The wrong way of becoming vegan, paleo, gluten-free, lactose free and much more
The psychology of replacement and faking is fascinating. Guarding old habits slightly transformed is comforting, heart warming and still feeds the habit. Unfortunately the bad one. Nutrition is actually like life. We must be able to do a 180° anytime, anywhere ! If you wanted to survive and thrive, it is a giant must ! However most people, even if very sick, they are not ready. They don’t change this little thing called eating, holding on it with full force, to save their own life. Food is such a small non-sense thing in the human’s existence. We live for passion, we live to love, we live to share and care. Our life is a fantastic experience. Taste is there just to identify comestible and toxic. It is not an amusement factor in our mouth. People are not only not ready, but not willing and grasping with two hands after certain foods while drowning, instead of looking one degree on the right, spotting the float-aid, reach out and go with it.
Yes, we talk about elimination theories, food substitutes and the weak side of the human mind. Replacing wheat pasta with pasta made of maize. Soy yoghurt. Gluten free bread. Tofu and tempeh. Polenta sausages. Fake turkey bacon and tofurky. Vegan pizza. Paleo bread. Alcohol free beer and electric cigarettes. Stevia and aspartame.
First of all most of these food-replacements have also underlying issues. Even moderate soy consumption can play with your oestrogen levels. Cancer, hormonal imbalance, man boobs. Imagine if you ate soy-milk, crunchy muesli with soy protein in the morning. You added soy cream to your coffee. Finished your breakfast with a soy yoghurt. For lunch you had tofu and for dinner you had tempeh. Sounds excessive ? No it is not, but extremely common.
Being on a low sugar diet, but still want to eat and feel sweet ? Aspartame is one of the most common sweeteners in the market. It is researched as a cancer causing agent. Stevia is abused too, despite that it is kind of natural. Some people grow it and add one or two leaves to a smoothie, but others use it in the form of white, sugar like powder. If it looks like pizza, it smells and tastes like pizza, it will behave like pizza in the body ! Same true to sugar and stevia ! When the brain is tricked, the body might be pulled into a tricked state too. You feel the extremely sweet fantastic taste. Your body will produce insulin to prepare to a digest the sugar. There is no sugar however, so your present homeostatic blood sugar will be messed up, maybe even drastically lowered. It can even get you in to a clinical hyperinsulinemic state. No good ! Most of the cases show that stevia is totally safe to consume, but why not stay healthy and eat an apple when needed or if even that causes issues, just accept, that you yourself f-d up your health and now you are paying big-time. At least now take up responsibility ! Have the discipline now !
Aspartame very often is added to foods in conjunction with sugar and starch too. It is not uncommon to see a nutella like spread, with sugar, maltodextrin and aspartame in it. Highly palatable, highly full-filling. It is extremely sweet, stimulating and digest fast to make your senses tuned up and ready for another hit.
Also organic is not better. Not eating gluten, but still going on with the muesli, the corn flakes the pasta and the gluten-free bread, the rice crackers and the buckwheat pancakes. Humans did not evolve to eat cereals ! We are gaining our humanity because we eat a large variety of foods in general, but eat very simple in one single meal.
Yesterday I ate a pizza and a croissant. Not as a cheat day, or as a surprise. I just ate it. I haven’t eaten pizza for 3months and croissant I cannot even remember, but at least 2years. These are not the foods I like. I prefer a simple basmati rice, with beetroots, olives, avocado. I prefer a mango, banana, pineapple smoothie. I prefer lamb chomp served on sauerkraut.
Of course, I chose the pizzeria and the bakery from the best sources and not some cheap pre frozen crap, but this is not the point. The shit to look at is that before and after all my meals were and are perfect, so this last day’s food did not count as a hick up and I do not consider it as a problem. However when it comes in to someone’s life, every week or twice a week, it will grow to a major issue.
For me this is not a practice or something that I think about all the time. I don’t care. I am happy to eat slightly salted shredded red cabbage with can of sardines ! Yes that how simple I eat and I enjoy every moment of it !
I personally never understood the kind of behaviour, I just described at the beginning. I know that a chocolate bar is not good for me, and I look for the exact same experience in something else ? If you were a vegan, why are you looking for food what tastes likes and looks like meat, sausages, bacon and eggs ?
You get into a fall with your bike, you destroy the carbon frame. You will be running to keep your health going as there is no bike. You don’t think about the exchange between the two sports. You like moving, you just move. That is it. Natural, like back in the days. Broke a tool ? You chose or made another one. You don’t force a replacement of the tool, but look for a solution to solve your problem.
This is a major issue in our behaviour. In many cases it is so sever, that physically rewiring the brain is necessary to completely eliminate a bad habit. For smokers, there is this copper-plate machine or also trans-cranial electric slash magnetic stimulation.
