"Good" Foods vs. "Bad" Foods

In the last post we went over the basic concept of knowledge versus implementation. For those who missed it, you can either read it here, or just know that it's easier to know you have to do something than it is to actually do that something. Especially when it comes to switching out things that are sweet and tasty for things that are not as sweet or that you don't have a taste for yet.

But who in the hell decides what foods are "good" and which ones are "bad"? Only a few years ago eggs were the devil, fat was going to rape your dog, and pasta/bread were the angels descended from heaven to save the believers.

Well...today eggs are finally good for you (again), fat isn't as looked down upon by most, and a decent majority of people are realizing that their reliance on sandwiches and mac'n'cheese has made them round and soft like a dodgeball.

Even people who consider themselves "Paleo" can't agree on which foods are good and which are bad. Rice? Potatoes? Deli Meat? Berries and other fruit?

Ask any random people from the cult of Paleo and you're sure to get an even mix of "yays" and "nays".

Even if you go with the seemingly flawless question of "can I find this in the wild", you'll run into confusion. Example, corn...product of nature or product of man? It's found growing in fields all over my old stomping grounds of Upstate New York, but without a farmer to plant and care for it those fields would be completely void of corn. It's been drastically modified to the point that it will not grow naturally.

Now, what about bananas? Grown on some magical plantation below the equator, right? That's true, but not the ones you're used to seeing in your local grocer. Bananas, like corn, have been modified and changed by men to a degree that what we're used to eating is essentially and brand new type of fruit. If you want to know more about it, read "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World."

So...I've showcased some problems, how about some solutions? Well, to start, we will never all agree on what is good and what is bad. Not even among fitness professionals. So don't freak the fuck out and try to make everyone get on the same page.

The first thing you can do is think for yourself. How anti-climatic, I know. There is no shortage of healthy food out there, it just takes some time and effort to cut through the bullshit and find the real thing. Just because a sign says it's healthy, or some random dude told you it's good for you does not mean it actually is. Take ownership of what you shove down your pie hole and make sure what you're eating is actually good for you.

The second thing you can do is to be patient. I know...I know...this is like the worst advice ever because it's not new or sexy or fun. But, be real with yourself, do you really think you can snap your fingers and know exactly what you should be eating?

No. It doesn't work like that.

It's called self-experimentation and it takes time. Try foods that are good, see which ones you won't have issues with eating all the time, and discard the ones that you can't see yourself learning to enjoy.

Side note on acquiring tastes - Growing up I hated apples, all vegetables, yogurt, grapefruit, oranges, and a few others. Now, I will gladly eat all of those. Once you get over the first phase of "this tastes like shit" and start feeling/seeing the long-term benefits, it's not hard to get used to liking things you used to despise.