Does anyone know what to eat anymore?
Everyone seems to know what NOT to eat. How about what we all need to eat?
Imagine… you are a car.
Might be a weird thing to ask you to imagine, but believe me, it’ll all make sense to you in a moment.
You are a car. And you need a very particular fuel to maintain all the functions and fulfill your purpose in the best possible way, driving around and carrying from one place to another people and things. And you can function on a variety on fuels. But not as long, not as well. You’ve been taken care of pretty well till this point. But then something happens, and you don’t get the same quality fuel, the same care. And you start malfunction — making noise, breaking down, not being as fast and efficient, not starting at times. Everything is a bit off.
People are generally aware of the idea, that when you put highly processed junk and food-like products into your body on a regular basis, your body, your health start to break down, and you might start feeling quite unwell. Everything is a bit off.
But not so many people to this day are consciously aware of the idea, that, when you don’t fill your fuel tank with what your body needs — essential fats and proteins, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, good quality water etc. — your body too, just like from eating junk, starts to break down, piece by piece, organ by organ, cell by cell. First not so noticeably. More and more as the time passes.
It’s not only important to avoid toxic and unsuitable for human consumption substances, like trans fats and factory vegetable oils (that, by the way, are still in our food supply, even though we know, they harm our health and bring death sooner), artificial additives of all sorts, highly processed sugars — it’s equally important (I’d argue even more so) to provide our body with what it needs. Otherwise negative consequences follow.
It seems like human beings are by far the most advanced evolutionary creations. And usually, the more complex the machine is, the more advanced maintenance it requires, the more possible reasons to break down it has — like inadequate vitamin D or not lifting weights, among so many others. Our complex bodies are a system of so many organs and even organisms (all the bacteria that outnumber human cells) — it’s no wonder we require such a specific and multifaceted maintenance.
It’s also so resilient — our body! It manages to function, despite the fact, that some people manage to care less about their own physical bodies, than about their vehicles.
We think, that as a society we are getting obese burdened with more and more degenerative diseases, because we eat too much of the wrong stuff. And there is no shortage of “obvious” villains — carbs, sugars, fats, meat, lectins, saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, grains, dairy, gluten. And that’s partly true.
But I also believe our food industry has been moving us into direction of not only eating more useless (from nutrition perspective) crap, but also eating less and less of what our body actually needs — those vitamins and minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants, essential fats, fiber and myriads of invisible components we are yet to discover in our foods — substances without which our bodies start to break down piece by piece. And a low-calorie diet won’t help us there. A well-thought-through nutritionally balanced food guidelines might.
Our life span is increasing. Our health span — not so much. Unless you happen to be one of the few “weirdos” (yours truly including), who pay attention to and take nutrition and lifestyle design seriously, like their life depends on it, equipped with a mind of a scientist and passion of an artist.
And the reason for that, for shorter health spans, one of the reasons, might be that we still are not quite as good at figuring out, what it is our body needs, what nutrients, and we are much much worse at following through with actions based on that incomplete knowledge. We imagine, we are some super-gods, that can survive on ANYTHING with no negative consequences, and we are genuinely surprised during our doctor’s appointment, that we get sick — we just do what everybody else does!
Avoiding “bad” stuff is not good enough to maintain robust health for a long life. There are plenty skinny, shredded and “fit” individuals, who develop degenerative diseases and die young from a heart attack or from fractured bones after, what could have been a benign and light, fall.
I’m a huge fan of fasting, and avoiding harmful substances as much as possible. But I’m equally passionate about (more and more so these days) adequate nutrition, that allows us to not just survive barely living, but to thrive and live to the fullest till the very last day that happen at a ripe old age!
You can’t fast forever. Avoiding is not enough. To thrive you need to add the good stuff!
My mom said to me the other day,
“Why do you spend all this money on supplements? I don’t think you need any of that! We’ve always lived and survived just fine without all this stuff!”
We’ve survived without it just fine.
