Doesn’t everybody eat kale for breakfast?

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
The kale in my garden.

Aside from the occasional post about my pre-workout snack or a post-workout dinner, I haven’t really tackled the issue of food or diet on this blog.  But I think it’s time to talk about the quality of the food we eat.

Everywhere I go it seems people are eliminating entire food groups from their diet.  The “no carb” diet, the “no meat” diet, the “no gluten” diet, the “no dairy” diet, the “no sugar” diet, the “no wheat” diet, and even the “no cooked food” diet.  On and on, I see people struggling to land on something that works.  It’s one thing if you have food allergies, but if your goal is to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, then the equation is quite simple: eat less, exercise more.

OK, so we eat less.  Does that mean one trip a day through the drive-thru rather than two?  I want to talk about the food you do eat.

I’m sure the reason I haven’t discussed this yet is because I live in a little bubble called “Seattle” where it seems everyone eats fresh, wholesome, locally-sourced food.  It’s the norm around here, so I don’t really think about it.  Most of the people around me eat well, so I figured “doesn’t everybody eat kale for breakfast?”

But just the other day I realized that “natural” is perhaps… sadly… not the norm.  I had this realization when I was out for a run and decided to take a short-cut home.  (That will teach me.)  Here’s what happened in a nutshell… then I’ll get to the diet thing:  Instead of staying on the lovely Burke Gillman trail, I decided to cut up 25th Street.  I soon remembered that I would have to pass by a stinky old gas station and a McDonald’s (even more stinky!).  As I passed by the McDonald’s I started to feel sick.  Really… like double-over-nauseous sick.

Harlem watup
Image via Wikipedia

The smell, honestly, made it hard for me to breathe.  It was the dinner hour, and this place was slammed.  Incredibly I made it home without barfing… barely.

My little “detour” really made me stop and think.  Seeing so many people in there eating processed meats from factory farms, greasy fries from nasty oil vats, and even the pesticide-sprayed salads with hydrogenated palm oil dressings… oh my… it just threw me!  I wondered… how many people eat this way everyday?  Am I really living in a bubble here?

Let’s be clear… I’m not hatin’ on the cheeseburger.  I love them!  But my question is… are you buying your cheeseburger at a fast food joint, or preparing it yourself with quality ingredients?

For me, it’s a question of quality and content.  You have to know what’s in your food.  I hate to rant… but these days you really have to know what you’re eating and where your food is from!  If you don’t know, don’t eat it.  That’s Rule #1.  If you don’t know what you’re eating or where it came from… don’t eat it.  Period.  You won’t “starve to death” if you miss a meal.  Just wait until you get somewhere where you can recognize every ingredient.

That’s what I do and I have to say, I rarely compromise on this.  I don’t think you should either if you’re serious about kettlebells and fitness.

And now let’s talk about fat loss and diet… and kettlebells:  You all know that I’m a kettlebell fanatic… (Kettlebells will transform your physique and quite possibly get you in the greatest shape you’ve ever been in.)  I’m also a food fanatic!  There’s a good article you should read on the Dragon Door site (an awesome resource for kettlebell fanatics, by the way).  It’s about fat loss and kettlebells, saying basically what we already know to be true, but sometimes we need a reminder:

#1: We have to take in fewer calories than we burn if we are going to lose fat.
#2: We have to get control over the foods we put in our body. 

Dave Whitley, Master RKC, came up with a great quote from the article: “You can’t out-snatch a donut!”  Snatches burn a tremendous amount of calories, but your body needs pure whole foods to really excel.  Not donuts.

Here’s the link to the article: http://www.dragondoor.com/articles/how-to-fix-the-3-most-common-programming-mistakes-for-kettlebell-fat-loss-workouts/?CategoryId=19&F_All=y

Check out the article when you have a minute… but one of the best pieces of advice from his article is “to stick to foods found in nature – meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and seeds and nuts. Stay away from processed (man-made) foods like breads, cereals (yes, what they feed cows), pasta, deli meats, etc.”

I always enjoy a good challenge… How about the next 7 days we eat only from the list above?!  Do it with me… and then I’m headed to the beach, so its perfect timing!

Let’s swing some kettlebells…

Peace Out and Good Eating!
Kate

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