Evolve Your Eating

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Thank you for your interest in Evolve Your Eating, an online nutrition Jim Eatoneducation program developed in cooperation with Jim Eaton from Evolutionary Eaton.

Evolve Your Eating is intended to be something that you WILL be able to follow, no matter your previous experience!

No supplements, no starving yourself, just delectable, glorious whole foods.

How It Works:

You will work to eliminate a handful of foods to get you gradually used to making changes and to begin learning how your body reacts to certain foods.

In this second stage, you will be guided to eliminate a few more foods and build on the new habits you have developed! The goal is to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat to allow the body to adapt to running on natural ingredients. You’ll feel what it’s like when your body is operating properly – the way it was designed to function!

Finally, you will learn how to slowly and systematically reintroduce select foods (preferably one at a time), so you find out firsthaeric-mcneilnd and FAST what does and does not agree with your body. That will allow you to determine if a given food is worth eating moving forward.

You’ll figure out what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating in order to maintain your optimum energy levels, weight-related goals (loss, maintenance and, believe it or not, some people want to gain weight), ideal health, and more.

Our goal for participants is this: we want you to learn how to implement all the great nutrition information you’ve gotten for the long-term so you look, feel, and move better than you ever thought possible, and enjoy the process!

Are You Ready to Take Control?

Signing Up Is Easy!

For just $39.95 you’ll have access to the Northeast’s most supportive, informative online group run by Jim Eaton, NTP.

  • Every module, you will receive a syllabus including all of the pertinent info, recipes and your approved foods list. Additionally, all of your questions will be answered as you go.
  • Each day, you’ll receive tips for working your way through the program, and be supported by the dozens of others who are working the program right alongside you.

This program makes getting healthy easy, affordable, and accessible to everyone – no matter where you live or what your schedule is like!

Please visit this link to register online and reserve your spot!

Testimonials

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I know the full 30 days isn’t over yet but I just had my health check-in at work and couldn’t believe how much my body has changed in the last 24 days!

 

Day 1: 137.4 lb and 19.4% body fat
Day 24: 130.2 lb and 16.9% body fat

 

More than anything I’m proud of that smile on my face!

My favorite thing about the program was getting responses to questions from you and others. I often just go to Google when I’m trying to figure things out like that and there can be so much conflicting information on the internet.

 

I have been lifting and working out for a while but had recently hit a plateau and this program gave me that extra edge and push to take my workouts to the next level…

I was so encouraged by everyone else and by the pure fact that I had to be committed to get the most out of my money and the program. Then as the program went on, how much better I kept feeling day to day was the biggest motivator…

Another big thing for me [was] I went to my doctor who did some tests and I found out I have a really strong gluten allergy that was actually causing me a lot of problems. He said without this program and being off it for over three weeks I may have never known this was a issue and kept attributing the symptoms to other things. 

It’s a great program and I’m already telling friends about it because they all asked me what I’ve been doing lately; they’ve noticed how much my body and energy has changed. I’ve been wanted to overhaul my diet for while and this program is exactly what I needed.

E.F.

I’m coming off a month of Whole30, which is super strict, and yesterday day I had something non-compliant and I thought… phew, that was just one decision, I am still worthy enough to keep trying!!! (Whole30 would not have made me feel this way!) Thanks for putting a plan together that I can follow and be successful, which makes me strive for compliance, but does not make me a failure if I don’t succeed every bite along the way. A.C.

It seems as the first stage has completed, we all had success. Congratulations to everyone! I know this is not a ‘diet’ per say but I lost 9.4 over the last week. K.L.

I was skeptical I could do this…but even with a vacation in the middle of it all I’ve been 95% compliant. I feel great…I can FEEL my body changing. Headaches, fatigue, bloating…GONE! We are a family of 5 with teenagers who eat everything in site and even they have enjoyed a few new things I’ve tried.Best part…its food! No magic pills, drinks, stuff to buy! If you’ve been thinking about doing something for your body…take 30’days and do this.  L.C.

Down 13 pounds from this so far. This from the girl who said she would never give up cream in her coffee or Splenda! S.F.

Success: Down 10lbs. Suspect dairy responsible for my acne. Further tests need to be done. As in, it will be the last thing I reintroduce.
Sleeping better. Restless leg is gone. D.R.

