Is it possible to achieve high level fitness results using the ideas and concepts highlighted in Michael Pollan's New York Times best selling books?
That's what I'm looking to find out. I've been living a healthy and fit lifestyle over the last 5 years. Using the principles and concepts of the Body for Life program, I dropped 60 pounds, got into amazing shape, and essentially changed my life. These days I'm a personal trainer. I know all about the science and technique required to help get someone from fat to fab. If you'd asked me two years ago what was needed to reach the goal of a healthy and fit body I'd have rattled off several different nutritional supplements and given you specific food ratios and types. I'd have told you to cut back on some foods, eliminate others, and use protein powders and meal replacements. In the last year and a half, my views have changed. I still have no problem suggesting supplements and meal replacements, but I find myself wondering…is that the only way?
Sure, we know that you can follow a wide variety of diet plans to achieve different types of fitness results. You can go vegan, you can go high protein, you can go moderate this and low that. But can you achieve high end results eating things that the fitness industry doesn't consider healthy?
I've been rolling this idea around my head for a while now. I've gotten increasingly frustrated by fitness gurus who insist that you can't eat bananas if you want to lose weight. I roll my eyes at folks who insist that there's only one way to do this. I just doesn't seem right.
In late January of 2010 I picked up a copy of Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food." It was an eye opener. He summarized a lot of concepts that I'd been mulling in my head for a long time. This prompted me to pick up a copy of Omnivore's Dilemma. Which is where the title of this project comes from. Can I live a year in the "omnivore's dilemma", integrating actual food? Not relying on the things we've created in labs, things like protein powders, low fat this and reduced fat that. With my knowledge of what is needed to achieve specific body aesthetics, can I put together real food meals that accomplish that goal?
This isn't being done as a political protest. I like meat. I know where my meat comes from. I'm not hollering that we need to roll back technology and all food science. I don't feel the need to render my own lard from pig fat. I live in an apartment, so it's not like I'm going to go out and grow my own produce in bulk. I'm also a personal trainer. This means I'm not rolling in cash. So I have to figure out how to make this work on a budget.
The guideline for the project is going to be Pollan's "Food Rules- An Eater's Manual". It's a selection of 64 guidelines that help simplify eating. Note, simple doesn't mean easy.
The basic rule is simple. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
The goal- eat food, not too much, mostly plants, end up with a six pack at the end.
365 days starts now.