I have friends that when I show them a bottle of tequila they have an automatic gag reflex. “Get that thing away from me!” they yell. And I do. Eventually. First I find it prudent to wave it in their face. Maybe crack the top and give ’em a nice whiff.
But my point is this: they hate tequila because they’ve had a bad experience with it.
The following foods on my list are kind of the same thing; I haven’t necessarily had one horrible experience with them, but over the years, they’re foods that I’ve discovered I can (and should) live without for the sake of my physique and health.
When I eliminate them from my diet my body fat decreases, I gain more muscle, and I generally feel better.
I bet you will, too.
Fast food of any kind
Well, yeah, that’s kind of a no-brainer, right? We all know the high amounts of sugar, fat, and sub-par ingredients aren’t doing anything for our health or our six-packs, but let me ask you a question: how many times have you had fast food in the past month? (Yes, Subway is fast food, too. And, no, it’s not really a “healthy” alternative. Processed meats, bread, cheese, and the occasional vegetable does not constitute a high-quality meal.)
Despite our knowledge of all the “bad things” that are in fast food, most of us still find ourselves at the drive-through after a night of drinking. It’s like we’re compounding bad decisions:
“I’ll have a shitty dinner of chicken wings and French fries, wash it down with a six-pack of cheap beer, unsuccessfully hit on girls, then drive to McDonalds.”
Might as well drunk-dial some people while you’re at it. You know, to really round out the evening.
Anyway, I just had to rant for a minute. I mean, shit, my friends hide the evidence from me. They’ll purposefully throw their garbage away in the dumpster instead of risking having me see it on top of their trash.
Am I really that big of a dick? Maybe. Would I really ridicule them? Probably.
Cows weren’t meant to eat grain (their stomachs can’t process it properly), yet that’s exactly what they’re getting in the CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) where they lead their relatively short lives. Feeding cows grain instead of grass fattens them up quicker and leads to tasty, marbled meat that’s seriously lacking in Vitamin E, beta carotene, CLA, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Grass-fed beef (or “pasture raised”) is a much better option nutritionally, not only because of the elevated levels of nutrients but because grass-fed cows are rarely given hormones and antibiotics that may leach itself into the meat. (Sick cows that eat grain routinely need antibiotics to keep them semi-healthy.)
But here’s the kicker: it’s extremely hard to find grass-fed beef at restaurants. It ain’t at your local Outback, if you know what I’m saying. That’s why I make a concession or two: when I’m buying beef to cook at home, I always go with grass-fed, but when I’m out at a restaurant I either order something else or just bite the bullet and have the steak.
I’ll make this short and sweet: egg yolks are good for you. They contain a nutrient called choline that’s essential for cardiovascular and brain function. And according to nutritionist Jonny Bowden, choline helps prevent accumulation of cholesterol and fat in the liver. (Which is interesting because the main reason people avoid the yolks is because they’re afraid of the cholesterol.)
Plus, eggs are one of the best sources of protein on the planet.
So do me a favor and start eating the yolks. You could use the healthy fats and nutrients they provide.
A few months ago I edited an article by Brian St. Pierre, a great nutritionist and all-around smart guy. Here’s what he had to say about whole grains:
“Unfortunately most whole-grain breads in supermarkets today are complete crap. They contain added sugar, fructose or high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten the product, as well as tons of dough conditioners to give it the mouth-feel of white bread.
While the glycemic index is overrated, it still reflects how quickly your blood sugar is raised by a food, and conventional whole-grain bread is barely any better than white. So really, you’re not getting that much benefit from whole-grain bread.”
While he goes on to recommend sprouted-grain breads (like Ezekiel bread), I normally don’t eat any bread. I don’t necessarily think that humans were meant to eat it. If you look at from an evolutionary perspective, we’ve only been engaged in agriculture for the past 10,000 years. That’s a blip on the scale. Before that, humans didn’t eat much cereal grains, relying instead on things they could hunt, pick, or dig up.
So I’d rather get my carbs from fruits, veggies, and peri-workout nutrition.
And, finally, one thing I’ll never drink again:
Seriously. That shit’s just nasty.