Dieting can be real tough. Food has such an emotional pull on us, and when the ‘why’ behind changing your eating habits is not loud and meaningful enough, food can be our reassuring constant that keeps calling our name. I know – I LOOOOVE food and the feeling of being content after a good (and usually big) meal!
It has to start with your ‘WHY’. Over the last 12 months, I’ve found my ‘why’, and with lots of experimentation and analysis, I’m hooked on eating well for optimal wellbeing and strength. I can’t see that changing to be honest. If anything, my journey is now about exercising my intuition with regards to food and it’s impact on my body and mind. Trying to loosen up on some dogmatic views (that were needed for a while), whilst better understanding the basic principles of energy balance and the science behind how food X has Y effect on muscle growth, gut health and managing my weight.
In the spirit of honesty, and grounded in what real people can eat and be satisfied with, we thought it would make sense to put out a Food Diary. But no ordinary blog full of perfect pictures, chef cooked, tiny plates that just make you hungry! Nor just a random collection of snaps taken of home prepped food that does nothing but have you seek pity on those who have to endure the bland mess.
Instead, we look to share food ideas that are appetising and easy within the AdapNation Food Diary series. Ingredients easily sourced from the big chain supermarkets. Most importantly, we’ll call out the calories in the plate in question, the macro profile, the why behind the meal (in terms of our goals), the benefits that the ingredients offer for wellbeing, and generally other details that help you decide if it’s a plate of food you’d enjoy building into your repertoire.
That’s the idea. Keep us honest.
However, first some confessions. I think it’s important you know a little about me and my relationship with food. Hopefully you seek some comfort in the below – I’m not a robot, nor a health-nut concocting ideas on how others should lead their lives. Me and food are close – very close. A proper foodie — food has to bring joy in my life. ‘Joey doesn’t share food!’…
#1 – I used to get Hangry all the time
My wife would always ensure we had a few snacks with us on short trips away from the house. It was pretty serious!
#2 – I count my calories and have a macronutrient plan
Whilst not essential, I’ve learned to enjoy the cause and effect of working within a calorie budget, and being able to manage body fat/muscle with precision is pretty cool.
#3 – I like Carbs and Sweet Treats!
Carbs are not the baddies they are made out to be. Pretty essential actually. I always leave room for a small sweet treat per day – big kid really…
#4 – Gut Health is super important to me
Science is proving that the food we eat can have damaging effects on your gut, which in turn can cause a whole bunch of issues. I’ve noticed a huge difference in making smarter choices.
#5 – I cannot sacrifice taste for healthiness
I need both! Luckily, that plays out in the Katasi household – partly because of my wife (thank you) and healthy food is incredibly tasty, once you’ve mostly removed the hyper palatable junk foods from your daily habits. See Healthy Cooking Made Quick & Easy, with Everyday Foods for tips on How Michelle makes tasty great food.
#6 – We mostly buy whole foods, and from reputable sources
Hey, we’re not foraging in the forest and going to farmers markets (nothing against, just don’t have the time), but we’ve grown to appreciate going for food that has been minimally processed, limited in farming chemicals and where animals are not treated inhumanely.
#7 – I eat a lot!
My calories undulate between 2,800 and 3,500 depending on whether I’m in a phase of building muscle (bulking) or leaning out (cutting). Neither number is excessive, but I enjoy lots of volume in my plate. I’ve got some tricks to achieve that whilst keeping to your numbers, whatever they may be. Don’t be scared – feel free to halve my portions!
#8 – We eat out regularly
Once a week is pretty normal. Sometimes 2-3 times if there are a string of events. I’ve found ways to do this guilt free, enjoy the treat foods, and pay little/no consequence regarding body goals. See Dieting & Eating Out – Have Your Cake & Eat It for tips on how to do this.
#9 – I feel amazing (mostly) with my nutrition, training and sleep setup
Honestly, you don’t know what great feels like until you experience it. I had no idea I was walking around like a bloated hangry zombie my whole life until I made some changes.
#10 – I take a bunch of Supplements
Now, I’m not 100% sure I need to take all the stuff I need, as my diet is pretty good. All the supps are grounded in solid science, and are not associated with side affects, so my approach is to shoot for best / optimal. See Supplement Pills & Potions article for insight into my ‘stack’.
Ok… that feels better!
Follow this blog as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions or ideas on meals, and please keep me honest to the above.