I thought I would use a real-life example of something that happened recently. As my client (let’s call her Sally) walked in, she started complaining. She said, “I’m frustrated. I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do. I’m eating perfectly, I’m exercising, and I’m still gaining weight.” Sally had lost almost 60 pounds and she gained 20 back. I hear this a lot in some way or another from people writing to me.
I went through an exercise with her that I’d like you to do with me now. We journaled a couple days’ worth of her food. I mean everything! Don’t forget about the two bites of French toast you cleaned off your kids plate as you were doing dishes, or the bite of wedding cake you had last weekend. I do this exercise to give me an idea of what people are doing, and where the hidden culprits might be lurking. Now back to my client… Sally wakes up in the morning and works out first thing. She doesn’t eat anything before her workout. She has coffee, and then she has a large bowl of fruit. Then she has a smoothie using a new “superfood” protein powder. This was the first red flag. This is a marketing trick used to hide boat loads of sugar. People assume sugar is fine if it’s in the form of “superfoods”. WRONG!
People market things with superfood, organic this, vegan that and gluten-free treats. These are very big trigger words to fool you into thinking that something is healthy that really isn’t healthy at all. You have to read labels.
Here’s an example of one day of Sally’s diet:
• Large bowl of fruit
• Superfood smoothie or eggs
• Banana for snack
• Salad with whole tomato for lunch (may or may not add protein)
• 1 cup carrots for second snack
• Fish or chicken with salad for dinner (tomato or carrot on the salad)
This looks pretty healthy at first glance. So what’s the problem? Sally asked, “but aren’t all those foods healthy?” It depends. Depends on how you eat them. It depends on what your insulin response is, what your hormonal response is. Sally saw fruit, vegetables and superfoods when she looked at this list. I saw a whole bunch of sugar, not balanced with protein and healthy fat. You’ve heard the expression “Too much of a good thing…” That’s exactly the case when you continuously eat foods that turn to sugar. If you eat sugar and foods that quickly turn to sugar: bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and sugary protein powders, you will cause your blood sugar to go up quickly. That’s a bad thing. Your bodies response to elevated blood sugar is to release insulin to bring it back down.
Here are a couple recipes that would work:
• Scrambled eggs with steamed spinach or avocado
• Chopped celery, cucumbers and broccoli with hummus for a snack (low glycemic veggies)
• Salad topped with left over chicken from last night’s dinner and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts
• Half apple with almond butter
• Fish or chicken with Bok Choy or Brussels Sprouts and salad (limit tomato to a few slices, add more green veggies)
• Optional- 1 Nutty Butter Cup (sugar free)
If you compare her original diet to the new diet, you will find that we radically reduced her carb intake, especially starchy and high glycemic carbs. We increased her protein and healthy fat intake. This transformed her diet, and gave her more energy and focus throughout the day. Now I want you to write down what you’ve been eating. If it looks like Sally’s original list make a few shifts. I bet it will transform you health also. You can find many of these recipes and more like them in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook, or you can sample free recipes from my website.