It’s Not about A “Diet”

Eat Real Food

We all want “the answer” don’t we?

What should I major in? Which jobs should I apply to? Should I take a few months off and travel the world?

Or a question I hear all the time: What should I eat? (or not eat?)

People want the quick fix, a one dimensional answer that will “just work.” It seems we all want to solve our latest problem, chalk it up as complete, then move on to the next one. We have an insatiable desire for simple answers.

Why is that?

I think it’s because all these questions are really just step ladder issues. We hope solving them will help us resolve a bigger concern we all have:

What will make me happy?

It’s a complicated question, and there’s no one right answer. Which makes trying to solve any problem through a black and white lens nearly impossible.

And this is especially true when it comes to food and health. Continue reading

Bringing “Real Food” to the Masses

image source: http://www.crowdbabble.com/blog

image source: http://www.crowdbabble.com/blog

Last week I wrote about the Nordic Food Manifesto, and how Denmark created a strong “real food” culture largely from an intentional effort led by Claus Meyer. It wasn’t political lobbying or public petitioning that resulted in food reform, but rather a grassroots effort led by citizens with the power to actually implement and follow-through with change.

I ended the post alluding to one question: Why is it so hard for us to do this ourselves, as individuals? If an entire country can implement and spread a common view towards food, why can’t we?

There’s nothing really stopping us from mimicking Denmark’s success. The problem is, we’re inundated with so many messages about what we should be eating, and how we should be living, it’s hard to know where to start. So rather than following successful frameworks that have been shown to work (like the Nordic Food Manifesto), most people jump from diet craze to diet craze, trying to find the “right way to eat.”

But how did Claus Meyer succeed? What was the secret sauce that helped the Manifesto take hold? And is it reasonable to think we can apply those lessons to our own lives? Continue reading

Food Culture From Scratch: The New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto

My knife plunged into the beef with an audible crunch, pop, and sizzle.

“Whooaaah!”

I looked up at my sister as we both laughed in surprise, and continued smiling as I finished cutting my first bite. The unique outer crispiness of the meat gave way to a perfectly juicy interior, resulting in a sound more similar to slicing into a calzone than a ground beef patty.

We were sitting in Copenhagen’s oldest pub, which felt more like a casual bistro than a bar, and I was about to try the dish recommended by our waitress/bar tender/proprietor?

“The Paris Beef, it’s very good,” she had said. “It’s not from France… it’s very Danish.”

Sign me up!

Paris beef with fresh veggies and raw egg yolk at Rabes have in Copenhagen

Paris beef with fresh veggies and raw egg yolk at Rabes Have in Copenhagen

Continue reading

Soylent: Over-Hacking Health

soylent glass

Soylent has launched, and it’s coming to a tech hub near you.

Described on its website as a “simple and affordable nutritional drink that has everything the healthy body needs,” the all-in-one meal-replacement powder recently began shipping orders to the public.

If you haven’t heard of it by now, the home-brewed mix contains synthetic nutrients deemed by co-founder Rob Rhinehart to comprise a “perfectly balanced diet.” He even launched the company with a blog post detailing his successful attempt to stop eating food for 30 days, living off nothing but Soylent.

While initially disturbing, I was also intrigued when I first read about Soylent a year ago. Continue reading

Paleo f(x) 2014 Summary

Paleo f(x) logo

Last week I attended Paleo f(x), one of the largest conferences in the country focused on ancestral health and the Paleo lifestyle. The three-day event in Austin, Texas, brings together the top thought leaders, researchers, bloggers, and podcasters in the world of health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle design.

If at this point you’re imagining a convention center full of buff dudes in crossfit t-shirts and vibram fivefingers… you’re pretty much spot on.

But despite the surface-level appearance, the conference far exceeded my expectations. Once I touched down in Austin, my weekend was packed to the gills with useful information, thought-provoking speakers, and opportunities to socialize with new friends. The concept of attending a conference in my free time was new to me, but I will say this much: I plan to be back next year!

So what did I learn from Paleo f(x)? Let’s start with the speakers. Continue reading

A Real YOLO Weekend

Last weekend I pulled a true YOLO maneuver.

After my alma mater and childhood college basketball teams (Wisconsin and UCONN) each made the Final Four, I pulled the trigger on flights to Dallas, and quickly bought tickets to both the semifinal and championship games. Being a big sports fan, I realized how rare it was for two teams I root for make it to the semifinals with the possibility of matching up for a championship. I decided I had to be there.

Continue reading

Note To Self: Stop Caring About What Other People Think

“You do not want to lie on your deathbed with the knowledge that things could have been better if you had not spent so much time making assumptions about what total strangers might be thinking.”

Jason Seib, Author, The Paleo Coach; Co-Owner, Clackamas Physical Conditioning and Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness

Note to self:

Get out of your own head.

Do things that make you feel good, and stop worrying about what other people think. Everyone is just as insecure and unsure of themselves as you are. It just appears like they have their shit together.  Continue reading

3 Easy Steps To Getting Started With Paleo

eggs in carton

I love breakfast. It’s probably my favorite meal of the day. There’s something innately enjoyable and nostalgic for me about starting off the day with a delicious, filling meal.

But the food I eat for breakfast today differs significantly from several years ago. My approach to this meal has changed as I learned more about proper nutrition, and began tweaking my diet in a Paleo direction.

Taking a step back, my evolving breakfast plate is a microcosm for the larger three-step approach I used to transition to real food eating. It’s a gradual process anyone can adopt, implemented over the course of months, not days. While slow and simple in nature, it’s a reliable, realistic, and sustainable approach to making dietary changes. Continue reading

Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Eating

Empty plate with fork, knife, and spoon

“The day you stop improving is the day you start dying.”

Pedram Shojai

“I really need to start eating healthier… Can you just tell me what to eat so I can fix my diet?”

I hear some version of this phrase all the time. Friends, family, co-workers – so many young people say they want to “eat healthier” but don’t know where to start. Continue reading