How to Eat Healthy but Keep Your Man Card

One of my really good friends Simon, the author of The Intentional Dad Blog, recently contacted me and asked, “bro, what do you eat bro?” Ok, so he didn’t ask me like that, but it’s a relevant question.  How do I eat to be fit?  Eating to be fit isn’t to be looked at as a diet.  Not to me anyway.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a constant daily choice to be what you eat.   Every guy wants to be happy with what they look like.  It’s not a vanity thing, it’s a pride thing.  There is a difference in being OK with what you look like and being happy with it.  But it goes deeper than that for me.  Being healthy means I’ll live life to its fullest extent.  My life won’t be cut short due to the many illnesses that plague bad eating habits.  I will be in my kids lives until the good Lord decides to take me.

So let’s get to the real question.  What diet should I do?  There are millions of diets: Atkins diet, south beach diet, weight watchers, paleo, raw food, vegetarianism, Mediterranean, slim-fast, Jenny Craig, TLC, DASH, nutrisystem, HMI,  Ornish, flexitarian, etc.  I must admit there is something appealing about being on the flexitarian diet.  “Hey bro, I’m on the flexitarian diet.” (Hits front bicep pose) Let me first say that I don’t think any of these diets are bad. If they work for you, fantastic.  Kudos to you! AROO!  Me personally, I’ve chosen the Eat Clean diet.  I find it to be the least restrictive and easily modified.  The Eat Clean diet tends to be more on carbs and less on fat. My diet tends to flip flop those to lower the carbs I’m taking in.  Basically, if it’s meat (like actual meat from an animal, not Bologna), fruits, veggies, nuts, basically anything that isn’t processed, eat it.  If I can’t kill it, pick it, dig it up, or harvest it somehow, I don’t eat it.  Unless it’s hot dogs. I love me a good hot dog, but i digress.  As far as drinks, I tend to avoid sugar and drink lots of water.  Problem is, I don’t really like the taste of plain water.  My answer, Mio.  Flavor your water with zero sugar and zero calories.  I even found some with caffeine! Win win!   Mio isn’t included in clean eating but it helped me drink more water, which was good for me.

Here’s a typical day:  breakfast: eggs, bacon, homemade sausage, oatmeal, protein drink.  I like casein protein because it’s longer digesting and acts more of a meal replacement than a muscle fuel.  Lunch: ham, salad with grilled chicken and low fat dressing, fruit.  You don’t want people to ask, “hey, you want some salad with your dressing?” No.  Just no.  Dinner: meat, veggies, salad, fruit. Snacks: one of my favorite snacks is to buy a container of raisins and a container of unsalted peanuts and put them in a larger container and shake it up.  Voila!  Healthier trail mix!  I also have a protein drink post-workout in the evenings.  I usually use whey instead of casein as a more immediate delivery to the muscle.  Drinks: water and milk.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not perfect.  You won’t be either.  I don’t see anything wrong with indulging every now and then.  Note I said EVERY NOW AND THEN.  If you are shopping in the ice cream, chips, and soda aisles, you might have missed my point.  I’m sure I could write more on this, but this post is flirting with “too long”.

As always, incorporate cardio and weight training into your diet.  Yes I included it in your diet.  Muscle burns off anything you eat much faster than fat.  Also, keep in mind that this post is NOT medical advice, it is not professional, it is merely what has worked for me.  It’s still manly, gives you lots of choices while you’re out and about, and won’t give the appearance you’re actually on a diet (Can a man even utter the actual word diet out loud in reference to himself?).  Find what works for you and that picture on your man card will be of someone you can be proud of, a better, healthier, manlier version of you. AROO!

My dinner tonight…