Note: This post is Part 5 of a 6 Part Series on how I lost 60 pounds. You can find a list of all of the posts in this series here. Or, if you want the whole kit and caboodle in one mammoth post, you can click here. (Update as of April 17, 2017: I’ve now lost 70 pounds and am no longer trying to lose weight, just trying to get fitter and stronger).
So far we’ve talked about:
Part 1: Getting your mind into being physically fit. We become what we think about most of the time. If you want to be physically fit, you need to spend a proportionate amount of time thinking about being physically fit. You need a mental commitment.
Part 3: I talk about tweaks I made to the Slow Carb Diet to make it my own.
Part 4: I talk about short-term and long-term goals. How I’d go into a store to try on a pair of pants to see how close I was to getting into the next size down or timing myself on a bike ride to see if I was riding faster.
Now I want to talk about diet. In previous posts I’ve emphasized how I still indulge myself with favorite foods. I still eat pizza and drink beer. But I’m also a Food Valuist. That’s an important term. The food I put in my body, especially if it’s bad for me, must have a high value in my book.
Starving yourself is no fun at all though, and you need some Go-To Foods you can eat and never feel bad about. I do try to starve myself. In Part 3 I talk about how I use Intermittent Fasting. But there are times I just need food. Here’s what I eat.
Go to Foods
Bean soup has always been a staple in our house. It’s a cheap meal that my wife would make about once a month. Basically, it’s just cans of beans and a few cans of diced tomatoes all thrown into a big pot. Now I always want bean soup in the house. It’s food I can eat and never feel bad for eating. I can take it different directions, too. One day I’ll throw in some cilantro. Another day curry powder. Another day it’s Worcester sauce. Another day it’s whole cloves of garlic. I’ve put dozens or hundreds of different combinations of herbs and spices and sauces in my bean soup. I’ll have a cup or a cup and a half for lunch or a late night snack a few times a week.
I usually eat 3-4 avocados a week. There’s a lot I like about avocados. As I have gotten more into strenuous exercise and work-outs (more on that later), avocados are a great source of potassium (more than a banana!). They’re also loaded with fiber. An avocado has about 230 calories, and you even get 3 grams of protein. I’ll cut an avocado, take the pit out, and then fill the two halves with a little salsa, preferably my wife’s homemade salsa with a recipe we got from our friends the in Guatemala.
Greek Yogurt is a total diversion from the Slow Carb Diet. (No dairy on the Slow Carb Diet) but it works for me. It’s good for my digestive track (loads of probiotics) and packs about 25 grams of protein per cup. Greek yogurt is a favorite snack a few hours after dinner if I am hungry. I have also substituted Greek Yogurt wherever I used to put sour cream. This is basically the best substitution in the history of food. I should add, thanks to my friend Bryan, that I recommend Low-Fat Greek Yogurt. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt gives me what I want (something in my belly, probiotics, protein) while limiting the amount of fat and calories I am taking in. Not that all fat is bad, I’d just prefer to get it somewhere other than my Greek Yogurt. My friend Leila hates the way low-fat yogurts taste and only eats high fat yogurts. That means she has to make an adjustment somewhere else, which I am sure she does because she’s in great shape. So if you hate the way low-fat yogurt tastes, you can have high fat yogurt but you’ll have to make up for it somewhere else.
Quest Bars. I don’t eat many Quest Bars. I just enjoy food too much, and to me, Quest Bars are a full-on utilitarian approach to nutrition. But these are good to have around to keep you from eating complete junk when you really need fuel for your body.
Eggs. If I am going to have breakfast, I’ll have an egg or two. My son eats eggs for breakfast everyday so they’re always around and I don’t feel bad for having some with him if I wake up especially hungry or I am about to leave the house for a big day and may not have easy access to good food.
Good foods, to me, are foods that have….
As much protein as possible, with as much fiber as possible, with as few calories as possible, and as few carbs as possible, preferably slow carbs.
I never read labels before and never really understood what I needed to put in my body. I just ate. I was o the “See Food” diet. Now, I want to make sure I am putting good things in my body.
Now let’s talk….
Vitamins, Supplements, Essential Oils
There are a few that have been a part of my regiment, mostly from doTerra. [Disclosure: My wife is a wellness advocate for doTerra and the link is to her store. We fell in love with doTerra essential oils and supplements as a way to stay healthy while traveling and they are now a part of our life everyday. I use several oils on a daily or weekly basis that are not mentioned here].
At times I am starving myself. I mean really, I do starve myself sometimes. I’m okay with that because sometimes I eat like a pig. But when I am starving myself, there’s a few vitamins and supplements which I think have helped keep my body happy and entering starvation mode. The first is TerraGreens, a blend of whole food fruits and vegetables combined with superfruits and CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. It’s a powder that I add to an 8 ounce glass of water, and I prefer the powder because I always prefer powder to pill form whenever possible.
During times of “regular” eating, I regularly will drink a glass of water with Slim&Sassy Metabolic Blend essential oils which is designed to help manage appetite between meals. I’ll also add a little Grapefruit essential oils to a glass of water to boost my metabolism before I am about to eat a big meal or break a fast. Careful with these essential oils. They are potent. Also, don’t think you’re going to use the Grapefruit essential oils to boost your metabolism and not eat, as some extreme push toward losing weight. It will wreck your stomach. (You may have picked up from this post that I am a person given toward extremes and I speak from experience). I also use the Alpha CRS supplement (in pill form). dōTERRA Alpha CRS+ Cellular Vitality Complex is a formula combining potent levels of natural botanical extracts that support healthy cell function with important metabolic factors of cellular energy. Microplex VMz is a food supplement in pill form that I take with me when I am traveling and may find the TerraGreens powder difficult to fuss with.
I also take Pine Pollen Powder from Vitajing Herbs, which I order from Amazon. Again, I prefer this in powder instead of pill form as I think it’s absorbed into the body more effectively. Pine Pollen Powder boosts testosterone, physical and mental energy, your immune system, and is a general “anti-aging” tonic.
I always have lemons and limes around and in the morning I’ll slice one lemon and one lime and squeeze the juice into the water with my powders and supplements I am taking. This entire process gets my day off to a good start. I feel like I am taking care of my body. I put a dab of Lemon essential oils on my fingers and rub it on my face and I feel fresh and healthy and ready to go. I stretch while the coffee brews. I feel healthy. I feel good. I feel 1,000 times better than I did a year ago.
Which brings us to the Finish Line. Or is there no Finish Line at all? Check out Part 6: The Finish Line?