A guest post by PJ
Picking 15 favorite foods can be a challenge – even for “regular” foods. Some think it’s tough thinking of that many, while others find it hard to limit their list to only 15. To make this task a little easier (and to help you choose foods that are good for you), I have some suggestions.
Dark green vegetables
These are the most nutritious foods there are. They are basically like taking a multivitamin, but one that you actually absorb. Dark greens are also a “negative fat food,” meaning the more you eat, the leaner you get. You can actually eat yourself skinny by eating these foods!
To find some you like, just Google “dark green vegetables” and you will have plenty to choose from. Try them out with different cooking styles, recipes, and seasonings. If you already like dark greens, then great! This will be easy. If you don’t (like I didn’t), you will find some that you like somehow. Just commit to making that happen.
This is another food that can make you burn fat off your body just from eating it. It’s not as much of a “negative fat food” as dark greens, but it still is in that category under the following three conditions: It must be organic and free range if it is white meat. It must be wild if it is fish. It must be grass fed or wild if it is red meat.
Vegans will have a harder time, but it still can be done. Visit www.runningraw.com to read up on a guy who has mastered this skill. He is the only vegan I have met to date who is healthy, strong and fit. If you really want to commit to this lifestyle, get the right guidance!
Berries are the best fruit
Fructose (fruit sugar) can be problematic, especially when it comes in the form of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is poison. It is the fastest way to get fat as well because the liver turns it into fat faster than any other sugar.
God gave us the antidote however, by combining fructose with fiber in fruit. This is why choosing the fruits with the most fiber (like berries) is the least fattening and most nutritious way to eat fruit. I don’t usually eat fruit myself, unless I am getting too lean from all the negative fat foods I eat. If I get down below 5% bod fat, I use fruit as the healthiest way to fatten myself back up. It works like a charm!
Nuts are great snacks if there is enough fiber in them. Protein content varies widely between nuts as do carbohydrates. The carbs in nuts are less of a concern, since they are “slow” carbs (a.k.a. low glycemic carbs), but if you read the labels and educate yourself to learn which nuts are highest in protein, lowest in carbs and highest in fiber, you will be able to choose wisely. As with all foods, make sure they are organic!
Sweets can be a challenge, but a little creativity can go a long way. A handful of organic blueberries in some plain high protein Greek yogurt with a few drops of liquid Stevia takes like full sugar yogurt! I have even created a high protein/low carb pudding, ice cream and cheesecake! It really is possible to have it all and not feel like you are missing out on anything! You can find the recipes at http://xgym.com/xtras/hard-bod-cafe/.
Wheat and milk products
These can be problematic, as many people are mildly to severely intolerant. If you are intolerant, you will continue to have problems that will not be solved. To find out (because you probably don’t know even if you are intolerant), take them out of your diet for a month and then re-introduce them one at a time to see if you feel different. If you do feel funny, crappy, tired, or have skin problems when they are re-introduced, you’ve got to come up with a plan to say goodbye to them.
It is necessary to address the topic of alcohol here. Like fructose, this substance is turned into fat very effectively by the liver. In fact, a beer is just the same as a Coke as far as the liver is concerned for fat production. You belly will get just as big, just as fast, no matter if you drink the same amount of soda as beer. The only real difference between high fructose corn syrup and alcohol is the brain doesn’t metabolize high fructose corn syrup, so you don’t get the buzz you get from alcohol which is metabolized by the brain.
If you must drink alcohol, try to limit yourself to 1-3 drinks per week. Any more than that will harm your brain and contribute to fat gain. Since alcohol also increases your appetite, it will make you eat more too, and if it is high fat food you are eating more of, you will store all the fat. In case you didn’t get it by now, I’m suggesting that alcohol NOT be one of your 15 faves!
Lastly, while water is not a food, it is an essential. It will help you absorb your nutrients, raise your metabolism, cleanse your cells, and help you burn fat to name a few of its benefits. I saved it for last, because it is the most important. Most people are chronically dehydrated, and their health reflects it. To find out the amount of water you should be drinking, take your body weight in pounds, divide it in half, and that’s how many ounces you should be drinking per day (assuming you are between 100 and 300 pounds).
I touched on the concept of glycemic foods earlier, and this is an important concept to keep in mind when picking your fave foods. Generally, the lower glycemic the food, the less fat you will end up gaining on your body. Go to www.nutritiondata.com for glycemic load of specific foods.
Nutritiondata.com will also help you see in a snap how nutrient dense the food is. If you choose at least 10 of your 15 faves with a high nutrient density, you will be doing huge favors to your health and fitness, and will be doing better than 90% of the other people out there!
There is more information on www.xgym.com and my blog at www.pjfit.com that might also be helpful in picking your 15 fave foods. If you commit to this project, and stick with it, you will find it completely miraculous in many areas of your life!