I recently received the following comment to one of my articles on Grains:
“I like your website and services that you offer Greg but your dietary advice seems idealistic. I like the idea of trying some of your suggestions out but I just donâ€™t see how I could ever do it, Iâ€™ve hardly be able to eat anything! Shops, cafes, restaurants, dinner with friends it would be so hard to eat as you suggest that it would cause me more stress than the benefits involved.
I do eat healthily but I want to improve my pot belly that keeps me with a 4 pack instead of an 8 pack Cutting out starchy foods does seem to be the way forward but I just donâ€™t think I could live as you suggest.
Ideally I would get a diet plan for the week showing how it could work but it seems that actually 10% of food in supermarkets can only be eaten and that must be difficult to stay motivated.”
It is often thought that I am some kind of health freak and that many of my principles are not practical in real life. Do you think this?
The truth is I base all my principles on Science and Nature. So it doesn’t matter how many times you want to believe that grains are good for you or low fat foods are good for you or that protein shakes are good for you, both nature and science shows us otherwise.
So you really have a choice…
# 1 – Trust in Mother Nature and all the beauty that she has created in the world, and Look, Feel and Live Healthily
# 2 – Try and make up your own rules, listen to the media and all the million dollar food marketing companies and spend a lifetime battling with health problems!
OK, with all that said I’d like to outline how I eat and drink during the day.
It is my hope that you can then see how living inline with your body and with nature is totally possible and not idealistic.
I’ll run through an average day, include all my meals and give you the reasoning behind why I eat, what I eat and why I avoid certain foods.
Right, lets get started…
During a full nights rest your metabolism slows and Â your body rejuvenates. If you get to bed early enough (before 10:30) then you will have had full physical repair as well as full mental repair.
Once you wake up you will be dehydrated due to a lack of fluids during your 7-9 hour fast. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up to replace lost fluids.
Next I drink tea, generally decaffeinated and without milk. There are 1000′s of choices of tea but here are a few options:
- Green Tea (different teas have different amounts of caffeine)
- Chai Tea (black tea, slightly caffeinated)
- Yerba Mate (caffeinated)
- Chicory (not a tea more of a coffee substitute, caffeine free)
- Mint (caffeine free)
- Lemon and Ginger (caffeine free)
What’s the problem with Caffeine?
Caffeine induces levels of stress within the body. It raises hormones and blood sugar levels to give us energy. High blood sugar levels causes hormonal issues and fat storage.
I don’t recommend that everyone needs to give up caffeine, there are far more important things to tackle with regards to your health.
However, many people are far too stressed out to handle the extra anxiety that caffeine can cause both mentally and hormonally. If you suffer from IBS , Anxiety Attacks or Energy Slumps then I recommend you eliminate caffeine.
I rarely drink caffeine but if I do then I limit it to one cup and drink it before 4pm. Caffeine has a life of many hours so you don’t want to drink caffeine in the evening because it will disrupt your hormones during sleep.
Finally, drinking caffeine after meals is not recommended. Drinking caffeine stimulates your Sympathetic Nervous System which in turn shuts down your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Your PNS is responsible for digestion so stimulating your body after a meal will cause problems with digestion.
First thing in the morning your body is empty and ready to take on food.
A good meal will provide you with energy for the day.
Just like taking a car on a long journey you need to fuel up first
What you eat now will have a profound effect on the rest of your day.
For many people their breakfast will consist of Tea or Coffee, Fruit, Toast, and or Cereal with Milk.
Lets take a look at these and see why they are not the best start to the day.
Firstly, if you start your day with toast you immediately elevate your blood sugar levels. As I discuss in my article on Grains, toast is made from grains and most grains, whether brown or white contain mostly starch. Starch is sugar.
Then lets add some jam or marmalade which is more sugar.
Next you have some fruit or a fruit juice because you think its healthy. That’s more sugar, it’s called Fructose!
Perhaps you go for a nice bowl of wholegrain cereal, whether it has added sugar or not the grains are mainly starch or sugar.
Finally add some milk to your cereal, which has its own natural sugar and that’s Lactose!
So the upshot of all these common breakfast options is that you consume a lot of sugar for breakfast.
Let me outline in very simple terms why sugar is such a problem.
- When you eat sugar you elevate the concentration of sugar in your blood stream.
- Sugar in the blood stream is damaging to the organs, arteries and blood vessels.
- Blood sugar stimulates the release of the hormone insulin
- Insulin forces the sugar into the muscle cells for energy usage
- Too much blood sugar means the muscle cells are full and so the sugar gets stored in your fat cells
When you are low on energy your body should use your stored energy by releasing the hormone Glucagon.
