This seems like a boring area where people make click baity material and have ads all over. But I’m the cook of the fam and I love cooking almost as much as I love eating.
During the pandemic the game has been stepped up, we have basically cooked 90% of the time throughout these 6 months. We both feel great and this has played a huge part. I took 4 months off from the gym and didn’t gain any weight, I think my wife is looking better then ever as well.
I’ll start with the boundaries I try to keep the meals in, but also want to say that these aren’t hard boundaries.
No added sugar to anything. We do pretty good with this, if we are using sweetener it’s going to be Stevia. This has a much lower glucose response in our bodies and tastes good. Mainly for coffee.
No processed carbs. Out with the chips, crackers, most bread, most desserts. Growing up on a fairly standard American diet, this was pretty hard. I think of lunch and I’m thinking sandwich, my favorite breakfast order is eggs Benedict, my restaurant order for the first 18 years of my life was BURGER. It took a mental framework change for this to really sink in. There was a bit push at our gym a while back to eat a paleo style diet and it seemed like a pretty good lifestyle. Then the macro nutrient diet became hot in the streets, and this seemed to make sense too. Each meal needs to have different portions of macronutrients: protein, carbs, fats. Then I heard Dom D’Agastino on the Tim Ferriss podcast and was like I guess if you eat a keto diet you can be Superman. The keto diet is what made me turn things around. I tried to eat ~20 grams of carbs a day. Most carbs from vegetables or fruits were lowered because of their fiber contents cancelled it out. A gram of added sugar is about equal to a gram of carbohydrates. It turned into a deep dive of what I was eating and drinking on a daily basis. Tic tacs were a carb a piece. A burrito was insane, more carbs in a flour tortilla than I wanted to be eating in a day. I’m a huge coffee lover, so bulletproof coffee and a big egg scramble would do it for breakfast. Salad bar for lunch, then some vegetables and meat for dinner. I wasn’t measuring my blood ketones at the time, but I was feeling great.
I would say I still follow pretty close to that style of eating, lowered it to two meals a day and I’ll eat a big late breakfast and big dinner. I don’t stay away from healthy fats, but we try to focus on more veggies now.
No bad oils. We skip the vegetable oils, canola oils, crisco. Basically we stick with good olive oil- try infused olive oils, butter and coconut oil.
Eat more veggies. Michael Pollan’s quote comes to mind, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” He said it best, the beauty of that is in the simplicity. Real food, not overeating, eat vegetables.
Eating more veggies- do you need to live on a farm? No. Living near some farm helps. We get a farm box every other week with local fruits and vegetables that changes with the season. We take it on as a challenge to use it all and to make delicious food out of new foods.
We also go to Costco about once a month and get fruit and veggies there. Mainly we get: blueberries for freezing, power greens for freezing, baby spinach that mostly gets frozen, mushrooms, mini bell peppers, sometimes some frozen vegetable medley.
This produces our framework for what we’re going to eat. If we don’t eat all the fresh produce we bought it goes bad, so we load up our meals with as much as we can. We do also freeze quite a bit of fruits for smoothies as well. But as a general rule, maybe it’s some sort of mental hack we’re using, but it’s as easy as we have delicious produce, let’s use it.