Eat as Wide a Variety of Good Foods as Possible and Try Some New Stuff!

As many of you know I’m fighting against Chronic Fatigue, a nasty illness that knocks out my energy and leaves me unable to work at my normal capacity. Many people have argued that this brings me down to the energy level of a ‘normal’ person but I was happy living abnormally with super high energy and the ability to do a hundred things at once.

As part of my treatment I’ve been going through a bunch of functional diagnostic tests to find out where my hormone levels are, if theres any heavy metal toxicity and if there is a problem with my digestive system and absorption of nutrients.

Unfortunately for me all the tests I’ve done have come back with bad readings indicating something is wrong.

However, knowing what is wrong is good because now I know, I can start to treat the problems.

Fortunately for me, I am a very positive person and can maintain good energy levels and a reasonably normal lifestyle throughout my recovery and I am WAY better that when I first got sick.

As part of my treatment I have had to change my food drastically from how I have been eating my entire life. And I’m ok with this. I like being a human guinea pig and trying new things to see how they respond to my body and what the effects are.

Last year in July I changed my diet to aid my recovery based on some good advice. I felt better instantly, and it was the complete opposite of what I was doing for the last 30 years.

I switched from…

High Carbs, Low Fat and Low Protein
to
Low Carbs, Moderate-to-High Fat and Moderate Protein.

It is a much healthier combination and it helped me gain my energy back much faster than without it. My greatest fear was that I wouldn’t have enough energy without the carbs, but by eating a ton of fat I have even more energy and am dropping body fat better than I ever have.

Maybe I’m more stubborn or open to change than most people because…

Changing the way you eat is one of the hardest things you can do…apparently.

I’ve been trying to influence how people eat for the last 8 years as a personal trainer and it is very hard to break peoples habits.

I know I can only suggest you change this or try that which is why I have adopted the Ten Food Rules and tried introducing them as one habit to change every 2 weeks. You can see them listed here: www.travissawyer.com/2011/11/24/how-to-build-a-beach-body-by-christmas

Since meeting Jon Berardi from Precision Nutrition I’ve adopted his habit based philosophy and started changing my own habits according to the Ten Food Rules with great success. I adopt the new habits along with my ‘changed’ diet and after a few weeks or months I am actually complying and eating better than I ever have.

My hardest struggle has been being ‘banned’ from eating certain foods that may aggravate my condition. This has meant that some of my favourite foods are no longer allowed and I’ve had to replace them with different stuff. Harsh but necessary.

I have started introducing new good foods to my weekly eating and I’m actually liking it. Granted some of it I don’t like and refuse to eat but I’m only human.

By trying new healthy foods I have found more that I enjoy!

Some of the new foods I have included regularly are sweet potato, asparagus, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, kangaroo, salmon, turkey, walnuts, macadamias, cauliflower, broccoli, coconut and coconut milk.

Eating a wide variety of foods, in favour of all your favourites, will deliver you different essential nutrients that will in turn aid your health in a major way. This increased health will help your body function better and in turn help you burn more fat, which is why I’m such a fan of eating a ton of veggies.

This one change for me has helped me drop my body fat from 16% to 12% (and its still dropping!) without cutting out all my favourite (cheat) foods. I still stick to the 90% rule and only cheat 10% of the time.

One way to increase variety is by adding colour to your meals.

Add some yellow squash or capsicum to brighten your plate.
Some other examples are:

  • beetroot
  • red capsicum or paprika
  • radish
  • carrots
  • red cabbage
  • cranberries
  • apricots
  • mangoes
  • pomegranates
  • corn
  • olives
  • eggplant
  • red or sweet potaotes
  • plums

I’ve been experimenting recently by adding green or red apples to my meals and the flavours are unreal. Last week I had a salad of chicken, red apple and red capsicum and it was amazing! I’ll have it again for sure. I also love adding sultanas to curries, pumpkin seeds to salads and my post workout meal of grilled chicken with sweet potato and spinach!

Granted I am an adventurous cook and possibly crazy, but combining the foods I enjoy and adding new ones has improved my cooking skills dramatically! I now love cooking because I get to eat it when I’m done and it tastes amazing. My Lamb Korma on Tuesday was superb.

Variety is the spice of life, so live a little and try some new fruits and vegetables and mix it up in your kitchen. Who knows what you’ll come up with!

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