If you’re hungry right now, you may want to save this post for later because these mouth-watering meals are going to make your stomach growl like a mama bear emerging from hibernation.
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to nutrition – certainly not a nutritionist or a dietitian. I did take a Nutrition 101 class in college that helped me immensely in understanding food and how it works with human physiology, and I have read many books on the subject for my own personal education. But alas, with all the intricacies of food and its relation to health, wellness, longevity, and performance, I’ll leave most nutritional recommendations to the true experts and encourage you to do your own learning.
The best advice I could give you regarding nutrition is that a well-rounded education should be the most important priority – draw your insights from many sources and don’t focus on individual diets that tend to demonize certain foods or eating habits. Learn from everyone.
So, take a look at what I eat and try to guess what kind of diet I follow. I’ll let the food do the talking…
5 egg omelet with onion, green pepper, and ham, 2 slices whole wheat toast with peanut butter, strawberries, raspberries, and green tea
Hard boiled eggs, oatmeal with strawberries, blackberries, banana, cinnamon, and shaved almonds, orange tea
4-egg omelet with onion, green and red bell peppers, ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and medium salsa, oatmeal with strawberries and blackberries
Steak Fajitas with peppers, onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce, on whole wheat tortillas
Venison burger with sharp cheddar cheese, mixed greens, and avocado
Buffalo wraps with iceberg lettuce and shredded potato
Beef burger with onion, corn, seasoned potatoes, and apple sauce
Beefy Spanish Rice with cheddar cheese on top
Buffalo meat sauce spaghetti, honey-mustard pork chop, and house salad
Bacon Poppers from Son of Grok – Jalepeno pepper stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, mmm mmm good! – Eating these things could be considered sinful – but we enjoy them with zero guilt. In fact, I usually wish we had made more!
Now, you’re either dying to eat something right now, or you’re entirely repulsed by the food I’ve pictured above. I know all my Paleo friends are going bonkers because of all the grains and cheese I eat. I don’t care. Nutrition is such a complicated subject, and many guru’s attempt to make it simpler by suggesting “dumbed-down” rules of “eat this, not that.” I’m all for simplicity, but this is a knee-jerk solution that isn’t helping anyone. You see, good nutrition is based upon principles, not rules – just like strength training is.
We tend to get lost in the details of the elusive, “best diet” rather than focusing on the timeless principles that can provide everything we would ever need nutritionally.
Here is some food for thought…
I bet you didn’t know that lactose intolerance is IMMENSELY variable depending on your race/nationality. Yup, some people are at a much lower risk of developing an allergy to dairy products, and I happen to be one of them (European heritage). That’s why I enjoy cheese, whole milk, yogurt, and even ice cream on occasion. And yet, some guru’s claim that dairy will kill you!
And I’m sure you’ve also heard all about the benefits of fish oil, too. I bet you didn’t know it acts as a blood thinner – plus it can contain mercury if it isn’t processed properly and goes rancid. I know, I know – that’s not what you heard. You were probably told all about the omega-3’s and how good it is for your skin, hair, nails, heart health, among other things. Sheesh, what people won’t say for money, eh?
Some people even process carbohydrates better than others (including fibrous, starchy, simple, and complex carbs). It’s been called “carbohydrate tolerance,” and “carb sensitivity” and it is largely variable from person to person. But I usually hear two kinds of advice for carb consumption: 1) eat carbs, or 2) don’t eat carbs. I seldom hear the advice to seek your own answers and see if carbohydrates are ok and good for you personally.
The Bottom Line
You see, nutrition is a complicated subject, and the most important thing we can do is to educate ourselves and realize that there is no “one-size fit’s all” diet. I encourage you to view our abundant food supply as a luxury and take advantage of it. Adopt a food-focused lifestyle and enjoy the process of selecting, preparing, and eating delicious, wholesome food. Make your diet a fun priority instead of a dreaded obligation and you’ll reap the rewards of actually enjoying the process of becoming healthier through your diet.
If you want to start educating yourself about basic nutrition, then I highly recommend:
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle – apart from going to a college level nutrition course, this is probably the next-best step. Author, Tom Venuto, provides meticulous descriptions and explanations for basic nutrition in easy-to-understand, immediately applicable laymen’s terms. So much so, in fact, that many people who buy Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle call it their Nutrition bible. Do remember that this is a basic nutrition book, with broad and comprehensive advice. It’s the ice-pick, not the scalpel. It won’t answer your question about gluten-related food allergies, but it will give you a big picture perspective on how to enjoy a balanced diet in moderation. The information inside BFFM should form the foundation of any nutrition re-education. The best part is that BFFM was written for people looking to lose bodyfat naturally and permanently, which is exactly why most people change their diet in the first place. Learn more about Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle at the official site here: http://BurnTheFat.com
Or, take a class in Nutrition 101 at your local community college like I did (or just buy the course textbook and study it yourself). It was one of the most informative and life-practical courses I ever took in college.
So, which of the above looks the most appetizing to you? If I get enough comments and votes, maybe I’ll post the full recipe for you.
To your health and success,
CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT
Fitness Professional and Food Lover