Next Level Performance Mini-Challenge: Ditch the artificial crap in yo - NLP Fitness

Next Level Performance Mini-Challenge: Ditch the artificial crap in your diet. 10 behaviors to get you started

October 14, 2016

Next Level Performance Mini-Challenge: Ditch the artificial crap in your diet. 10 behaviors to get you started

Next Level Performance Mini-Challenge: Ditch the artificial crap in your diet. 10 behaviors to get you started

As a trainer and coach, I am constantly asked about all of the supplements and packaged "health" food options out there which my clients are bombarded with every day to choose from. I tell them a simple message time and time again: That's not food. How did we end up in a place where it's "normal" to unwrap our food from a piece of plastic? How is this not a terrifying experience? I get it, you're busy. I'm busy. We are all busy. Convenience is king.
Big companies are marketing directly to your "quick but fit" lifestyle, and trying to convince you that these options are good for you. Think about this.... They take real food or food by-products, boil it down to some unrecognizable state, add in some chemicals, top it off with preservatives, and then sprinkle it with protein powder, put a picture of a leaf on the package and tell us it's all-natural and healthy. And we grab it in a massive case lot at Costco, and go. And think we're doing right by our bodies. But we aren't. This is nothing new I'm telling you, but I want you to be aware of your excuses, because that's why you're making this choice, you're making an excuse because it's easy, it's tasty, it's convenient, it's cheap. Wake up. If your food can't actually "go bad" it's likely not food.  
So when my clients ask me what supplements they should take, or what out-of-the-box snacks they should choose that are "healthy", I will literally laugh, and say, "none". I say get your nutrition by eating real food. I'm not saying that everyone needs to consume all natural, 100% organic, GMO free food; I know this is very costly and not within reach of everyone's budget. But that doesn't mean you cannot make choices that are whole foods, in their actual state. Take the time to prepare your meals. Sit at a table when consuming them, instead of in the car, or on the go. This is not a ground breaking point-of-view; we all know the effects of long term diet choices, fast foods (even those wrapped in healthy looking packaging) and yet we still choose the easy option most of the time. Break down your behaviors into small choices and recognize how you can empower yourself and your family to ditch the crap in your diet.   
The effects of processed and packaged foods are taxing on the body. Think of the accumulative effects of these modified substances stacking up in your system over time. We are riddled with allergies like never before; plagued with cancer and diseases all across the developed world. Consider your food consumption and how it contributes to this. I'm obviously not a doctor, I'm just a human using common sense. I compare my health, and that of my family and client's to an RRSP. You need to invest in yourself. Slowly, consistently, and over a long period of time. Develop that foundational wellness nest-egg, and when it comes time to veer off track and have a little indulgence here and there, it won't derail your long term plans. Your small behaviours are accumulative; that goes for both the positive ones and the negative ones. When you're reaching for a packaged snack, look at the sugar content; try and pronounce the words on the ingredients list. If these two items don't add up, reconsider this red flag, and empower yourself by putting it down. Be aware. Don't make excuses that you're "too busy" to make an educated choice. Invest in your body long term through your food choices and be able to cash in on those dividends in the long-term.
I challenge you to choose one small behaviour to either change, or adopt to begin the process of eliminating "quick foods" and supplements from your diet. Below, here are some quick and easy ideas to lead you to your health and wellness retirement plan!
1. Try meal-prep for one week: have all of your REAL meals and snacks organized and portioned out on a Sunday, setting you up for a clean and successful week. Include one cheat meal, and one cocktail to keep you balanced and motivated.
2. A pantry overhaul: Toss any food in your cupboards that lists sugar, or a sugar product or corn, or a corn product as one of the first 3 ingredients. You will be shocked....
3. Try something local: Do you live near a farm that sells eggs? Is there a healthy food delivery service in your area? Try it for a week and see!
4. Get rid of your pre-workout drinks: A real pre-work out is simple..... A whole grain rice cake, 1 TBSP natural peanut butter and 1 TBSP natural jam. If it can get me through a workout, it's all you need too.
5. Develop your own protein shake recipe: You don't have to consume these sugar riddled "recovery" drinks. Try 1 scoop of an all-natural protein isolate, a 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 TSBP peanut butter, 1 TBSP raw cocoa powder, 1/2 cup almond milk and 1 TSBP pure honey or maple syrup in the blender.
6. Choose fruit to cure your sweet cravings: While fruit should be consumed in a limited fashion due to the natural sugars, eating one piece a day in a balanced diet is an easy, and clean snack. Try cutting up an apple and sprinkling with cinnamon and a small amount of stevia for a sweet treat.
7. Educate yourself: Find a blog you want to start following, attend a class, check out some new YouTube videos. You don't need to start marching in anti-Monsanto protests! Just do a bit of research so you understand the impact of your choices
8. Think about your kids: Back to the RRSP analogy.... what are you investing in? What's it worth in the end, and what are you willing to do to build it and leave a healthy foundational legacy for them?
9. Ditch the soda: We've all heard this before. Do it. For one week, drink water, black coffee, plain tea and one cocktail for sanity!
10. Make a list: Write down each small decision you've made that was a healthy choice! Keep it in the notes section in your phone, and look at it at the end of the week. You'll be surprised at how all of these small choices add up.
Be aware, be awake, be real. Eat food that is food. Enjoy the process of cooking, preparing, consuming and sharing your meals. If you can challenge yourself to one of these small behaviours over the next seven days, consistently, you will begin to build your health and wellness investment portfolio. A foundation for your future is based in what you put in your body to fuel it and allows for you to enjoy your life, family and loved ones. Next Level Performance gives a shit, sorry - not sorry.
Author: Alan Dyck | Alan Dyck is a certified personal trainer, and owner of Next Level Performance



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