Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You already know what to eat

I've said it before, I'm a firm believer in common sense.

You already know what to eat.

You know the basics. Ear of corn or cornflakes? Salad with olive oil and vinegar or salad with Lite Dressing with two dozen ingredients you can't identify? Fresh fruit or canned in syrup? Fresh vegetables or vegetable chips?

Those are no brainers, you might say.

Look, we all know junk food is junk.

If you see a shopping cart full of milk, meat, fish, veggies, and fruit, you know that person is eating healthy. If it's full of chips, processed meat products, bread, candy, "lite" dressing, toaster pastries, soad, and "whole grain" sugar cereals, you know they aren't. If it's your cart, you know if you eat well or eat poorly. It's not that tough.

The tough part is timing and quantity. I'll admit that's tough. I've spent good money on help with exactly that, hoping to nail down what to eat and when to do it in order to optimize my performance. But you can get pretty far just by eating what you already know is good food.

If you need reinforcement, start here:

The World's Healthiest Foods

The food list there is excellent, and yeah, you won't be much surprised by what's not on the list and what is on the list. I'm convinced we all already know this. Like with training, we get so swamped with advertisements and mixed messages it's hard to parse it all out.

Just start with the basics - can I identify what I'm thinking of eating as a food? What it came from, and how it was processed?

Does it has a simple set of ingredients? No list of unidentifiable chemicals and preservatives? The less ingredients, the better. The ingredients in a head of lettuce is: Lettuce. In a carrot: Carrot. In a Low-Fat Lite Salad Dressing? Uhm...what is all that stuff? It's not originally food...

Is it stuffed full of sugars?

If you can yes, yes, and no, you're on the right track. And like I said, I think we all already know this. Save the complexities for "how much and when?" and start simple: Eat real food.

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