You are what you eat, right?
According to an article by Toronto Star, two-thirds of Canadian adults are overweight or obese and one-third of children are overweight. Canadians are currently facing an obesity epidemic because people stopped taking the time to listen to their bodies. As an old Jamaican saying goes, A man that doesn’t cook, shouldn’t eat.
Fast food makes it easy for people to relinquish the responsibility of cooking basic, healthy meals. This is the first time, probably in history, that people are losing the knack for cooking and relying on pre-made meals to get by. I hate to break it to you, but EVERYONE needs to know how to cook for themselves, or else just write off your future as a piece of blubber, seriously. Food is life, life is food!
With all the paranoia surrounding pesticides, GMO’s, hormones and rising food prices– it’s time we all took charge of what we choose to put in our bodies. Do you really want to blindly eat whatever crap is being fed to you on a silver platter?
Being conscious and taking responsibility for what you consume is one way to reduce your global footprint, but also to improve your own well-being. Recently I’ve been working out harder and taking a greater interest in my diet–particularly food that I want to eliminate. I’ve always been a “picky” eater, having embraced vegetarianism at four-years-old by my own freewill, there are many things I’ve had to eliminate. Now I feel a sense of power over my choices because I’m being deliberately conscious of what I put in my body. It’s not that this wasn’t the case before, but really, REALLY, listening to what feels good and what doesn’t.
I’ve started compiling a list of “NO EAT” foods that I add to regularly and I encourage you to do the same. Sometimes the food you crave the most is actually something you could be allergic or sensitive to. You may have noticed uncomfortable indigestion, bloating, body odor, “hangovers” and other symptoms that is your bodies way of saying, don’t eat or drink it!
Strangely, this is something I am adding to on an on-going basis because my body seems to evolve with each item I eliminate. The cleaner your diet, the more you’ll notice when foods upset your stomach or your body chemistry. Let me be very clear here in saying that these are not foods you are cutting out to fulfill a weight-loss plan, these are foods that cause discomfort in your body, or are bad for you and that’s why you choose to omit it from your diet.
My updated, NO EAT List
- Meat – eliminated at Age 4
- Fish – eliminated at Age 7
- Seafood – never ate
- Milk – mid-2015 I started to phase out milk and now I can’t eat a lot of other things like:
- Lattes & Cappuccinos – I substitute now with almond milk and it’s amazing!
- Coffee Cream – I switched about six months ago to a vanilla flavoured almond milk coffee creamer by Silk, but not a big fan of the added sugar, I must say.
- Quinoa – Everyone boasts about quinoa but I just can’t digest it.
- Brown/Black Beans – This is a questionable item as I am trying to figure it out which ones I can metabolize. Beans make people gassy, yes, but maybe because their bodies can’t process it. Chickpeas and white beans seem to be okay.
- Cheesy and Creamy Sauces – Ok this one I am just giving up now, as it’s a “speciality” for my vegetarian self on the holidays. I noticed using butter instead of margarine in the rue is a big no-no for me.
- Butter – Goodbye cake, croissants and all things buttery.
- Ice cream & Frozen Yogurt – Sayonara summer snacks. I’ll have a popsicle.
- Candy & Gummies – basically anything with gelatin, or red food dye which contains petroleum.
- Marshmallows – Yes they have gelatin (made from boiled animal bones) yum!
- Refined Sugar and basically anything artificially sweetened, including: pop (still drink the odd Ginger ale when I feel sick), pasteurized juice, sugary cereal, packaged oatmeal etc.
- Fast Food – Now this is pretty much anything you don’t make yourself. Nice restaurants are still okay, but if you leave with a tummy ache, than it’s questionable.
- Beer – Beer makes everyone bloated, but I also find the yeast affects the PH level of my body – if you are getting chronic yeast infections, eliminate beer!
- Vodka – Potato vodka is okay for me, but anything distilled in wheat may contain traces of grass which I am extremely allergic too! Ever had an allergy hangover? It’s bad . . . really bad.
So it’s a work in progress, but it helps to have a list so I know what I’m sensitive too and what to avoid. The next step would be phasing out dairy completely and going vegan, but not sure if I’m ready for that. I still eat eggs, cheese, yogurt, oh and chocolate but have tried switching mostly to organic sources. I try to eat organic most of the time, and am increasing the amount of organic fruits and veggies I buy. At this time of year, it’s pretty much the same price to buy organic because everything is expensive and the organic produce looks so much more alive. So, if I’m spending $2.50 for a head of lettuce or broccoli and it’s the same price–I’m buying organic.
Since I’ve streamlined my diet and committed to my workouts I’ve lost over 10 lbs in under 2 months! With a combination of clean, healthy food and high intensity workouts like kickboxing and interval training, I’ve managed to get down to the same weight I was in highschool.
If you think you can’t workout or make it to the gym, you can do interval training at home and it’s really great for weight loss. Similar to Crossfit, you pick about 5 exercises–burpees, skipping, push-ups, sit-ups, weights, lunges, squats–whatever you think you can do for 2 1/2 minutes and go as hard as you can. Then take a 30 second rest and move on to the next exercise. Repeat the alternating exercises three times, a few times a week and you will notice a difference! Don’t forget to stretch!
Wishing everyone a healthy 2016!