I thought you’d be interested to know what we eat here in the Collective family and approximately what it takes to eat the way we do. It’s only fair, seeing as we’re dishing out the “should’s and should not’s”, that you peer into our lives and examine what we’re made of. It certainly isn’t perfection (yuck) but it is a consistent effort to achieving optimal health.
To cut to the quick, if you want to experience true health, you have to start cooking for yourself from scratch. Your diet should primarily exist of vegetables, quality proteins, fats, fruit, nuts and seeds (in that order) and if you are determined that you need grains (you don’t) then a bit of those here and there I guess. There should be a handful of some fermented veggies such as sauerkraut (homemade) and a little bit of raw veg on the side too.
I am reluctant to say we’re Paleo promoters because as I have explained in previous posts, we have come about to eating without grains and sugar because of my children’s food intolerances and gut issues and there are many labels one can put on a diet free from grains and sugar, Paleo is just one of them. Also, the fact that there is so much fluctuating opinion on what Paleo actually is leads me away from wanting to call our Collective eating style “Paleo”. For instance, on the GAPS diet my children eat raw organic homemade yoghurt. It’s fermented over a 24 hour period and the lactose and a lot of the proteins have been removed in that time but it’s still dairy. They need it for the probiotic nature as that is the GAPS protocol. But they don’t eat grains at all and at the moment their sugar intake is zero as we have not yet even introduced fruit. We’ve been led to believe that what our babies need for their first foods are pureed fruit and rice cereal and it can’t be further from the truth. Babies need organic fats, organic egg yolks, liver and homemade broths, not sugar and processed rubbish. Anyway, I digress (and will revisit this in a future post).
So, I am not entering a Paleo slanging match BUT I will say that eating as much meat as possible with a few veggies thrown in is not our style. So as to be fair, I will detail our eating for you, seeing as we do practice what we preach and are somewhat proud of it. I’ve known plenty of personal trainers who rock all nighters over the weekends, live off rubbish and smoke ciggies and then train hard in the week while glugging gloopy protein shakes (poison). Sad but true. Sure they might have a six pack. But are they healthy? Mmm. We’re not like that and we’re happy to open our fridge and pantry doors to show you what we put in our gobs.
Yes, I cook a lot. I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen preparing food. I cook the lunches the night before and try to keep stock on the stove, some veggies in the slow cooker and soup at the ready most days, along with a big pile of steamed veg in the fridge so that I am not peeling and dicing every night. We shop at farmers markets for direct from the farmer eggs, meat and organic veg. We don’t eat fish unless it is wild caught. Let’s chat about farmed salmon sometime hey? Being prepared takes a lot of work. But that is what health is about. Again, I’m not going to lie to you. You cannot get good health from food in a packet. There is no shortcut to eating well. If you want to feel good, then get prepared to cook your food yourself. If it’s been made by someone else (unless you’re Gwyneth Paltrow and have a chef preparing your organic macrobiotic pureed baby food) it’s sub standard in the nutrient department. I’ve realised now that the next post will have to be on food labelling. Anyway, here is an example of what we eat as a family:
Dan’s Day (1L water plus a couple of black coffees)
A large bowl of sweet potato pudding
Six egg omelette with veg
Spicy grilled chicken with veggies, dash of olive oil and salt and olive oil mayo
Fruit and nuts (banana, apple etc not dried fruit)
Slow cooked beef curry with vegetables
This is quite a lot of food but as you probably know the nature of the beast here is looooong days. And Dan commutes by bike, sometimes more than one round trip. Plus he’s a big guy anyway and his metabolism is sometimes insatiable, lucky bastard. And he eats not in three meal blocks but as and when he can and need to.
Laura’s Day (1L water)
Breakfast: 2 eggs (sometimes 3 if I fancy) with a veggie stir fry
Couple of cups of tea and a couple of teaspoons of nut butter (not an awesome choice)
Lunch: Piece of grilled chicken with veg, some homemade olive oil mayo
Dinner: Soup with meat and veg or a bowl of curry, whatever is going.
