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!

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.

5 Nutriton Mistakes “Healthy” People Make.

a-shirtless-friday-5A healthy diet can improve the quality of your life. And it can help you achieve your fitness goals. But with so much marketing hype and misinformation, making smarter decisions isn’t always easy – even for people who consider themselves healthy.

In fact, here are a few nutrition mistakes that “healthy” people commonly make.

  1. You salads are covered in shit. There’s no doubt that a salad full of lettuce and vegetables is a great start. Unfortunately, many of us cover all the goodness in things like cheese, creamy dressings and bacon bits. Make a salad that tastes like salad – and not a 1,500 calorie gut bomb.
  2. You’re juicing. Fruit juices have become increasingly popular; in Los Angeles, there’s a cold pressed juice stand on almost every corner. And while eating fruits is a smart decision, most fruit juicing processes remove the fiber that helps give fruit its nutritional punch. You’re left with a sugary beverage that is marginally healthier than soda. If you want a healthier and cheaper choice, opt for water, water and more water.
  3. You fall for misleading labels. Marketers are geniuses when it comes to misleading consumers. Words like detox, low-fat, fat-free, reduced-fat, low calorie, low carb, all natural, organic and gluten free all seem to convey a nutritional benefit. Unfortunately, they don’t. These are misleading buzz words; instead, determine whether or not a food is healthy by reading the nutrition label and ingredients.
  4. You eat energy bars and consume sports drinks. Except for grueling physical activity like an intense workout or hike, there’s really no place for energy bars or sports drinks. The former is often a glorified candy bar with just as much sugar and the later is a mixture of water and sugar. Only consume these products to power through intense physical activity.
  5. You avoid all carbs. Obviously, simple carbohydrates like those found in candy, energy bars, sugary drinks and refined grain products like white bread aren’t a smart choice in most situations. But, carbohydrates aren’t entirely bad. In fact, complex carbohydrates like those found in quinoa, whole grains and beans are absolutely part of a healthy diet – and something that your body needs to function properly and power through a workout. Workouts are powered by carbohydrates, not by protein; don’t get it twisted.

What are some other nutrition mistakes that healthy people make? Share them in the comments below!

P.S. If you want a clear, simple and science-based approach to eating smarter, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter and get started TODAY!

The Gay Bottom Diet.

cuddlingAlong with unicorns and leprechauns, the so-called “bottom diet” is always elusive.

I’ve been writing this blog for several years. And one of the most popular food-related questions that I get asked is about this very issue. In varying forms, the question goes something like this: What foods can I eat to ensure that I’ll be a clean bottom?

Seeing as this is a nutrition and fitness blog, I haven’t felt the need to address the issue. That is, until this morning when I came across an email from a young man in Vancouver:

I’m 21 and I pride myself as being a good bottom. That means being a clean bottom. Before I bottom, I generally avoid eating solid foods for 24-hours but was wondering if there are certain foods that I should eat more of or less of to be a better bottom?

I understand that sex doesn’t come with a manual. And that you can’t ask your mom or dad for bottoming advice. For a lot of us, gay intercourse is learned through trial and error. Lots of errors.

But in my experience there are a few things that I’ve come to learn. And here they are:

  1. No man is worth your health. Your body needs food, and starving yourself is depriving your body of the nutrients that it needs. It sacrifices your health and puts your fitness goals at risk. First and foremost, you need to treat your body with love and respect.
  2. Butt sex is shitty. The primary function of your anus and rectum is to expel feces. It’s great that we’re able to enlist the anus for a secondary, more pleasurable purpose – but know that poop can come with the territory. Your partner needs to understand this too, and thus have reasonable expectations.
  3. Being a good sex partner – top, bottom or otherwise – is about communication, respect, patience, consideration, understanding and fun. All of these things are far, far more important factors in having good sex.
  4. Using words like clean or dirty aren’t helpful. These words are loaded with shame, and they’re not conducive to a healthy and productive relationship with our bodies, with our partners or with sex in general.