I feel like a tire has been removed from around my waist. I haven’t seen a lot of weight loss (about 5 lbs) but I feel tighter and slimmer. I’m sleeping better too but having a lot of vivid dreams!!!! I just had to make it over the initial energy slump. Now I feel great!!! I’m looking forward to adding back in some foods as meat and vegetables are not my ideal meals, but I find my cravings are curbed and I don’t feel like I’m starving as much throughout the day. I’m very glad I decided to do this. I can say that now LOL. S.P.

Binge eating and sugar cravings are under control, never thought I could overcome these two obstacles ever, and now I know I can!! Not even craving the fruit as much as I thought I would this week! J.S.

I’ve posted about it a few times already but it is so amazing that I will say it again – with the exception of an issue with my toe that will always hurt – my joint pain has all but vanished. I now have what I would consider the “normal” soreness that one would expect to accompany the aggressive workouts that I am doing but not the constant, nagging, energy sucking and quite frankly depressing pain that someone who is working this hard should NOT have. This has been a game changer for me. The other HUGE change is that I am no longer taking Prilosec on a daily basis for terrible acid reflux!!!!! It was a secret goal to have that eliminated but since I have been taking it for so many years I was seriously doubtful that it could happen. During the past 2 1/2 weeks I have had to take a TUMS twice I believe. Again – not sure if it is the gluten or the dairy and frankly I am a little nervous to test it out for either the joint pain or the reflux because I don’t want EITHER of them to come back EVER!!!! K.J.

Gluten and sugar are two things that make my chronic inflammation and back pain worse. The past month proves that. (I kind of was in that track in June. July cinched it.)
I like the way my skin feels and my stomach has been more predictable of late. And I am down about 10 pounds- considering exercise is forbidden right now that’s pretty good. M.B.

FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that Jim has put together:Collage 2016-08-13 Jenny July

What Can I Eat on This Plan?

Not many foods will be restricted on this plan. Things like gluten-containing grains and dairy will be taken out of your routine. This is because they are very common allergies/sensitivities. The same goes for soy and corn, for the most part. Alcohol is not recommended and things like coffee and bacon will be phased out. Many “food-like products” will be restricted. Most processed foods contain one or more of the ingredients I already mentioned (gluten, dairy, soy and/or corn) as well as sugars, highly processed vegetable oils and chemical colors, flavors, and preservatives. All of these things can lead to inflammation and weight gain. The point is to give your body a break!

Is This a Detox?

This is not a “detox” so to speak. It is a whole foods plan and lifestyle. Each module lasts as long as you feel you need, with the first 3 modules being progressively more specific with what you can and cannot eat, and the 4th being a testing and reintroduction phase. Reintroducing foods one at a time is very helpful to pinpoint food that may be giving you issues. It is my hope that it will plant some seeds for life long lifestyle changes.

I have no delusions that everyone who signs up will have banished all processed foods from their life and be brewing their own kombucha by the end of the month…but if everyone takes at least one baby step (of their choosing) in the right direction, I will be thrilled!!!

Do I Have to Buy Any Supplements or Special Products?

There are no supplements required for this program. If you have any questions about supplements I can certainly answer them for you, but this program is about eating / using whole foods to get FIT (for life!).

Is This a Weight-Loss Program?

Weight loss is not the main goal of this program (although it is an awesome side effect!)…getting healthy is the main goal. I would argue that weight loss should not be the main goal for anyone. Weight has very little to do with overall health and well-being. A number on the scale is not going to make you happy! I (and many others) have been at the peak of health and the pits of unhealthiness…and the scale read the same number both times.

I would suggest focusing on other things, like how you feel! You can starve yourself to lose weight, but you are going to feel like garbage…so what good is that? After what is usually a very short adjustment period, most people feel great and very energized on this plan. How your clothes fit is another way to measure your progress…and remember if weight loss is your goal, you didn’t put the weight on overnight, so it is unrealistic to think it will come off that fast. Be patient.

What Can I Expect From This Program?

This program will help you as much as you put into it. We will give you the info and provide avenues of support, but you have to participate! Nearly everyone who participates sees significant improvements, and by far the people who see the biggest gains are the people that really put in some effort, participate in the Facebook group and reach out to me personally to address their issues. So ask questions, complain, admit when you make a slip, and maybe complain some more ;)

Bottom line is this: when the program is done, you’ll have a good sense for what foods have been holding you back from your health/wellness goals, and what foods can help propel you forward (and/or heal you!). You’ll feel better than you’ve felt in a long time, and have a road map for how to navigate stellar health well into your future.

What If I Mess Up or Slip-Up During the Program?

