I came across this great post from Dr. Steven Masley and thought I’d share.
JUNE 6, 2014
By: Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP
I attended an awesome meeting this past week in San Francisco. This nutrition conference was hosted by the Institute of Function Medicine-my 21st annual meeting with this organization over the last 23 years. Even my wife, Nicole, attended, which was lovely for me as I usually have to attend these medical meetings alone and great for her clinical knowledge, too.
They had an incredible debate/presentation comparing a Mediterranean diet, a Paleo diet, and Vegetarian diet. The best part of this discussion was that the moderator pushed them to find what they could all agree on, and I love the results.
Here is what they all agreed on:
1. Everyone should have at least 30% of their calorie intake from vegetables and fruits, especially those with a low glycemic load.
1. Since produce is so low in calories, this means 50% of the food we eat should come from vegetables and fruits. (Low glycemic load examples include beans, berries, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and beets.
2. Everyone should have at least 1-2 handfuls of nuts daily; nuts and seeds are great for our health.
3. If you eat animal protein, it should be clean animal protein.
4. If you eat seafood, it should be wild caught fish. Examples of clean animal protein are organic, free-range poultry, and grass-fed, grass-finished beef—clearly not hormone, antibiotic, and pesticide enriched animal protein produced in many commercial factories.
5. For the sake of the planet, it is also better to eat low on the food chain, such as rabbit and poultry over beef and pork.
6. Nobody should be eating low fat. But fats need to come from healthy sources—hormone and pesticide free.
7. Everyone should avoid high glycemic load foods that have been processed, such as bread, crackers, rice and potato products, and anything made with flour.
8. And with the best of eating, we still need a supplement to get our key nutrients, like vitamin D, omega 3 fats, and other key nutrients.
Here is where they disagreed. They didn’t find common ground on sources and quantities of protein, or regarding beans and whole grains:
For legumes, the Paleo plan recommended none, as they have a few compounds that block nutrient absorption. The trouble with this is that beans are super high in nutrients and fiber, and blood test findings have noted that consuming beans has powerful and beneficial effects. The vegetarian and Mediterranean diet proponents truly made the point that we would benefit from eating beans daily. So yes, beans should stay on the menu
For whole grains, the Paleo plan recommended none, because of their glycemic load (blood sugar jump). Both the vegetarian and Mediterranean diet proponents accepted small quantities of whole grains, but not nearly as much as consumed by most Americans today. Everyone agreed that if you have a gluten intolerance, you need to totally avoid all gluten products (wheat, rye, barley).
For protein, no surprises here:
1. With Paleo, 30% of the diet comes from animal protein.
2. With Mediterranean, no fixed amount of protein, but it comes from a mixture of lean animal protein and beans.
3. With Vegetarian, more beans, soy, and protein powders.
They all agreed that the most challenging part is that many, if not most Americans trying to following these diets, are doing it wrong.
1. The Paleo followers are poisoning themselves with dirty protein and animal fat—eating commercial sources loaded with hormones and chemicals, and they are clearly not getting the 5-7 cups of vegetables and fruits daily required to benefit from this type of eating plan.
2. The Mediterranean followers are eating far too much bread and pasta. If you are a farmer and physically active 6-8 hours per day, clearly you need more calories, and whole grains, even in the form of flour, can provide these nutrients. But for most people struggling to exercise for 7-10 hours per week, they can’t handle this high glycemic (sugar) load.
3. The Vegetarian followers are eating too many refined carbs and processed foods. To benefit, they need to stick to unprocessed food. They also have to ensure they get their protein from beans, soy, and protein powders, omega-3 fats from seaweed or a supplement, and enough vitamin B 12.
The bottom line is all these eating plans can lead to optimal health, but only if followed properly. You just have to find which diet you can follow best!
I wish you the best of health!
Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP
You’ve determined your goals and are on track to achieve them. Perhaps you’ve decided to make improvements in your balance, flexibility, muscular strength, and/or cardiovascular endurance. Maybe you just want to shed those extra pounds that have been adding up over the years. Either way, within a few months, what started out as the best of intentions often turns to failure and quitting the fight. This happens often.
