As a marketer, we constantly talk about testing 1 variable at a time in order to figure out that variable's impact on the results. Anything more than that and it's hard to tell what change led to the results you're seeing. The same thing goes for running. What if you increase your mileage and add speedwork at the same time? Then it's hard to know why you're running so great (or why your injured).
That's kind of the boat I'm in with my dietary changes. I pretty much cut meat and reduced processed foods at the same time. So I'm wondering which is more important. I think I was originally leaning towards cutting meat, but, then again, I didn't eat a lot of meat to begin with - especially red meat. Now I'm definitely thinking that cutting processed foods is much more important.
I'm by no means, perfect. I still find myself grabbing a handful of potato chips, throwing pretzels in my lunch, and grabbing a granola bar in a pinch. But I've definitely reduced the amount of processed foods I'm consuming. When you reduce those high caloric, nutritionally poor foods with low caloric, nutritionally rich substitues you are going to see, and feel, a big change.
The more I learn about this stuff, the more scared I get. Did you know that kids born after 2000 are the first generation ever - EVER - predicted to have a life expectancy LESS than their parents? That's my kids' generation. I wish I could say I disagree, but then I look at what they are eating. My youngest daughter is the worst. If it weren't for apples, I swear she wouldn't have anything nutrional in her diet. She lives on chicken nuggets, frozen waffles, cinnamon rolls, potato chips, string cheese and yogurt. Of course, her yogurt has to be the kind with M&Ms or Oreos on the top.
The other day I happened to look at the "individual" sized ice cream snacks in our freezer. They're only 10 ounces - that's indivdual, right? WRONG!!! According to the nutritional label, that's 2.5 servings - at 150 calories per serving. So my kids get home from school and immediately grab nearly 400 empty calories. Maybe worst of all, my wife had no idea. No, worst of all is that we're no different than the majority of parents. We gravitate to what's quick, easy, cheap, and taste good. Unfortunately, that's processed foods put out by major food manufacturers.
I can't say that this blog will get anyone to change their diet, but hopefully it'll get people thinking, talking, reading nutritional labels, etc.
If you're interested, here's one of the first videos I came across on this topic. It's chef Jamie Oliver's TED talk. If you subscribe to Netflix you can also watch it there, plus there are 13 other episode of their "Chew on This" series.