Many other procedures exist, but the real solution is thinking, decision-making and discipline. Using an external aid is a kind of giving up and kneeling ! Working on attitude, resistance and discipline will trigger growth.
Changing by expanding knowledge
This is the only way. Expanding knowledge not only on foods, but on mind matter too. On food philosophy, on history, on other nation’s traditions. Opening yourself up to truths. Experiencing diets and lifestyles what are foreign to you. Ateist ? Start meditating. Vegan ? Eat a fish ! Paleo and meat-eater ? Go vegan for a week ! Grain brain ? Eat gluten-free for a month ! Milk addict ? Go lactose free for a month !
There are foods what we never experienced in our life and we write them down. We go through super market isles, without looking around as we just don’t know, don’t understand what those weird stuff are !
Also, when you clean up your diet, you will experience a deeper appreciation towards quality, source and individuality. People look down often on rice. There are at least 100s of varieties of rices and even more type of preparations. All with different texture and taste. Even quinoa and lentils have tons and tons of varieties with a vastly different experience. I know what kind of apple I like. Slightly sweet more likely savoury and very crunchy. However, time to time I buy a nice red Stalking or Idared, maybe go for softer, sweeter yellow or royal gala. I will still prefer Honey Crunch, Fuji or Pink Kiss Organic but I try and do eat other apples and notice the major differences. For people on the bagel, oreo, fanta diet, that is just apple and rice. Their mind is closed, their taste buds are dumbed down and their brain is over-stimulated.
Also, there is the not eating factor. Fasting and feasting. Recovering, recuperating and healing. It is so easy to have our first meal as a lunch or as a dinner. Why no-one practices it ? It is only question of discipline. Drinking only quality water during a 15hour flight will make the body adjust 10folds better to new climates and new time zones. Fasting and empty stomach promotes brain function and mental fortitude towards goals to reach. I hear a lot of complaints that, I cannot fast because I don’t have energy after 1pm. The issue is that your body have no nutrients from the bad habits, to go with flow ! Every single week at least once I ride my bike for 10hours on only water. No breakfast, no snack, no lunch. I just ride ! It is not training. I work as a bike messenger. I focus on traffic, I interact with clients, I handle packages and in the meantime when have a free 10minutes, I handle personal training emails and phone calls. I am sharp, I am healthy, I am not worried and the day flies by. Guess what, I arrive home at 10pm, I am not even hungry and might decide to fast another 12hours till breakfast. Maybe I just drink a little smoothie made from bananas, celery and Spirulina.
There is no one size fits all, that is for sure. However, learning and expanding knowledge, feelings and discipline is key to success. No ‘replacing’ needed. No fake sausages, no tofu, no almond milk. When I want to drink a nut based drink, I just drink it, but it is not to replace milk. If I wanted to eat a sandwich with tofu, it is tofu-sandwich, not a sandwich where the meat is replaced by tofu. This kind of thinking is a major first step.
The goal however, to think straight. Everything comes in a package or open but processed, should be avoided. Processed means processed. One step over presentation. That means that beef is ok, beef mince is not ok. Pork chops are ok, but smoked ham or sausages are not ok. Tomato is great, tomato sauce is not ok. Dates are fantastic, but date paste is not that so. Now you can see, that bread, pasta, Oreo, rice crackers, cheese, yoghurt, apple sauce, juices and everything are really extremely far from the original source. Avoid them !
Simple ideas create health
Diet and eating are so simple. You have so little to learn and follow. Nothing to over complicate:
3 food groups: Fruits / Vegetables / Meat, Fish, Eggs. Everything else is a compromise !
No mixing of carbs and fats ever
The least processing possible / Appropriate processing
Don’t eat if you don’t want. You don’t need to call it fasting. Just skip breakfast or even lunch !
There are 3 whole food groups to choose from:
Fruits / Vegetables / Meat and Organs, fish and eggs – including insects and all fresh sea foods like urchins, mussels, razors
Everything else is a compromise ! There is no good compromise ! But compromise ! There is no bread, pasta, flour, oreos, rice, polenta, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, cherios, jams and spreads, sauces, mustards and ketchups, bagels and sausages. Those are all compromises. When you choose to eat rice, you have to understand many things. That rice was harvested, maybe 1 or 2 years ago and probably was sitting on that shelf in that transparent plastic bag for at least a couple of months. The nutritional value is very close to zero, so outside of some energy you’ll have nothing really in it to absorb ! The Imperial Basmati is one of the rare rices, from an ancient veriety with the least amount of pesticides ! There are only a small amount of non-GMO basmati in the market. Even organic ones are usally GMO !
Despite that it was organic with no excipients outside of meat, a sausage is a sausage. It is preserved by drying and smoke. It is a compromise. A butter, an oil, a cream are processed fat. It is your choice to add it to your salad. It is not a whole food, but a fragmanted form of a vegetable. Driking a high fat coffee is way better than going for the cereal and milk for sure ! Not the most optimal, but comforting in many situations !
