One of our most popular questions is “do I have to eat vegetables to be healthy?”
Pretty much, yes. You could try a really comprehensive supplementation routine but it’s going to be very expensive. Not to mention there’s more and more evidence that supplementation with nutrients does not actually produce a health effect, with the limited and obvious exception of if you’ve got scurvy or rickets or some other directly attributable single nutrient shortage effect.
You can do it with vegetable juice if you must, but it’s going to be a caloric issue for weight loss, since you’re removing the fiber which gets you full and leaving just the juice which does not. The calories get concentrated but the fullness gets vastly diminished.
It’s better, if you really don’t like vegetables, to learn to tolerate vegetable soup, and make sure to make it yourself so you can control the sodium and make sure you’re getting a variety of green, yellow, and red vegetables so you’ll know you’re getting a good variety of nutrients.
Or perhaps you can tolerate a tossed salad with low calorie dressing.
Or perhaps you can just man up and eat your vegetables and not go on expecting all your food to taste like Twinkies.
Just to recap, Paleo eating is basically:
1. No grains
2. No dairy
3. Heavy on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
4. Exercise like real work.
So let’s take the health issues raised by each, individually.
4. That’s great!
3. That’s super!
2. No problem! Most of the world’s adult population is lactose intolerant. We’re the only mammal which drinks milk after childhood. There are substitutes. The plants will help with the vitamin A and sunshine will help with the vitamin D.
1. The grains thing is the only point of contention you’re likely to find. You need fiber. Whole grains have fiber. So do green vegetables. You need B vitamins. So do vegetables.
What we’d suggest for anyone doing Paleo diet is to supplement with a natural multivitamin, and consider supplemental fiber especially if they’re having BM issues. The average American is so long on protein and carbs and so short on fiber already, it’s a reasonable practice for anybody.
So in short, there’s not a big reason to object to Paleo. YMMV but I find it to be a completely acceptable and even beneficial approach.
- Paleo 101 (crossfitovercome.wordpress.com)
All cooking processes will change micronutrients, whether the food is boiled, fried, broiled, or microwaved. The less you cook an item, the less nutrient loss there will be.
Microwaving food does result in nutrient loss and there are many studies about this (too many to cite). Most show that there is less loss of micro- and macronutrients than with other methods of cooking, however.
via Does microwaving reduce nutrients in food? : Ask Dr. Gourmet.
You may have heard, possibly from someone selling cookware, that nuking your food ruins it in some way. Nope. Microwaving is actually better at preserving nutrients.
On a related note, it’s not actually true that raw is better than cooked, either. Many foods (like the broccoli in this example, or especially, beans) are mostly indigestible in their raw state and their nutrients are bioavailable only after they are cooked.
“There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.”
via Team Beachbody – Eat Smart: Michi’s Ladder.
We’ve been using this plan in our house and for our in-person coaching clients this summer. Michi is Japenese for road, as in, the way to get somewhere. If you were to eat entirely from the top two tiers you’d have a minimally processed vegetable, fruit, and lean protein power-fuel diet. Most people live on the lower tiers with occasional forays into the top tiers.
This is the food plan for both P90X and the Insanity workout program. Which I hope to be able to post an end-to-end review comparison of by spring (all I can say right now is that Insanity is, indeed, an insanely difficult workout to do at the speed the models in the video go, and an incredibly challenging program at ANY speed).
You might want to take this to your doctor and have them give you a target for how many meals each month to eat from which levels. It’s an excellent overall approach to the What To Eat question.