What Does A High Fat Meal Really Look Like?
Well, this meal pictured above it one example.
Considering this is a meal for two, you have a moderate piece of wild-caught salmon steak, rich in fatty Omega 3s, low net carbs (compared to starches or higher glycemic carbs one might eat with a meal) from the sprouts and broccoli, more fat from the olive oil and more fat yet from the fat with which the veg was cooked (your choice- lard, tallow, ghee, duck fat, coconut oil- the more variety, the better!).
Yes, there’s a small amount of sugar in the total of five cherry tomatoes, but the sum takeaway is that you’ve got low carb, moderate protein and high fat.
And this is precisely how I’ve been eating for quite some time now.
It may have taken me a bit of time to test the waters of moving outside the parameters of a macro nutrient ratio more typical of an authentic Paleo approach combined with what I thought I needed as an endurance athlete but let me tell you, boy, is it working!
I do get this all the time and it just happened again: someone asking me, almost as if doing a double take: “wait… you’re eating how much fat?”
This morning, someone crossed my path on the way to the cafe where I was heading to get some work done (I find the energy from being surrounded by others quite suits my ability to be productive) and asked what sort of workout routine I do in order to look so fit.
I thanked her and told her it’s not so much about what activities I may engage in, but what I eat.
I don’t find it helpful to mention to people I may encounter to tell them I am an ironman triathlete, because just as if I were to begin a conversation with ‘Paleo’, there would be a big risk that after either word, their eyes would either glaze over or part of their brain that might otherwise have been interested in learning more would likely stop functioning.
As in, ‘this woman is lean because she races ironman’ (not true- when I was racing ironman, training twice as much as I am now and following a low fat vegan diet, I was over twenty pounds heavier – all bodyfat, by the way) or ‘oh, she follows a Paleo diet which I couldn’t fathom because I don’t want to eat meat all day long’ (another erroneous idea).
On went the conversation.
Woman: So, what do you eat?
Me: I eat an abundance of local, in season veggies, wild caught fish, grass fed meat, mindfully sourced poultry and pork and a lot of healthy fats.
Woman: So no carbs?
Me: Yes, I eat quite a lot of veggies
Woman: But no carbs though?
Me: Actually yes, I get my carbs from veggies and some fruit now and then.
Woman: Oh. But how much fat? Like, are you just eating butter and a ton of almond butter?
Me: I try to eat a balance of different types of natural fats on daily basis. Olive oil, Avocados, coconut oil, pasture fed lard, grass fed tallow, rendered duck fat
Woman: I don’t think I could do that. I love sugar too much.
It’s interesting to me to have interactions like this for no other reason than it keeps me abreast on what the temperature of society is, in terms of understanding of what a healthy diet actually consists of, what resources they’re relying upon as their main informational feeds and which pieces they’re latching on to and implementing, either properly or improperly.
And this is exactly why I feel so excited to continue to write blog posts and speak to you, whether you’re a private client, someone reading my blog or someone attending a lunch + learn or speaking engagement I have the opportunity to be a part of.
As I continue to share my own journey with what’s working for me on the food front, keeping it fun and l lighthearted with posts about how my hubbie (until recently, a reluctant guinea pig when it came to testing the waters of a high fat approach) has found his groove as the high performance executive who was formerly following a clean eating, mostly Paleo but closer to Zone ratios of carb consumption), fun new recipes I’ve either made up myself or found from some of my favorite resources, like the latest edition of Cook’s Illustrated, as well as keep you posted on who I’m following listening to and learning from.
Look- I’m not a scientist, and I’m not a researcher.
I’m not going to explain the damage that eating lectins or saponins cause on your gut better than my mentor, Dr. Cordain, will.
I won’t be able to offer new and exciting ways to bio hack your body’s ability to function with minimal sleep or create clearer thinking the way Dave Asprey will.
You won’t see me trying to paraphrase the extensive work of Dr Terry Wahls which she presents so beautifully in her Wahls Way protocol book and the next time I’m invited onto Dr. Oz, I’m not going to do a presentation on thyroid function as Dr Amy Myers would.
But what I can do is what I’ve always done: be a resource for you.
I want to be an open book as I continue to share what’s working, what’s not and what my own personal takeaway is.
Call it a practical application of many different feeds put to the test by a woman who is both a high performance athlete as well as high performance entrepreneur.
Simple, easy to follow and most importantly, a balance to create my own eating blueprint, and you can do just the same.
You’ve seen me mention shifting away from the dogmatic presentation of Paleo I had for years toward one which is geared more toward intuitive eating.
How do you personally feel when you eat certain foods?
What’s making you feel amazing? What is making you feel awful?
If you’re like I was and are feeling frustrated, fat and far from focused, look at what you’re doing and decide.
Are you going to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome?
This brings us all they way back to the topic of this post: high fat.
I can’t tell you how many people, whether they’re clients or someone I met in a cafe, cannot grasp the concept of eating more fat. I’ve heard, “Oh, that’s so much more fat than I’ve been eating; I typically only use about a teaspoon of olive oil on my salad”. (This is right after the client has shared that she has been gaining weight on her low fat diet ).
I’ve even had conversations with folks face to face in which they’ve asked what I’m using to train and race and when I tell them – nothing : fasted / salt – they tell me it’s just not possible.
It took a while for me to swallow the concept of high fat, too, but think about it. Forget about calling it keto or high fat or LCHF or whatever- think about how your grandparents or great grandparents ate. Bacon and eggs perhaps? Something else equally hearty and natural (and incidentally, completely lacking in refined carbohydrate)?
Once I really began to think about it, honestly, I had to test it out.
Because of my history in which I learned through years of trial and error that the main reason I was so ill for so long was by eating gluten, and how I was able to begin the journey to transform my life to optomal health by first cutting out that one thing, I began to believe without a doubt that the body will respond to what we feed it, what we present to it, whether good or not so good and we can then determine the state of our health.
So I continue, as I read, test and refine, to figure out through experimentation what works. What gives me even more energy? What provides even better mental focus? What allows me to train more efficiently and recover better? Which food (or in my case, drink!) do I want to include to create balance? (How many out there like the sound of a glass of wine, or better yet, a neat vodka)?
Join me, reach out, post, send questions and tell me what you’re doing! What are you curious about? What do you want to see?
This is your blog and I’d love nothing more than to tailor it just for you.
I want to bring cooking together back into homes across the country and get everyone cooking and eating together. It’s the most fundamental thing we as humans, regardless of from where we come, what race, age or gender we are and what we have or don’t have.
We all need to eat and my love of cooking for others, I hope, will flow through to my blog with the hope of enticing you to get to your farmer’s market and get into your kitchen with the whole family and take a stab at it.
This is not about ‘how to become a completely Paleo person’.
It’s to illustrate what I am and how we can collaborate and my intention to share my journey, my message which started out feeling like a mess and be a resource for you.
Gather. Cook. Eat. Food. Local. Organic. Seasonal. Mindful.
Let’s do this!