Episode 4: The eat Right Series (1) ~ The only way to eat right


I am so excited to be hopping in here to start our Eat Right series. It is going to be a five part series. Today is going to be setting the foundation. We're setting a framework and if you think of it like a wheel, today is the middle of the wheel. The next four lessons will be the spokes or the support to today's framework. This really lays the foundation and then each of the other lessons is going to build on how do we actually live this foundation.

And I want to say thank you to everyone that helped me put stuff together for this series. You guys were awesome and quite honestly, hilarious. I will be quoting some of you for sure throughout this series because you guys are really funny and really helped me a ton putting this together. So I just want to say thank you and I also want to say you're not alone.

I totally get where you're coming from. So not that long ago I was so frustrated with the food that I was eating, I was frustrated knowing what to eat. I would listen to this expert, I would follow this research, I would do what they said only to find out a month later that wasn't the right thing. I would eat food that I thought was quite frankly disgusting because I thought it was healthy only to find out that it wasn't healthy and then it was healthy and then it wasn't healthy.

It was really frustrating and I found myself in a total food rut. I found myself afraid to eat certain things and really limiting what I was eating and feeling kind of just crappy about the whole thing to be totally honest.

What we’ll be covering 

  • what eating right is

  • what it isn’t

  • six signs from your body that'll tell you how what you're eating is effecting you

  • three rules, this is going to be our framework, these are really important 

  • and two quick start steps

what Eating Right isn’t 

This is the four D's, these four D's do not work. They never will work.

 (1) First D, dogma. 

Okay these are the experts, these are those people that will tell you they have all the answers, they have this one way of eating that is going to change your life. You're going to look fantastic, and you'll have a million dollars in the bank when you're done. Right?

These are the experts that are telling you, "Do this, don't do that. If you do that you are going to spontaneously combust, and your whole world will blow up." They create confusion, chaos, conflict and also make you quit. 

When it comes to eating right, dogma, makes you believe there's an expert, there's a diet out there, there is something you should be doing and if you aren't doing that, then there's something wrong with you. The problem isn't that expert, that belief system, that dogma, the problem is you.

(2) second D, diet. 

All right people, here's a newsflash. Diets do not work. Shocking, I know. Okay, so I'm going to put a caveat in there, diets do all work in the short term. No matter what diet you're choosing, no matter how ridiculous the diet is it'll probably work in the short term, but guess what? They do not work in the longterm. There is no research that supports that diets actually work in the longterm. So what does this mean? You try a diet for a little while, and you start to feel better and look better.

You think, "This diet works. This works, I found what works." But it sucks, it's hard, it's challenging, you're going away with your family and then you stop doing the diet, and it doesn't work anymore. Well that makes you wrong again, right? You tried the diet, it worked for you for a little while, it works for everyone else, so it's just because you're lazy, unmotivated, you know just not good enough, I guess, to stick to that diet. But if you went back to that diet, you just know that it would work. No, it wouldn't. It wouldn't work in the longterm so just let go of that. Okay?

(3) Third D, deprivation. Food is supposed to be pleasurable. When we eat, when we think about food, when we see food, if you're under a functional MRI machine, which I'm sure you're not right now. But if you were your whole brain lights up because it's supposed to be a pleasure, not only that, we do it every day. And I can hear what you're saying. You're saying, "Yes it is a pleasure. But it's too much of a pleasure for me and that is the problem."

No, that is not the problem because there are two kinds of pleasure. There is real pleasure. Real pleasure is what connects us to our body, connects to the moment, connects us to the people around us. Right? And it feels good in the moment, and it feels good an hour later, and it feels good a week later. In fact, you probably forgot about it but it feels good. Constantly, consistently.

False pleasures might feel good in the moment but then you feel like crap in an hour, in a week, you feel guilty about it, it isn't connecting you to the moment, it is disconnecting you from the moment. You are using it to disconnect from where you are in space and time. And I'll tell you what, we all do this. Every single one of us unless you're a robot and anyone in the health circle, you have been screened because you had to answer questions to get in there and I know you're not a robot. So you will choose to disconnect sometimes from your body by overeating, over drinking, over spending, over thinking, over Netflix-ing. Right? We all do this but that is a false pleasure and in fact that's next week's spoke.

When it comes to deprivation, we are going to look at instead of taking stuff away, we're going to look at adding good stuff in. We crowd out that bad stuff. And we're also going to ditch the concept of calorie counting. If you were to eat 2,000 calories of butter tarts or you were going to eat 2,000 calories of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, nut seeds, legumes, beans, whole grains. Let's think about that.

