People often ask about my diet and cooking routine. They don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen each day, but they want tasty, healthy food. “What is the trick?” “How do you do it?”
The best answer I have for these questions is Constant Gardening. Kelly Starrett talks of this concept as it relates to human mobility, but its application to one’s diet is potent as well.
The dietary application has two sides:
1. Constantly gardening your “Culinary Medium” – which is food and you’re all artists.
2. Constantly gardening your eating habits.
GARDENING YOUR CULINARY MEDIUM
In the professional kitchen, it is common to clean your “reach-in” everyday, and sometimes twice daily. Once at the beginning of your shift and again when your shift is over.
What if you were to clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry daily? Or, how about just your fridge?
I’ve found that by constantly gardening my refrigerator, I eat healthier, plan better and throw less food away.
You see, we have a tendancy to forget about the foods we have purchased or prepared. They get shoved back behind the to-go boxes from our impulse meals and when this happens, it’s like that scene in Cliffhanger where Stallone is burning stacks of hundreds to keep warm — we end up throwing money away.
I know you’ve all been there. You’ve thrown away some food that you promised you’d use…
I recommend only purchasing foods that you cherish and that you wouldn’t dare throw away. These foods are seemingly expensive, but may actually save you money when compared to cheaper foods that end up in the garbage. Do you follow?
Also, make large batches of food, freeze them and use them to stock your Paleo Bank Account. I try to have 15-20 meals in the ice box at all times.
A daily cleanout gives you an idea of your inventory, helps you plan meals, and keeps your fridge clean!
GARDENING YOUR EATING HABITS
There is always room for improvement.When it comes to your diet, I don’t recommend taking on the world in a day. It is better to add things than it is to take them away. If I tell you to stop eating grains and sugar, drink more water, sleep more, sit less, etc… You are likely overwhelmed.
I would do better to tell you to add a green vegetable to your plate at every dinner for two weeks. Then, in the following two weeks, drink 8 ounces of water before every meal. Then, in the following two weeks, eat fruit for dessert every night. With this method, you’ll naturally begin to weed out the bad foods.
Does that make sense?
Some of the other changes I recommend are:
- Drink 16 ounces of water and a swig of fish oil upon waking up.
- Eat within 30 minutes of waking up.
- Eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day and eat before you are hungry.
- Eat protein and fat before working out.
- Eat protein and carbs within 20 minutes of completing your workout.
- Drink enough water so that your pee is never darker than lemonade.
- Go to bed early and get up when you naturally awake. We are most productive in the morning.
To tackle all of these at once is quite a lifestyle change. Add one positive change every two weeks and you’ll be on track for success. Draw up a plan of things that are important to you, tie them to a time component and start checking them off of the list.
The takeaway from this article brings us back to the Mise en Place Mentality, have a plan and prepare for it. We are like a train on a track that knows no balance. We are either moving forward or backward, there is no sitting still.
Mise en place is defined as: A French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking.
This concept applies to life and here’s some Paleo Nick wisdome: “Don’t put the pan over high heat before you’ve purchased your groceries…”
Be good stewards of your Culinary Medium, have an improvement plan, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living…”– Dione Lucas
As always, “Keep It Paleo!”