In my post the other day about my love for Sunwarrior Protein I mentioned that if you eat whole foods it is much easier to get the protein you need in your diet. Easier said than done right? After all a snack of chips or the like certainly has calories and counts for what you ate during the day, but it is not necessarily scoring you those nutrients and vitamins. Unfortunately, healthy does not equal free either and a lot of the foods that are good for us are very calorie dense. I am not really talking about vegetables because for the most part I actually do see those as “free foods” but avocado, butter and coconut oil, quinoa, grass fed meat as well as the fun stuff like granola and nut butter are all incredibly dense. Even fruit has a lot of sugar and should not be an unlimited fuel source. That’s a tough one for me because I totally love all fruit.
So perhaps I am a strange one, but I do typically measure those things out. Nut butter especially is hard to gauge because those two tablespoons they recommend as a serving are kind of small. I even went through a phase where I bought the little Justin Nut Butter packages because they were a type of serving control, but then I realized I was spending way too much money on nut butter. I still use them once and a while for travel, but my measuring spoon is just as reliable. Also a quarter of an avocado is a serving as is a quarter cup of quinoa. I find that when I cook a teaspoon of coconut oil is typically enough when I am just making a meal for one. These are great things to have in your diet but there is a difference between enjoying a serving of avocado and a bucket of guacamole.
I believe that a healthy lifestyle is about fueling your body with what it needs and not some horrible spiral towards an existence of deprivation or constant hunger. As we all know diets never work because they have an end date or a goal. I fall into this trap too. Whenever I have tried to go low carb or no sugar I find myself fantasizing about bagels and other forms of gluten on steroids. So while my calories do count I always find room for the things I love that make me feel best. I cannot remember the last time that I ate a bagel, but for the most part I have oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice pasta and Ezekiel bread. I honestly do not really miss the over processed carbs that I used to basically live on. They appear from time to time, but they typically only make an occasional guest appearance. I also love to have a little something sweet after dinner so every night I have a few pieces of dark chocolate to satisfy that craving. Maybe a cookie or another treat pops up here and there. The point is that nothing is free, but everything can be balanced.