Superfoods. Really?

The word Superfood has been around awhile, but it has recently been plastered on every blog, book and child's toy for a thousand miles. I like being dramatic sometimes. 

Superfood Definition by Wikipedia: A marketing term for food with supposed health benefits.

The Macmillian Dictionary: A food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions.

The Oxford Dictionary: A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

As your friendly, low key fitness and nutrition blogger, I'm here to help. 

Are there really good foods and bad foods? I'm so tired of the mentality that "this" is the only way. I recently read an article that was perfect for my point by Precision Nutrition. It discussed that all foods can be good and bad. A high protein diet for a person with kidney disease is detrimental. Eggs are bad for individuals with high cholesterol and so on. 

Bread will kill you. Really? 

Soy is horrible. Really?

Eggs are bad. Your cholesterol will spike and you'll never recover. Really?

Chocolate will send you straight to Hell. Really?

Carbs should never be eaten. Ever. Really?

Fruit is bad for you. Really? 

I actually googled death by bread. No such results. Except the two guys that were baked alive in a bread factory in the U.K. If you have a severe gluten allergy, yes I know your view point. My point is, all things are bad to some. All things can be good for some. Excess of anything, even a "Superfood" can be bad.

So, why make the statements that you can't eat something to someone? I did have the client that said to me, "You should NEVER eat sugar. EVER. I'm smart enough to know that." Maybe that's why I'm having such horrible neck problems. I tried desperately to stop my head from spinning off its axis and clearly injured myself. I did get a nasty look when I commented on the sports drink she was holding and how she might need to restart her "never drinking sugar" thing, because she was holding a shit ton of it. 

OMG. I'm suppose to be discussing Superfoods, not my neck issues and the bad wrap sugar gets. 


I don't typically use the word, Superfood, but in order to reach my clients and readers, I decided to write this piece. So, I spent nine years making awesome graphics for you. But for some reason, I decided to research some more facts and now I'm second guessing bringing you the information. Why? Because it's just all dependent on you and your body type, metabolism, cellular makeup, and a zillion other factors. 

AND truthfully...

I don't want to be apart of the hype. I'm weird like that. I want to be honest and for you to believe me. But instead, most believe the fad people who have themselves plastered everywhere.

Since, nine years of my life are in these awesome/beautiful/someone should buy them graphics, I'll forge on.  


Protein sources

Stop with the grilled Chicken Breast already! Try some other options!

I would like to caution you with just any protein source. They are not created equal. Proteins are vital for our health in numerous ways. Amino Acids (AKA, our building blocks) that make up our proteins are responsible for our hormones (most of our non-steroidal ones), our enzymes, our immune chemicals (immunoglobulins and antibodies) and our transport proteins. Protein is THE key to muscle building. 


*So, the more you weigh, the more you need. Example: A 200 lb (91 kg) person would need 91 x 0.8, or 73 grams of protein a day. That is a very general recommendation though. More is needed for weight training, certain illnesses, breastfeeding moms, etc. I generally recommend between 110-225 daily for my clients needs. 

Is it vital that you eat only animal sources? Heck no. I was a vegetarian for years while growing up. I have several vegan clients that are thriving marathoners. No steak has assisted their 26.2 miles! It's harder but very doable. My top protein sources are in the graphic above. 


Veggies and Fruit

Eat your greens people!

I could eat only everything in this slide for the rest of my life and I would be fine. Okay, I would not be able to build muscle, but whatever. No seriously, eat those foods as much as possible. End of story. I do feel compelled to caution the acid sufferers here. If that's you, be careful with too much acid based foods of course. I had not tried beets until several months back and now my life is more complete. Crazy!


Good Fats

AKA, the good stuff! Don't be scared!

Good Fats are everywhere now and they are very misunderstood! I have this argument constantly. There are three main types of dietary fats: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. 

SATURATED: Animal Fats, Tropical Oils (Coconut, Palm, Cacao)

MONOUNSATURATED: Olive Oils, Avocado, Peanuts, Ground Nuts, Tree Nuts

POLYUNSATURATED: (Omega-3) Flax, Fish Oil (Omega-6) Most Seed Oils (Safflower, Canola, Sunflower)

Which are healthy? Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. We need healthy fats for various reasons. It supports our metabolism, cell signaling, supports healthy body tissues, immunity, hormone production, and aides in absorption of vitamins (especially A and D). It also keeps you full longer. Eating more good fats has also proven to improve body composition and helps with depression. And you will finally find true happiness in life. I added that for dramatic effect but a perfect avocado with Himalayan sea salt and cracked pepper is close to true happiness! 

The key is finding a good balance. So, play with it. Just don't be scared. See my client progress slide below!



More awesome stuff that feels left out everywhere else.

I swear I'm not sending you an invitation straight to Hell because I put dark chocolate on that slide. Dark chocolate has soluble fiber and tons of minerals. There are also studies proving that dark chocolate may lower blood pressure and your risk for cardiovascular disease. Be careful with the sugar though. Again, too much is too much! Wild rice is fantastic for disease prevention, digestive health, boosts the immune system and a zillion other benefits. Quinoa is a complete protein containing ALL nine essential amino acids. It is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat and is full of fiber.  Lentils are essential for diabetic improvement. Just like wild rice, lentils are great for disease prevention, digestive health and they also have been shown to fight cancer and anemia. Turmeric has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in treating cancer. I could say a ton about all those in that slide, but you get the picture! Just incorporate them into your diet as much as possible.   

Yes, there are foods that we should incorporate into our diet as much as possible. Some are better than others. Some aren't so bad, but can affect people differently. If you are a healthy individual that is eating a well balanced and mostly fresh, whole food diet and exercising regularly, then why restrict certain things? Eat basically a 80/20 rule diet. 80% fresh, whole foods. 20% not so much. Eating for you is so important. Remember this blog post: I go into more detail about eating for your specific body type. If something bothers you, (keep a food diary!!) then its an irritant and you should not eat it. Duh! I talk about my love for corn chips in the post. I don't eat a lot, but still. They kill my stomach. They are also my weakness. I actually make my partner take them to bed when he goes to sleep. He sits them on his nightstand. I will not steal a bag of corn chips right beside his head. That's so true, one of my secrets! If you have an off workout with very little energy, start looking at what you ate 2-4 hours prior. And don't eat that before your next workout! 

Think I'm crazy? (My partner will agree.) Anyway, take a look at my numbers from my current clients. They are 6 weeks in and EVERY ONE of them feels better, has lost weight and has a new confidence! I'm one proud Trainer Mom!! 

10 Clients

6 weeks in - 52 pounds lost!!

An average of 5.2 pounds each or .87 pounds a week. Studies have proven that losing one pound a week dramatically increases your chance of keeping the weight off.

Think about it this way: If they keep up the exact same rate, in 6 months, they will be down 17.4 pounds. 17.4 pounds that has a huge chance of never coming back! That's a big deal! 

Guess what? I restricted nothing. I just taught them to eat the correct things, at the correct time.  They ate a TON of the SUPERFOODS on my lists. I encourage you to do your research and find the foods and plans that work best for you. And please for the love of spinach, don't listen to every person on the planet. Remember, all things in excess can be bad. 

Your plan: Start by adding a superfood to each meal. Good luck on your journey! As always, if you need me - find me!

Much love,