Modern food is scary

Netflix is my best friend on nights like tonight.

I’m kind of a documentary fiend. I love knowing that hard work, adamant research and low budgets (for the most part) combine to help me gain a better perspective on a subject. Tonight the subject is food. Particularly modern-day food, or what we would consider “fast food.”

Coming up are just some fun facts and figures to make you crave some french fries:

  • 80% of all modern-day foods contain one or more forms of MSG (food enhancers)
  • The average American eats about 22 teaspoons of sugar each day
  • The combination of aspartame and caffeine kills brain cells (grab another Diet Coke!)
  • One third of all women and men in America are on a diet
  • More than $60 billion is spent on weight loss and diet products in the US each year

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Alright let’s break this down. We spend money on our attempts to look like this, but we expect to be able to eat like this. That just doesn’t work. The word “diet” has a negative connotation. Diet is simply what your body ingests each day; that is your diet. The word has become synonymous with “deprivation” or “starving” or “crashing.” I am not on a diet. I am in the midst of a complete lifestyle change thanks to Paleo.

Let’s talk about fast food while we’re on the subject. I know how good a hamburger can taste when you’re emaciated. I get it. It’s greasy, it’s quick and it fills you up…right? How long does it take for you to want the next hamburger though? A day…6 hours…one hour? It’s scary when you begin thinking about fast food as an addiction versus a means of legitimate sustenance. These foods provide little to no nutrients for your body, which is what it’s actually craving. For instance, that Big Mac provides you with 970 milligrams of sodium and a whopping 2% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C.

We love food. We are made to love food. Our ancestors craved foods with high fat and sugar contents (from natural sources) for survival. We still have that instinct, but the modern food marketed to us isn’t something our ancestors could find crouching behind a shrub. A majority of the food Americans turn to has been scientifically altered or enhanced to taste better, cost less and make us feel “happier” after we eat it. That happiness quickly subsides and then it’s on to the next cheeseburger.

There is no easy way to say this. I hate fast food. It makes me feel like shit. It gives me a worse hangover than any cheap wine could. If you’re looking for a way to increase your energy level without relying upon more Diet Coke, you should probably start small and give up the fast food and aspartame. Why are 1/3 of all women and men in America on a diet? Because we’re sad. We work, we stress, we don’t go outside, we complain about first world problems, and we eat our feelings away. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s all controlled by billionaires who are making suckers out of us.

Make the change so you can achieve sincere longevity. Make the change so you can live a healthy life, which will lead to happiness.

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A little “beast mode” every day goes a long way

Yeah…this is another post about healthy living. 

I have been approached by several people about my “transformation” recently. Most of these people are women, and some put me through the ringer with questions. I’m realizing that several tips I’ve given are so innate that they probably make no sense. How do you explain something that just comes naturally to you? 

I’ve noticed somewhat of a pattern. 

  1. Excited phase (questions galore, tip-seeking, etc.)
  2. Epiphany phase (realizations that there is more to tackle than what’s on the surface)
  3. Disheartened phase (feeling as though goals will never be accomplished within a certain time frame)
  4. Anxious/Unwilling phase (lifestyle changes don’t take place in a week…)
  5. Peace out phase (we are creatures of habit, so this is understandable)

The point of this post is to give (hopefully) valuable information about how to get rid of the phases and like Nike, just do it. 

It’s a day to day process. The decisions you make today will affect you tomorrow, next week, next year, etc. Baby steps are key. Make simple choices that will lead to a healthier you. For example: 

  • Give up the salt; I promise there are better tasting seasonings/spices
  • Use extra virgin olive oil to cook with instead of butter
  • Drink more water 
  • Make diet drinks your worst enemy; they’re doing nothing good for your body
  • Limit your fast food intake 
  • Take the stairs, park far away from your destination, take a long walk to clear your mind, etc.
  • Sweat a little more
  • Stay positive
  • Buy cute workout clothes (seriously!)

Most importantly, don’t give yourself a limit via time frames. Of course, you want to reach reasonable goals in due time and physically see results because of the hard work you’re putting forth. That will come with consistency. I noticed changes a couple of months into working out daily and eating clean. It took about 3-4 months for others to notice. 

So if you’re waiting for an epiphany or for some motivation because you feel as though you’ve hit a rut, remember that good things take time and nothing worth having ever comes easily. Keep at it a little each day, and it will benefit you tenfold in the long run. 

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(Left: senior year of high school when I weighed about 185; right: sophomore year of college when I weighed about 190.) 

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For the record…I hate selfies. There’s no better way for me to elaborate on the tips I’m giving people than to provide definitive results. People like pictures, so here are some pictures ha ha. This is from earlier today after the gym. I now weigh 155.