Health and Fitness
Eat and exercise in ways that appropriate to your body, not in ways that only worked for other people, and not because (fill in the blank) said so.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
I’ve always struggled with maintaining my weight and it started from a young age. I played youth football and there were weight limits, rightfully so to protect the kids. But as I’ve grown older and through many valuable lessons, I have realized that physical and mental health should go hand and hand. However, mental health should be put in the forefront.
I’m going to discuss two things in this article:
How to exercise without realizing we are exercising
Diet plans that aren’t actually diets
But first here are some lessons that I’ve learned throughout the years:
We can not beat ourselves up for having a body type that is unique.
We need to do things for ourselves! Meaning we have to eat healthier and move more because we want to, not because something or someone is telling us to.
Our motivation to get better should not be driven by others' opinions of ourselves.
Eating is important/ necessary for life.
Drinking water is important/ necessary for life.
Happiness is important/ necessary for life.
Exercise is easier when you don’t think you’re doing it.
How to exercise without realizing you are exercising?
Choose activities that require a lot of movement, like:
Playing with your kids
Walking to the store instead of driving (you will have to carry your groceries home too fyi)
Digging holes in the sand at the beach, lake, or river
Those are just a few examples of how to trick yourself into exercising, but make sure you are doing those things for at least 30 to 45 minutes at a time with limited breaks. Do not try to over do it and get yourself into trouble, like moving furniture with no one else around. Mistakes happen and you can be seriously hurt.
You can take it a step further and ask a friend to play some semi-organized sports like a pick up basketball game, or just shoot some hoops. Personally I enjoy organizing heavy objects like lumber, yards of topsoil, or cement blocks.
Diet plans that aren’t actually diets
I think the word “diet” is overused and completely misunderstood. Let’s do a quick Google search for the definition.
Things that stood out to me the most when looking at this screen shot:
“It’s difficult to diet”
“I’m going on a diet”
“...restricts oneself, either to lose weight”
“Restrict oneself to small amounts of special food…”
First of all it’s not difficult to eat better and the myth that it’s more expensive is twice as misleading. My wife and I found that we save at least $200 a month when we are shopping for healthier foods ala the Slow Carb Diet and eating less Lectins. Big props to Tim Ferris and Dr. Steven Gundry.
Both of those diets do not restrict you to small amounts of foods either, so you are never hungry. They do however have a yes/ no food list and I will share them with you below as well as the basic ideas behind both diets.
Slow Carb Diet
There are only five rules to follow on the Slow Carb Diet:
Avoid white starchy carbs - no rice, flour, bread, potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, or grains.
Eat the same types of meals all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This allows you to prep and removes the temptations of breaking the food list.
Don’t drink calories, BUT you can have two glasses of dry red wine per day.
Don’t eat fruit! Our ancestors didn’t eat fruit every single day, especially not in the winter so we don’t need to either. You will get your vitamins from the whole foods you eat and if you are really going HAM on this plan you will add Athletic Greens to your morning routine.
Take one day off per week as a Cheat Day and go nuts!
It’s very important to take one day off per week in order to both keep you self motivated in sticking to the eating habits via the Slow Carb Diet and in order to properly spike your metabolism back up after the week of ingesting low levels of complex carbs.
If you are interested in going deeper into the Slow Carb Diet, I can’t recommend enough that you read Tim’s book - The Four Hour Body. Not only is it packed with scientific data to support his claims, but it is also extremely entertaining. Do yourself a favor and read the chapter list and see what I mean. You will not be disappointed. And lastly, Tim says that this diet isn’t supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be effective. I’m going to challenge that a little and say that the diet can be fun and is equally effective. To better prove that eating like this can be fun, I will be sure to post some photos of my favorite Slow Carb Meals that I’ve made to my instagram feed - The Buck of All Trades as soon as I can.
Dr. Steven Gundry and The Plant Paradox
I will do my best to describe the idea/ diet that Dr. Gundry recommends, but I also highly recommend reading a copy of his book The Plant Paradox. I actually rented the book from my local library and read it on my Kindle App.
Dr. Gundry is a Cardiothoracic heart surgeon who found ways to help his patients improve their health by changing their eating habits in order to prevent surgeries. In his book, The Plant Paradox, he goes into detail about how there are specific bacterias “gut buddies” that we need and that there are certain types of plants that fight us from the inside. The plant’s biggest weapons are what he calls Lectins. Very simply, Lectins are tiny barbs located on the skin and seeds of some plants that have been developed by the plant to protect the from enemies. We are the enemies.
