Nutrition–What’s Working for Me

As I was eating this grilled chicken, veggie, fruit  & pecan salad, I said aloud (hopefully not with my mouth full), “This is ridiculously delicious.”  Veggies: green leaf lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, celery,  and purple cauliflower (white is just as tasty but less of a show-off).  Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, green apple,  & red grapes.  Raspberry Vinaigrette standing at attention beside it: blended it up myself.  I make my dressings with the raw Xagave brand of agave, and follow the recipes in the Xagave cookbook by Stephen Richards.

There is so much to say about nutrition!  I’m not going to try to say everything I’ve come to learn from my countless hours of research and many months of putting my findings to the test into one blog post.  Phew!

What few basics do I tell people when they see me now down 35 pounds (as of yesterday) and ask what I’ve been doing?

Here it is.  Plus a little more detail cause I couldn’t help myself.

Like many CrossFitters, I follow a hybrid of The Zone and the Paleo ways of eating.  It isn’t a quick weight loss gimmick that dehydrates you or has you burn off perfectly good muscle, making it harder for you to lose weight in the future.

It’s a healthy, sustainable way of living that naturally produces optimal weight.  Since eating this way and exercising (see the August 31st post for my exercise program), I’ve been consistently burning fat and gaining lean muscle mass!  That’s what you want to do, friends!

Just as yoga is about creating balance for great health, so is The Zone, by Barry Sears, PH.D.  The goal is to balance your food-related hormones, such as insulin, so you burn fat, instead of store it.

The Zone focuses on proportion of the 3 macronutrientscarbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Rather than stop eating carbs, which your brain needs a rather steady supply of throughout the day to function properly (have you noticed that?); or proteins, which are the building blocks of life; or healthy fat, which is also needed so your body will use fat for fuel, The Zone has you divide your calorie intake the following way:  40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat at every meal or snack.

Paleo’s focus is on the food’s pure good-for-you-ness, and takes you back to yonder days before processed this and that, and even before cultivation of grains and the use of dairy products.

*** I do use grains.  But I don’t eat a big whompin’ load of them.  I’ll cook some oatmeal or quinoa, or have one sprouted whole grain tortilla or one sprouted whole grain slice of bread as part of a meal sometimes.  I more often use fibrous veggies as a source of carbs.

*** I use dairy with some meals, particularly cottage cheese and plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.

*** I eat 4-6 times a day (usually 5 or 6) so I keep my body well-fueled and energized.

*** I drink water quite steadily throughout the day too.  I take a bottle along with me wherever I go.  It has become my signature accessory, I’m sure.

*** Every week or two, I allow myself to have a treat.  I can still maintain balance with this simple maneuver:                                                                                                                                            When I go somewhere such as Book Club, where a yummy dessert will be served, I take along some protein in the form of cottage cheese or hard boiled egg whites, plus an ice pack to keep it cool.  A small portion of the dessert will sweetly serve as my carb and fat for that meal.

*** I keep a food & exercise journal to help me stay focused on my fitness goals.

It may seem like a lot of thought and work goes into this.  It does, actually.  But I really think it’s worth it.

I love fitting into cute, small-sized clothes.  I love not being sick since some time last year.  I love my energy, agility, youthfulness, and lack of back pain.

I’m one tiny pound away from my initial goal, and one week from the date I had set to achieve it!  In January, I thought I would get to this weight a couple months ago.  I’m very pleased to have found a much better, though slower, way to reach even greater fitness than I thought possible.

I don’t want to revert back to my laissez-faire way of eating, so I have already set my next goal…….

……….16% body fat!  I would say 15%, but I like the number 16 better.  Tee hee.

Have a happy, healthy day!