Each person has a unique set of “power foods” and “kryptonite foods”.
In other words, you have a unique set of foods that your body with thrive on, and a set of foods that your body is reacting against. Discovering which foods in your diet or eating plan that are helping you, and which ones are hurting you, can become a long and tedious process. However, once you can identify which foods foods help versus which ones hurt you, your health, appearance, and performance will all improve.
But, dieting itself isn’t very fun, is it?
I will be totally honest with you and confess up front that, if I could get away with it, I would eat donuts for breakfast. Probably every morning. And, if you removed my sense of guilt entirely, I would probably eat about 6 donuts every morning. Yes, 6. No problem. I would buy them from Top Donut.
Actually, I would even try to get on some sort of breakfast plan there and see if I can get a break on price if I commit to buying 42 donuts per week. Marshmellow Creme, Chocolate Frosted, Honey-Dipped, and Jelly… oh my. Maybe once in a while, instead of donuts, I would have some of that supermarket-bought Entenmann’s Raspberry Danish.
Damn, that stuff is AMAZING. Donuts or Danish, I would wash it all down with a quart of Shaw Farm Skim Milk. Yes, skim milk… great taste, less filling, more room for donuts.
But, UNFORTUNATELY, I can NOT eat donuts for breakfast everyday for a few good reasons. The first is my body simply cannot handle that much refined sugar anymore. I would pay dearly for eating so much sugar in one sitting.
Additionally, it seems I have been working against an underlying gluten allergy since I was in elementary school,
when I first starting suffering with rashes on my hands, lower abdominal pain, headaches, lethargy, and frequently recurring bouts of diarrhea. Youthful vigor, pure stubbornness, and an intense work ethic when it came to exercise, helped me live with it for a long time and “get away with it” – until I was in my 40’s and my body was literally overcome with symptoms and health nags. I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease in 2014.
And, looking back and remembering how certain family members had substantial trouble with eating particular foods, it does all seem to make sense. I believe that everyone has their specific set of health problems that they are pre-disposed to and it is simply something you must learn to handle as you get older and those tendencies become more apparent. Some people have trouble with their skin. Some people are more likely to develop cardio vascular disease. Some people lose their vision. Some people are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Some people are more likely to get certain types of cancer. And some, like me, have digestive issues and certain food intolerances and/or allergies. Ideally, as you get older, you grow wiser and pick up some tricks for dealing with your specific set of health problems you may be prone to.
So, I don’t eat donuts for breakfast. Or lunch. Or Brunch. Or pretty much ever now. In fact, I generally avoid EVERY FOOD with flour in it. Yup. That means NO BREAD. And deciding not to eat bread has really helped me healthwise. Even if you don’t seem to have issues with flour, I would still advise anyone to experiment with avoiding bread (and flour!) for just a few weeks and see what happens. I think many of you would be surprised at how it changes your health and your day to day energy in a positive way. Don’t get me wrong – avoiding bread and flour is a pain in the ass. It’s not totally easy and many foods you probably love are going to get crossed off the list. But it becomes a case of what YOU want.
Assuming flour/bread IS having a negative health impact, is feeling healthier, stronger, and more energetic more important that enjoying those foods in your life that contain flour? Each person needs to answer that for him or herself. Avoiding flour entirely and still enjoying your meals is tricky, but it definitely can be done. Here was the lunch I was eating today when I thought about writing this article:
Did it taste as good as I imagine a half dozen donuts would taste? Pffft… definitely not. But, I did enjoy this meal. It was truly tasty and, most importantly, I felt good AFTER I ate it. As my former mentor, Charles Poliquin, once pointed out at one of his several seminars I attended, “if you feel tired after you have eaten a meal, you have made a mistake.” Applying this simply little rule has served me well over time. I have the nutrition knowledge of a competitive bodybuilder and advanced coach, but adding this one additional rule into the equation has really helped me over time sort out the good meals from the GREAT meals. How tired do you feel after you eat a bunch of donuts? Or a huge pile of pancakes? Or a couple muffins? Or a huge plate of spaghetti? Myself, I would be intensely sick for 2-3 days, and feel lousy for about 2 weeks. But, I have an allergy, and you could be totally fine eating these things. I recommend you experiment, observe, and apply a system of trial and error to all your meals. Besides containing gluten, all these meals contain large amounts of carbohydrates. If you feel terrible after eating any of these meals, maybe you are gluten intolerant, or maybe you are just sensitive to sugars- only about 25% of the population is “carbohydrate tolerant”. The remaining 75% of the population is “carbohydrate intolerant”.
In closing, while we are on the subject of diet, I would like to recommend 3 VERY important books on diet theory:
1. Body Opus
2. Good Calories, Bad Calories
3. Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
Body Opus: To me, this is the LAST book you will EVER need to read on diet theory, providing you understand the concepts. I’ve read it cover to cover 7 times. I am not exaggerating. Read it, understand it, and you will not have any unresolved questions in your mind about HOW to lose fat EVER again.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Author Gary Taubes spent 9 years and studied 120 years worth of research data on diet and nutrition. His two books, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and Why We Get Fat are the 2 most significant pieces of literature in the field of nutrition in human history.
Underground Bodyopus: Militant Weight Loss & Recomposition