This is about the time of year when the vultures come out to prey. They hide all year, lurking in the shadows just waiting to pounce on poor folks who just don’t know any better. They gear up their finest trickery, polishing their smoke and mirrors routine only to come into your life, take your wallet and then disappear just as quickly.
Who are these vultures?
I mean, that thing is a fucking walker that they just turned it into a piece of fitness equipment. You are talking to the guy who loves using your body as the instrument of fitness and all that jazz but throw some tennis balls on the bottom of that thing and my grandmother would be into it.
Bender ball, Master Cleanse and The Rack are not the only vultures scamming their way into profit this time of year. Every corner you walk around and magazine you open is telling you to lose “8 pounds in 8 days” or “25 pounds in one month” through borderline starvation.
Look, if you starve or cleanse yourself you are simply losing water weight that you will put back on immediately. It’s science. Science is smarter than you and better than you and its that simple.
To me, the core of the epidemic debacle that is New Year’s dieting is the entire “eat to lose” mentality. Eating to lose is skipping breakfast because you think it will make you leaner. Eating to lose is replacing steak with brown rice because “rice doesn’t have any fat” (these comments make me want to Terminator 2 myself and lower myself slowly into a lava pit). I completely understand weight loss goals and the desire to get leaner as fast as possible, but any crash dieting is just treating the symptom and not the cause.
What people need is a complete reversal of their mentality. Do not eat to lose. Eat to f’ing THRIVE. If you eat to thrive then you will have energy to train. When you have energy to train then you are motivated and fueled to lose weight and increase strength the right way, through proper nutrition and training protocol. Eating to thrive sky rockets metabolism, burns fat and increases strength. Three things you want.
Here are some foods to help you thrive.
Grass-Fed, Free-Range Beef
Oh hell yeah that’s a red meat recommendation, pat on the ass and “good game”. There are so many health benefits to grass-fed, free-range beef that there are too many to list in this entry so I’ll summarize it as best I can.
- Positive Omega3-Omega6 ratios (more on omega-3s and 6s later). Grass-Fed beef is packed with omega-3s that CAFO meat cannot produce. CAFO animals eat corn (high in Omega-6), free-range animals eat grass (high in Omega-3). Maintaining a healthy 3:6 ratio is one of the single most important things we can do to manage our long-term health.
- When you buy CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) meat, it is tainted with all sorts of filth like antibiotics, anti-Polio vaccine, urine, feces, other vile bacteria and every now and then a little e. coli just to keep society on it’s toes. Further, some studies estimate that half of CAFO meat is contaminated with Staph. Super! To this end, I agree 100% with the ant-meat community. The animals live uncomfortably, are treated even worse and die in a state of stress which effects the quality of the meat.
- Grass-Fed, Free-Range is not the case. Animals are brought to maturity properly and fatten at their intended pace on food they were intended to eat, all while leading a happy life. (I actually don’t really care that the cows are happy to be honest. It just results in dramatically healthier food for society which I am all for. If we can treat animals we raise for food in a more humane way I am all for it, as CAFO treatment is abhorrent, however food quality is the main priority for me.)
- GF, FR meat is loaded with Vitamins B and E., and precious creatine. Meat is the only source we can obtain Vitamin B in the quantity that we need and its one of the most vital nutrients for thriving.
And quit worrying about fat. Over the next ten years I am positive that bastard Ancel Keys name will be sullied and America will be free from the great fat scare he created in the 1940s.
Free-Range, Cage-Free Eggs
These eggs are amazing for us for the exact same reasons stated above. When you buy food from animals that are raised on their natural diet, they produce naturally healthy foods.
Eggs are also loaded with choline, Vitamin D, selenium and a few others. Choline is the man. He is great for the function of our brain but also significantly reduces inflammation which is a very good thing that rest assured, you are in dire need of. I am going to create an entry about inflammation so I don’t want to see like I am carelessly glossing over the benefits of choline.
They also have about 6 grams of protein a pop so they are a fast and easy way to get a borderline perfect breakfast when scrambled with some veggies and washed down with some raspberries.
If that is not good enough, FR/CF eggs are shown to both reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol (good), which I am sure our hearts think is just swell. Do not discard the yolks since just about every macronutrient eggs has to offer is contained in the yolks.
Kale & Leafy Greens
Aside from Jolly Ranchers and Laffy Taffy, if it’s green then consume it. As quickly as you can in as much quantity as you can as often as you can. Kale, spinach and other leafy greens are arguably the most beneficial foods for us and kale is the alpha male of the group.
The benefit of greens really boils down to what they do in the good fight against free radicals, which are nasty little buggers that are always being produced in our bodies and all they do is seek to cause harm (cancer ultimately develops from free radicals running rampant and taking over the town in our bodies).
Greens are like a solid offensive line in football. They protect without any credit or fanfare and generally never make anyone’s fantasy team. Free radicals are constantly on attack and kale is there to block them and send them retreating. Kale are the troops, the reinforcement, the back-up, the calvary, the bouncer protecting your girlfriend from getting groped at the bar. They work to keep the nastiness in check and our pH levels in a state of alkaline which is very important in the fight against inflammation and disease.
This actually includes every member of the berry family, most notably raspberries and blackberries. I am definitely in the fruit is good but too much is bad camp of people yet I wholly endorse the consumption of berries.
They are very low in fructose so the harmful sugars that come with high doses of fruit is not a threat. Additionally, they are loaded with antioxidants that help fight off the same free radicals and have been shown to keep skin healthier, a younger looking appearance a nice homeostasis within our bodies.
“Avocados from Mexeeco”
It’s no secret that avocados have always been great for our health, loaded with the heart healthy monounsaturated fats that create favorable cholesterol profiles. They are also packed with dietary fiber and potassium which is the biggest reason I have a man crush on avocados.
My biggest complaint with the grain community is they always lean on fiber (grain) as the reason we need to consume them, when in reality there are better foods out there that don’t jack up our digestive tract. One serving of avocados typically contains 40% of recommended fiber intake only without any of the gut irritants that grain fiber brings to the party.
There are certainly other amazing foods out there that didn’t make this list but I believe this to be a great core for a diet. They are all whole foods that each bring unique elements to the table to help create balance, reduce inflammation and improve our overall “thrivability” factor.
Better yet, when you create a diet around these foods you’ll just so happen to be increasing your strength and decreasing your body fat in the process, a nice little side effect you might have forgotten about while you’re too busy loving the new delicious food you’re eating.
This year, save the Master Cleans and any thing Beyonce says for the fools and get your smart on.