I hope this finds you better than ever.
A bunch of emails this week about cheat meals, so a bit of a rehash here, as this is important.
Lets recap what I believe are the rules for optimal nutrition…..
EAT for nutrient density
EAT to improve gut absorption of nutrients
EAT a macro nutrient profile that lends itself to improved body composition and less disease
EAT sufficient quantity of quality food to deliver your body its macro and micro nutrient requirements
DO NOT EAT anti-nutrients
DO NOT EAT things that harm you
I am willing to go on a limb here (it is not much of a limb, more a trunk the size of a New Zealand Kauri tree, the science is behind me on this) and state that I believe gluten is the king of all anti-nutrients.
Anyone who has any interest in being leaner, living longer, living more happily, and living without a host of auto-immune related diseases and issues should avoid it, permanently.
So having said that, as you head into the weekend, here are few tips if you are planning a cheat meal….
I know that in his #1 Best-Selling book the 4-Hour Body Timothy Ferriss has an entire chapter dedicated to “Damage Control” and cheat meals.
His formula for getting the most benefit from a cheat meal is pretty intense and he researched it with a lot of self-testing. While it is not the design, Athletic Greens I am happy to say, features prominently in his approach.
If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book, it is a great read. I especially like the training hacks.
I am going to cover the big differences between my approach, and the Slow Carb Diet approach, and the all important WHY – in an upcoming post.
Let’s just say for now that after a history of gut health issues, my angle on the cheat meal is a bit different.
There are arguments for some people such as military or foreign aid workers keeping a tiny dosing of gluten in their diet once a week to maintain better tolerance to it. This is because they have limited choices for eating once deployed, and are likely in for doses of cheap, gluten-laden meals.
If you are not in that category, then my take is that you should remove gluten from your diet, completely.
If that is too hardcore, at the least I would prefer that anyone in their first 14 days of eating Slow Carb, Paleo, Beyond Diet, or anything else avoids gluten 100%.
Why 14 days? Studies have indicated it takes 10-15 days for the damage and irritation to your gut lining to be healed up following even a single DOSE of gluten.
To make that more exciting, some research is suggesting it can take up to 8 months to heal the gut from the damage gluten does, and that is in people who do not necessarily have celiac.
I know what you are thinking: “But Kiwi, I want my cheat meal!”
If it is part of your plan, you can still have a cheat meal, just don’t do it with bread, pasta, pastry or anything else containing gluten. This also means all breakfast cereals are OUT.
For starters you can load up on tequila, dark chocolate, full fat icecream (if you can handle the dairy), and the biggest paella you can find.
I recommend you precede it with a wallop of Athletic Greens and a decent workout but you can still go pretty wild!
Trust me on this one, get those 14 days in (or more, 30 is a LOT better, 180 better still) and you will be in a far better place to determine later the true impact of gluten on your system. Your call if you want to add it back, but at least do it from a position of knowing.
Warning: you may not go back.
Gut health plus getting all those good nutrients in regularly is the name of the game. They go together hand in hand.
Improving gut health = increased nutrient absorption + lower inflammation + improved immunity
The four entries on that little line right there sums up ONE HUNDRED PERCENT the entire idea behind the formulators of Athletic Greens.
If you missed it, I briefly cover that here.
Not much sense in doing so much good for your body, then trashing your gut lining and going massively backwards in health for the sake of a pastry.
Gluten is one of those things that can harm you, and the less frequently you dose yourself with this poison, the better you are going to feel, and the better you are going to look.
Case in point – this from a “once a week cheat meal guy” who became a “once a week cheat meal guy but without gluten”
“hey man, i’m right into the Athletic Greens, the diet, and nearly 4 weeks without any gluten, much thanks to the conversations with you. crazy amounts of energy, it’s fantastic. cheers” Charles H.
Whooop! Another happy customer. Reading that kind of stuff makes me happy, every time.
My take on it is that my happiness is directly related to my energy levels and my sense of well being, so I try to avoid gluten, all the time. (It is a LOT better if you want to see your abs too).
So the choice is yours, as always.
Keep educating yourself, and whatever you do this weekend, I hope it is a good one.
“100% Focus on Happiness”
That is my mantra, and it starts with phenomenal health.
Q. Back to the fun stuff…. What is your favorite NON-gluten containing cheat meal?