Having said all of that, is there really a healthy, sustainable diet that can result in cleaner anal intercourse?

In browsing forums and discussion boards around bottoming, many commentators encourage eating more fiber. Bottoming aside, we know that 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber – so this could be a worthwhile consideration. However, fiber comes in two forms.

Soluble fiber adds bulk to stools and is a great way for treating diarrhea. Soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar, and is found in oats, beans, potatoes, apples, mangos, berries, peaches and so on.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is not digestible. It softens stools and makes diarrhea worse. It is found in the skins of fruit, the skins of beans, whole wheat, cereal products, brown rice, seeds, broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce and so on.

In other words, the type of fiber may greatly influence results. And having distinguished between the two fiber types, it’s also important to remember that foods like whole wheat, brown price, seeds and broccoli are all healthy, nourishing choices – and that they shouldn’t be avoided in your diet for the sake of sex.

At the end of the day, we are all very unique and we all process and digest foods in different ways. It’s unlikely that there’s really any magical solution to the so-called Bottom Diet. And maybe that’s a good thing. Sure, pre-intercourse preparation is important. But let’s keep our focus on what really matters: Ourselves, our partners and the connection we make.

And let’s remember that sometimes, shit happens.

P.S. If you have a fitness or nutrition question for Davey, send it to davey@daveywaveyfitness.com.

P.P.S. For an awesome at-home core workout, download Davey Wavey’s Six Pack Program and get started today.

 

Does Pasta Make You Fat?

hunkeatingpastaThere’s a quote that I love from a famous Italian-French film star in the 1960s named Sofia Loren. Famous for her talent and good looks alike, Loren once commented on her appearance by saying:

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

For most Americans, the word pasta is a synonym for fattening. But is there any truth to this notion – or are we missing the point all together?

The popular theory goes something like this: Pasta is really just carbohydrates. When we eat carbohydrates, they turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

The reality is a bit different. When we consume more calories than we burn, those excess calories are stored as fat. You can get fat from eating too many calories of any food, be it pasta or even spinach. Carbohydrates and protein both contain 4 calories per gram, compared to 7 calories per gram of alcohol and 9 calories per gram of fat. Relatively speaking, pasta isn’t particularly calorie dense.

We also know that pasta is a staple of the Italian diet. According to the National Pasta Association, the average Italian eats 51 pounds of pasta per year. North Americans, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 pounds annually. And yet, the obesity rate in Italy is just 10% compared to 32% in the United States. Obviously, there are other variables to consider – but one can’t but wonder if our pastaphobia is misguided.

A lot of it comes down to serving sizes. It’s worth noting that a serving of pasta is just 2 ounces. Depending on the pasta shape and configuration, that’s about 1/2 cooked cup of pasta. For Americans that are accustomed to consuming mountains of pasta, this might not seem like much. But remember that you can add pasta to a base of cooked vegetables, beans or even chicken. It’s helpful to think of pasta as an ingredient – and not the meal itself.

Americans also tend to load pasta with unhealthy, calorie-dense sauces. Instead, opt for a tomato-based sauce without added sugars. You’ll immediately and dramatically reduce your caloric intake.

And as I’ve mentioned before, carbohydrates get a bad rap of which they’re undeserving. Carbohydrates help ensure proper bodily function and improved results at the gym. Low carb diets are often associated with low energy levels, fatigue, weakness, headache and/or bowel issues. Rather than avoiding carbs altogether, one can eliminate the blood sugar spike associated with simple carbohydrates by favoring whole wheat pasta over traditional pasta.

At the end of the day, blaming pasta for our burgeoning waistlines misses the point; portion size and preparation methods are a more important consideration.

P.S. Losing weight is about more than counting calories and moving more. It’s also about transforming the relationship that you have with your body. For the last program that you’ll ever need, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.