Recently another trainer at my gym described his first Paleo breakfast to me.
A huge feast of: greasy sweet potato fries, bacon, scrambled eggs, avocado and ‘Paleo bread’ with lashings of butter.
“I just don’t understand how that’s healthy!” he exclaimed.
I agree. If that’s your weekend treat then go for it – ENJOY!
However, if you expect that this type of excessive fry-up is healthy… that because it’s Paleo it’s acceptable every day food, then you’re kidding yourself. In todays show I’m sharing:
3 Deceptive NON-Healthy Health Foods.
It’s a follow up to a popular blog post I did called: 7 Sneaky UNHealthy ‘Health Foods’ (and what I now eat instead).
One of the things I LOVE about fat or Body Gain as I prefer to call it is that it’s simple not easy. Or it should be.
I LOVE that you can’t just buy your way to your best body. Not really. Sure a bit of surgery here and there… a personal trainer… a private chef – they all help however really you still have to do the do. Your trainer can’t do the reps for you. As much as we sometime wish we could!
Equally you can’t eat UNHealthy and expect to buy your way to results.
So here’s the thing that really frustrates me: When you think you’re are making the right choice and yet you’re not.
Putting in zero effort and seeing zero results is just fine. You deserve your lack of results.
Putting in consistent, focused effort and still seeing zero results… well that’s disheartening. It gives the whole health industry a bad name. It leads to people thinking that nothing works.
The thing is lots of things work. There’s no one approach. Anything that sells you that it’s The One Approach… in fact anything that sells you it’s Healthy is worth close scrutiny and likely worth avoiding. Ok, enough ranting!
Let’s get rolling with my latest pick of 3 NON-Healthy Health Foods.
ONE. Under the banner of, it started off good and then got taken to the crazy extreme is: Excessive-Paleo.
So Excessive-Paleo is just what I call it when it’s gone too far.
I like a lot – even most – of the Paleo principles. Such as:
=> prioritising natural one ingredient food.
=> avoiding processed and refined food.
=> including plenty of good fat and protein.
However, what’s the deal with the lack of green love in so much Paleo?
There’s nothing wrong with good fat but why add extra fat just for the sake of it?
The Crazy-Extreme-Excessive approach preys on our inclination to believe what we want to believe.
Sure I want to believe red wine and coffee are good for me… I know I’m kidding myself if I believe 4 glasses/cups a day is healthy.
As I’m sure lots of people want to believe bacon and eggs with extra butter are the best start to the day… And why bother with that green rubbish! However really when you think about it, when you apply the filter of: “Is this too good to be true?”
Or when you consider: “What am I missing out on to consume this?” …you know, stuff like fibre, micronutrients (!) at that point you’ll have a better idea of whether you’re conveniently believing what you want to believe.
=> To get more specific. The Paleo meal I think rocks: starts with a huge serve of a variety of fibrous veg, includes a generous amount of lean protein and also a serve of good fat.
To get super specific here’s the link to a post I did on: How to DUMP Measuring to Naturally Lose Weight.
TWO. Disguised as the healthy option and yet it never was is: Gluten Free.
I see gluten-free as the new Sugar Free. It promotes the nasties it doesn’t have so loudly that you hopefully you’ll neglect to look any further and discover all the nasties that it does still have.
However now you know right?
The same guidelines apply. Don’t be distracted by its ‘Gluten Free’ packaging – that’s just an excuse to 4X the price!
In fact the packaging is your first clue. If it’s healthy it doesn’t need a packet to tell you that.
One ingredient foods like apples and avocado’s don’t need packaging to convince you. Gluten Free is gradually providing replacements for all the foods that either don’t need to factor into your eating: cakes and biscuits OR could factor in as a high quality (not mass produced) treat every once in a while.
=> Here are some common gluten free deceptions: “The pizza-muffin-pasta was gluten free so it’s ok.”
