If you can pick it, grow it, or hunt it……then eat it!

16 Sep

What is the simplest way to eat well? I always follow the rule: If you can pick it, grow it or hunt it….then eat it. Conversely, if you can’t pick it, grow it or hunt….then don’t eat it.

This concept is all about eating food that has received as little processing as possible and something I first came across while reading Martin Rooney’s Training for Warriors: The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Workout . The premise is that food in it’s most natural form, in the majority of cases, is far healthier than food that has gone through several steps to reach its current form. A very simple comparison to use is brown Vs white rice.

The physical difference between brown and white rice, is that brown rice has only had the husk removed, while white rice has also had the bran and germ removed. In terms of nutrition, brown rice is a good source of fiber, vitamin B and magnesium, all of which can be depleted in the production of white rice. So which rice is better for you? Well I know my body feels far better when I eat brown over white rice.

It’s also important to understand that processed foods do not just include ready meals, pizzas, burgers etc etc. Bread is a processed food, pasta is a processed food, where can you grow, pick or hunt bread or pasta? I’m not saying that these two foods are bad for you, although if they make up a large part of your diet, then try switching to other sources of carbohydrates such as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils. I find these foods are far easier for your body to digest and therefore have a positive impact on your energy levels and overall health.

If we also take a look at foods that often get a bad rep because of their fat levels, e.g. nuts, red meat and eggs, all these foods you can pick, grow or hunt. Then they can’t be bad for you right? In my opinion, if eaten in balance with other foods, then no. For about the past 18 months I have eaten ~100g of almonds every day, at least 2 eggs every day and eaten red meat probably about twice a week. I also have body fat levels of ~14%, cholesterol levels well within healthy levels and a waist to hip ratio of 0.85 (below 0.95 is low risk for men). Admittedly, my weekly exercise schedule plays a large part in those stats, although eating those foods on such a regular basis doesn’t seem to be doing me any harm.

Do you need to avoid processed foods all the time? I know I don’t. I love a takeaway, a burger or a beer as much as the next person, although I know that the other 80% to 90% of my food is unprocessed. I could continue to write about all the different types of foods, the science behind the nutrients, impacts on insulin levels, although that’s not the point, I’m trying to take the complexity out of eating well. So, next time you’re going out for lunch, or dinner, or stuck in the supermarket aisle wondering what to get and you can’t make head nor tail of the information on the packaging, just remember: If you can pick, grow it or hunt……then eat it!

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2 Responses to “If you can pick it, grow it, or hunt it……then eat it!”

  1. janberg November 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    spot on!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A ‘hunter’s’ shopping trolley | Effective Health & Fitness - November 18, 2012

    […] recent post talked about how to choose what you eat based on whether you can pick it, grow it or hunt it. A […]

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