Monday, January 19, 2015


[I'll go ahead and disclaim this post by saying I am NOT a nutritionist and I have a lot to learn on the subject, but these are just some of my simple thoughts on the matter]

Diet and fitness are such loaded words, aren't they? I don't mean diet as in, "I'm going on A diet," but rather- what you put in your mouth as a whole.

Chances are, you have strong feelings about these very general ideas. You may consider yourself a gym rat and rely on your #fitfam for motivation, but aren't as intense with respect to your diet: The "I work out to eat" people. You may eat local, whole, organic food, but not pump iron at Crossfit on the weekends. There's a whole spectrum of diet and fitness and everybody falls somewhere.

Recently, in our own home, M and I have decided to make a commitment to eat real, whole, (and whenever possible) local food. This isn't going to be a preachy place, and I very likely will never talk about it again on the blog (because of my attention span not because I don't care), but wanted to get some of my feelings out there. I also want to preserve these thoughts and reevaluate how things are going in 6 months or a year. That's part of the fun of documenting your life, right? If this stuff totally bores you to death feel free to skip over the next few days worth of content (YES I said dayS, buckle up, kids!)

The last few years have seen a surge of diets "lifestyle changes".. Paleo, the 21-Day Fix, Atkins, Whole 30, and on and on and on. You ultimately have to do what's best for you, there's no denying that. That's not taking into consideration people with food sensitivities (hi Meg!) or intolerance to things like dairy or gluten, or those diagnosed conditions like Celiac Disease. There's likely been a lot of "new" food information being thrown at you in the last few years and if you're anything like me, you're overwhelmed.

I'll admit that for the last 2-3 years, I knew I wanted to make a change in my diet but was in over my head with the information I was receiving. My train of thought went something like this, "Low-fat? High fat? Low carb diets? Fruits are good but not GREAT because they have sugar too..right? But is it better sugar? Stevia, truvia, artificial sweeteners.. or just regular sugar? Root veggies have carbs, but are they the good kind? But, don't fruit have carbs too? Is there a good kind? Is carbs the thing I should worry about? White pasta and grains are the devil.... didn't I just read something on Facebook about arsenic in rice?...."-- if that exhausted you, trust me- it exhausted me too. Every day we're told something new will kill us or give us cancer. It can be really hard to keep up.

So, for a long time, I just said "fuck it" and ate what I wanted. It was depressing and overwhelming and I let myself think that made it OK to not care.

M's dad's girlfriend is health guru and owns a fitness studio where they live in northwestern Minnesota. She's got a masters in nutrition and on the whole, knows what she's talking about. The last few years we also started spending some more time with friends of ours who ran a CSA program in the twin cities and are very into food and agriculture. Little by little the information became more digestible and I was able to hone a food philosophy that for me, felt really doable and easy to tackle:


In other words, REAL food. 

There are a few simple ways to accomplish this that have been working for M and I that I'll touch on in tomorrow's post.

I do want to say this, so as to not be accused of being completely tone-deaf: In part because we're a respectably active couple (both have gym memberships and I'm doing Classpass this month) and in part because we just have a solid seemingly high-metabolism (we don't fluctuate weight in a noticeable manner), the way we eat and view food is NOT designed to lose weight. I understand and am aware that different goals mean different methods, which may include more closely examining calories and/or portion control. I'm not making a commentary on either of those items, although I think just by the way I cook naturally I do pretty well with portion sizes. My views are geared more towards the healthy food from a natural foods standpoint and not a weight standpoint. Aannndd who knows, maybe my views will evolve and I'll become more interested in those aspects and want to become lean and shredded, (HA, not likely, I <3 pizza), but this is where we're at right now. 


  1. I've been trying to eat more 'real food' and less carbs overall (along with more protein) and it's challenging, but awesome! I really enjoy cooking with ingredients that aren't made from a bunch of OTHER ingredients, if that makes sense :-) I'm excited to hear how it goes for you guys!

  2. As the Meg with the food sensitivities (thanks for the shoutout!), you guys are spot on with the plan you've come up with. Whole, organic, local. It's definitely do-able and gives you a good foundation to start changing the way you eat.

    Prior to finding out about my sensitivities, I was like you - super overwhelmed by all the diets/meal plans and the conflicting nutrition information. It's so hard to dissect and then to keep up with the every changing public & academic opinions. After I tried multiple strategies and meal plans and I still wasn't losing weight and still wasn't feeling good, I too just said "FthisShit" and crawled into a hole. Only when my symptoms started to affect me every single day and I became super depressed and miserable did I take one last shot and thankfully found what my main issue was (food sensitivities.. to things I was eating all the time, processed ingredients, and even things in my beauty/hygiene products). After clearing out my system and avoiding certain foods, I began to feel better but I swear, even if I hadn't know what specific foods to avoid, I know I wouldn't felt LOTS better after just ditching processed crap and eating more whole, real foods. Giving your body natural fuel that isn't loaded down by ingredients you can't pronounce is truly the best place to start and what I tell everyone who wasn't to make a change but is feeling stuck.

    Anyway -- excited to follow your journey! Hope you share some tasty recipes too if you come across something amazing.

  3. I'm excited to read this. We try to buy and eat as much whole, organic, and local stuff as possible, but a fair amount of processed crap makes it's way into our kitchen (out of convenience, cravings, etc) as well, so there's always room for improvement!

  4. This is great! I would love for more people to eat more 'real food' so that it became the norm and less expensive. That is the only downfall...our grocery budget for the month is too high for my liking...but it's a lot cheaper than medical bills, I do know that :)

  5. I am super excited to read more Kell!
    We are also trying to eat more whole foods, some organic, some not, but starting at a place of healthIER than we are, and less processed. share your recipes!!