We are not expecting you to be perfect…there is no such thing. If you don’t give it a try you will be where you are now. If you are happy with that, great, carry on. If you are not then you have nothing to lose. If you slip up during a snack or meal, we’ll encourage you to get back on track the next time you eat. Do not be in the mindset “I had one piece of cake so I might as well eat the whole thing” or “I had some potato chips so the whole day is shot!” The whole day is NEVER shot. That one mouthful of potato chips is shot….but the next mouthful of food doesn’t have to be.

Ok thanks, Jim. I’m back!

I promise you can do it if you put in approximately 2-3 hours per week of planning and prepping your food (I shoot for an hour or so Sunday and Thursday, for example). A benefit to the prep is that it saves time as the week wears on and you get busy (and hungry!). Things are ready to go for you as well as the fact that you don’t need to stress out about what to eat, it’s already planned out and mostly ready to rock.

Are You Ready to Take Control?

Signing Up Is Easy!

For just $39.95 you’ll have access to the Northeast’s most supportive, informative online group run by Jim Eaton, NTP.

  • Every module, you will receive a syllabus including all of the pertinent info, recipes and your approved foods list. Additionally, all of your questions will be answered as you go.
  • Each day, you’ll receive tips for working your way through the program, and be supported by the dozens of others who are working the program right alongside you.

This program makes getting healthy easy, affordable, and accessible to everyone – no matter where you live or what your schedule is like!

Please visit this link to register online and reserve your spot!

For a rare change, I’m going to show you how I did with it as well.  The first pics are at the beginning of the
program and the others are about 4 months in.  I’m not too experienced taking selfies, so please don’t judge!
Normally I eat pretty well, but I had a rough go of it during Vanessa’s pregnancy and the first couple of month after.
Typically there is a bit of a back and forth regarding what we are going to eat, but during this time it was a losing battle so I just gave in and ate whatever was available/she wanted. Add to that the fact that during this time frame I did more sitting than I have in any other part of my life and you’ve got a recipe for disaster…as the pictures display.  Not good. I was so incredibly unhappy with myself that it parlayed into every aspect of my life.
I know what I’m doing, but even so, I needed a little kick in the pants in order to make the necessary changes.  This program did just that.
The hardest part was forcing myself to set aside time to prep my food.  Everyone is different, but for me, a big session on Sunday gets most of my staples ready for the week and then I can pop in another quick prep session mid week to fill in any gaps.  The food prep was (and still is) absolutely key to making this work.
I was very worried about cravings.  Before starting, I literally NEEDED to eat chocolate. No joke.  By day 2 or 3 I had absolutely no food cravings and that was amazing to me how quickly my body adapted to the “cleaner” food.  Awesome!
I was also worried about a lack of energy due to the lower carb intake.  Zero issues. This isn’t really a low carb diet, it is intended to eliminate the processed carbs.  You can still get plenty of energy from fruits and veggies to sustain your training intensity.  My staple carbs to keep my energy up was a medley of sweet potatoes, beets and other veggies and that worked great.  We’ll have recipe ideas for you guys, and the group will share recipes as we try them as well.
For me I know that the primary thing I need to avoid is bread and processed carbs. They do not agree with me and I get bloated and sluggish pretty much immediately, and I put on weight in just a week or two of eating it. I also found out that I can have some dairy, but only in small quantities. If I have too much at once it does not end well.

It had a huge impact on helping me to change my habits and get back on track after all of my “pregnancy weight”!  I stayed on task for 2 weeks in Brazil and feel like I came back exactly as fit as when I left; amazing considering typically I gain 7-9 pounds while we are there.  There is no way I would have been able to stay the course if I didn’t just finish the program to get me on track and committed to my good habits.

Another awesome benefit was that my digestion cleaned up significantly.  I was reliant on probiotics for months prior in order to maintain “normal” function.  Within the first few days I felt entirely normal and all of my issues were cleaned up.  This in and of itself saved me about $40/month in probiotics!
My skin is more clear, my mood has drastically improved, my energy levels have been consistent without caffeine and my ADD symptoms, although ever present, have been a bit more manageable as of late! Oh yeah, and I weighed in at 179.5 pounds for my jiu-jitsu tournament, down 26.7 pounds since the end of April and 34.5 pounds since the beginning of April when I started getting myself in gear, a nice little bonus!!!
You can click here to read a bit more about the SIMPLE strategies that I have been utilizing to make these changes.
IMG950937Brian has been following the plan for about a month now as well and he has made TREMENDOUS progress.  He was working out like a maniac before, hitting on average 10 sessions/week.  His strength and endurance were improving much, much faster than his body composition, so we got him started in changing his eating habits.
He also has experienced an increase in energy and has had no issues with fueling his workouts, even as he lost an amazing 16 pounds. The fact that he has drastically increased some of his numbers says volumes, as he just squatted an incredibly impressive 375 during this time-frame!IMG950939
I’ll stop writing as I think the pictures speak for themselves!
I would be very very surprised if you were to complete this, train here a couple days per week and not lose weight…even though weight loss isn’t the primary goal, just a super awesome side effect of eating this way!

Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato and Veggie Hash, courtesy of Eating FIT U:

2016-10-14-18-39-30 I’m not a super strict recipe guy, so keep that in mind with my suggested amounts and times!

Wash and peel 4 sweet potatoes, 4 beets, and carrots. Cut onions, broccoli, and any other veggies you want to add. I also added some apples to this batch. Feel free to add whatever the heck you’d like!

Place veggies along with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic into the food processor and pulse 4-5 times until you get the desired consistency.

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Veggies for us and veggies for Isaac all ready to go!

Spread hash on oiled/sprayed baking pan (foil is a big time saver) and bake at 400 for 18 minutes, flip/scramble hash and bake another 12-15 minutes depending on preference. Be careful because the edges will burn if you leave it too long unattended, so keep an eye on it until you figure out what the timing is for your oven.

I use this for EVERYTHING! Breakfast with meat and eggs, lunch and dinner with anything, and I’ve been using it for a snack by adding some chopped nuts and a bit more olive oil to make a delicious cold salad.

Give it a shot and let me know your thoughts!

Want more awesome recipes and all sorts of support in reaching your nutrition goals?  Check out Eating FIT U!

Lessons Learned

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206 on the left and 179.5 on the right!

I’ll be honest, I was so embarrassed after Vanessa’s pregnancy and when I first started working to get myself back into shape that I didn’t take any pictures. I know that seeing 213 on the scale was the catalyst for me to start this process. If you’d like to look back at some of the things I did to get the ball rolling, I explain it here.

When I saw that number I contacted Jim Eaton to help me develop a program that would help people get their rear in gear and make lasting changes to their nutritional habits.  This initial conversation turned into Evolve Your Eating, and this is a little bit about what I’ve learned over the past 4 months of being on point with my eating habits about 98% of the time.

I went really hard with my training, eating, working and dad-ing for those 4 months.  I know that I have a tendency to red line for too long and then I inevitably burn out and want to have nothing to do with whatever it is that caused the burnout, so I decided that I was going to take September “easy” so as to preemptively head off said burnout.

A little less of all the aforementioned categories (sans the dad part, I’ve still been going at that one with full force) in an attempt to find a happy balance with everything, not something I tend to be good at.

I took a couple weeks off of jiu-jitsu and am getting back into it now.  I’m back to lifting twice per week and I’ve still been walking and hiking quite a bit.

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My weight class was 181, so imagine my surprise when I saw this!

I have still been eating well. My default now for the most part is week 2, for those of you in the Evolve Your Eating group, you know what I’m referring to.  If you are unfamiliar with what this entails, participants are issued an approved food list weekly.  The first week eliminates some commonly know food irritants but still allows a nice amount of leeway so as to get people acclimated to making these changes.

Week 2 eliminates some more foods that tend to not agree with people and then week 3 gets even more specific in terms of the approved food list.  Week 4 is designed to teach people how to systematically test foods as they reintroduce them back into their diet.  By doing it in this manner, you will be able to see what foods negatively impact you.  Phew, now that we’ve got that cleared up, we can move on!

I have experimented with some things this month (I was almost entirely compliant to the program the prior 4 months) and as such am beginning to learn a few things that I thought I would share.

Dairy: I used to ingest a TON of dairy.  A gallon of milk/day, cheese on everything, mounds of sour cream, mmmmm.  I have had next to none for the past 4 months and I tried some full fat Greek yogurt the other day. Surprisingly I didn’t notice any negative side effects…until a day or 2 later. My skin has been pretty much clear the past few months and I suddenly noticed that I broke out a bit the last couple of days. Seems unlikely to be a coincidence as nothing else has changed.  I’m going to move forward with very minimal dairy nonetheless.

