Monday, June 17

Our Eating Philosophy

Someone the other day asked me “What’s your eating philosophy?”  I had never quite heard it asked like that, but I thought it was a great question.  So much, in fact, that I figured it warranted a post.  As I’ve said already, going forward we’ll be diving into the details on nutrition and science.  But before we do, let’s establish the foundation for how Jess and I currently eat, or better put: “Our Eating Philosophy.”

As the over-used quote (that apparently is misattributed) by Aristotle goes: “We are what we repeatedly do.”  Or I’ve heard it put another way in that “we are what we do on average.”  No matter the exact phrasing, or who said it, there’s a ton of truth there.  Individual meals do not dictate our overall health with regards to nutrition.  How we typically eat over the course of time, on the other hand, does.  Some call it the 80/20 rule, but I’ve never done the math to validate.  The bottom line is that we eat healthy the majority of the time, but we also indulge now and then.  A beer, a bag of chips or a slice of cake on occasion isn’t a problem.  The problem is when the occasional indulgence happens daily, or where the 80/20 proportion is flipped to 50/50.  There’s a line, and with the way foods are manufactured (yes, manufactured) this day in age, it can be easy to cross.

Amazingly enough, the desire to indulge happens less and less the healthier we eat.  Part of this is because even the slightest deviation can wreak havoc on the body.  As a result, the economies of scale change – you begin weighing the tradeoffs differently:  Is this basket of fries/bag of M&Ms really worth it?  There’s no right or wrong answer here, but we’ve seemed to determine our sweet spot (no pun intended) in making the call.

More specifically…

We tend to skew toward a Paleo/Primal-like diet, although we venture off in certain areas.  The science is compelling, but even more so have been the results we’ve yielded by self-experimenting.  We incorporate Michael Pollan’s [obvious] advice to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  We’ve also made the concept of nutrient-density a staple in how we eat.  Pretty impossible to dispute: eat the most nutrient-dense foods available. 

We also pay a ton of attention to the source of the food: organic vs. non-organic, pasture-raised vs. factory-farmed, grass-fed vs. feed-lot, wild-caught vs. farm-raised, etc.  We’re not afraid of fat in our diet, nor do we count calories.  We eat when we’re hungry; we stop when we’re satisfied.  We don’t eat low-carb, but what we eat happens to be lower in carbs (there’s a huge difference!).  We scale foods based on activity/exercise level.  We supplement wisely, and 90% of our meals we cook ourselves (…let’s pause here and wait for the “You mean Jessie cooks?” comments).

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this post was to give our high-level thematic understanding on how we view eating, not a detailed prescription.  As we move forward we’ll unravel some of these concepts and show you how we execute this philosophy on a daily basis.  Scientific research will continue to roll out, our self-experimenting will push on and life will keep progressing forward.  With that, we undoubtedly expect our philosophy to evolve.  We certainly don’t have all of the answers, nor will we ever claim to.  We’re just here to share our experiences and learning along this road to living better.



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