The Paradox that Gundry suggests is that we think that plants are here to serve us, but plants are like any other types of living things. They want to live long enough to reproduce and ensure that their offspring can reproduce and pass on their lineage. Certain plants like humans have evolved over time to ensure that survival.
Apples are red and sweet so that animals eat them and then discard their seeds through digestion. Their seeds are left in locations that are far enough from the parent tree, so that the parent can still have enough resources to survive. The seed in which a new apple tree grows into, will then have its own resources to use at a safe distance and will not interrupt the parent tree's growth. And so this process goes and goes throughout time until a new adaptation allows this plant to produce better results, or something goes horribly wrong for them and the plant will no longer be in existence.
The Lectins are the plant's defense mechanism. A natural adaptation developed inside the plant's DNA that started as a mutation and lasted because it worked. Thank you Marvel Studios for making my X-Man obsession a teachable moment.
However, Lectins are not good for our human tummies. They rip us up from the inside and tear our gut apart. They cause gas, bloating, and all sorts of trouble for us that will all lead to our bodies fighting from the inside. Our bodies' natural reaction to fighting these things can and will cause weight gain through various modes.
It’s a tough pill to swallow once you look at the NO Food List, because many of the so-called healthy foods are on there.
Yes Food List
No Food List
Algae oil (Thrive culinary brand) Olive oil Coconut oil Macadamia oil MCT oil Avocado oil Perilla oil Walnut oil Red palm oil Rice bran oil Sesame oil Flavored cod liver oil
Stevia (SweetLeaf is my favorite) Just Like Sugar (made from chicory root [inulin]) Inulin Yacón Monk fruit Luo han guo (the Nutresse brand is good) Erythritol (Swerve is my favorite as it also contains oligosaccharides) Xylitol
Nuts and Seeds (½ cup/day)
Macadamia nuts Walnuts Pistachios Pecans Coconut (not coconut water) Coconut milk (unsweetened dairy substitute) Coconut milk/cream (unsweetened, full-fat canned) Hazelnuts Chestnuts Brazil nuts (in limited amounts) Pine nuts (in limited amounts) Flax Seeds Hemp seeds Hemp protein powder Psyllium
Dark Chocolate 72% or greater (1 oz./day)
Vinegars All (without added sugar)
Herbs and Seasonings All except chili pepper flakes
Miso Energy Bars
Quest bars: Lemon Cream Pie, Banana Nut, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cinnamon Roll, and Double Chocolate Chunk only B-Up bars (sometimes found as Yup bars): Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Sugar Cookie only Human Food Bar (humanfoodbar.com) Adapt Bar: Coconut and Chocolate (adaptyourlife.com)
Coconut Almond Hazelnut Sesame (and seeds) Chestnut Cassava Green banana Sweet potato Tiger nut Grape seed Arrowroot
Coconut Milk Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert (the So Delicious blue label, which contains only 1 gram of sugar) LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream
“Foodles” (my name for acceptable noodles)
Cappelo’s fettuccine and other pastas Pasta Slim Shirataki noodles Kelp noodles Miracle Noodles and kanten pasta Miracle Rice Korean sweet potato noodles
Dairy Products (1 oz. cheese or 4 oz. yogurt/day)
Real Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) French/Italian butter Buffalo butter (available at Trader Joe’s) Ghee Goat yogurt (plain) Goat milk as creamer Goat cheese Butter Goat and sheep kefir Sheep cheese and yogurt (plain) Coconut yogurt French/Italian cheese Switzerland cheese Buffalo mozzarella (Italy) Whey protein powder Casein A-2 milk (as creamer only) Organic heavy cream Organic sour cream Organic cream cheese
WineRed (6 oz./day) - Spirits (1 oz./day)
Fish (any wild-caught—4 oz./day)
Whitefish Freshwater bass Alaskan halibut Canned tuna Alaskan salmon Hawaiian fish Shrimp Crab Lobster Scallops Calamari/squid Clams Oysters Mussels Sardines Anchovies
Fruits (limit all but avocado)
