I can almost guarantee that if I were to approach you on the street and say
HEY! I am doing this series on my website about how you can achieve your best body! You should read it!
You’d probably think I was a lunatic.
Who approaches random people in the street and tells them about their blog?
Freaks, that’s who.
But let’s assume you don’t instinctively punch me across the face and you actually give it a second thought. Furthermore, let’s imagine that you actually want to achieve your best body. I can almost guarantee the first thing you’ll say to me is
OMG! What foods do I have to cut out? Because I will die without chocolate – absolutely die. Is bread OK? Because I can’t live without sandwiches either. I eat one everyday for lunch. Oh, what about pasta? Can I eat pasta? Because my Great Grandmother was Italian and so pasta just a staple in my house. And do I have to cook every night? Because I don’t have much time to cook. I mean, I have kids. And a husband. And a job. And I just don’t have time to do all that.
Whoa, buddy. Calm the hell down. Who’s the freak now?
If this sounds like something you would say, then you miiiight want to lay off the coffee.
I’m hoping some of you have noticed that I am putting the posts for this series in order of importance. Acceptance of your body, finding your motivation, and building a support group are like foundations of a house. Without those, the house won’t withstand even the smallest gust of wind.
Your diet is what will turn that pile of cement and 2×4’s into something that actually resembles a livable space. The bricks, if you will. This piece of the puzzle is absolutely crucial to your overall health and well-being. I am no nutritionist, but I can guarantee that you won’t be able to reach your fullest potential if you are eating shit all day long. You can take that piece of advice to the bank.
So, here is the secret…..EAT REAL FOOD.
Put a stamp on it with a fancy diet name, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter that I am not a nutritionist or an expert. I’m pretty sure anyone will agree that eating unprocessed, real and natural foods are optimal choices for your health. But what does this include?
Nuts & Seeds
That’s a TON of options right there! There are literally millions of combinations you can make for dinner with that list of foods. The most important thing to note about that list though, however, is that I must stress the importance of those foods being unprocessed. That means saying no to hot dogs as a protein source. Or fat-free cheese. Or little flavored yogurts in convenient little packages. Or fruit snacks. These are not real foods, people.
We are starting from square one here. I am not going to tell you what ratios of proteins to carbohydrates to fats you need. I am not certified to do that and every person is different. What I want you to focus on is choosing real sources of food over all else.
But you forgot to list whole grains! We all need whole grains in our diet.
Well, then go out into the field and get you some whole grains, baby! Because what you see in the stores is not natural and unprocessed so I suggest you stay away from it. Yep, you heard me. That whole grain bread and oatmeal is a processed food. It doesn’t grow out of the earth in that form. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just pour boiling water into a field of avena sativa and have yourself a Guiness World Record size bowl of oatmeal. In it’s natural, unprocessed form, oats look a little something like this…
So if you want to eat it like that, by all means go for it. And honestly, who likes oatmeal anyways without adding all kinds of sugary shit to it? Not me, that’s for sure.
Just start there my friends. As I always say, your health is a process that will last a lifetime. Don’t get too crazy. Just make better choices. Yes, you will have to cook. And yes, this will be very different from what you are accustomed to right now. It might seem hard. I totally understand. Driving next to a little window where a smiling teen hands you a bag of food is definitely much easier than cooking up a well-balanced dinner. But it will become part of your daily routine, just like flossing your teeth (which you should all be doing if you aren’t). Make small changes that will stick with you forever. Overloading yourself with new patterns and habits will most likely bring you back to where you are right now. Trust me, I still struggle with that concept in other areas of my life.
One of these days I’ll give you a breakdown of what I think should be filling your plate. For now, I want you to focus your choices on natural and unprocessed foods. Your body will thank you for it!
For your viewing pleasure, I have put a slideshow of random pictures from different meals I’ve had. I love to take pictures of my food. It doesn’t actually look very pretty most of the time, but it tastes delicious. Follow me on Instagram for more food photos: @saadatch