The Most Important Diet Modification of my Life
When we bring up diet…oh yeah, happy new year, more FitCast podcasts coming this weekend!…OK, now back to the blog. When we bring up diet, most of the time it is in regards to fat loss or body composition. That is why when the general population says, “Hey Veronica, I am going on a diet” we can assume that means that person is trying to lose some unwanted bodyfat (is there any other kind?).
I am not going to talk about that today, at least not completely. Instead I am going to talk about the change I made to my diet that has completely changed my life.
Let’s load up the Mr. Fusion, get into the Delorean, and jump back about four weeks ago. One of the strength coaches at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, Marco Sanchez, got me to watch “Food Matters,” a 77 minute documentary that changed the way I thought about what we eat. Now, in the past, I have seen other “SHOCKING” food documentaries like “Food Inc.” but nothing really changed for me. After talking to Marco and sitting down and watching “Food Matters,” I knew I needed to change something about my diet, the food I ate.
Let’s get back into the Delorean and travel even further back to to 2004. In early 2004 I started suffering from some serious constipation issues. This was along with eating pretty clean. It was when I was in full blown healthy Kevin mode and was reading as much information on the subject as I could. For reference, I believe at the time I was following the “Testosterone Advantage Plan,” by Lou Schuler and Mike Mejia. You know, protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.
I went to a gastroenterologist, had a bunch of tests done that I would say might have been the worst things I have ever had to go through in a hospital. Think colonoscopy and barium enema. Not the most fun stuff in the world. So, the doc put me on two medications to help me with it. One was Miralax, which at the time was a prescription drug, and Zelnorm, another prescription drug, that was taken off of the market a year after I was first prescribed it because there were negative heath effects.
I gave the drugs a 4-5 month trial, when I saw no benefit, I went off them and just gave up on the gastro (which happened to be the most recommended in the area I was living in).
I more or less just tried to live with constant constipation, sometimes utilizing laxatives like Milk of Magnesia, if things got real bad.
Over the past few years I tried cutting out some stuff from my diet to see if it would help. First up was creatine. Went off it for 6 weeks, no difference. Then it was caffeine, no difference. At this point I was not going to give up my whey protein. It was the nectar of the lifting gods as far as I was concerned with.
Now let’s come back to the present day.
I no longer suffer from the stomach issues that would almost debilitate me 6 or 7 times throughout the year making me miss work and basically just hangout near a toilet all day. And all I had to do was modify a few things.
And before we go on, I need to mention that Whitney Sickler has been a huge help along with this process as well.
Going back to Food Matters, one of the drive home points was that you should juice organic fruits and vegetables daily to get in a plethora of micronutrients (for clarification micronutrients are non macronutrients like protein, fats, and carbohydrates.). On top of that you should comprise your diet of >51% RAW food. Without going too much in depth, you lose nutrients when you cook, and of course process your food. Made sense to me. I can do that. And after seeing the drastic health benefits that the people in the documentary yielded, I knew I had to take action on this.
First thing I did was cut out all Whey protein, and most milk protein as well, sticking with Egg Protein powder (which is a little more digestive friendly), and a new plant based protein blend I will talk about in a bit.
As for what I eliminated from my diet, here is a quick list:
- Whey Protein
- All artificial sweeteners
- Diet Soda
- protein powders with splenda
- Chicken and Meat (not consciously, it just kind of happened, I will have some turkey tips if I go out with friends though)
- TONS of organic fruits and vegetables
- Raw Food in place of cooked food
- And more…read on…
I hit up Amazon and picked out a badass blender, the Blendtec 1560-Watt Total Blender. It is one of those blenders that will blend an iPhone in 60 seconds… If you are into that sort of thing…
Now why should you spend $400 on a blender? To put it simply, you want to blend the sh*t out of whatever you put in the blender to make digestion and absorption of nutrients as easy as possible. I was initially hesitant about spending as much money on a blender as an iPad, but it was worth twice that, and if I want I can blend an iPad… Again only crazy people would do that.
Next up was to obtain the essentials of my shakes. Again, I went to Amazon because they have much better prices than Whole Foods:
- Chia Seeds
- Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green Super Food (A Raw Green SuperFood, again sticking with the raw theme)
- Lifetime Life’s Basics Plant Protein Blend (Again, I eliminated all whey from my diet, I use this as well as egg protein for supplemental protein)
- Goji Berries (Grab half a handful once a day to snack on.
Now for the Produce
Currently I have a few staples to my shakes. Lets run down the list.
Kale: Tony Gentolcore has told me for years to eat more kale…Now I do, I go through about a lb of kale each day now.
- Spinach: Normally I throw in one monster handful per shake
- Carrots: One handful per shake
- Cucumber: 1/2 cucumber per shake
- Celery: sometimes I throw in a stock or two
- Frozen Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, Mango, Peaches, Raspberries (2 hand fulls of fruit, sometimes a little more if post basketball or other exercise)
Now, this is what the processes looks like:
And since people would ask, here is what I normally do twice a day, which the fruit varying. (All Organic if possible)
- About 1/2lb of Kale
- 1 HUGE Handful of Spinach
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 handful of carrots
- 1/2 packet of Amazing Grass Raw Reserve SuperFood
- 1 Scoop of Lifetime Life’s Basics Plant Protein Blend (Vanilla Flavor)
- 2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
- 2-3 Handfuls of frozen fruit (50% of the time it is strawberries and blueberries in the morning, I do peaches and banana post basketball nights)
- BLEND Until Bitchin’
The Results of my Modified Diet:
The most important benefit was the digestive issues clearing up. Without going into detail, I am as regular as clockwork. Although, I will say you will have a transition period, where you might not want to go out with the hot chick from accounting.
The other major benefit has been my energy levels. Since getting in >51% raw food each day (usually upwards of 65%) I have stopped drinking coffee and most energy drinks. I still have 1-2 Guru drinks each week for a boost mid day. For the most part, my only caffeine comes from green tea. And like any diet where you clean up your food intake, you just feel better overall.
Now Here Are Some Important Notes:
- You can get the goji berries, chia seeds, and cacao pre ground into powders, might make more sense to get these
- Why do I use a blender and not a juicer? I personally want the pulp from the fruit and vegetables. And I like the idea of turning them into meals instead of just a vegetable cocktail.
- If there are any questions, just send them to kevin(at)thefitcast.com and I will be glad to update this post with answers.
Things Everyone Can Take Away from This:
- You need to eat more vegetables, blending is one way to get in a ton of vegetables in one shot.
- Think you eat enough vegetables? You don’t, eat more!
- Watch Food Matters, it is free on Netflix Streaming, or you can buy the DVD on amazon.
- I don’t say it lightly that this might be the most important thing I have ever done. I don’t plan on having multiple surgeries to fix the stomach and digestive issues my family history has been plagued with.
- Especially colon cancer.
- No matter what, I make sure I get in two smoothies a day. Even when I stuffed my face during the week, yes week, of Christmas. It is that important.
- I dropped 10 pounds in two weeks, I am guessing half of that was, “waste.”