1 October 2013

In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: "Try It" Diet
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Food Label: Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter

What's New at StrongFast?

mizuno-wave-5I got new shoes! Again! This time it's racing flats: Mizuno Wave Universe 5 racing flats, to be specific, replacing my old Mizuno Wave Universe 3s. These are even lighter, roughly as heavy as socks. (No kidding.) Maybe they'll be making them out of helium next. Sure, they look ridiculous. But they're for running, so who cares? Anyway, stay tuned for a review once I get a few kilometers on them.

Speaking of shoe reviews, remember the one about the New Balance Minimus? It's been a while now, and I'll be posting an update on our Facebook page. Watch for it.

And who is the mysterious Form Cop? You'll want to find out when the Form Cop video series starts in the next issue of The Planet!

"A gym is just a PE class that you pay to skip."

-Lisa Landry

Feature Article: "Try It" Diet

cat eatingThe way people react to it, you'd think "diet" was a four-letter word. The fact is, every animal has a diet. But not every animal is on a diet.

For those who want to be on a diet, there's no shortage of options. Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Beach, North Star, Paleo, Primal, Grapefruit, Banana...with new ones turning up every day. But really, who wants to be on a diet?

Since we all have a diet, why not start by making it better?

There are three things we can change to improve our diets: frequency, quantity, and quality.

Frequency might make you think of the conventional wisdom that eating five or more small meals a day is the way to go, usually associated with "keeping your metabolism going." That one's been pretty thoroughly debunked: you don't need to eat lots of small meals. (Of course, if that works for you, then knock yourself out.) But it's not just meal frequency or even snack frequency (a much bigger problem). There's also "dessert frequency" which is how many desserts you have a day. The answer might surprise you if we start to consider any food that is (a) sweet, and (b) not whole fruit. That morning "coffee" drink? If it's a double chocolaty chip frappuccino, that's dessert, baby. But even a lowly regular coffee with added sugar can get dessert-y in a hurry.

Quantity is usually associated with "portion control." But you can also think of it as getting more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. Instead of a teaspoon of broccoli (it would have to be really tiny broccoli), have a cup. Instead of a large Cookie Dough Blizzard, have a medium. Then switch to a small. Then switch to a mini. You just saved about 100 grams of sugar. (Tip: no matter how big it is, it will never seem like "enough". Sugar's nasty that way.)

Quality is the conceptually easy one. Just eat good stuff! We mostly know what that is without much thought. Spinach good. Twinkie bad. But it's not all black and white: there's all those shades of gray. What about beef? What if it's local, grass-fed beef? Dairy milk or almond milk or soy milk? And there are individual considerations, like food allergies. Eggs are good, unless you're allergic to them. And most cheese stinks. Literally. (That's not really a quality issue but a personal commentary. Deal with it.)

eggs_bacon_tomsThe trick is finding the right combination of these in your diet to give you the results you want (being healthy, of course, but maybe also losing fat and/or putting on muscle) while also being a diet you can live with. Because that's what a diet really is: not some fancy plan but what you actually eat, day in and day out. And the way you figure out what works for you is to try changing things and keeping track of how it affects you. I'd call it The Try It Diet but of course that's already taken. And besides, who wants to be on a diet?

Now pardon me while I go have a snack.

Be seeing you



Fitness Found Online

sugar_pourerA good National Geographic article on sugar. Executive summary: it's bad. But a nice take on why it's bad, why we like it, and what to do about it. Sort of.
nuts-and-seedsGreatist has a list of 51 Paleo-friendly snacks. Some good ideas for healthy alternatives to unhealthy snacks. Some of them push the boundaries of "Paleo-friendly" but still some good stuff beyond the usual handful-of-almonds ideas.

Food Label: Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter

Fun fact: did you know peanuts aren't nuts but legumes?

There are only a few big peanut butter brands out there, and Smucker's is one. They have a "Natural" peanut butter brand (it says so right on the label!), so let's see how it stacks up.

peanut butter label

Starting with the ingredients: peanuts and a tiny bit of salt. Hmmm...that's actually good! Kudos to them for being good to the word on their label. And with no added sugar, there's hardly any sugar yet plenty of protein. So Legume Manifestos aside, if you're eating peanut butter, this is a good choice.

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  1. Conan the untamed

    Love the idea, of we animals all have a diet, but are not ON a diet. The 3 aspects of diet are very clear and yet not given the attention they require.
    So much disagreement in the dietary world, as to whats bad and good for us.

    • You’re right, Conan, lots of disagreement. There’s clearly no one “right” answer but definitely lots of wrong ones!

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