We all know the road to positive change can be daunting and far more challenging than expected. However, as a society, each individual must take heed to the bountiful information on nutrition, fitness, and life enhancement that is at our disposal to procure life everlasting health. After all, who wants to endure years of lethargy or suffer from incapacity due to disease or lack of motivation? Why wouldn’t you want to run through nature’s most captivating environments, swim in majestic waters when vacationing, or hike mountainsides while breathing fresh, clean air and drinking pure spring water. The good news is that science and research have unearthed a cadre of bad habits that will negatively impact us in the future, while providing the pathway to many solutions. The body is complex but its requirements are simple. Foods that we have been told since childhood were good for us may not be! Fortunately, we need to “unlearn” this information and re-educate ourselves. For now, start prepping your lifestyle change by shopping for “foods of life” and clearing out your kitchen of “foods of mass destruction!” If you care about your health, body, and nutrition please continue reading.
“Thy food shall be thy medicine” is the battle cry in the war against obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and many more illnesses, especially since 7 out of the top 10 causes of death are food related. Thankfully, these diseases are preventable in most cases. Thus, what we ingest should be our number one focus for proper nutrition. In fact, a majority of your lifestyle change will be based upon the macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) you decide to fuel with.
To stay strong, our immune systems could benefit from the extra energy expended for the digestion of red meat, white enriched foods, fast foods, sodas, candy, and other harmful foods. If you choose to eat animal protein for example we suggest you limit your weekly quantity to just a few servings (no more than 3 ounces each). Also be cognizant that animal flesh is full of saturated fat, cholesterol, contains no fiber or vitamin C, has little water, creates carcinogens when overcooked, and consists of high sulfur containing amino acids. Meat stresses the liver and kidneys, so again, be mindful of how much you take in. Think about it, what do the strongest animals on the planet — apes, horses, oxen, and elephants — have in common? They all eat plants. Why? Because plants are full of protein, fiber, complex carbs, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and much more. For this reason the bulk of your diet should consist of complex carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and a smaller portion reserved for protein and good fats, such as nuts and avocados. Having trouble shaking the meat consumption habit? Start by engaging in “Meatless Monday” on a weekly basis to motivate yourself. Trust us, your digestive system will thank you. Also, avoid eating meat in the morning or at dinner and do so only at lunchtime when the metabolism is operating at its most optimal level. You want your mornings light and fluid but still energized. Options:
- Steel cut oatmeal with a banana, walnuts, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, raisins, etc
- Fruit salad
- Fruit/vegetable smoothies or fresh juices from your juicer or blender are great meal replacements
After breakfast begin loading up on your veggies and root vegetables. Sweet potatoes for example are great brain food! Try to incorporate two veggies at lunch and dinner with whole grains like brown rice or quinoa which is also a complete protein. Start experimenting with tofu, tempeh, and seitan while reducing or discarding red meat completely. And please do not fry your meats as you initiate free radicals and increase your fat intake. Dinners can be stir-fried veggies, bean burritos, or lentils over brown rice with broccoli. Limit the use of oils since most are high in fats and cause free radicals at higher temperatures. All oils are extremely high in calories. Reserve at least three hours between dinner and bedtime so your food can properly digest. Things to consider regarding the fat and cholesterol in common foods:
|Skinless White Chicken||23%||85%|
Also, practice eating smaller meals more often since your stomach is the size of your palm. This routine will also keep glucose or blood sugar regulated and help reduce sugar spikes which can lead to insulin resistance over time. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is continuously excreted from the pancreas due to high glycemic foods in the diet and eventually fails to escort glucose into the cells, leaving it to flow within the blood which ultimately leads to Type 2 Diabetes. Sugar, white foods, unhealthy fats, animal protein (including eggs), enriched foods, fast foods, bottled juices, and more spike blood sugar. A full list of foods that keep blood sugar balanced can be found in the Glycemic Index.
