Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Food Fairy Godmother

Sometimes, I wish I had a food fairy godmother, who would magically swoop in - tell me exactly what to eat, give me great tasting food, which perfectly fueled my body - my workouts - and kept me at an ideal weight.  

I love food.   Strike that.  I love bad food.  I'm not a foodie by any stretch of the imagination.  I don't generally relish trying new cuisines.  I really don't like veggies.  I like most fruits.  I like most mainstream meats and some wild game.  I read some food blogs.  I look at the things they eat.  I look at the things they cook.  I usually think "Neat?" but then I get overwhelmed when trying to figure out how to even get started with implementation (<--there's that word again!)

I'm more likely to grab a cheeseburger and fries than a salad.  I tolerate salad because I know it's good for me - not because I necessarily like it.  I have never tried Indian, Thai, or a long list of other cuisines.  Truthfully, I just don't know what to order - and I tend to stick with what I know I like.  When we eat out, it's a very repetitive list of restaurants.  Your "mainstream" bar-and-grill type restaurants. 

But, it's time to clean up my diet.  (Again!?)  Crossfit tends to lean toward two diet structures - Zone and Paleo. From what I understand, Zone can be very tedious.  A lot of calorie counting.  A lot of planning.  Stuff that I really don't have time for - nor is it something I would want to do for the rest of my life.  I have no desire to be 70 years old and still write down everything I've eaten.  I'd rather be writing life experiences for future generations to read - not what I ate at 7am on a random Sunday.

Paleo is appealing.  Whole foods.  Not processed.  Meat.  Veggies.  Nuts.  Fruits.  No dairy.  No grains.

The whole foods part is good.  We all know the benefits at this point of avoiding the processed crap that is on the "middle aisles" of our grocery stores.  We know that eating it as close to the way it came is better.  Sure, some processes are good (I'm a firm believer in pasteurization.)    But, others aren't so good. 

The meat aspect - I am mostly okay with.  The hardcore paleos seem to include organ meat (liver, hearts, etc) in their diet - I'm just not going to be able to do that.  Sorry.  just can't.   But, I can eat chicken - and fish (lots of fish recommended on this diet change.)   Lean cuts of beef/bison/pork/etc are good too. 

The veggies - well, I'll struggle here.   Legumes are included in "grains."  Corn is a grain.   Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, etc) are bad.  When you're already picky about veggies - it doesn't leave a lot of variety.  Especially when you only know one or two ways to cook the few veggies you eat.

Nuts are a sketchy territory for me.   I actually really like them - to the point of too much of a good thing.   Control issues.  I generally don't even keep them in the house, but now I need to to follow the plan.

Fruits.  This one is easy.  I like most fruits.  Papayas are about the only 'mainstream' fruit I don't eat. 

No dairy.   This is really an issue.  I like cheese.  I like yogurt.  I like a glass of milk with breakfast.  I like ice cream (but that's a whole other issue, right!?) 

No grains.  This is another huge issue.  Besides the fact that I like bread, it eliminates a lot of staples of my diet.  Oatmeal.  Cereal (which I generally put IN my yogurt.)   Rice. Butter beans.  Black beans. 

So, where does that leave me, especially with a family of six?    It means I'm probably going to end up being one of those 80% Paleos.  I'm trying to follow the ideas as closely as possible, but I need to live too.   In full disclosure, I've already The Paleo Solution and am currently working my way through Paleo Diet for Athletes.  I think I'll have a fuller understanding when I finish that one. 

But, I think I'll end up with yogurts in my diet.  I think I'll end up with some grains - although making better choices of which grains I'm eating.  I think if I end up with just the processed food reduced/eliminated - I'll be better for the long run.  I'm working on limiting/eliminating soda completely.  I can't decide if it's going to be gone-gone or just something I allow on occasion.

I think if I can make a few positive changes, I'll be moving in the right direction!


  1. If you find that fairy Godmother, send her my way! I have heard a lot about the paleo thing mostly in relation to crossfit. It seems sort of simple which makes it appealing to me. I think the dairy and legume thing would trip me up. I think even at 80 % paleo you would be better off.

  2. Great post! I'm an 80/20 rule gal myself. I find it hard to cut out something ALL the time. A girl needs her beer, right? Looking forward to hearing how it goes ...

    Winks & Smiles,

  3. I agree with Wifey. I think it's very hard to completely cut things out of your diet. I feel you on the soda thing. I have a hard time with it too. Ugh.

  4. Found your blog through Wifey! Hope you are liking CrossFit. I work out at a box in Kennesaw. I've been there for 2 years or so and I *love* it.

    I get (a little) crap for not doing Paleo. I don't do it because I don't want to. I don't believe one or two "approved" diets are what is best for everyone. I dig meat but I don't like nuts like that. I'm refuse to give up dairy. At the moment, I just try to focus on eating whole foods but I include grains and starchy carbs (mostly post-workout). It works for me - I've lost 80lbs and I still put up PRs in the gym. :)

    You might want to check out the Everyday Paleo blog. She is a CF lady and Paleo person with young children. I've tried a few of her recipes (even though I am not Paleo) and they are usually excellent and fairly easy.

  5. a personal chef would be high on my luxury list. though i bet i'd still want to run to the market for ice cream and cookies and a pub for good fries. i like order so much, but i totally defy it with food