You’ve got 2,000 butter tart calories or 2,000 nut seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, in calories. Don't you think one of those might be slightly better than the other one for your body? What we're going to look at instead of calories is nutrients. We're just going to look at how nutritious something is. We're going to look at how it's going to fuel our body.

And you know what, if you love calorie counting and you hate everything I'm saying right now, remember, eating right is not dogma. You don't have to listen to me. I am just laying out a framework for you to try. Okay? You can try it for a little bit, doesn't work for you then that's cool. This is not dogma. 

But I still think there's more value in looking at the nutrients and not deprivation. Because what happens when you deprive yourself, you end up hungry. You end up grouchy and guess what, you don't stick with it.

You’re doing math every time you eat and it's just too hard and you don't stick with it. And guess what, you are the problem because you aren't doing the math, and if you just did the math then you'd look the way that you wanted. Right? So it's not dogma, it's not diet, it's not deprivation. 

(4) Last D, destination

You are not going to reach a day when you can say, I've arrived and now I eat right. I'm there. I know it's corny, I know it's a cliché, it's the journey not the destination but it's so true.It's the process, not the outcome. When you measure yourself against the outcome constantly instead of remembering to live and enjoy the process then you are setting yourself up to fail. Because you know what, if you have a bad day of eating then and so many of you said this to me "I'll do really well for a while and then I'll have a bad day and then I'll just fall off the wagon for a year."

That might be an exaggeration but still you know what I mean. When it's part of the process, failure isn't really an end point, it's just part of the process. It's a learning experience and if you have one bad meal, that doesn't define you, that's not who you are, it's not your character. You just do better the next time. It really isn't that big a deal. And in fact, again, you are not a robot so we expect it and weave it into the process. Learning as you go is shifting from that destination kind of thinking. 

So not dogma, not diet, not deprivation, not destination. The number one reason that it is not any of these four things is because every one of those makes you the problem.

You are the problem. Not the 50 billion dollar diet industry. They're not the problem, you are the problem because you couldn't stick with it. And you suck because of that. Now you know I don't think that but this is why eating right has nothing to do with any of that. 

What eating right is

let's talk for a second about what eating right is.

Remember how those four D's all made it so that you sucked and the that the answers were outside of you? Well when you're eating right, you are the expert. Answer this for me. Is there anyone on the planet that knows what it feels like to be in your body? Other than you? I don't know what it feels like to be in your body. I don't know how food feels in your body. I don't know what your body does with the food.

The only person equipped to actually know how to eat right for you, for your body, is you. Right? The answers are all inside you. So eating right is a personalized and customized plan for you. You're going to eat foods that make you feel good. And before anyone says it because I know you're going to say it. If you ate ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner you wouldn't feel good. Well actually, you know what I challenge you to try that and actually see how you feel. And then get back to me because it's going to make you feel terrible. That is not eating in a way that makes you feel good.

6 signs from your body 

Okay so we've established that you are the expert, that the four D's suck and here are six, by the way that is the only way. When I say there is only one way to eat right, that's what I mean. The only way to eat right is for you to figure out what works for you and what feels good in your body.

All right. Six signs that your body is either liking or not liking the food that you're eating. 

There are three visible signs and three invisible signs. 

The three visible signs are

(1) your weight. So when you look in the mirror, do you feel like you look good? And I'm not talking about thigh gap and six pack abs and air brushed magazines. I mean real life, when you look in the mirror, how do you look? Do you feel like you need to lose some weight in a realistic way? Do you feel like you need to gain some weight?

Do you feel heavy? Do you feel good? Your weight is definitely one of those visible queues. 

(2) your skin. Is your skin breaking out? That is a sign that something is off in terms of what you're eating. Do you look exhausted all the time, do you look gaunt, sallow, just not looking your best? Your skin is a really good reflection of how your body is liking what you're feeding it. 

(3) my favorite and the daily report card, literally every day, your body tells you exactly what it thinks of what you're eating. It tells you what it's doing with what you're eating and gives you a full report and that is, there's no delicate way to say it, that is your poop my friends.

Your poop tells you a lot about how your body is processing the food that you're eating. Okay so that valuable daily report card, what do we want it to look like? I'll give you a brief run down, basically your poop should be from your wrist all the way to your elbow in length. That always astonishes me but that's how long it's supposed to be. It should be smooth, it should be sort of an S shape. It is a light brown color, it should make no noise as it goes into the toilet and it should come out of your body in under a minute without much gas.

