Read World’s Easiest Fitness Program for more details about my eating lifestyle.
Yes, the way I eat is a lifestyle. I don’t diet anymore — here’s why.
I’m looking to simplify my life. The older I get, the less I tolerate being distracted from the things in life that matter to me.
One of those distractions was dieting. My wife and I periodically went on diets to “get fit.” It never worked for long. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling undernourished. I like to feel well nourished, healthy, and energetic.
Let me make something very clear; I have no objection to being hungry. It actually improves my well-being if I get hungry before I eat. What I don’t like is being jittery, nauseated, or weak, even though I ate just two hours ago. If that happens, the first thing I suspect is malnutrition; eating food that doesn’t provide your body what it needs.
I have already gone through the obsession with various diets like anti-inflammatory diets, organic diets, juicing diets, liver cleanses, and so on. I drew the line at paleo — I like my wife’s bread.
There is very persuasive evidence out there that these diets can improve your health. Most maladies are based on nutritional and environmental causes, in my most humble opinion, and so isolating yourself from the wholly compromised industrial food supply chain should be good for you.
The problem for me came up when I tried to isolate myself completely. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make that attempt. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be beneficial. All I’m saying is that for me, it would have required a lifestyle overhaul that I’m not willing to make. If you are willing to make it, by all means, do it. You will probably get healthier than I am.
But I want to share with you a “next-best” scenario.
What I’ve done is put an emphasis on quality foods, but not a mandate. I prefer the custom beef down the road, but if I run out and the next steer is several months away from being ready, I have no problem going to the supermarket and buying industrial beef. I typically buy organic foods, but if I want the occasional pack of Ramen noodles — I eat it!
You see, the goal is to maximize my quality of life. For that, I want to be fit, but I don’t want to be deprived. So I have reached a balance that makes me very comfortable; I have tailored my diet and eating habits to support my strength training program.
World’s Easiest Fitness Plan
Just as a reminder since the last article, the strategy is ultra-simple: lift weights and eat nutritious foods. Understand when you need carbs, and when you don’t. Understand the surprising benefits of including fats in your diet. (Eating fat doesn’t make you fat, IMO).
Now, if you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll store the extra as fat. Eat foods that provide needed nutrition so you don’t get hungry shortly after eating and have to eat again. Also, I don’t obsess about having some fat on me. I’m not interested in being extra lean or ripped. Sure, it would look better on Facebook, but so what? I feel healthier and more energetic when I’m not ultra-lean. Been there, and it feels unnatural.
This extremely easy protein/energy bar is a great way to keep on track — all you have to do is make it and eat it, and do your strength training.
Easiest Healthiest Protein/Energy Bar Recipe
This recipe is so easy, so nutritious, and so flexible! Modify it however you like, based on what you have available.
Prep: 10-15 minutes (plus 30 minutes in fridge)
2 cups oats (toasted, if desired)
1 cup 100% whey protein (unflavored)
1/4 cup chocolate
1/3 cup black walnuts (or other nuts)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (or other berries/fruit)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey (or agave, or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Then combine all into a large mixing bowl. Stir well. Transfer to a wax-paper-lined baking dish or pan, and press about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. Place in fridge 30 minutes or until firm.
Use as a meal substitute or as a snack during activity.
YouTube user chuckieboy343 had a great question: If you were to recommend a “cheap” version of this what would you change/ replace (I’m in college)
Answer: This thing is already quite cheap. I’m going to estimate the whole batch costs $8. It makes 8 bars. If you eat 2 as a meal substitute, like I do, that’s a $2 meal. Also bear in mind the hidden cost of cheap factory food. But if you do want to cut costs even more, use milk instead of buttermilk, omit the honey, and maybe omit the coconut oil (although I’m not sure how well it will hold together without it). Great question. I’m going to update the blog article to address this.
Live long and prosper.