Gluten: My stomach was a disaster prior to beginning this program.gluten-free I was taking super duper probiotics that Jim recommended to help manage it, and within 3 days of beginning the program it was smooth sailing and I no longer needed the pills. I’ve only had a couple of things containing gluten over the past week or so and noticed that soon after I got heartburn; something I haven’t had in months prior. My GI system hasn’t been impacted with the small amounts I’ve had, but the heartburn is a big red flag for me.  Gluten containing foods will be a no-go for me indefinitely.

Sugar: Like many others have realized, sugar gives me a RAGING headache without fail. It’s like I’m hungover and is truly not worth the misery to me. This is the biggest and most blatant issue that I’ve come across. I can no longer eat sugar or I will pay dearly.

Chocolate: After months of abstaining, I began snacking on some dark chocolate labor day weekend. Bad move. By Monday I wanted chocolate for breakfast. No joke. Months of no cravings and in 3 days I was addicted again. As diligent as I am, I still can’t overcome that one. Happy to say that I’m 3 or 4 days chocolate free again! I’m going to whip up some more avocado pudding to satisfy my taste buds.

Booze: I haven’t been a big drinker for years now so this has been quite easy for me. I can literally count the number of drinks I’ve had in 4+ months on one hand. This is a huge area that many people will see tremendous value if they are able to decrease their alcohol consumption.  Keep in mind that booze tends to be mostly sugar dipped in poison, and you can probably see how your body will function better if you limit your intake.

Caffeine: I thought that this was going to be brutal, but it has been surprisingly easy (granted I was 1-3coffee cups/day, so not a huge consumer). Obviously some of the people participating in the group were physically addicted as demonstrated by the 3 or 4 days of headaches, but I had no issues and no real cravings. I’ve had a couple coffees over the months and was easily able to refrain again immediately. It was a psychological addition for me as opposed to a physiological one, and I feel like it probably is for many others as well.  Even working to decrease your caffeine intake will pay dividends over the long term.

Portions: As I was dropping all of the weight I decreased my portion sizes drastically and have since slightly increased them again, but still nowhere near as much as they were previously. Even when I was training super hard and reducing my intake I never really felt tired or deprived.  See the FAT section below for more info on this.

Frequency: I used to have to eat ALL THE TIME or I’d crash. Now I can eat 3 times in a non stop 16 hour day with no problem. I tend to not eat my first meal until 10:30 or later and that made an big difference in how much I ate during the day.  This would have been blasphemy to my in the past as I ALWAYS smashed a huge breakfast first thing, but I’ve really been enjoying pushing that first meal back to later in the day.

Fat: This is a huge factor in much of this, but especially Selection of healthy fat sourcesthe last 2 topics. By eating more fat I felt more satiated for much longer than I did when addicted to carbs. Additionally, once I became fat adapted and my body got used to using it as my primary fuel, everything changed for the better. I felt that it was week 7 or 8 of being DILIGENT that the magic really started to happen, so hang in there and stick to the program.

Weight: I started at 213 and weighed in for my tournament at 179.5, a 34.5 pound loss in about 4 months. I’m happy to report that even with easing up a bit this month I have been hovering between 182 and 185 with 184 showing this morning.

Hopefully this will be helpful for you in some way.  If you would like to learn how you can take control of your eating habits once and for all, please visit the Evolve Your Eating and feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

Spotlight: Sweet Potato

sweet-potatoes

This is a complimentary post from the Eating FIT U nutrition program that we offer in collaboration with Evolutionary Eaton. We hope you find some tasty morsels that are helpful!

I’d like to introduce your new food staple!  This is one of my primary sources of “starch” and as such has replaced all bread, pasta and any other simple carbohydrates in my diet and I bet you’ll notice a marked improvement if you try to substitute as well.

The sweet potato is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese among having many other health benefits.

They contain Beta Carotene which is for your eyes, magnesium that benefits your heart, as well as fiber and iron.  There are nutrients in sweet potatosthat have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and it is also a good source of antioxidants.

One of the primary reasons we recommend sweet potatoes as one of your primary “starches” is that they help to regulate your blood sugar. With a glycemic index (GI) rating of medium, they fit into a category with other vegetables such as beets, corn, and leeks that give you a good source of energy without spiking your blood sugar.

Benefits:

  • Vision: Sweet potatoes are great for your vision because they are rich in Vitamin A.
  • Cancer fighting: Sweet potatoes are a cancer fighting food due to it’s Vitamin A and C, both powerful antioxidants that works to remove free radicals (chemicals that damage cells) in the body
  • Digestion: Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber which promotes healthy digestion and prevents colon cancer.
  • Diabetic-friendly: Sweet potatoes are great for diabetics because they help stabilize blood sugar levels and are low on the glycemic index
  • Energizing: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of energy due to it’s supply of complex carbohydrates
  • Anti-inflammatory: Vitamins A and C are anti-inflammatory nutrients, making sweet potatoes an excellent food choice for those suffering from arthritis or asthma

Sweet potatoes are not always orange-fleshed on the inside but can also be a spectacular purple color.