As I said, there's no really delicate way to talk about this, it should leave no smears or streaks in the toilet bowl, and if you are what we call a hyper wiper, you have to wipe many, many times before you feel nice and fresh, then that is a sure indication that your body is not liking the foods that you eat. 

If you want to know more, if you want to be able to read the signs from your body, if you want to know a number of self tests that you can be doing at home, on yourself, in the privacy of whatever space that you have. Then I highly, highly, highly recommend that you watch My Gut in a rut workshop. Because it goes through this in great depth.

So our three visible signs, weight, skin and poop. 

Our three invisible signs. Energy levels, mood and immune system. 

  1. energy - if you are dragging your butt around all day and you have no energy, you'll remember from my energy workshop that 40 percent of our energy is directly related to what we're eating. Remember, the food that you eat actually becomes your body. And it fuels every single one of your cells. So if you have no energy, that's a good sign that your body doesn't like what you're eating. 

(2) mood, are you cranky? Are you yelling at your kids, grouchy with everyone you see, about to kill the person standing in front of you at Starbucks who doesn't freaking know what she wants to order.

(3) immune system, are you catching every cold, flu, bug that flies around? Are you under the weather more than you're feeling good? That's an indication that your food's not agreeing with you. 

So energy, mood and immune system are the three invisible clues that you're going to pay attention to.

The 3 rules 

Okay, so now we've established that you are the expert, your body is telling you exactly what it likes and what it doesn't like, now we're going to talk about the three rules. This is really, really important. And I almost want this to become like a mantra to you. 

  1. the first rule is, eat food. 

  2. Shocking, right? So eat food, what does that mean?

You know what food is. You also know what crap is. Crap comes through a vending machine, a drive thru window, it comes in a package, it comes with a label. It comes with an ingredient list that is as long as your ideal poop.You want to eat whole foods. If it took 14 steps to get to your mouth, it is not a whole food. All right?

For example, if you had an apple versus apple juice, an apple is whole food, apple juice has a label and it took steps to get there. That is what we're going to consider crap. Okay? So you want to eat food. This means you're going to have to read labels, this also means that you're going to have to cook. 

All right? So eat food. You guys are smart, I know you know what food is. So eat food is our first rule. Eat food.

(2) Second rule, not too much. 

Sometimes we eat too much. Sometimes we don't really know how much is too much. There's a Japanese saying basically eat till your 80 percent full. And I agree with that. It can be hard to know what 80 percent full is though so we're going to go with a scale. 

On a scale of one to ten, one being "you're absolutely starving." Like you can't think of anything except eating. Ten would be "you are so full you feel disgusting, the thought of eating something else makes you feel like you're going to physically be sick." In fact, you just feel like you're physically going to be sick.

What we're aiming for is to be somewhere between six and seven on that scale. So to put it in perspective, five would be like "you're not hungry but you're not not hungry." This is where you might eat out of boredom. Again, we'll talk a little bit about that next week. Six, seven would be you're satisfied, you don't have a physical desire to eat but you could eat if there's something really enjoyable placed in front of you, you could certainly have a bite and not feel disgusting. Anything above that you're feeling very full, uncomfortable and bloated.

So we want to stay in that scale of "you could eat more especially if something enjoyable was put in front of you," but you don't want to be getting into those upper scales. We've all be there. It feels terrible. We just want to pay attention. 

I'm going to give you one other little trick but I really don't want you worrying so much about weights and measures and portions exactly. The only reason I'm going to give you this trick is so that you can start to gauge how much you're eating and how full you feel.

If you use your fist, the front of your fist is about a cup. The side of your fist would be about half a cup. Your finger from the first knuckle to the tip would be about a teaspoon and then your thumb from the first knuckle to the tip is about a tablespoon. Now I wouldn't use these measures for baking but it gives you a nice roundabout. Again, I'm not concerned about much, it's more so that you can start to relate amounts to how you are feeling.

All right so our first two rules, eat food. Not too much. 

(3) The third, mostly plants. 

I guarantee you if you do these three things, if you stay in this three part framework, you will be eating right. There's nothing else you need to do, just these three things. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. So what would mostly plants look like? Look at your plate and make three quarters of that plate plants. Pretty simple, right?

I really like if you make half that plate green plants. Anyone who's worked with me knows I'm a bit obsessed with greens but so green plants and a quarter of the other half colorful plants and then a quarter of the other half, who cares? Eat what you want. Eat what makes you feel good. If you really want to have pasta that your family is having for dinner, then a quarter of your plate can be pasta. FYI, arugula is really good on pasta, I always put it on top of pasta and pizza.

