This is my first blog in a long while, boss gave a 6 month vacation (thanks MGT). During this long lay off I tried to decide some important questions that I get asked almost on a daily basis. At the top of the list is nutrition. This is a very difficult thing for people to get a handle on and for the most part, the thing people cheat on the most. Too many factors control us when deciding what to eat (hormones, time, erock takes you to XO). I think the biggest factor in people making poor food decisions is food companies marketing strategies. What I mean by this is that food companies, especially the big name brands, make you believe food is healthier than it actually is. A good example of this is cookies that say “Fat Free with 10% of your daily VIT A”. What they don’t tell you is that there is an extra 10 grams of sugar per cookie. Surprisingly enough these companies care more about their bottom line than your waistline. There is studies that show people tend to eat more cookies that are fat free or seem to be healthier than the full fat desserts. This is where I say common sense needs to takeover. This is just one good example of marketing misleading the consumer.
I wouldn’t be able to write a nutrition blog for a CrossFit gym without touching on the almighty paleo diet. A lot of people hear that eating paleo is a must for CrossFitters. In my opinion I think this diet is just confusing and more of a marketing thing for CrossFit than anything. The first thing is that paleo is supposed to mean that everything you eat is organic and nothing artificially grown. Well I just saw on the side of a FitAid can “paleo friendly”. Hmmmm this is interesting, because I wasn’t around in 1200 BC, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t have the luxury of a carbonated vitamin infused beverage. Probably a marketing strategy to sell more FitAid. I’m probably more skeptical than most, but rightfully so.
Having said that, I think the paleo diet is a good basis for your diet. When people ask me if I eat paleo, my answer is well not exactly. I tell people I eat clean about 90% of the time. Their response is generally “oh so you do eat paleo”, I say not exactly. I once had a piece of bread from great harvest bread co that has 2 ingredients in with some almond butter on it and someone told me that this was not clean eating, COMEEE ON MANNNNNNN. This is where common sense must come in to play. I think Michael Pollon, author or the omnivores dilemma, describes clean eating very well, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I think this simplifies things for people somewhat over thinking a proper diet. How can you change your diet for the better? Eat a little bit less and eat more fruits and vegetables. This is essentially what Pollon is saying.
Biggest takeaway here is that we need to be somewhat skeptical when trying to make healthy food choices, especially in the grocery store. I like to say that good nutrition is more common sense than any kind of science. 1 paleo cookie is fine, but I think we should realize that eating the whole box isn’t good for you. Don’t over think your diet too much on whats good and what isn’t, if you think its bad to eat it probably is.