A Real Food Q&A
I recently got an email asking me merely “WTF?” Here, I do my best to answer that, and other WTF? questions that regularly come in to TheFitInk Headquarters in beautiful Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and on the internet near you.
Q – WTF?
A – I know, right? I get that a lot! Just take a deep breath and realize that they mean well (usually).
Anyhow, listen to people you trust, trust and verify, and when in doubt, shoot me an email. It’s email@example.com. I’m here for you. Hug?
Q – Roland, how important is variety in what I eat?
…I like to eat a lot of the same things, but I’m told that we need a lot of variety and to eat all the colors. Is this true?
A – There’s nothing wrong with eating a wide variety and all the colors, but remember that the mere ability to eat a wide variety and all the colors is pretty new to humanity. In the past (until even 50 or 100 years ago), people ate seasonally and locally, since there was no way to ship cherries from Chile or tomatoes from Holland. Diets were not all that varied, unless you looked at someone’s annual diet.
So, eat seasonally and eat locally when possible, and add in real food ingredients that look and sound good to you.
There’s nothing wrong with eating a wide variety, but your body is a wily creature, and it will do its best to use what you give it, just like it has for thousands of years.
You said “I like to eat the same things,” but that’s also not a good reason not to eat other foods, even foods that aren’t favorites. In the olden days, there was no choice but to eat seasonally, today we can eat iceberg lettuce year, round.
Try to pick something new each week, and add it in to your diet. Variety can help, and you may learn to like more than just today’s favorites.
Q – Grocery store meat isn’t real food? WTF?
I was listening to a podcast and the doctor told a caller that meat from the store can’t be qualified as real food. Grocery store meat isn’t real food? He also said to avoid non-organic fruit and veggies because they are killing us. WTF?
A – There are people who are fanatics. Is grass fed, pasture raised meat healthier than your typical grocery store meat? Is it better for the animals? Yes.
Still… There is a hierarchy of healthy food and healthy eating, and when someone is so dogmatic about this stuff, they run the risk of alienating the people who need help the most.
I know people who stopped their diet because they couldn’t afford to eat the healthiest foods. After realizing that they couldn’t afford to eat 100% organic produce and pastured, grass fed, organic meat, they went back to their old ways. To them I ask “WTF?” and blame the diet book author or radio doctor, who caused the problem.
If organic food is the only thing that counts as real food and conventional grocery store food doesn’t, then why don’t they just stick to fast food?
Somehow real food from the grocery store, although not perfect, has somehow been placed in the same category as conventional grocery store food? Amazing.
Roland’s Hierarchy of Food Awesomeness
The Hierarchy of Awesomeness is subject to interpretation based on dietary goals, finances, your state of health, and your dietary leanings toward meat, grains, and all that stuff. At the top, we have most awesome, and at the bottom we have the SAD, or Standard American Diet, which we American are proudly spreading around the world!
- Grass fed, pastured, free range, organic meat, fish, eggs, veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruit
- Meat, fish, eggs, veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruit
- Making almost any food at home, from scratch
- Eating ‘healthy’ options at restaurants
- Eating ‘less crappy’ at restaurants
- Eating less food, but the same SAD food
- Eating the SAD
As you can see (I hope), there’s a lot of good that can come in between the SAD and ‘perfection.’ The hierarchy is not set in stone, and there are many ways you can modify the list, mix and match, and make your diet better.
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress.
Q – Butter in coffee? WTF?
…and also “is supermarket butter really toxic?” “WTF is grass fed butter?” and “is butter important to eat?”
A – Have you noticed that butter is the new bacon?
But butter is NO bacon!
Still, I wouldn’t put bacon in coffee. Again.
First, is grocery store butter toxic? See the question about grass fed meat, above, for more detail, but in a nutshell, no, it’s not, and if you need a ‘buttery spread,’ butter is hands down better than the alternatives. Is grass fed butter better? Yes.
Second, grass fed butter is butter made from the milk of cows fed grass instead of grains. Grass is the natural food of cows, and grain is actually unhealthy for them. Unhealthy food creates unhealthy animals, which produce less than ideal milk, cream (and therefore butter), and meat.
Third, no, butter isn’t necessary. Historically speaking, many cultures never ate butter, while many others did. Butter is a healthy source of fat, and I believe we need to get a good mix of all fats, including a good dose of saturated fat, to be healthy in the hormone dept.
Fourth, butter in coffee can be tasty, but it’s an acquired taste. It’s pure fat, so people on extremely low carb diets might like it. I have tried it, and it’s nice AND it does keep you full, but only if you put in enough butter. It’s like a 300 calorie cup of joe, and it keeps you full like a 600 calorie breakfast. It’s only worth it if you’re trying to save those 300 calories and make it until lunch.
Q – Why do they say the paleo diet is a fad diet?
It’s not, it’s a real diet that works!
A – WTF? Neither the paleos or the anti-paleos seem to know the definition of the word “fad.” Go look it up.
Anyhow, there have been fads that were most awesome, like the jitterbug, Zubaz, the twist, and the pet rock! Were they ‘wrong?’