Today, my run was not here, but I wish it was… this is my favorite place to hit the trails. (Huntington State Park, Newtown, CT)
It’s amazing how sensitive the body can get once you’ve eaten healthy for a while…
Yesterday, I decided to have some chocolate while I was watching the Steelers game (U.S. football). I usually don’t eat chocolate at all based on my past history with it — adrenal stress and eventual low hormone production — but yesterday, I wanted to see how I felt afterwords.
I only intended to have a small one centimeter square, but it turned into about 1/3 of a regular sized chocolate bar. This happened to be a raw chocolate bar that wasn’t too tasty, so I’ll spare the name of it here.
Within minutes after eating it, I started to feel pretty ramped up. For me, the caffeine totally whacks me out and I start to get antsy and unable to sit still. What’s worse is that this feeling lasted for almost 12 hours — of course, more intense at the beginning — but at 12:45 am, I was still unable to go to sleep. It was quite an experience and something that I don’t want to repeat anytime in the near future.
What also was interesting, was that my experiment didn’t end when I went to bed. This morning, I’ve been almost completely useless in terms of productivity. I’ve also felt in a funk — which means that it’s about as close to a mild depression as I’ve felt in 10 years or so (and no, I’m not depressed because my team lost! LOL!). I can’t say if it was specifically the sleep or the chocolate that has caused all this, but I can tell you that I’ve gotten less sleep before and not felt this same way. So, it’s a combination of both, but I’m putting a little extra weight toward the stimulant.
From time to time I do experiments like these to help me more clearly understand my body. Some people may think that it’s crazy to eat chocolate when I know it’s not great for me — but there’s deeper understanding in re-trying foods and practices (safe ones) to, again, see how your body reacts.
Generally, these experiments work out on the negative side, but it’s positive reinforcement that what I’m doing the rest of the time is working for me.
After I laid in bed this morning feeling crappy, I went for a run, had a bunch of water and now feel much better. Running always seems to build up enough endorphins to get me out of any funk.
Anyway, today, I wanted to share with you a resource that I read over the weekend that you might want to check out. It’s an ebook / recipe book / plant-based diet program called Eating for Energy. I interviewed the author, Yuri Elkaim, a few months ago which you might remember.
In this review — if you want to call it that — I’m going to pull about 7 or so ideas that I wanted to discuss from the book that I thought you might find valuable. There are, of course, many more great points than what I cover here and you can find them if you want your own copy here: Click Here to Purchase “Eating for Energy”
So here we go, my 7 thoughts and takeaways from “Eating for Energy”…
1. Occam’s Razor is sharp, so if you mess around with it you will get cut — or poor health.
Here’s a quote from the book…
“In science there is a principle called Occam’s razor. This principle tells us that, amongst competing theories, the simplest is most likely to be true. Eating foods that are whole, natural, and living is simplicity. It is the way nature was designed.”
Yuri’s background was in professional sports and he was appalled at how far removed many athletes were from any semblance of a healthy diet. He also, like me, has personally studied many dietary techniques and has come to the same conclusion as I have (and apparently good old Occam did as well) — simple is simply better.
In a world, where we value scientific data about food more so than our natural tendencies towards it, most of us have lost touch with what we’re really supposed to eat. I most of us, because chances are you and I are the exception — we’ve embraced the simplistic idea that in a world where there are so many different diets, it just seems to make sense that we should eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are provided for us by the earth.
So when it comes to diet, start with the simple and build from there. Get out of your head, listen and – definitely – put less emphasis on the science of it all. Remember, we’ve lived for thousands of years without nutrition panel labels. This is not to completely discount some of our science — I believe we should use it as a tool — but I mention it to remind all of us to start with our roots – even if we think we already know everything there is to know.
2. The best diet ever.
What if your diet was this:
“In general, my rule of thumb is to avoid any food or brand that is advertised – period!”
I think, very simply, this could be the best diet possible for everyone. Of course, it would work for those who eat cheezy-doodle-puffs and Playdoh, but also for those who are into alternative diets like you and I. Take any food that is highly marketed to us and you likely can assume that you should probably eat less of it than more. My example above with chocolate fits perfectly here.
So advertising doesn’t always mean on T.V. or ads on the right or top of the webpages you visit. It also means any over-hyping that you hear likely means that less is better — or in some cases, for some people, none at all is best.
3. Can you really get all your minerals from the foods you eat?
It’s common thought within certain raw food groups I sometimes hang around with that you can get all your sodium requirements and other mineral needs from just the foods we eat.
In Eating for Energy, Yuri has some surprising statistics that may shock anyone who believes this into thinking about taking a multivitamin.
Here are some examples of the change in percentage of minerals in vegetables from 1940 to 1991.
- 49% less sodium in vegetables.
- 24% less magnesium in vegetables.
- 9% more phosphorus in vegetables.
To put this into perspective, there are less beneficial nutrients in the food and, in the case of phosphorus, more of something that we probably need less of.
Shocking stuff, don’t you think?
If you’re thinking that just by default you’re getting enough nutrition from your whole food diet, I’d consider testing to find out if your theory really works in practice.
4. Non-Dogma Rules!
There’s Yuri’s approach, like mine, takes the dogma out of diet. While Eating for Energy is a book that will teach you why and how to eat raw foods and a plant based diet, it’s not overtly dogmatic in it’s approach.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about health in my last 10 years of personal experiments it is this: dogma can harm you.
My personal experience with my own diet caused me a lot of grief — stomach issues, low hormones, adrenal fatigue and more — because I was too busy following something that wasn’t completely right for me. I also fought for years to not include foods into my diet that eventually helped me because of a strict vegan dogma.