Yes, we did. We still do SURVIVE, eating a bunch of crap, barely moving, thinking vitamins and minerals are for some nutrition obsessed dieticians and bodybuilders only — we can live on anything!
But let me ask you this, how many totally healthy people do you know? Fit and radiating energy? Full of enthusiasm for life every day? Someone, who doesn’t have some signs of breaking down?
Diabetes and dementia, obesity, to name a few — they start to appear earlier and earlier in life. Don’t you think it has something to do with our less and less nutritious food supply?
We might have been dying from predators, famine, infectious diseases, living quite a short life compared to modern life span back in cavemen times. But we definitely lived it, whatever time we had, as robust specimen! Not as fragile, barely keeping our sh*t together — like we do now.
I see teenagers all the time — half my age, that can barely do half of what I do during workouts, and I’m not even an athlete! I’m just a nutrition/health coach, doing my very best in the kitchen.
I’ve very passionate about RDAs and DVs these days — the amount of nutrients that you need to eat daily (Learn more about it here). About teaching people, inspiring people to get as much nutrients as possible from their meals, supplying as much as possible nutrients per calorie. We have this information, not complete but ok for now, about nutrients, that are essential for life, nutrients without which we seem to break down quite fast and painfully. We have it, and yet so far we have developed really few tools to ensure actual implementation of that knowledge in real life. And food industry doesn’t make it easier, flooding the shelves of our supermarkets with abundance of “food” choices, most of which make our health worse, not better.
This is essential-for-life knowledge! And everyone must understand this. Everyone must practice it! If one is interested in living a long and healthy life full of exciting moments, fully capable to take care of him/herself and others. Isn’t it what we all want?
A friend of mine asked me a couple of days ago,
“Do you know of any resource with some meal plan, that takes care of all the nutrients we need?”
As far as I know, there is none at the moment. No diet supplies everything we need. And meal plan is not the answer.
- We need a structure, that includes variety of foods, and is flexible enough for anyone to use anywhere in the world.
- We need a piece of technology, that can help us to track the nutrition we need to maintain a robust life.
- And we need an understanding, that it is important for all of us to not just survive but thrive!
Till we get all this figured out — and we will eventually — let’s start simple, let’s take care of just a few Nutrients of Concern 2019, nutrients, that new Nutrition Facts Label is designed to help us to take care of.
“Nutrients of Concern: nutrients that are typically either over-consumed or under-consumed based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which provides either the minimum level or the maximum level of consumption required to prevent detrimental effects on health. The diet of many Americans lacks in fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and seafood, which can lead to under-consumption of certain key nutrients.”
- Calcium: 1300mg
- Potassium: 4700mg
- Iron: 18mg
- Fiber: 28g
- Vitamin D: 20 mcg
These days I’m creating content — infographics and videos — specifically to help you satisfy your hunger for these life-essential nutrients through your diet in the easiest and most convenient way possible.
Check it out on my Instagram!
The action plan for now:
- Use this app. It’s completely free, the best I’ve found and tried, when it comes to tracking nutrients. You can customize it to track only nutrients of concern, or as many nutrients as you want — I recommend starting with basics. Try to meet as many requirements as possible through food, try to overeat those nutrients a bit to be on the safe side, after all, the amounts are just minimum requirements to prevent disease.
- Learn from my content more often (Blog, Instagram, Podcast)— how you can get as many nutrients as possible without eating tons of food and spending a lot of money. I try to make it really simple for you to hit your nutrition goals.
- Ask questions, do more research, get creative with cooking and eating, explore and have fun! And most importantly — enjoy your food! Food, that is not just fuel for this state-of-the-art vehicle, we call body, but also is building blocks, that define, how exciting and full your life experience is.
You can reach out anytime with questions, meal plan requests and advice, nutrition coaching, diet and supplement advice — anything and everything food related.
Instagram, Twitter: @1000yearyoung
Email: angela at createyourself.today
Till next time — eat better daily!
FREE 10-day e-mail course — HEALTH. FOUNDATION SERIES. — you’ll have more health, energy and fitness in 2019 than ever before!