It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes, perfect considering that we are working toward making healthy fats a higher percentage of our daily intake!

How to Select and Store

Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.

Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. Ideally, they should be kept out of the refrigerator in a cool, dry, dark place ideally between 50-60°F, which would fit the characteristics of a root cellar. Yet since most people don’t have root cellars, keep your sweet potatoes loose and store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated cupboard or even in your basement.

Pairs Well With:

apples, apricots, bacon, bananas, butter, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coconut, cream, garlic, ginger, honey, lemon, lime, maple syrup, nutmeg, oranges, paprika, pears, pecans, pepper, pineapple, raisins, rum, salt, sherry, sunflower seeds, thyme, vanilla, walnuts

Here are a couple of recipes for you to check out:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-butter-recipe.html

Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash

http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001547042,00.html

Sweet Potato Fries

http://paleoleap.com/sweet-potato-fries/

Sweet Potato Delicousness

Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts. The fat content of the walnuts will help you get optimal absorption of the beta-carotene in the sweet potatoes.

Click here for more info on Eating FIT U to learn how YOU can take control of your eating habits once and for all!

The Great Salt Debacle of 2016

As some of you know, I have been training pretty hard for the Tap Cancer Out Tournament that takes place tomorrow.  (If you are willing to make a tax deductible donation to the fundraiser, you can do so here :) The deadline for all donations is tonight: Friday, 8/26 at midnight!) When I made the decision to get my ass in gear in April I weighed 213 pounds and my competition mandates that I weigh in at 181 pounds, so this has been a long road to say the least.

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183.8 on Wednesday

I’ve been on a very diligent plan this whole time with a BIG emphasis on consistency in everything that I am doing (You can read more about what I have been doing here), especially with my eating habits.

I have been following the amazing nutrition plan that we have developed and have been seeing a very steady reduction in my weight over the past few months.  Here is a little tidbit that I posted in the group last week that I’d like for you to be aware of:


 

“Here’s an example of how fickle this journey can be. As I mentioned a few days ago, once I got to within a couple of pounds of my goal, my objective was to maintain close to that weight so I added back in a couple of week 2 options and have *slightly* increased my serving sizes. My activities have remained the same.

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I gained 4 pounds!

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!

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I was OVER 188 at one point within 2 days of eating excess salt!

Nope. In all reality, it is a very simple thing. We ran out of salt and a I bought a new jar. This salt, however, is much more coarse than the last, and as such me adding what I thought was a similar amount to everything I prepped this week ended up being much more…and as we know excess salt promotes fluid retention.

I’m confident that as this batch of food dwindles I’ll see that number drop pretty drastically over the next couple of days. Good thing I figured this out now, as this would have caused me to have a heart attack if it were later in the week as I was getting ready to compete.

Bottom like: Even though I’ve been about as dedicated as possible and have had consistent progress toward my goal, the smallest and seemingly silly thing can throw a wrench in the works. Do not get down on yourself if the number isn’t moving in the direction you want. Sit down, HONESTLY evaluate what you have been doing and get back to work!”


 

14045831_1438630656153607_3129948714928331135_nI know, I know!  We are always telling people not to focus on the number on the scale and that if you keep doing what you are supposed to do, it will happen!  Normally I don’t weigh myself frequently, however, knowing that I need to hit a specific weight on a specific date has led to me stepping on that bad boy more frequently than normal.

My point in this is that no 14063773_1436219253061414_8105307822241830139_nmatter how dedicated you are, there will inevitably be some speed bumps in the road.  It is your responsibility to identify the reason, and buck up and keep moving on.  Hopefully you will learn a lesson from the little hiccup and as such you will not make it again in the future.  I sure as hell will remember this one!

This does have a happy ending, as once I finished up the food I prepped on that day my weight shot back down as my body started to release all of the excess water it was holding on to and I weighed in UNDER my weight Wednesday!

Bottom line: Don’t get frustrated and stay the course.  Making any sort of meaningful and lasting change takes time, effort and consistency!  Challenges WILL occur and you WILL overcome them!

Related Links:

If you’d like to donate to my Cancer Fundraiser.

More info on simple tricks you can use to get yourself in gear.