So you're going to aim for mostly plants. I think it was Natasha in our group who said, "If it comes from a plant, you want to eat it. If it was made in a plant, you don't." And that goes back to eating food, right? 

Here's our three. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. In case you think I came up with this, I did not. This is Michael Pollan's framework, I learned about it probably about 10 years ago and I think these are three rules to live by.

So while you're watching, I know it sounds boring because I keep repeating it but I want this to stick in your head. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. If those are the only three things you take away and you look at your meals and say, "Am I eating food? Did I eat too much? Did I eat mostly plants," then you're going to have your answers to this question.

All right, so that is the framework that we're going to be building on. 

2 quickstart actions

And we're going to get you started. You know that I love action. I want you doing something right out of the gate to start to solidify this. 

(1) The first quick start step that you're going to take, I hesitate to even tell you because you guys are going to hate it, but the first thing you're going to do is you're going to keep a journal. I know. Everyone hates keeping a food journal. It sucks.

But listen, this isn't about how much you're eating, doesn't matter. This isn't about the calories or the macros, the protein, fat, carb. Who cares, who cares, who cares? What you're doing, and I've actually made you some pretty journals that I'll put the link down below on Facebook and I'll put the link on CrowdCast, there'll be a green button that you'll see in a minute.

What you're going to write down is what you ate and how you feel. You don't need to use the journals I made. You could take a piece of paper and write a line down the middle and write "What I ate, how I felt." Under how I felt you could be making a scale. You could say, "Energy on a scale of one to ten, mood on a scale of one to ten. My magnificent poops on a scale of one to ten."

Whatever you want that'll indicate to you how you're feeling with the food you ate. Why do I want you to do this? Am I just this mean person who wants you to write down what you're eating? First of all, make this quick, make this easy. You can do it on your phone as well. Second of all, the reason I want you to do this is it's going to save you time and money.

How does it save you time and money? One, you'll either figure it out for yourself, what feels good in your body and how to eat. Great. Then you don't need help from anyone. Or two, you may still feel a little stuck in the weeds and need some help from someone like me, but what happens is you bring this information to me and you save time and money because I don't have to spend time with you figuring this stuff out. You're bringing it to me, we can hit the ground running.

This is a very valuable and worthwhile thing to be doing even though it is sort of the opposite of fun. If you do this for a week or two, you're going to have so much information. If you miss a day, who cares? If you miss three days, who cares? It doesn't matter. You just need to get this information compiled for yourself. Why? To save time and money. Everyone likes saving time and money, right?

Okay the second quick start is, remember we said we're going to crowd out of some of the bad things. Well the second thing we're going to do is I'm going to get you guys to drink more water. And this is actually something that almost everyone needs to do. We're going to use a little bit of formula, we're going to say you're going to drink half your body weight in ounces. So let's just say for the ease of math and I should have done this before I was live on camera. We'll see what my math skills are like.

Say you weigh 100 pounds, then you are going to drink 50 ounces of water every day. That's half your body weight in ounces. And that would work out to be about six cups if I'm doing the math correctly. So if you weigh 100 pounds, you're going to aim to drink six cups of water starting today.This helps almost everything. It helps your digestive enzymes digest your food. Most people don't realize that part of the chemical reaction requires water and this is going to help you to digest your food.

It also helps you to start to distinguish when you're actually hungry and when you might be thirsty. It helps you to flush things through your body and make those magnificent poops move through you quicker. So that's your 2 quicksteps for this week. You're going to drink half your body weight in water and you are going to do the dreaded journal but make it fun.

Maybe at the end of the journaling you reward yourself in some way. Okay so quickly let's review, today we went through what eating right isn't. Those four D's that never work. That always make you wrong. What it is, you're the expert. The six signs, three visible, three invisible. The three rule framework that we're going to be building on and you're going to stick to as we move forward for the next five weeks.

Actually there's a challenge in the middle of that, so the next six weeks. And you're going to do your two quick starts, you're going to do your journaling and drink half your body weight in water. Hopefully this sets a nice foundation for you. If you guys have any questions at all then let me know. All right have a great Tuesday, I will see you next week. Oh wait, next week. We are going to talk about emotional eating, bad habits, false pleasures. So we're going to talk about things like nighttime snacking, eating when you're not hungry, that kind of thing. And we're going to work through a framework to try and support us moving away from that sort of false pleasure behavior.