Nutrition

What you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. To effectively achieve your fitness goals, proper nutrition is an absolute must!

Chipotle Is Full of Shit.

screen-shot-2015-05-08-at-3-49-09-pmLet’s be clear: I enjoy eating Chipotle burritos as much as anyone. Hell, I even spring for the added guacamole. But I think Chipotle needs to be called out on its recent pseudoscience shenanigans.

Most of these shenanigans revolve around genetically modified organisms, often called GMOs. GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits.

In an announcement titled “G-M-Over It”, Chipotle announced that it was eliminating genetically modified ingredients because:

  1. Scientists are still studying the long term health impacts
  2. The cultivation of GMOs can hurt the environment
  3. Chipotle should be a place where people can eat food with non-GMO ingredients

It’s bullshit and here’s why.

If Chipotle is concerned about the scientifically-proven health impacts of it’s ingredients, look no further than sugar, simple carbohydrates or salt. Unlike GMOs, the science on these ingredients is very, very clear. From heart disease to reproductive issues to weight gain and obesity, these ingredients have very real and very negative consequences on overall health; when it comes to health, GMOs are the least of Chipotle’s concerns.

In terms of the environment, GMOs can have a negative impact in that they can result in herbicide-resistant superweeds. While this may be true, proponents of GMOs note that they’ve allowed farmers to grow more food with fewer resources. GMOs have resulted in drought and cold-resistant plants that have become essential for feeding the planet’s growing population.

Chipotle’s third and final reason to eliminate GMOs isn’t a reason at all. It’s just circular logic. Why should Chipotle eliminate GMO ingredients? Because Chipotle should be a place where people can eat food with non-GMO ingredients, of course. And in the effort to eliminate GMOs, Chipotle has failed. As Chipotle notes on their website, “Many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients, including those containing corn syrup, which is almost always made from GMO corn.” Oops. And then there’s the meat. Because it’s harder and more difficult to find meat raised from non-GMO feed, Chipotle isn’t doing it.

While it’s totally reasonable to have a discussion about GMOs and their place in our food supply, Chipotle’s recent announcement is nothing more than a distraction from the more obvious truth. And that is, of course, that Chipotle’s menu is mostly unhealthy and over portioned.

P.S. If you are actually interested in transforming the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter and get started today!

Is YOUR Peanut Butter Healthy?

ec79dfe30810ce0709cdf9d93297473bPeanut butter.

I’m basically in a three-way relationship with it and my boyfriend. And, to be honest, I don’t know who pleases me more.

But enough about me. As it turns out, peanut butter – in its purest form – can be a smart part of any nutrition program. Beyond being rich in protein, healthy fats and other nutrients, peanut butter has been shown to suppress hunger, support heart health, lower the risk of colon cancer, memory loss and even type II diabetes.

Here’s the problem: The peanut butter in your cupboard probably isn’t peanut butter. It’s a weird combination of some nuts and a lot of nasty stuff cooked up by some conglomerate mega-corporation.

If you don’t believe me, go take a look for yourself. If your peanut butter is really peanut butter, there should be exactly one ingredient listed on the product packaging:

Peanuts.

Let’s contrast that to the ingredients in Jif Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread:

Peanuts, corn syrup solids, sugar, pea protein, salt, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, molasses, magnesium oxide, niacinamide, ferric orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

The reality is, most peanut butters sold today are full of other not-so-healthy ingredients, and are often loaded with sugar. It’s like the difference between eating fresh blueberries versus a jar of jelly. So do yourself a favor and get the good stuff. Read the label and shop smarter.

Besides, you deserve a peanut butter boyfriend that treats you right.

P.S. If you want to transform the way you look and feel through the foods you eat without dieting, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Does The Color of Your Plate Affect How Much You Eat?

The-Delboeuf-illusion-Why-expanding-dinner-plates-are-expanding-our-waistlines_medium_vgaI don’t make this shit up.

Back in the 1800s, the Delboeuf illusion was discovered. When you look at concentric circles (i.e., a circle within a circle), the perceived size of the inner circle changes when the size of the outer circle is changed. If you apply the principle of this illusion to food, people tend to underestimate portions on bigger plates and overestimate portions on smaller plates. For this reason, you’ve probably heard people recommend smaller plates to help facilitate weight loss.

