Science that fits your life
It has been a long road to get to this point. I’ve tried everything -- every fad, every research-based diet, and the latest, greatest way of eating. Once I even tried an 80% healthy-fat, low-carbohydrate diet called Ketogenics, and it worked! I had never been so lean, but the side effects from that much fat intake took a toll on me. The problem was I could never wander too far from a bathroom, so eventually I decided it wasn’t for me. Some of you are thinking, “I don’t care if I have to s**t my pants every day, tell me about this Ketogenic diet!” Well, it's another topic for another day.
I’ve been a vegetarian, a vegan, Paleo, a calorie-counter, and everything in between. The advantage of trying so many different ways of eating is that I now know what works for me and my lifestyle. I have to pay attention to the current scientific thinking, but my philosophy is to build on what I know – not to reinvent the wheel or try something drastic.
My experience as my own laboratory with every diet under the sun, along with my knowledge of the latest science and nutrition research, is what enabled and inspired me to create Fit Nutrition. I tried to balance the best scientific research around nutrition with the practicalities of today’s busy lifestyle. I also take into account that we are all different when it comes to our nutritional needs and preferences. We are different in gender, age, and hormone levels, all of which have a huge effect on what we eat, and sometimes, when we eat. It’s critical to find the best nutrition solution for yourself, and it has to be something sustainable for you and your lifestyle. Your nutrition plan should also allow you to eat in a way that allows you to enjoy life and enjoy food.
While I can make nutrition recommendations for anyone at any stage of life, it’s necessary to commit to the plan 100% in order to see the benefits. I can talk to you about weight loss, longevity, energy, muscle building, etc. I can “bust myths” and dispel popular notions about what’s “good for you”. I can even disagree with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but none of it matters if you won’t commit.
Here are some principles of Fit Nutrition that you should be aware of:
- It’s ok to be hungry. I know our culture doesn’t “allow” us to be hungry, and that we don’t really ever have to be hungry. However, hunger is actually a good thing. It helps set circadian rhythms that can be helpful in balancing hormones, which are critical when it comes to weight loss and optimal athletic performance.
- Knowledge is power. Know what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. Ask questions about ingredients. It’s ok. You’re putting it in your body; don’t you want to know what it is?
- Eat organic whenever possible (see my previous blog on the topic). Processed, packaged foods are not only lower in vital minerals and nutrients, but most of them have additives that will prohibit weight loss and decrease athletic performance.
- Consume sugar in limited quantities. It's ok to indulge your sweet tooth sometimes and bake yourself something sweetened naturally, with dates, ripe banana, a little maple syrup or raw honey. Fruit, which is generally high in fructose, should be eaten whole to get the nutritional benefits of the entire fruit, rather than just the sugar in the juice. Of course, avoid processed sugar like the plague.
- It’s ok to eat grains. WHAT?! Stay with me: while you’ve heard me say many times that grains increase insulin levels, cause inflammation, and reek havoc on your gut, for me (and most people), it doesn’t work to get rid of grains, all together. I eat grains! To be clear, I soak and sprout my grains (and beans) at home, and that’s the only way I’ll eat them, but I do eat them. Sprouting at home works for me, but it might not work for you and your family. It works for me and my family because, a.) my four kids want to eat rice, lentils, beans, etc., and b.) it hasn’t affected the way I feel, I haven’t gained weight, and my athletic performance hasn’t decreased (at least not as a result of eating grains). That said, the amount of carbohydrates in rice, sprouted or not, is the same, so for some people, it may cause an insulin spike and lead to weight gain.
Fit Nutrition will guide you not only in what to eat, but how much to eat and when. All three factors are important, and depending upon your specific goals, getting one factor wrong can mean the difference between reaching your goal or not – whatever your goal is. Getting all three right will give you the best chance to achieve your goal, whether it’s weight loss, muscle building, lowering cholesterol or blood pressure or even sleeping better.
As I’ve said, Fit Nutrition is a culmination of my years of experimentation and research and is also an amalgamation of many different philosophies and ways of eating. It is not based on one singular lifestyle, nutrition plan or set of beliefs. While it adheres to certain truths, based on science, Fit Nutrition can take on different “shapes and sizes” because it’s meant to be something that works for just about anyone who wants to feel good and be strong, healthy and fit.
Many of you have heard about and experienced aspects of Fit Nutrition already if you’ve been around and participated in any of the challenges. You’ll learn more about it if you participate in Fit 14, which starts February 29. Jump in and try it!