Anyone in the field of health and nutrition knows the detriments of dairy on the human body. For this reason we suggest you cut it out completely. No excuses. Dairy is toxic to humans because it was meant for cows that grow from a calf to an adult in a short amount of time. Those are some powerful hormones! Yet, the cow never drinks milk again. Humans are meant to do the same with breast milk and then move on. No other mammal drinks the milk of another mammal like humans do. Here are some inputs to think about:
- Milk is fattening so it can grow a 30-pound calf into a 600-pound adult in four to six months. Afterwards the cow grazes on grass
- Milk is full of saturated fat, cholesterol, growth hormones, and possibly antibiotics
- Dairy, fish, and meat are some of the biggest foundations for Dioxins which are toxic environmental pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says 93% of Dioxins come from the meat industry
- Cheese is essentially the concentration of milk which has up to 80% of the protein casein. Cheese gets 70% of its calories from milk fat (mostly saturated which increases cholesterol levels) and contains many other hormones whose functions are unknown
- Dairy turns on insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which is an aggressive promoter of cancer cell growth
- Dairy is highly acidic and lower yours pH balance which in-turn causes more calcium to be pulled from the bones and teeth (if not readily available from digested foods) for neutralization which can lead to Osteoporosis over time
- When the body takes in too much protein there are greater odds of cancer cells latching on to dividing tissue
- Hormones in dairy help kids grow and reach puberty faster. The average age of menarche for girls has been reduced from 17 to 12 in the last century. Breast and prostate cancers are hormone based and kids have greater risks of developing these cancers and other diseases in adulthood if that individual had an unnaturally rapid growth and premature puberty
- The majority of the world is lactose intolerant for a reason — because dairy sugar is not meant for human consumption
- Cheese is loaded with sodium which encourages the passage of calcium through the kidneys and is lost in the urine
- The human body retains more calcium and higher alkalinity when animal protein, sugar, sodium, and caffeine are reduced or eliminated. Green veggies, beans, tofu, sesame seeds, oranges, almonds, and more are all good sources of calcium.
- Even 2% milk is 35% fat and whole milk is 49% fat!
Since we lose muscle yearly and our brain shrinks with the passage of time, a good fitness regimen will keep you looking, feeling, and thinking young. Humans typically are consciously awake 16 to 18 hours a day. So we should be able to dedicate one hour to sweating, increasing the heart rate, and pumping oxygen to the brain while speeding up the metabolism. No matter what you do, make sure you do something on most days of the week. Unlike an automobile, the body improves with usage. The Fit Fathers team especially likes to run since it is the core testament for overall fitness for any sport. Boxers are trained to run for stamina and footballers run during the off-season to maintain speed and acceleration. Sprint intervals in particular will keep your waist small and your heart pumping. Drink lots of water for hydration and coconut water to restore electrolytes. Skip the sugary sports drinks! To keep from pulling a groin muscle or quad, lightly jog and then accelerate. Sprint injuries come from hard starts mainly. Warm up with two easy laps. Then dynamically stretch for ten minutes. Static stretches will come after speed routines.
At least two days a week strength train with weights to your liking or engage in calisthenics. Make sure your routine is balanced with a lower body workout which burns more calories since legs muscles are larger than upper body muscles. Also include core work such as 30 second planks and abdominal exercises. Rule of thumb: More reps and lighter weight for definition and body sculpting and less reps and more weight for strength. Strength training also keeps your metabolism burning long after the session is over.
An hour or more before workouts drink a fruit smoothie with no protein powder (the body doesn’t need it). Protein is for repairing tissue, not fueling the body. Complex carbohydrates are the body’s prime fuel choice. After the workout is when you need a Fit Father’s Recovery Shake or Super Smoothie within 30 minutes (Fit Fathers Super Smoothie – Coconut water, ice, banana, all types of berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, dates, kale, and an orange. Fit Fathers recovery shake — Almond milk, ice, banana, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed, apple, and walnuts). Alkaline-forming foods taken post-workout speed recovery so you can return to training sooner, in-turn optimizing performance. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), humans only need roughly 5% to 10% calories from protein and bit more if you are active. Too much protein causes the body to absorb calcium from the bones to neutralize protein’s amino acid breakdown. Breast milk is only 5% protein and it doubles a baby in size. Makes you wonder!
