Last day of intro—tomorrow we’re jumping in!
Hopefully, you’ve got your why figured out and you’ve got it somewhere that you can see it.
Now let’s get into one of the key components that we are going to be talking a lot about in the next 21 days – the fuel you put into your engine.
Every time I hear someone say that their approach to food is “everything in moderation” I cringe a little.
Because it’s lousy nutrition advice.
You wouldn’t tell someone to have just a little heroin or tell your 6-year-old that just one or two beers before school shouldn’t be a problem.
If we were talking about garden vegetables, grass-fed meats, and fruit off of your fruit trees, then all things in moderation sound pretty reasonable.
But moderate amounts of Big Gulps, Red Line Energy drinks, and snacks loaded with high fructose corn syrup and jacked up industrial oils are undermining our health.
Here’s what this 21-day challenge is all about.
It’s about seeing how healthy you can get in 21 days.
It’s about eating meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, seeds, and nuts.
It’s about eating healthy fats like avocados and avocado oil, coconut and coconut oil, olives and olive oil, butter, lard that’s not chemically processed, beef tallow, bacon grease from uncured bacon—those are all ok.
It’s about taking a hard pass on industrial oils—things like vegetable oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, grape seed oil and any of the “smart” butters.
These things are called polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. Here’s the problem with them—they’re damaged by the heat, the solvents and the pressure that’s used in making them and they also break down when heated in cooking. They oxidize when they break down and when you eat those damaged lipids they get incorporated into your cell walls and membranes. Not something you want.
It’s also about stepping away from sugar for 21 days.
I know, for some of you that’s going to be the toughest part. But give yourself some credit. If you’ve got a good why” you can handle this. In the beginning, it’s tough, but every day it gets easier. And here’s what you’ll figure out pretty quick. Fruit tastes better than all of that sugary crap anyway and it’s a whole lot better for you.
Let’s talk for a minute about food quality.
Grass-fed and pastured meat is better for you than meat that comes from “concentrated animal feeding operations” or CAFO’s.
Cows are meant to eat grass.
We can talk about the better Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratios but here’s the real deal – cows raised on pasture are healthier, happier cows than cows that are jammed into a feedlot and fed silage.
And my preference is happy and healthy.
Does that mean that I never buy meat that’s not grass fed?
A few times a year I’ll get a brisket and when I do I get a Prime brisket from Costco or I’ll get Prime steaks from them once every month or two, but 90 percent of the meat that I eat is grass-fed beef, longhorn or pastured pork and lamb.
With chicken, I’ll either buy pastured chickens from the same guy that I buy my pastured pork from or I’ll buy organic chickens from Costco.
I understand that grass-fed and pastured meat is more expensive than conventional, but you’ll save money by not buying prepared food and by not eating out. I’d rather spend the money on better ingredients.
Same thing goes with fish–I frequently spend the extra money to buy wild-caught seafood instead of farmed, but if I know how it’s sourced I may buy farmed.
The Monterey Bay Marina has a great website that provides good options regarding sustainable, healthy seafood. The provide some farmed fish options that they consider safe.
And finally, let’s talk about organic fruits and veggies.
Some fruits and veggies I buy organic, some I buy conventional.
If it’s on the “dirty dozen,” I buy organic or I just don’t buy it. This is the list that’s put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It’s based on residual pesticide levels.
So, here’s the “dirty dozen”:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
I also include blueberries in this list for me.
Even though sweet corn is on the “clean 15,” I buy it organic because I don’t want GMO corn.
So, for the items above – BUY ORGANIC.
Here are the “clean 15”—those fruits and veggies safe to buy non-organic:
- Sweet Corn (I still buy organic)
- Sweet Peas
So, for the items above don’t feel like you have to buy organic. It’s perfectly OK to buy organic, but the items above have been found to have lower levels of pesticides.
To help you get ready to jump in tomorrow, make sure that you have eggs, bacon (extra credit if you have uncured bacon), an avocado, spinach or some other type of mixed greens, a few veggies of your choice (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, onions are a few that come to mind) and a couple of types of protein. Chicken, pork, beef, fish, lamb, goat—whatever floats your boat.
And make sure that you have some type of non-industrial oil, like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, pastured lard, coconut oil, or ghee.
A little fruit is also OK – local would be great, but if that’s not an option and you like strawberries – see if you can find some good-looking organic ones. Frozen fruit is also an option. I usually keep a bag of frozen organic cherries that I buy from Costco in the freezer at all times.
I also have a couple of jars of almond butter and organic flaked coconut on hand for any type of desert emergency that might arise.
Here’s today’s assignment: Make sure you have some protein, veggies and healthy fat on hand and we’ll get started tomorrow!
Have a great day!