MY 6 TENETS FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH
1) Eat a Vegetable Based Diet
2) Incorporate a Variety of Healthy Fats
3) Source out Clean Proteins
4) Maintain Healthy Gut Flora
5) Limit Sugar Consumption
6) Choose High Quality Supplements
Those are the 6 essential things that I have found work for optimizing my health. I have tried many approaches over the years and those 6 things that guide me in my food choices.
Nutrition is a passion of mine. I prepare about 95% of the food I consume, and I love doing it. This passion was instilled in my by both my parents, but in very different ways. And by the time I was about 16 years old I was willing to learn from any an all approaches to optimal health through food choices.
Today my diet is very simple, and I like it that way. I found the foods that I like the best, are the most nutritiously dense, and work well with my body. When people observe my dietary habits and ask me what kind of diet I follow, I keep the answer simple and just say I eat lots of vegetables, predominantly green ones and sweet potatoes. Aside from a base of vegetables I consume a lot of eggs, fish, grass fed meats, chicken, and a moderate amount of nuts. I have almost completely abolished grains containing gluten.
I have found that my favourite vegetables are Sweet Potatoes / Yams, Broccoli, Carrots, Kale, Spinach and Garlic. Sweet Potatoes have an amazing nutritional profile, taste great and can be prepared in so many ways. My favourite is just baking them and eating with a liberal amount of organic butter. Steamed broccoli it touch to beat for texture, flavour and nutrient density, and when your 2.5 year old eats it by the handful you keep it in the fridge at all times! Of course I eat plenty of others and feel variety is important.
I am a big fan of supporting the smaller businesses and for that reason you will often find me at The Root Cellar – these guys have it all, and if they don’t have it then ask for a manager and see if they can get you a specific product!
MY FAVOURITE FATS:
Good fats are critical for optimal health. There are many opinions on what the best fats are for humans and I will go over my favourites here. Coconut oil and isolated MCT Oil are heavy favourites, but organic butter, olive oil, duck fat and high quality bacon grease are right there too. With its MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides), lauric acid content, good cost per serving and long shelf life Coconut Oil is a great to have on hand at all times.
Here is a great article relating to fat intake. Watch the Videos (via links) under the “Know Your Fats” section. http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-2-nourish-your-body
Clean proteins whenever possible. That is what I strive for. Eggs, Fish, Grass Fed Meats, Chicken, and Upgraded Whey Protein make up the majority of my protein intake. Free Range Eggs are easy to find. Fresh fish isn’t always easy but if you live on the coast take advantage of it. Grass Fed and Local Meats are getting easier and easier to find. The Omega-3 content of grass fed cattle is far superior to that of feed-lot animals. My favourite here is Island Bison.
Remember not to over consume protein, it should make up between 20-30% of your calories.
Overconsumption of sugars, refined grains and hydrogenated and poor quality fats can lead to a poor digestive system. There are a few things you can do to keep your digestive system and (as a direct result) the rest of your body functioning much better. Once I found Karthein’s Sauerkraut I have never looked back. It is a top quality, Canadian company and offers the best stuff around. Kombucha is another amazing food source for natural probiotics. With a completely different array of bacteria than Sauerkraut, and it’s now widespread availability, it is another one of my top choices. Check out Rise Kombucha , they are a Canadian company who offer a very high quality, low sugar, line of awesome flavours. Supplements (expensive) can help but stick to the fermented foods and you ail notice a difference. Try some other fermented foods too, like Miso, Kefir, Natto, and Kimchi.
I can’t stress enough how much of an important role probiotic foods have played in improving my health. I feel they are essential.
Sugar isn’t good for us, we all know that. I have cut it from my diet whenever and wherever possible. Ask yourself if you can use less anytime you reach for some. I try to minimize high-sugar fruits such as mango and grapes too.
When it comes to energy products for endurance sports we all need something to keep us going. Generation UCAN is an industry leading product. I have used it successfully for over a year now.
The other time sugar is a necessary evil is immediately post exercise – you need to replenish the carbohydrate stores you have just used up. Simple sugars are fine in a 4:1 ratio to Protein, and this has been shown and proven time and time again to start the recovery process when consumed within that critical 30min post-workout window.
HIGH QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS
Over the years I have been able to minimize the amount of supplements that are on my shelf. Today I rely on Purica products (especially Cordyceps, Recovery and Immune 7) to maximize my cardiovascular system and immune system strength as well as keep my joints and ligaments strong. Vitamin D and Krill/Fish Oils I use almost daily as well. As the links above show, Upgraded Products from The Bulletproof Executive are the best for Whey and MCT Oil.
My hope is that the above information can help others make some life enhancing decisions when it comes to diet and nutrition. I have tested a lot of things over the years and it really can be very simple once you break it down. Eat more vegetables and butter.