But, and here’s the big but…
Your body cannot activate your Glucagon Hormone and so release your stored energy if your Insulin Hormone is busy working managing your blood sugar.
In other words your cannot store energy and release it at the same time. Makes sense, right?
So if you want to lose fat and use up your stored energy then you need to limit your sugar intake.
Here’s what I recommend for breakfast
Remember sugar is the enemy here so we need all natural foods that will keep our blood sugar levels balanced.
Here are some of my favourite choices:
- Omelettes Â (with lots of veggies)
- Boiled Egg
- Smoked Salmon with veggies
- Bacon and Eggs (buy good quality organic)
- Sausages and EggsÂ (buy good quality organic gluten free)
- Leftovers from the night before
- Oats made with Water and Butter (oats don’t agree with me but see how you go)
Here are a few examples of my recent breakfasts:
(Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Buttered Leeks. Cooking time 10 minutes.)
(Eggs, Mushrooms, Watercress, Tomato, Cucumber. Cooking time 2 minutes)
(Gluten Free Sausages, Leeks, Eggs. Cooking time 15 minutes)
(Scrambled Eggs, Courgette (Zucchini), Avocado, Wild Rocket. Cooking time: 3 mins)
You will notice that I try and add as many vegetables into my breakfast meals as I can. This has taken time to develop but now both myself and Lucy love our morning veggies!
Some days I will complete my breakfast with a Vegetable Juice to add even more goodness into my mornings
Common Breakfast Objections
# 1 – Aren’t Eggs High in Cholesterol
Eggs are one of natures prized complete foods. A perfect balance of Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates.
Buy organic free range eggs and avoid the ones with added omega 3 that taste fishy.
There is no scientific evidence that links eating natural cholesterol with heart disease. For overwhelming scientific evidence on the myths of Cholesterol read these books:
- The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr Malcolm Kendrick
- The Great Cholesterol Myth by Dr Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra
Â # 2 – I Don’t have time to Eat Breakfast
We all have the same amount of time, you, me, the Queen, the President. The difference between all of us is how we manage OUR time.
Wake up 15 minutes earlier. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Plan your breakfast the night before.
All the breakfast options that I show above take less than 15 minutes to prepare. Make breakfast an important habit each morning just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
# 3 – I Can’t Face Eating Food Early in the Morning
This is a common objection but it is a habit that can be changed with time.
If you are used to just drinking coffee and then flying out the door then you need to slowly start a new habit.
Begin with something light. Perhaps an organic natural yoghurt, apple, or even a home made vegetable juice.
With time start to add more food into the mix. Perhaps some eggs a few times per week. Or a nice cooked breakfast on a weekend.
The point is you need to start slow and build up. Start building a breakfast habit. You will be surprised at how quickly your habit will grow and you’ll be longing for more food at breakfast time.
# 4 – What’s Wrong with Drinking Milk?
Modern day milk is heavily processed until it’s not even a recognisable natural food. Here are a few of the reasons to avoid milk:
- Pasteurisation destroys vital nutrients including vitamins
- Homogenisation damages the molecule structure
- Many people are allergic to dairy without knowing it
- Many people are lactose intolerant meaning they lack the digestive enzyme Lactase that digests the milk sugar
- Leafy greens have more calcium than milk
Here’s the kicker that most people don’t realise:
Low Fat Milk is actually more fattening than full fat milk because the fat actually slows down the release of the milks sugar (lactose) into your body
A common compromise that many people make with milk is to opt for Soya Milk, Almond Milk or Rice Milk.
- Soya milk has many serious objections, one of which is due to possible Soya Bean Genetic Modification
- Rice milk is made from Rice and is therefore high in starch and therefore sugar
- Almond milk may be an option but all artificial milks tend to have additives one of which is often sugar in some shape or form
My advice would be to avoid all milks and milk substitutes. If you are not eating cereal then the only other use for milk is in tea or coffee and these can easily be drunk without milk.
We all know that breakfast is an important meal that should not be missed.
Eating meals the way I eat today has taken time. I’m constantly adding and honing my daily meals, always looking for ways to add in more nutrients or foods to better improve my health.
Try to start a breakfast habit if you don’t already have one. Start slow and build up!
Finally, remember we are all different. Some people can tolerate oats others can’t. Some people are allergic to eggs others aren’t. The best way to discover your optimal diet is to test and see how you feel: 1,2,3 hours after your meal, and then adjust accordingly.
Got Questions? Leave Me a Comment Below….