Creating my new food plan…

I have been finding a lot of research lately That backs up a food principle I have adopted.

This principle is about eating unprocessed foods. Eating foods that are as close to their naturally occuring state as possible.

One of my favorite books is The Essential Good Food Guide, By Margaret M. Wittenberg. This book is like a guide of what to eat and the reasons why. In an opening statement from the book, Wittenberg summarizes a foundational principal as she describes the intrinsic value of whole foods:

The Intrinsic Vaue of Whole Foods

Every day, discoveries are being made that under-score the truth that keeping foods whole, not processed or fractionated, is vital to our overall health and well-being. Increasingly, we are learning that isolated nutrients don’t always have the same health benefits as the whole foods from which they were derived. – Wittenberg, M. – The Essential Good Food Guide

Cutting out proccessed foods from my diet has begun to serve me well as I add it into my life. I am realizing benefits from it. I have not cut all processed foods completely. I try to limit highly processed foods. 

This has lead me to look more into the Whole30 program. I have some friends who told me about it. But I previously had written it off as just another “diet fad”.

I was making an assumption, with nothing to back it up. I decided this weekend to do a little research on it. I am going to look into it more, but I think I might give it a shot.

One of the main focuses on this program seems to be eating whole, or close to whole foods… Right up my alley. I am already trying to do that.

I am curious if anyone has tried this program, and what their results were. Please share your experience in the comments section! I would love to hear your story!

Over this weekend I have been trying a longer intermittent fast. During the week I have been eating only in a 12-hour window. This was my first full, non-cheat week with the 12-hour window. Next week I am going to cut to a 10-hour window.

If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting, there is a lot of new research available on the subject.

Saturday I woke up and had some butter coffee, which may have some great health benefits, then did a HIIT boxing workout

**Note: Butter coffee should be like a meal replacement if you try it. Don’t drink butter coffee with a donut, bagel, or any other carbs. I think it strictly a meal replacement thing to get the benefits. Also, might not be good if you are not in a fasted state prior to consumption. Not sure about Cholesterol either. 

After that I relaxed most of the morning, and worked on some design aspects of the website. It was a stormy morning, so I was stuck inside.

I did not eat any food until about 11:00, when I had a handful of almonds and dried cranberries.

The sun came out around 2:00. I went to a local Park and hit the trails, as I have been doing all week.

I decided I was going to walk the trail and run every set of steps and every hill path along the way, up and then back down.

I did this to the large hill at around mile marker 1.7. Then after the run up and down that hill, I decided to just walk back the rest of the way because it was so hot out. I did Walk up two of the hill paths, but not all the steps, on the way back.

Remember, it’s now about 5pm. I worked out in the morning with a short, but higher intensity workout. Spent most of the day working on this website, and then walked 3.4 miles, plus did hill and step sprints along the way. The only Food I had consumed so far was: water, a handful of almonds and cranberries, and butter coffee.

I had energy almost the entire time. I started getting a little tired on the walk back from mile marker 1.7, but pushed that idea back and was fine to keep going. It was pretty hot and humid by this time, so I didn’t work as hard on the way back.

After this though… time to break fast! Time to get some food. Wow, was it ever a great meal!

I decided to make lemon chicken with vegetables

As I often do, I rushed to make my video (above). I didn’t list the red onion. Also I was going to use my green bell pepper too, but got sick of chopping … so I stashed it for later consumption.

The basic idea behind this recipe is fresh taste, and whole food. Let me tell you, the taste was awesome; fresh, a little sweet, a little acidic, a nice balance with the citrus.

Here are the ingredients: Two chicken breasts. Cauliflower, Broccoli, a lemon, a red onion, a yellow bell pepper, and a few handfuls of mixed color cherry tomatoes.

I seasoned with my “special seasoning” – the stuff  marked “famous daves” is not really famous daves seasoning, I just reused the shaker bottle.

Then added salt and pepper to taste, and some garlic powder.

I used some olive oil on the chicken and on the veggies. The lemon juice was used for a marinade and squeezed in with the veggies – half for each.

I wrapped it all in foil and cooked for about half an hour on the grill.

My grill temp got pretty hot – up to 450 for a little while, when I was not paying attention.

I might have cooked the veggies a little hotter than planned, for a little longer than optimal, but overall they were still good. They soaked up a lot of the citrus from the lemon. Adding that lemon peel half was a great way to infuse the flavor into everything.

The chicken probably could have just stayed in the foil. However, I gotta have a little flame on the meat when I am cooking!

It added some nice char and texture, along with that “kiss of flame taste” that only a grill can give your meat!

I didn’t wind up eating until 7pm. I was hungry, but not dying for food like I thought I would be. I think they might be onto something with this idea of intermittent fasting.

Another great thing about this meal is I made enough that I have veggies for meals later on this week, and another chicken breast that is still left over for later.

– A great tip for convenience is cooking meals on the weekend, then storing the food to eat during the week.

Besides this meal, the only other thing I ate last night was another small handfull of cranberries and almonds.

I think this meal would have been Whole30 friendly.

I am really considering giving the Whole30 a shot, now that I did a little research and discovered they are using principles that I have been using already. A great reminder that sometimes I need to look beyond my preconceived ideas – as I had thought Whole30 was just some silly fad diet. It might actually be based on some good science and at least one key principle ties into The Essential Good Food Guide.

Today I am going to try another, longer fast, with a single meal. I got up and worked out on my bike. I did 45 minutes of variable resistance pedaling at a moderate rate. I plan to go disc golfing this morning, before it gets too hot.

As a matter of fact, I better get going!

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