Transforming your body is a simple task. It is not an easy task. To succeed you have to commit to the process. Unfortunately, we often start with an expectation and not a full commitment to what it will take to get there. To succeed, you must commit and dedicate yourself to the process, knowing that it may take more than just the same old 30 minutes on the bike and eating well to get there.
We all want success; and in our society we want it fast. This fast results mindset is often what leads to quitting when we don’t get the success we expect in the timeframe we had in mind. However, if you start with a commitment, it doesn’t matter what roadblocks you encounter because you are committed to the process and will find a way to keep pressing forward. Keep in mind that there is no finish line for achieving a healthy body. Life is dynamic and often changing.
Amanda Geismann is DEDICATED! So dedicated that she started our “Pushups on Vacation” posts to ensure her fellow boot campers knew she wasn’t slacking while away from class (she hardly ever misses a class) We all enjoy a little kick in the rear too. Since her post, we’ve seen “pushups on vacation” with family and friends, on the beach, in the snow, during a work meeting, at the bar, going down stairs, and many more! Thanks for starting this, Amanda!
Amanda’s been with VAST Fitness since January 2013 and hasn’t slowed down since. She knows how to push out of her comfort zone, is up for a challenge, and even challenges her boot camp buddies to meet her for weekend workouts. I love her energy, attitude, commitment, willingness to try new exercises, and her fast, beautiful run when she turns that corner to bring it home…. normally challenging a fellow boot camper to pick up his/her speed as well.
Amanda, your a BIG part of VAST Fitness and what makes it special for me and your fellow boot campers. Thank you!!
Can you share a little about your experience?
What led you to participate in VAST Fitness?
I was looking for a workout option, but didn’t want to join a typical gym since I wanted something more motivating (and I have a gym in my condo building). VAST Fitness seemed like a good fit since it was really convenient for me to get to and I wanted a group workout!
2. What has kept you motivated all these months?
Definitely the team environment. Everyone is so encouraging and the constant mix-up of different workouts and trying new/ challenging things. Keeps it fun and interesting, but also HARD!
3. What kind of results have you experienced? What were some of your goals?
I have noticed a huge increase to my overall endurance and since we’re always trying new things, I feel like my body never gets used to a certain workout. I’ve increased my push-ups and run a lot faster as a result of all the training.
4. When did you really start to notice more results? what do you think contributed to those results?
I would say I started to notice results after the first month, but during the summer months, we did a lot more running (optional running clinics offered!) and so I definitely noticed my endurance and running skills increase during the summer months.
5. What is your favorite part about VAST Fitness?
The team environment and the connections I’ve made are the main thing, but also the constant challenges and also how we all hold each other accountable (I literally feel guilty if I miss workout!)
6. What has been most difficult? How do you navigate the difficult times?
The most difficult is the fact that we do moves/exercises that are definitely not my favorite, so it puts me out of my comfort zone and sometimes I have a tendency not to push myself as hard at these things. I try to deal with this by looking to the others and getting encouragement from others in the class.
7. What is your advice to new recruits?
If you’re up for the morning workout and want to build this into your routine, just stick with it! Even if you feel discouraged at first or after a certain class when you’re put more out of our comfort zone, keep coming back and don’t make excuses not to come! I’ve never once regretted coming to a class, but I’ve definitely missed and regretted the classes I have missed.
8. What are your goals moving forward?
Work on my form and core! I feel like I can always improve with my form with certain exercises as well as some of the core exercises, so my goal is to keep pushing myself especially at times when I’m not in my comfort zone or when we’re working on something that is not one of my favorites. J
9. What are you most proud of?
Continuing with it and learning to get up and to class when that alarm clock goes off! I also have started taking advantage of more of the extra classes (weekends, Tuesdays, etc).
10. Favorite workout?
On-the-move workouts where we go to different places around the park and to the lake, etc.
Loads more as well – just love the constant mix-up!
Vast Fitness Boot Camp is a 4-week, co-ed indoor and outdoor fitness program with locations at Seattle's Green Lake Park and the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Whether you haven’t worked out in years or exercise regularly, Vast Fitness will offer the fitness tools and motivation that you need to reach your fitness potential.