=> As I mentioned it’s like that old sugar free deception, in that you’ll demolish twice as much because “it’s sugar free!”
=> Or perhaps you don’t count it as your treat… it becomes a normal part of your routine “Banana bread for breakie each day – all good, it’s gluten free!”
The Healthy-Option-Yet-Never-Was approach preys on our inclination to take the easy non-thinking option.
=> Your better option is to have the real deal. Less frequently. Or even better, find a quality substitute.
THREE. The essential, that has it’s place yet picking your poison counts: Protein Powder.
My mum was telling me about the evils of protein powder recently. She’d heard some “nutritionalist or something” suggest it’s “a waste of time and money and you should just buy powdered milk as that’s all it is.”
Even the thought of powdered milk makes me feel queasy. However that’s not the thing that most sparked my response and, I’ll admit I bite way too easily when given unsolicited advice on something that’s working really well for me – and my clients – and has consistently for years!
“Mum, I’d love to see what this nutritionalist actually looks and performs like.”
Not so charitable, however it’s been my policy for a long time now to only take advice from people who currently HAVE the results I’m seeking. Talk is cheap. I’d be super surprised if this powdered-milk-promoting-person had the results I want.
The Essential-Yet-Pick-Your-Poison approach preys on our inclination to seek out the quick fix.
So here’s the thing. I put essential in italics because really Protein Powder isn’t. Here are some considerations:
=> It’s dependant on YOUR goal and YOUR lifestyle.
=> Real food always beats processed food… however can you AND DO YOU always turn to real food when you’re caught short and need a quick snack?
=> When considering the people who are as lean as I like to be with as much lean muscle as I like to have – the super vast majority of those people have protein powder after lifting weights… many also use it to create treats such as my protein pancakes instead of eating other treats with a less favourable break down of macronutrients (that’s carbs, proteins, fats).
If your goal is different to mine you might not need it. It’s not a health food. It’s not essential. It just makes it easier.
I’m a fan of easy!
So far as pick your poison? Not all protein powders are created equal.
As the nutritionalist mum heard said, many are mainly Whey. Equally as worth avoiding are the Soy versions. Plenty are also super high in sugar. Or chocka full or artificial sweetener. Most have a smorgasbord of ingredients I can’t pronounce let alone understand what they are.
The marketing can suck you in because there’s some fitness model that may or may not actually consume that product, who may or may not look like their picture without the help of photoshop and certainly does not look like that 365 days a year.
And the sell is that this product is your quick fix.
Whether it’s a protein powder or fat-burner or whatever the fact is it might be that extra little 2-3% of help so far as achieving your goal… it’s never a quick fix.
=> My preferred protein powder currently is a Raw, Vegan brown rice based powder by a brand called SunWarrior. I like it because it’s Gluten free, Diary free, Soy free, Low Carb and tastes great.
We must pretty much be at the time of the actionable.
Irrespective of my list I’m guessing you already have an idea of that NON-Healthy Health Food that features too heavily in your week? Whether it’s a food that:
=> Preys on your inclination to believe what you want to believe.
=> Preys on your inclination to take the easy non-thinking option.
=> Preys on your inclination to seek out the quick fix.
Todays action isn’t necessarily to irradiate that food completely. That’s your call. Perhaps it’s more a matter of being a little less excessive with it. That’s what I did with coffee this week. I was up to 4-5 a day… every day. It felt excessive.
Even though I was wanting to believe it was fine because “coffee’s healthy” (which I still believe it is – just not at every chance you get to guzzle liquid gold!). So I’m trialling 2 cups a day. (I haven’t even made the cups bigger!).
So, what’s that NON-Healthy Health Food that features too heavily in your week?
Todays quote is from an unknown author yet it’s gold: “You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!”
That’s it for me today. In tomorrows Wednesday weigh-in show I cover: Dr Hindsight. I hope you can join me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: 7 Sneaky UNHealthy ‘Health Foods’ (and what I now eat instead)
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.