Steps To Freedom
- Start your morning with a nutritious breakfast. It sets the tone for the rest of the day since the body has been deprived for hours. Proteins repair tissue, complex carbs provide you with energy, good fat plays biochemical roles in the cells, and vitamins and minerals turn on metabolic processes that allow you to think and concentrate. Skipping breakfast will propel you to overeat later. Conversely, eating empty calories such as Pop Tarts will spike blood sugar and leave you craving more sugary calories. This happens when nutritional requirements are not met. Why do you think you can eat a Big Mac, supersized fries, and soda and still yearn for more?
- Choose foods that hold your blood sugar steady like fiber or low glycemic foods such as beans, fruits, veggies, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. Fiber reduces your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, and lowers cholesterol. We suggest Irish or steel cut oatmeal, a fruit salad, or your favorite smoothie.
- Boost appetite-taming Leptin which regulates the speed your body burns calories. This is attained by reducing fatty foods and exercising daily. And please do not diet because your body thinks you’re starving and will begin storing fat instead of burning it. Exercising resets your appetite, your mood, your sleep cycle, and your ability to handle blood sugars. More importantly, fitness activities create more mitochondria which are your cell energizers. The more you build the more calories you will burn per fitness session.
- The goal is to maintain an alkaline body state or high pH (potential of hydrogen or power of hydrogen). pH ranges from 1 to 14 with 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline) being the baseline. Anything lower and you begin entering acidic territory which opens the doorway for degenerative diseases and slows down metabolic processes. Things that cause low pH are sugar, soda, beans, alcohol, animal protein, dairy, smoking, drugs, fast food, fried food, saturated and trans fat, and white enriched foods like white rice, white bread, etc. Purity is the key word. Foods and liquids that raise pH are lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, green veggies, etc. Alcohol drinking also puts on a heavy calorie load. If you smoke stop immediately. Once your lungs have turned to tar there is no turning back. Smoking affects every part of your body and creates a very acidic and nasty environment for cancer to grow.
- Eat more veggies and fruits. All plant foods are a mixture of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Green veggies are half protein, ¼ carbs, and ¼ fat. Broccoli for example has twice as much protein at 50% than beef at 34%.
- Know your fats! Yes, we need fat (especially for the function of cell membranes), but our bodies cannot manufacture the good fats (Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs). Omega 3 and Omega 6 are the two EFAs we must obtain from food sources. Many people are deficient in the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 which can be found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts (but has more Omega 6), soybeans, cold water fish, and green veggies. Choose wild caught fish opposed to farm raised that eat pellets and offer no Omega 3s. However, be cognizant that 15% to 30% of fish fat is saturated fat. Inflammatory Omega 6s fights for the same enzymes as Omega 3s for proper use by the body. However, the Standard American Diet (SAD) utilizes too much Omega 6 which takes away from Omega 3 being absorbed. Omega 6 can be found in most nuts, oils, avocados, etc. FYI: popular Olive oil is less than 1% Omega 3.
- Avoid anything hydrogenated or with high fructose corn syrup
- All food cheating should be done outside the home
- Reduce sodium intake
- Read food labels please. Try the Fooducate app for assistance
- Avoid all enriched white flours
- Cut liquid calories from your diet. Sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc (Even orange and apple juice are mostly processed sugar water with no fiber)
- Drink plenty of water instead with alkalizing lemon
- Eat smaller meals to regulate glucose (blood sugar) release throughout the day
- Add more fiber to your diet to keep the colon happy while collecting cholesterol in route to excretion
- Never sleep after just completing a meal
- Try to eat fruits at least 30 minutes before a meal so they won’t ferment inside you
- Take vitamin B-12 since it is scarce in our sanitized food supply (formation of red blood cells, stronger immune system, production of DNA and RNA)
- Include weight training and cardio in your workouts (for extra burning add in sprints twice a week)
- Try to obtain 7 to 8 hours of rest nightly
- Rise with the sun to get a jump on the day
Together, we can do this! Be sure to visit our site regularly and let us know how you are progressing. Your before and after pictures are welcome! To reinforce Fit Fathers messaging please watch these documentaries: Food, Inc; Forks Over Knives; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; and Engine 2 Diet. Also read The China Study and Power Foods for the Brain.
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