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Here's How to Eat for Quality
February 15, 2018

Food, Food Everywhere; But Nothing Good to Eat!

Today, we are going to discuss how to figure out what to eat in this crazy digital age of information overload and misinformation that abounds online.

To recap, in my last newsletter we talked about cardiovascular exercise and strength training. I harped a little on the importance of making these activities a daily part of your ongoing lifestyle. Even if we fall off that fitness wagon now and then, the important thing is to get back on. That's the trick!

I gave you tips on getting back into the fitness habit after taking a hiatus. The act of changing unhealthy habits back into healthy ones is as much a mental one as it is physical. (Check out my latest blog post for more on that.) I tried to help you see how the important thing is getting started again once you've taken a break. Get it going and keep it going. You know what they say. It doesn't matter how many times you fall. It matters that you keep getting back up!

The one thing we can count on is that life will throw us a curve ball now and then. It's the nature of things! Our job if we want to thrive, is not to let it get us down. And if it does get us down now and then, we can't let it keep us there. Get back up! Never give up! Because I promise you, things will get better tomorrow! (Cue the song "Tomorrow" from ANNIE.) Seriously, it will! I know this from my own experience.

Knowing What to Eat

Today, I want to talk about nutrition. Here's the bottom line: I don't care how intensely and consistently we train, if we are feeding our body trash, we will never meet our fitness goals. We simply cannot be healthy if we do not eat healthy food. Our body will not function optimally if we do not feed it the proper nutrients it needs. There is just no sugar-coating that fact. Besides, sugar is the last thing you need and one of the first ingredients in processed foods! (Wow, there's another good newsletter topic to come!)

When we were young, it seems we got away with being a bit more careless with what we put into our mouths. However, I can say from experience that as we age, the leeway that youth once granted us starts to dissipate, and eventually we find we can no longer get away with those lapses in good judgment.

All of a sudden we find that our body is not responding in the same way as it used to. We begin to put on weight quicker and take it off slower. We feel more fatigued with less effort. We fall asleep in the middle of watching TV or reading because we are exhausted.

We realize that our skin seems pasty, puffy or worse yet, it suddenly makes sense what seniors are talking about when they complain about crepey skin. Our performance in the gym, the way we look in our clothes, the way we feel, all of it seems like it has gone to hell in a handbasket and we don't know why.

Here's why! We have to take better care of ourselves! It matters more than ever that we move our body regularly and it matters what we eat! We can no longer rely on our youthful metabolism as our inherent safety net for fitness. We have reached the point where it is imperative to take actions that will ensure our metabolism works for us instead of against us. The good news is, it is completely doable with cardio, strength training, and knowing what to eat!

Not only does It matter what we eat, but it matters how what we eat is raised or grown. It matters how it is treated. If you eat meat, it matters what your meat is fed. Think about it. In other words, what are the people raising their cows, pigs, chickens, goats, fish, etc., feeding them, and are they treating them humanely?

Everybody knows these days that eating organic is a much healthier choice than nonorganic, but unfortunately, it is also much more expensive. Look at it this way: Being sick, tired, and unhealthy is more expensive than feeling great and having energy. We'll go to the doctor less. Medical expenses will drop. Our quality of life will soar!

Shopping Tips

If you are on a tight budget and you have to decide between high-quality protein sources and organic fruits and vegetables, go with the protein! Pesticides suck! But the downsides of factory farmed meat are worse!
  • When possible, try to buy grass-fed or pastured meat.
  • Buy organic or pastured eggs.
  • Buy organic and wild-caught fish.
  • Skip the processed meat (like bacon, sausage and deli meats) altogether!
Stock up on local, seasonal vegetables before buying loads of fruits. The veggies will be least expensive and most nutritious! Remember this rule: If you peel it before you eat it, organic isn't as important. For an extra budget boost, don't forget about frozen veggies as a choice.

Buy organic and local fruit whenever possible. If you can't get local, it's most likely not in season. This means it won't be as fresh and will be more expensive. Remember frozen is always a less expensive alternative.

Stock up when you find a sale on awesome healthy fats like canned coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my fave) and avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, organic pastured butter or ghee! Remember a little goes a long way!

Nuts, seeds, and nut butters are great, but it's easy to get carried away. Just be sure not to use them as your primary source of fat. They are not your healthiest choice, and they are usually pretty expensive. Also, the cheaper the nut, the more likely they are less nutritious because they are roasted in seed or vegetable oil, which is less healthy. Always choose raw or dry roasted instead.

Learn to shop and prepare the foods from the list above, and I promise your health and wellbeing will improve greatly! And you will find that you don't even miss the unhealthy stuff. The more you concentrate on eating whole foods and healthier choices, the better the quality of your life will become!

Let's face it! We all love to treat ourselves to otherwise forbidden foods. And that's ok. Just make sure it is not the norm. A treat once a week may be what keeps you from binging or jumping off the fitness wagon altogether, so don't sweat it. Treats are good in moderation, just like everything else.

In summary, on most days cut way back or completely avoid dairy, grain (especially wheat), and sugar. Replace those products with whole food like healthy veggies, fruits, high-quality protein, nuts, seeds and good fats like olive oil or coconut oil.

These modifications in your nutrition plan alone will change your life in ways you won't believe. I know because I eat this way and it's made a huge difference in the way I feel and look. Don't believe me? Try it for 30 days and see for yourself! If you need help, check out the Paleo restart program or the Whole30 challenge. Both are awesome!

True, it will be challenging, but anything in life worth achieving is. That's what makes it rewarding! I challenge you to get started right away making better choices and see firsthand how much better you will feel!

Good luck and don't hesitate to contact me with any fitness question or newsletter topic ideas or if you need any help with your fitness plan. I love hearing from you!

Be sure and check out my blog site! Just click here to head on over and give it a read! I will be posting a new blog in the next few weeks.

You can also purchase my books at Amazon and most of the popular online bookstores in whatever format you may require.

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Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and for reading it and for your support. Our relationship is reciprocal as I live and learn from all that happens in my life, just as you live and learn through yours. We are truly in this together, and I empathize with your challenges as I do my own. I promise to hang in there and learn and grow along with you, and I hope that sharing through my writing maybe helps you a smidge. If it does, that is my payback. It is why I continue to do what I do.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about and Now What? Fitness Blog where they can get all the fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, PFT

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