The point here is that every meal has veg with it and protein and fat. Sometimes I have a couple of spoons of sweet potato but I am trying to lean out and still not training hard enough to warrant carbs, when I stick some heavy weights in then I will eat more sweet potato. I eat the odd piece of fruit with a meal if I want and drink a lot of liquorice tea. Yes I want for chocolate chip cookies sometimes and lattes…
The Collective Kids (as much water as possible yes sometimes I bribe them but not with food)
3 eggs fried in coconut oil and a cup of chicken/beef/lamb broth, two tablespoons of kefir or whey from yoghurt, and 2 TBSNS of homemade sauerkraut
Chicken broth with cabbage, carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, chicken, ghee
Nut butter and zucchini pancakes
If they have not had eggs for breakfast they eat omelette for lunch otherwise it’s a piece of meat and veggies, or more soup and veggies, homemade yoghurt
Chicken Liver Pate (homemade)
Slow cooked meal or baked fish with veggies
As I said they are not yet eating fruit because they have stomach issues and cannot tolerate it at the moment. When they can I will certainly be reintroducing it and widening their scope with more nuts, pumpkin, almond flour and fruit. But they do not eat processed crap out of boxes. And they call McDonalds “Old Macdonald had a yucky farm with gross food.” Because we won’t touch that shit with a ten foot barge pole. It is not food. You know that the biscuit tin is a no go area for you in your workplace so why pack Tiny Teddies in your kids lunch box? Packet biscuits have more than three types of sugar and three types of fat, all of which have been fiddled with in a really nasty way to increase two things: shelf life and your addiction. Ever read the side of a packet of kid’s squeezie yoghurt? Well, we will get there soon enough.
Am I a food nazi? Absolutely. You should be too. What goes in your mouth matters and what goes into your children’s mouth matters even more because they are relying on you to lay the foundations of their future health.
Do our kids get a little down every now and again because they can’t eat fairy bread? Sure they do. Am I still able to say no, knowing that I am doing the right thing for their health? Yep. Do I get pissed off sometimes at 9:30pm when I am straining stock, dead on my feet? Yes, sure. Work is, by nature, tedious at times. But for the overall good, for the love of my kids, my husband and my health, it’s what I plan on doing for a very long time. Do we have slip ups? Yes, we are human and plan on staying that way. But since our last clean 30 days we tried to eat some ice cream and cookies and man, were they gross. I was overwhelmed with sweetness. Having a sweet tooth, I didn’t think this was possible but a great 30 days of clean eating sure scrubbed out my taste buds. I started a second 30 day stretch five days ago and it feels so much like second nature I didn’t even realise it had been five days till I wrote that then. Sure I crave things, I want to eat when I feel down, bored, fed up or cold. I like to sip lattes and read the paper on the weekend and catch up with friends over wine. It’s not like you can’t do those things ever. It’s just that for the majority of the time you need to tip the balance into good and away from junk. Keep the balance there for a while until it becomes second nature and then let yourself have a drink here and there, or a piece of chocolate when you want. Treat each meal time as if you’re putting credit in the bank and saving for a holiday. Each good meal is worth 5 bucks. Watch the bank balance/health grow and feel good for it. Challenge yourself!
Starting tips for good health:
1) Make batches of chicken stock with whole chickens and roughly cut veg. Sip the broth daily, it is packed full of essential nutrients. Use the meat in soups. Give it to your children daily!
2) Favour veggies on your plate and then add a piece of protein about the size of your palm. Eat vegetables, protein and a bit of fat for every meal. Use coconut oil and unheated extra virgin olive oil, cook with organic butter and lard.
3) Just leave the cereal behind. It has NO redeeming qualities at all, not even oats. If you seriously give your kids sugary boxed cereal for breakfast then you are doing them such a huge injustice, shame on you. Here’s something a little original, just stop buying it and say no when they ask. You are the parent, remember?
And if you are ready for some personal guidance on nutrition, or a return to fitness is calling you off the couch in time for summer, then you can find our studio in Moonee Ponds. Our studio is small, personal and full of great ideas. Try us out with three sessions with no obligation and no contract. Want to train hard, eat right and feel great? Then it’s a no brainer, contact us now.
And so goes the day. Stay tuned for labelling lies and some notes on your Poo. Yes, I am comfortable talking about it. We all do it after all. But no, not everyone’s shit stinks. It shouldn’t do, if you eat right. Peace out.
Stay Fit. Be Collective.