Info on the September nutrition group.

 

Egg Bake

After all these years of learning, lifting and generally living the lifestyle, there is one thing that trumps all else when it comes to getting into, and as importantly, staying in shape.

That magical little secret is, drumroll please…

Eating well!

As mentioned in previous installments that you can and should read here, the name of the game is to eat as naturally and locally as possible.  Beyond that, I find that if I don’t have something ready to go when I need it than I am much more likely to stray.

The single biggest thing that has helped to keep me on track is to make sure I have a good breakfast ready to go.  I’m not big on folowing specific detailed recipes so this is just an overview.  Feel free to experiment as you go!

I first sauteed up some onions and garlic with 3 pounds of ground beef.  I used some of the beef for this dish and saved a bunch that we used in tago salads later in the week.

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Next I diced up the veggies.  I often use sweet potatos as the primary base, but I had some leftover squash so that went in with some onions, peppers, tomatos, spinach, and broccoli.  I realized after this picture that I didn’t need the bacon for this dish as I was using the ground beef.

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After sauteing all of the above veggies in olive oil and garlic (I’ll often use coconut oil as well), I sprayed a baking dish and added the veggie mixture to the bottom and then poured the beat eggs over it. You can add cheese if you like as well. I typically use a 9×13 but only had a half dozen eggs as the rest were spoken for.  I usually use a dozen in the bigger baking dish.

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Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  It will vary depending on how thick and how many eggs you use, but this will get you close.  Check to make sure the egg is cooked through before removing. 2015-11-08 21.45.36

This batch got me 4 heaping servings, many of you could get 5 to 6 easy.  When I use the bigger baking dish with more eggs I get 5 to 6 servings and I’d wager that it will be 6 to 8 for most people.2015-11-09 07.35.20It is really challenging to get veggies in at every meal and breakfast tends to be the trickiest of them all!  This is a great way to start your day off on the right foot and help you to ensure you have something available when you need it so as to limit the dreaded fast food fiasco that many of us are guilty of!

Counting Calories

And I’m back! It’s me again, Jim Eaton, nutritional therapy practitioner.

When it comes to calorie counting, right off the bat I’m going to say that I’m not a big fan of it for a couple of reasons:

26food_1-65011. I feel it adds another level of anxiety to food – an already stressful topic for a lot of people. “Did I eat too much? Not enough?”

2. If you are eating a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet, like we started talking about in the last post http://funintelligenttraining.com/the-ancestral-diet/ (please read that post before you finish this if you have yet to do so), your body will tell you when it has all the nutrients and calories it needs. That being said, it’s nice to have some reference points and a place to start.

With that in mind, I’m going to go back to how our ancestors ate. Studies of many primitive cultures show that, in general, they ate along the lines of a 30/30/40 diet. That refers to 30% of calories from protein, 30% from healthy fats and 40% from carbohydrates. We should all be looking to get our calories from whole and minimally processed foods.

More specifically, when it comes to proteins, we are talking about pastured/grass-fed organic meats, eggs and dairy (if tolerated), wild caught fish and even wild game.

For fats, we are again looking to properly raised animals to provide us with things like lard, tallow, eggs, and full-fat dairy. Fish, fish oils, coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds are also good sources of healthy fats.

Our carbohydrates should be coming almost exclusively from fresh, organic fibrous vegetables (think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuces, kale, paleo_pyramidspinach, radishes, celery, carrots, beets, onions, mushrooms and more). We can also consider occasional servings of fruits, starchy vegetables (like sweet and white potatoes, winter squashes, etc.) or (small servings of) rice.

Now, just because “most” cultures ate like this does not mean it will work for you. These are just guidelines. Play around and find what feels good for you! Food should bring you joy, not cause you stress and anxiety. For instance, my diet looks more like: 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbs. This is what feels good to me, but I am not counting macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs) on a daily basis. More on that in a bit.

Now that you know from where your calories should be coming and in what general percentages, you may be wondering, “How much do I actually eat!?!” Again, this is going to be different for everyone. One thing I want to make sure you avoid, however, is under-eating or restricting your calories. The idea behind most weight-loss diets is to eat less, and perhaps move more.

The problem with this approach is that it’s not sustainable in the long run. How many of you have, or know someone who has gone on a restrictive diet, lost weight, gone back to their normal routine, and gained all 19496the weight back (maybe even a little more)? Then they started the cycle over again, only to find it was a little bit harder the next time.