Avocados Blueberries Raspberries Blackberries Strawberries Cherries Crispy pears (Anjou, Bosc, Comice) Pomegranates Kiwis Apples Citrus (no juices) Nectarines Peaches Plums Apricots Figs Dates
Cruciferous Vegetables Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cauliflower Bok choy Napa cabbage Chinese cabbage Swiss chard Arugula Watercress Collards Kohlrabi Kale Green and red cabbage Radicchio Raw sauerkraut Kimchi Other Vegetables Nopales cactus Celery Onions Leeks Chives Scallions Chicory Carrots (raw) Carrot greens Artichokes Beets (raw) Radishes Daikon radish Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes Hearts of palm Cilantro Okra Asparagus Garlic Mushrooms
Romaine Red and green Leaf Lettuce Mesclun (baby greens) Spinach Endive Dandelion greens Butter lettuce Fennel Escarole Mustard greens Mizuna Parsley Basil Mint Purslane Perilla Algae Seaweed Sea vegetables
Tortillas (Siete brand—only those made with cassava and coconut flour or almond flour) Bread and bagels made by Barely Bread Julian Bakery Paleo Wraps (made with coconut flour) and Paleo Coconut Flakes Cereal (In Moderation) Green plantains Green bananas Baobab fruit Cassava (tapioca) Sweet potatoes or yams Rutabaga Parsnips Yucca Celery root (Celeriac) Glucomannan (konjac root) Persimmon Jicama Taro root Turnips Tiger nuts Green mango Millet Sorghum Green papaya
Pastured Poultry (not free-range—4 oz./day)
Chicken Turkey Ostrich Pastured or omega-3 eggs (up to 4 daily) Duck Goose Pheasant Grouse Dove Quail
Meat (grass-fed and grass-finished—4 oz./day)
Bison Wild game Venison Boar Elk Pork (humanely raised) Lamb Beef Prosciutto Plant-Based “Meats” Quorn: Chik'n Tenders, Grounds, Chik'n Cutlets, Turk'y Roast, Bacon-Style Slices Hemp tofu Hilary's Root Veggie Burger (hilaryseatwell.com)
Refined, Starchy Foods
Pasta Rice Potatoes Potato chips Milk Bread Tortillas Pastry Flour Crackers Cookies Cereal Sugar Agave Sweet One or Sunett (Acesulfame K) Splenda (Sucralose) NutraSweet (Aspartame) Sweet'n Low (Saccharin) Diet drinks Maltodextrin
Peas Sugar snap peas Legumes* Green beans Chickpeas* (including as hummus) Soy Tofu Edamame Soy protein Textured vegetable protein (TVP) Pea protein All beans, including sprouts All Lentils* *Vegans and vegetarians can have these legumes in Phase 2, but only if they are properly prepared in a pressure cooker.
Nuts and Seeds
Pumpkin Sunflower Chia Peanuts Cashews
Fruits (some called vegetables)
Cucumbers Zucchini Pumpkins Squashes (any kind) Melons (any kind) Eggplant Tomatoes Bell peppers Chili peppers Goji berries
Non-Southern European Cow’s Milk Products (these contain casein A-1)
Yogurt (including Greek yogurt) Ice cream Frozen yogurt Cheese Ricotta Cottage cheese
KefirGrains, Sprouted Grains, Pseudo-Grains, and Grasses
Wheat (pressure cooking does not remove lectins from any form of wheat) Einkorn wheat Kamut Oats (cannot pressure cook) Quinoa Rye (cannot pressure cook) Bulgur White rice Brown rice Wild rice Barley (cannot pressure cook) Buckwheat Kashi Spelt Corn Corn products Cornstarch Corn syrup Popcorn Wheatgrass Barley grass
Soy Grape seed Corn Peanut Cottonseed Safflower Sunflower Partially hydrogenated Vegetable Canola
Gundry, Dr. Steven R.. The Plant Paradox. Harper Wave. Kindle Edition.
I will end this article by concluding that my favorite eating style is through the Slow Carb Diet because although it allows less grain types of foods, the one day binge eating fits my lifestyle much better. I found it tough to follow Gundry’s Plant Paradox/ Low Lectin food plan because it does not allow for a cheat day. I even experimented with Gundry’s plan and added the cheat day like the Slow Carb Diet - no bueno. Weight loss stopped and clothes stopped fitting.
This leads me to my last point. As alluded to above, the best part about the slow carb diet, or any type of sustainable eating plan, is that your clothes fit better. And while both plans allow for moderate daily alcohol consumption, I much prefer the Slow Carb Diet, but during the week I will often add in a few aspects of the Plant Paradox for good measure such as skinning and deseeding my cucumbers for my salad.
Have fun and be effective!