I've been thinking a lot about the way I eat lately, well, the way I want to eat really! I'm going more and more off processed foods, not just the thought of what's in them but also the taste. I just find them too bland and disappointing and a waste of calories really! My preference for natural and homemade foods is constantly getting stronger, despite my junk food binges, each time I do it is less satisfying than the last which is certainly a good thing.
I've also pretty much given up on protein shakes - I used to have one before and one after each work out for energy to get through the workout and for a quick fix while I make some proper food after - as well as the whole muscle repair thing. After reading a guest post on the Fintessista blog written by Gena from the Choosing Raw blog I decided I wanted to tryout a more natural workout fuel so started making Green Monsters and having raw fruit/nuts either on their own or in the form of Larabars of gluten free Nakd bars.
Gena writesabout fuelling a workout with foods that "offer maximum nutrition while causing minimal bodily stress" ie. foods that are easy and quick for your body to digest - like fruits and vegetables opposed to animal proteins which can take your body hours to deal with. The protein supplement I use is vegetarian, but I'd still say my body is going to find it far easier to digest fruit and veg than a processed protein powder! She also mentions the acidity vs. alkalinity of the foods - acidic foods being more taxing on your body and another argument for fuelling with vegetables (amongst other things). I was particularly interested in what Gena had to say about protein - I do eat a lot more protien now and I do find I function better when I eat increased protein and fat with reduced carbs, I just generally feel 'better', happier, less tired and sluggish - and less bloated. I now make more of an effort to get some leafy greens down before and after a workout in the form of a Green Monster usually instead of the usual protein shake, I also have a hemp protein on my list of things to buy when I next get paid to add more of a protein boost to my juices and smoothies (though actually I will use up the last of my current protein powder first as I don't want to waste it) And I'm going to have a go at growing my own sprouts! It should be fun and I've always enjoyed that little packs I occassionally see in the supermarket added to salads and stir frys, I don't buy them as often as I would like due to the cost.
In the new year I'm going to get back into my regular gym routine and try some of Gena's performance-boosting recipes listed in her post as I have found the Green Monsters to be great but would like a bit more variety.
I've also had several thoughts of giving up meat altogehter or just eating fish and seafood - I'm mostly not that fussed on other meats, lamb i just cna't like, beef I could easily live without, though I do really enjoy the odd steak, chicken...well it's usually the herbs, sauce and/or extras that make me enjoy a chicken dish! Other meats I do enjoy - but eat them so rarely I really don't think I'd miss them! For some reason though, I just can't bring myself to give up meat, not yet anyway!
Then, as I started getting into making my own almond milk (desperately need to get another sack of almons as I've really missed this!) and finding yogurt was maknig me a bit bloaty in the afternoons I started thinking about ditching dairy - the only time I'd miss it is in tea and coffee, but I'm drinking a lot less regular tea these days anyway in favour of green tea and Tea Pigs red tea with winter spices, which I don't use milk in, so really it's just coffee but I'm sure black coffee is something I can get used to. I do eat yogurt most days but that's another thing that's more about what I add to it or eat with it, and there are dairy-free alternatives.
There's a part of me - the part that doesn't make a lot of sense - that thinks I'd quite like to follow a partly raw and partly vegan diet - but still eat fish and sea food and the occassional steak or bacon roll with lots of butter! This part of me also thinks it would help control the emotional side of my eating, if I can say to myself 'no I can't have that, it's not vegan' and I can say it to the people at work that try to force feed me sweeties and cakes! There's another part of me that thinks maybe vegan's might want to stone me for pretending :D I guess it's like saying "clean eating" it's just an easy quick phrase that kind of sums it up. As for raw - I do really want to make more of an effort to eat raw meals, I've been put off in the past due to the wanting to eat lost of protein and thinking the best way would be to have meat with my lunch, but know I know I really don't need to, I can't say it's something that appeals to me enough to do it exclusivley.
I suppose part of the reason I'm looking a raw and vegan recipes is variety - by limiting certain things it kind of forces you to either get really bored, or get creative and try new things - I want to get creative and try new things!