Restricting calories for extended periods of time sends a message to the body: “The world we live in sucks and there isn’t much food out here.” How, then, does the body respond? It’s main goal is to keep us alive, so it starts slowing down the metabolism, allowing it to function on the restricted calories it’s being given. It also puts a high value on fat, storing more of it, and starts dumping lean tissue (muscle) because that’s more biologically expensive to maintain.

Let me restate: by restricting calories, we are telling the body to slow down our metabolism, store fat and dump muscle. Not exactly what most people had in mind when they began those fat-loss diets.

Back to the topic of daily calorie consumption. As a baseline, I suggest women shoot for around 1,800 calories per day, and men 2,200 per day. I’ll say it again: this is just a guideline.

If you are bonking out during your workout, you probably need to eat more. If you are feeling stuffed to the gills after meals, you probably need to eat less. I generally eat between 2,500 and 4,000 calories per day, and this gives me good energy and keeps my weight pretty consistent. So what does it look like when we put these guidelines together?

1,800 calories for women would break down like this:

• 180g carbs, 135g Protein, 60g fat

2,200 calories for men would break down like this:

• 220g carb, 165g Protein, 73g fat

Some of you are probably wondering, “If I don’t track my calories, how do I know how many I am eating and what my macro break down is?” The truth is, I have no ideahow-to-count-your-macros how many calories I ate yesterday. What I do know is that it felt like the right amount. I have figured this out over time by occasionally keeping a food journal.

I suggest doing that for at least three days in a row. It gives you a better picture of how you really eat, and can be as simple as writing down all the foods and beverages you consume, and then taking a good look at it to determine your macro intake. If you do it this way, I also suggest keeping track of your moods, energy levels and any digestive issues. This can help pinpoint if there are any food sensitivities you were previously unaware of.

When it comes to food sensitivities, remember that you don’t have to go into anaphylactic shock (like a kid allergic to peanuts) to be sensitive or allergic to a food. While gas, bloating and skin breakouts, for instance, are common, that doesn’t mean they are normal, and what they could mean is that you have a food sensitivity of which you were previously unaware.

If you want to take a more technological approach to tracking your food intake, you can use a website or app like http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. MFP has a huge food database, which makes it fairly easy to log any type of food and get a complete analysis of how many calories you are taking in, as well as the macro-breakdown into fats, proteins and carbs. Be warned, though, that the default guidelines in MFP are based on USDA standards (low-fat & high-carb); so either ignore those or you can manually change them once logged in.

What I’ve talked about here are some decent guidelines to start with. What I’d like to see is that you reach a point where you are eating such delicious and nutritious whole foods that you are not worried about calories, only about properly fueling your body!

Experiment and have fun by finding what feels right for you. Don’t beat yourself up for missteps and definitely don’t make food the enemy. We are learning as we go, and any step in the right direction, no matter how small, will reap benefits in the long run.

Come join me Sunday 3/22 from 5-7 to learn about how you can properly sustain your weight loss efforts.  Please click here for more info!

Jim EatonJim Eaton is a certified nutritional therapy practitioner who teaches people how to use whole foods to achieve optimal wellness. He has worked with people around the world who are interested in sustainable weight loss, reducing stress & anxiety, repairing their digestive tracts, evening out energy levels, and reducing chronic aches & pains (i.e., headaches, migraines, arthritis, colitis, backaches, etc.). To work one-on-one with Jim, visit his web site or contact him through email or phone.

jim@evolutionaryeaton.com |603-568-3306| EvolutionaryEaton.com 

 

 

The Ancestral Diet

Why I think the Ancestral Diet is the Way to Go

Hello all! It’s me, Jim Eaton, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). Eric asked me to give a little input on the Nutrition/Food Topic of the Month. I thought I’d start from the (very) beginning.

As an NTP, my idea of health is based around the idea of a whole foods diet. Some of you may have heard this called the Paleo Diet, or perhaps the Primal or Caveman Diet. Those terms are great, but I find them a little too restrictive. I prefer the term “ancestral.” What is the Ancestral Diet and why is it better for me than a typical modern diet?

I’m glad you asked!

evolution_of_manDepending on the source, the dawn of (modern) man took place 10,000+ generations before us. Without an exact date in mind, let’s just say it was a wicked long time ago! During this time, all of our ancestors were hunter-gathers. There were no supermarkets, convenience stores, fast food restaurants or even refrigerators, so they literally had to hunt and collect their food daily. Because of that, our primordial ancestors ate meats, fish and eggs, as well as seasonal wild plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds. Read more