Eating like and Adult

Recently J and I have been considering and discussing each of our respective gym, food and body goals. He wants to bulk up, and I want to slim down. By which I mean he wants to gain muscle, and I want to lose fat. While both of us are reasonably (reeeeasonably) happy with our exercise regimes, we both know our food needs to change in order to see the results we want. The question is- can we eat the same things, and still achieve our (very different) goals? We’re going to give it a shot.

We’ve got a window of opportunity coming up which provides us with a neat two months to makes some changes. It’s not a deadline, nor will life particularly change in any other way during this time- it’s just an opportunity to measure some time in ways other than setting deadlines. So yesterday J suggested we use this time to really bunker down and commit to some new habits. The question was, is there a set of new habits we can both commit to, that will help us achieve our respective goals?

I’ve played with the idea of Paleo for a while. Pete Evans’ The Paleo Way certainly seems appealing, with its many positive Facebook testimonials and its daily meal planners and recipes. But J isn’t sold on paleo as a way to bulk, and I’m not sold on the idea of ridding my life of dairy. I’ve also played with the idea of Cyndi O’Meara’s Hunter Gatherer Elimination Protocol. I like the idea of elimination foods then slowly reintroducing them to see how my body feels when I consume them. But even Cyndi admits that this protocol is, at its heart, a paleo diet. Then there’s Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. I’m coming around to this one, although I haven’t read terribly much about it yet. But I do think there’s elements in there I could adopt. Then of course there’s Low Carb High Fat, which is the lifestyle of choice for some in my household at the moment. I could write a lot about LCHF, but I’m not going to. It will turn into a rant, and I’ll start arguing for and against it at the same time.

I’ve written before about how I’m confused about what I should or shouldn’t be eating, and which diet is best, so when J suggested we start down this path I was worried that I was heading towards another slippery slide of confusion. Then he suggested that we eat like adults. We. Eat. Like. Adults. At first I thought this wouldn’t work for me. It’s too broad, there’s no parametres, and I can talk myself out of/around it too easily. Who knows- maybe I will. But I’m going to attempt a list of what eating like an adult means to me, and once I’ve got that then J and I can figure out what it means for us. For this to work we both need to be doing similar stuff. Really similar stuff. Preparing two different types of meals won’t work, and handing him a big plate of processed carbs while I suck up the green veg won’t work either. My Eat Like An Adult list will come later (maybe later today). This will be interesting.

Food confusion. Seriously, what should we eat?

help!

Whole foods. Paleo. No sugar. Low Sugar. No carbs. No processed carbs. No fat. High Fat. Low carb, high fat (LCHF).

I literally have no idea what I should be eating.

I think I’ve managed to flood my brain with concepts, theories, science, ideas, and talk from very passionate and committed people. I didn’t set out looking for a ‘new’ or ‘better’ way to eat, it kind of fell into my lap, but regardless of how it happened I now find myself mightily confused. Cut out sugar? Makes sense. Cut out refined carbs? Makes sense. Cut carbs completely and eat large quantities of fat? Listen to enough science, hear enough anecdotes, and it makes sense. Once you get your head around it.

So then, Paleo. Cut the carbs, cut the sugar, eat lots of good fats but not crazy high amounts (as opposed to LCHF, where you really up the Fat content), don’t have dairy, etc… So do you go with Paleo or LCHF? Or just go with cutting sugar like Sarah Wilson did? But then, where do you draw the line with the sugar cutting? It is ultimately removing processed sugars only? Natural sugars too? Removing carbs too, because they convert to sugars? And if that’s the case, are we back at Paleo? But if LCHF is right, then aren’t you better going that step further than Paleo, cutting carbs completely, upping fats, and letting your body enter Ketosis and burn fats for fuel? Is LCHF right, or is Ketosis damaging the body?

And, the biggest question of all – how do you do whatever it is you do that works for you, and keep a healthy and sustainable weight, while keeping your sanity? How to do you it without obsessing over it? Without spending every spare moment thinking about? Without becoming a nutritional evangelist? Clearly you have to spend time on food preparation to succeed on any of these ways of eating – how do you do that without it becoming all you think about? Without it becoming part of your identity? What if you just want to keep being you, keep your normal identity, without being the person that’s Paleo/LCHF/Sugar-free, etc etc?

I’m confused. Quite confused.

Review: Raw Trader

I thought I’d try something new today and give a review a go. There’s a new cafe just up the road from my work that, as soon as I heard about it, had me pretty excited. It’s called Raw Trader and you can find it at 10 Sutherland Street, Melbourne. Raw Trader is, in their own words, a cafe specialising in organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and paleo healthy desserts and treats.

raw trader chalkboard

I’ve been there three times now, trying different parts of the menu each time. There’s no set list of desserts on sale here- they have different items for sale each day, depending on what’s they’ve made and what’s fresh. They’ve only been open for a couple of months, so I suspect that as they get to know which of the desserts are crowd pleasers we’ll see some items appearing more regularly.

The first thing I should say about their food is this: I haven’t eaten refined sugar now for nearly 7 weeks, and it’s fair to say that my tastebuds have changed. Raw Trader’s food is delicious, but don’t expect their passionfruit mango cheesecake to taste like normal cheesecake- it’s going to be a lot less sweet, and it’s going to taste a lot more like cashews than your average cheesecake. That works for me and my tastebuds- it mightn’t work for you.
But it’s still delicious. In fact, their food very much tastes like the kind of raw dessert you could (should you choose to be bothered), produce at home. When I visited with my mum she was a bit off-put by that, but I really like that I don’t have to buy, soak and blend expensive organic nuts, cocao and dates in order to get a raw dessert fix.

Price-wise Raw Trader’s really quite reasonable too. Considering you’d pay in excess of $7 for a giant piece of mass-produced Mars Bar Cake anywhere else in the city, their cakes and bliss balls (ranging raw trader slicefrom $4 – $8ish) are definitely not too expensive. Given how rich these foods are, their portions are very generous too.

When it comes to drinks, Raw Trader offers a very drinkable coffee blend with standard milk offerings as well as house-made almond milk. My first coffee with the almond milk was really exceptional- creamy, rich, sweet- but my second tasted really sour. Maybe I got an off batch of milk? I’m not sure. They also offer great looking smoothies, although I haven’t tried them.

Despite all the positives about the food, the one other thing I would say about Raw Trader is that right now their service is pretty poor. It’s a small space, and word’s certainly got out about it already, so their standard two staff never seem to be enough. Drink orders get mixed up and food orders are forgotten right now- I think they’re going to have to step this up in the future to stay with the very competitive Melbourne cafe culture pack.

raw trader counterBut despite what I’ve said about the service (and it really hasn’t improved at all in the three visits I’ve made), I will continue to go back to Raw Trader and I highly recommend that anyone that’s in that area of Melbourne drop by for and Almond latte and a Bliss Ball. The food is really good, and it’s really nice to have a cafe in that area of the CBD doing what they’re doing.

 

P.S- please excuse my fairly dodgy phone photos!!

 

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