Looking back, I’m glad I had the experiences that I did, but moving forward my approach has been to listen to everything with openness and never judge until I get the whole picture. When I’m reading a book like this, I used to come to conclusions about it just a few pages in — good or bad — based on if I felt what I read was correct or not.
I no longer do this so quickly.
I’ve begun to emphasize to myself that one untruth does not unravel the entire manuscript. Not everything I say is 100% correct (which many times I painfully find out later, LOL) but it’s based on my own knowledge that I’ve gathered at the time.
It’s very freeing to be so non-dogmatic like this, and I suggest — if you are quick to judge — just try it out and see if you can get any deeper understanding about a subject if you do.
One of the best things I’ve done for my health is to start to read books on all different types of diets — ones that even suggest eating completely different foods. This has expanded my understanding of the human situation when it comes to food and allowed me — at least I think — to see the overriding themes for success and not be stuck in the in-fighting between diet camps.
The end result for all is great health and I’m pretty sure most of you can do it by eating plants, getting regular blood testing and being conscious of how animals are treated (if you eat them or not) — the rest is of your own creation.
5. What is the variable – Meat? Grains? Carbohydrates? All together?
Here’s a quote from a study that I want to discuss briefly…
“In 1997, a study in the American Journal of Kidney Disease stated that excessive meat ingestion and aging are two clinical conditions often associated with chronic metabolic acidosis. The body’s response to this pathology is very efficient, which means that blood pH is frequently maintained within the “normal” range. However, pathologic consequences such as bone demineralization, muscle protein breakdown and renal growth are caused even though the bigger picture may look “normal.”
There’s no argument from me that the body responds to acidosis by taking minerals from the bone to stabilize blood pH. I don’t have a rub with this, but I do want to discuss the overall value of a study like this — and coming from someone who’s very sympathetic to the vegan – plant-based diet which I followed for almost 8 years — you might find it weird that I’m bringing this up.
I don’t necessary buy all the “meat is bad” science.
I think, by looking at genetics, blood work and other factors, you can determine that meat may be specifically bad for one individual and not another, but I don’t buy the science that exists to date.
Here are a few reasons why…
A. All this science is done without profiling the people involved for their metabolic type — whether they are fast oxidizers (needing more protein) or slow oxidizers (less protein.) There are other ways to look at genetics too, but it’s been shown that some people metabolize their food differently so therefore if they were fed a diet that didn’t fit into their metabolic parameters, they’d get abnormal results.
B. I can almost guarantee all these people ate junky foods along with the meat. Does the combination of the two — meat and junky foods — create the kidney issues or is it just the meat.
C. The quality of meat is almost 100% guaranteed to be poor — lacking nutrition, high in phosphoric acid, raised on fear as the animal’s primary emotion.
D. Most people who participate in many studies like this are paid participants who are generally are in a low income bracket. I’m not saying this to demean anyone who is poor, but if you look at the geo-economical graphs of wealth (in at least the U.S.) the poorest people are also the fattest and unhealthiest. There’s no coincidence here — unhealthy food is cheap. Having unhealthy people in these studies doesn’t necessarily tell us much, if we’re looking to really see how our diet works. This ties back into point B — is eating a combination meat and cheezy-dumptruck-snufalufagus snacks equally as harmful as eating grass-fed beef and a bowl of raw veggies and steamed kale?
Now to wrap this up, I recommend a vegan or raw food diet for many different types of people for a short term or even a few years (maybe even longer) — so I’m very sympathetic to this way of eating — but at the same time, I don’t want to base all my reasons why less meat is better on science that may be ridiculously faulty (just the same as I wouldn’t want to justify the raw food or a plant based diet with science that just doesn’t make sense.)
6. Demoted from superfood status: Cacao.
Based on my previous experience with chocolate, I’ve personally demoted it from superfood status. Many of my colleagues have as well.
I’m not saying don’t enjoy a chocolate treat now and again. Like I said in the beginning, I just did yesterday. (It did not work out for me, though.)
Yuri talks about the benefit of this food in the book, so I’d like you to make your own decisions based on what works for you with this food.
I was glad that he included kale as one of his showcase superfoods — finally a superfood list that includes a few great foods that you can grow in your own backyard!
(He also mentions agave, which I prefer not to eat either.)
7. What to drink after your workout.
When I was a trainer, I would get a lot of questions about what to drink after working out.
My drink of choice was always coconut water — even before the recent market explosion of it in the U.S.
In the book, Yuri includes dozens of great recipes and even has a 12 week meal plan to follow to literally getting you more energy than you know what to do with — but in this post, I wanted to share one that I thought was awesome.
It’s an after workout electrolyte drink.
Check it out…
Citrus-Coconut Sport Drink
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 dates, pre-soaked
2 cups water
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp agave nectar (Kev’s Note: Replace with the same amount of honey, or your favorite sweetener)
1 tsp coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Let me know what you think of this one! (There’s three or four more in the book.)
I’ve just scratched the surface of the information contained in this book and I think it’s a valuable one to read — particularly since it’s an inexpensive buy as well.
Inside, you’ll find information about supplements, foods to eat, how to live longer, get more energy, feel better, sleep like a rock and more.
Like I said before, there is also a 12 Week Meal Guide, a bunch of healthy recipes and a Smoothie and Juice Guide in the entire Eating for Energy program.
I think you’ll enjoy it and it will add to your deeper knowledge of all things healthy — no matter what you’re diet.
Here’s where you can get this book now…
Your Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on my thoughts? I’d like to know…