Food combination is a giant biggy ! People don’t realise, how extremely important it is ! You eat carbs or you eat fats ! You don’t care about the protein, there is enough in any whole foods ! You eat carbs or you eat fats ! Never mix it up !
In case of whole foods, it is not an enormous problem, like you eat a steak and there is steamed carrot near by and some sauerkraut. However dipping your organic whole wheat pasta into olive oil, butter fried potatoes, can of sardines with bread, bananas and almond butter, hot chocolate. Despite that they seem okay as individual foods, melanging them creates the same havoc in the body like McDo! White bread with a fatty steak and cheese, deep oil-fried highly processed potatoes, a high sugar coke followed by a high-fat high sugar ice-cream and a cappuccino with high fat milk and white sugar! Yes, this is why you want more from any restaurant foods, because they are hyper-palatable! They extremely trick your senses!
You might take longer time to develop health symptoms by using healthy foods in bad combinations, but it will come. Don’t add coconut oil to your banana-mango smoothie just to make it more creamy nor eating rice with fish is a good idea ! Eating high sugar foods in the presence of high fat foods destroys the body. They are called hyper-palatable. They trick the body bigtime: messing up your insulin response, making you store fat, making you eat way more than you actually needed, messing up your satiation signals, increasing the chance of cholesterol plaque build up and so.
Of course some processing is obligatory. Chewing is a form of processing. There is no drinking a smoothie ! You just mess up your stomach. Your body thinks initially that you are drinking. For your brain drinking means, drinking water ! No digestive juices will be produced initially ! You have to chew your smoothie ! This is why I like to add, some little soaked flax seeds or chia seeds. For that crunch !
Steaming your meat in like 15 to 20minutes, is one of the best way to consume it. There are type of meats though, like wild game meat, what are un-eatable this way. Long preparation, like soaking in lemon juice and milk, or salted vinegar, maybe dip it in a coffee crust is necessary to make it enjoyable. Also our body is quiet gourmand. We like taste, texture and look. A nice fire roasted chunk of meat with spices on it and a quality salt to enhance taste is a fantastic way to enjoy more our food.
Smoothies, regardless it was a high fat morning shock or a post workout sugar-bomb, should be not consumed exclusively. If you had no teeth left and no money for implants, well not much left for you to do. Till you have dental health though, smoothies can be a convenience, but you’ll go better, just chopping the fruits up and eating them as they are, chewing the hell out of them !
Eat simple !
It is totally not necessary to eat a lot of varieties in one single meal. There are people on extreme diets with super high health ! Eating only potatoes for a year ! Eating only meat, following a carnivorous diet ! Eating only bananas !
While I totally don’t recommend to eat one single thing exclusively in all of your sittings, I highly encourage you to simplify each of your individual meals. This will totally help your to create optimal digestion and fantastic health. Sit down eat steaks till you are full. Great breakfast ! For lunch get a simple salad. Lambs lettuce, tomatoes, fish ! In the evening: rice cooked in almond milk served with pineapples and raisins !
Did you ever eat a salad in a restaurant ? It has olives, olive oil, tomatoes, 4 types of greens, shredded carrots, vinegar and lemon juice, apple slices, raisins and grapes in the meantime (wtf?), nuts and seeds, toasted bread chunks, 2 types of cheeses, yoghurt, Curcuma, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, tuna chunks served with a baguette, but sometimes even much more ! It is way better than a burger followed by an ice-cream, but far from optimal !
Eat enormous variety, but in one single meal, choose the simplicity !
Eat when you have to. Not when you have the habit, not when the society presses you, not when the family pushes you on to eat. Great gathering in your house, everybody at the table, waiting to eat, but you just finished an epic workout and still feeling like throwing up ? Just serve the food and skip the first hour of the dinner ! Same true for breakfast. No time to prepare, no time to eat, not time to think about food ? Just skip it ! Drink a big herbal infusion and go ahead with the day. As a lean, sporty, healthy person you can go without food for 4 weeks ! What is 12 / 24 / 48 / 72 hours without food ? Nothing !
Finally, you don’t have to adhere to any particular diet. Consuming all type of real foods is healthy ! Maybe not in the same meal, but it is healthy ! Your guide should be accessibility, budget, location, season, occasion. I have no money ? Basmati rice, rocket, olives satisfy me. I have time only for a quick shopping in the local organic shop ? A can of sardines in EV. olive oil, an avocado and a cucumber, I am good to go. It is mango season and I live on the tropics ? I have a meal of 8 mangoes ! Your hunting buddy shows up with half an elk ? Eating only that for 3-4 days will have no negative consequences !
Take it easy, don’t complicate it. Don’t let the supermarket isles confuse you. Choose from what you would find in a garden.