’ll quote Michael Pollan and tell you to eat food, mostly plants and not too much. They’ll tell you to never skip breakfast, drink plenty of water and never eat after 7 pm. They’ll tell you to eat fruit on an empty stomach or to eat it for dessert. They’ll tell you all sorts of things.
But our country and our world keeps getting fatter, people are getting unhappier and more obsessed with food and nutrition. For what? Is this how man was made to live?
Did God design us to require a PhD in nutrition in order to live healthful lives and normal body weights? Did God design us to require the latest diet advice book available for $19.99 from Barnes and Noble? Surely not. In my work, I see women every day who have so much nutritional information and diet plans available to them that they freeze, like a deer in the headlights, and they’re unable to implement any of it. Perhaps what I need, they think, is a BETTER diet plan. So they look for more diet rules. They complicate where they should be simplifying. I’ll go vegan! I’ll go raw! I’ll go primal! I’ll low-carb! I’ll be macrobiotic! I’ll go on a detox (um, next week. After the company pizza party)!
And of course, because an ascetic can’t survive very long in a society as culinarily profligate as ours, they fail, they crash, they burn and they give up.
Three little principles. No sugar. No booze. No processed food.
Not forever, no. For 10 days. Is it hard? Well, yes, after the dessert orgy that is the holidays, it is a little tough not to ladle sugar and booze down one’s throat every 2.5 hours (I miss egg nog. Anyone else?). But everything in life involves choice. You can choose to exercise discipline over food or suffer the consequences of excess. The pain of discipline now or the pain of regret later, as the saying goes.
By nature, we’re attracted to laws and rules. Because when we keep them, it feels SO good. “Look at me!” we say. “What a good girl I am! Look at the gold star I just earned!” And when we break them, well… it doesn’t matter. That was just a little law.
And so it goes with dieting. While relative freedom exists in three simple principles, we want to add extras. What do you mean I can be healthy without eating organic food? It’s true! Plenty of people don’t eat organic and are perfectly fine and slim and happy.
What do you mean I can eat carbs/meat/fat and be healthy?
I’m not lying guys. You don’t have to follow punishing regimes to get good health with relatively little effort. Also easy, though not necessarily simple.
Give it a shot this New Year instead of jumping on the latest diet craze. On a special occasion (ie, a holiday or your birthday or that of a close friend or relative), relax the booze and sugar strictures. But make them treats. I think you’ll be surprised at your results.