But it doesn’t end there.

sushi-food-sexyAs it turns out, color is important, too. A few years back, researchers expanded on this idea by exploring the impact of plate color. What they found was pretty amazing. When there was a high color contrast between plate color and food (for example, pasta with red sauce on a white plate), participants served themselves less. When there was a low color contrast between plate color and food (for example, pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate), participants served themselves 22% more.

Twenty-two percent is a staggering number, especially when you consider the repeated impact of meal after meal over time. It’s a lot of calories.

Being aware of the illusion should be enough to overcome it, right? No. Even after participants were made aware of the illusion, the outcomes were still the same. So rather than resisting the Delboeuf illusion, embrace it! If you want to eat less, use a small plate that differs in color from your food. If you want more veggies, serve those veggies on a green plate.

Of course, when it comes to diet and nutrition, plate size and color is just one variable of many. Download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter for a simple, foolproof guide to transforming the way you look and feel through the foods you eat.

 

 

How Much Does Eating Healthy Actually Cost?

Dear Davey,

I really want to improve my diet, but I’m on a tight budget. I know that I need to lose weight and eat better, but I don’t think I can actually afford it.

From,
Dan

For Skinny Athletes How to Gain Weight HealthfullyHey Dan,

There are certainly plenty of ways to eat healthy on a budget. Doing things like buying in bulk, buying foods that are in season, growing vegetables and stocking up on frozen veggies and fruits all can help.

But let’s not beat around the bush. Healthy diets do tend to cost more money. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health released a comprehensive study about the cost of healthier foods. Researchers concluded that the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 per day more than the least healthy diets.

While $1.50 per day doesn’t sound like a lot of money, it actually is. On planet earth, 2.7 billion people live on less than two dollars per day. And when you multiply $1.50 by 365 days, eating healthy costs nearly $550 per year. For people that are trying to make ends meet, this number can be insurmountable.

Why does eating healthy cost more? Researchers suggest that existing food policies focus on inexpensive, high volume foods which has led to a complex network of farming, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure that favors high processed foods. Just look at the shelves of a typical grocery store and you’ll see the proof.

But it’s also worth noting that obesity accounts for 21% of U.S. healthcare costs. In fact, an obese person typically incurs medical costs that are $2,741 dollars higher than non-obese people.

In other words, the bigger, long-term picture is more complex. And while you may pay more in one area of your life, you’ll likely save more in another. Of course, when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, thinking long term is a luxury that not everyone gets.

I always say… do the best you can, where you’re at, with what you’ve got.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you do want to make an investment in yourself and shed excess body fat, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% during checkout.

What’s Really In Your Food: 101 Ingredients in McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish.

20081210-filetofish-sandwichThe fast food industry is a very interesting place. Though many chains are working to improve the nutritional content and ingredients of their offerings, we have a very long way to go.

Case in point, my previous blog post about the nearly 20 ingredients in Subway’s chicken breast. No, not 20 ingredients in the entire sandwich. That’s 20 ingredients in just the chicken breast.

Today we examine another popular food item: McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish. With a piece of fried fish between two slices of bread, topped with cheese and some sauce, how bad could it be?

Pretty bad.

In fact, the entire sandwich has 101 ingredients. I don’t have that many ingredients in my entire kitchen.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.56.16 PMSome of the less appetizing ingredients include cellulose gum (which isn’t harmful, but can’t be digested by humans), Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (also called TBHQ, which the FDA limits to 1 gram per 5,000 grams in cooking), azodicarbonamide (the so-called yoga mat compound that the Environmental Working Group recommends removing from the food supply) and more than a teaspoon of sugar.

A few things to note. First, I don’t think anyone is under the assumption that a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish sandwich is healthy. Second, just because the sandwich contains some pretty bizarre ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean that the level of those ingredients are toxicologically significant.

Still, there’s something to be said for eating simple foods with recognizable ingredients. It’s about making our food more like actual food. And even if a little bit of TBHQ isn’t going to poison us, it’s about honoring your body with food that it actually deserves. And in that regard, a 101 ingredient Filet-o-Fish sandwich is a fish out of water.