The Best Eating Habits for Long-Term Health

There's definitely no shortage of diets or lifestyle eating plans out there. Talk with three different people and you will likely get three different answers on what foods you should and should not eat. Then you go grocery shopping and see a bunch of packaged foods that are labeled "healthy," "keto," "paleo," so they must be good for you. The truth sadly, is a different story.

We understand that making the choice to eat health is not an easy one. Preparing whole food meals and snacks takes precious time, but we think the benefits are definitely worth it. When it comes to making wise choices in grocery stores and restaurants we believe that everything always circles back to balance. A balanced diet is almost always a healthy diet, and we want to help you make the most out of your food.

Brian Strickland  00:06

Hi, everyone, welcome back to Nutrition Made Simple a video series that we created that takes a look at natural health topics and then we break them down into easy to understand and actionable steps. And for the month of July, it's hard to believe that we're actually already in July, we're going to be taking a look at food and kind of visiting some various topics about what it means to actually eat healthy. Now, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to a lifestyle eating habit. You've got keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, you name it. You will likely talk to three different people and you'll get three different answers on what it actually means to eat healthy. So we wanted to take a moment and actually focus on that, and maybe kind of explain some of the myths surrounding food or some misconceptions, and maybe make it a little easier for you to understand so. But this week, we're looking at some common myths that are surrounding some of those lifestyle eating habits in really, we believe so much about eating and life in general is really about balance, right. And when you rigidly follow any diet in completely eliminate entire food groups that may not be giving the best fuel you can for your body. So that's what we really want to talk about today. So Ed, as far as you're concerned, and in your experience, like what does that balance and eating actually look like? 

Ed Jones  01:35

It's a good question. It's also a very complex question. And I think sometimes if the suppose that experts say just find a balance, it gives people actually permission to do a lot of wrong things. Yeah. Because that's a very wide definition. To me, as I've watched people age, including myself, and also put together and connected the dots of blood chemistry, their comments, their body weights, their body fat, how they sleep, connecting it with the nutrients and the foods and the type of diet they encompass. To me, I boil it down to some couple points that are the most important. I don't particularly any longer care what the name of my diet is, or what anyone's diet is called, What counts is. The one absolute that I believe in is optimal blood chemistry produces the best graceful aging that we possibly can can go through in our life almost 64 next month. And I've watched many of my clients over the past 42 years, you know, some of them were 50 when I was 20. So I got to see a lot of people get very, very old. And the only people who I really felt aged, the way I would want to age had optimal blood levels. The only way that happened was from two things, food choices and nutrient intake. And that is the key. There are some people who can't eat like I do and maintain good blood chemistry I eat like I do for the purpose of it. So I think a lot of this is based in experimenting for each individual metabolism. But having hard and fast rules. I don't think it's going to be the answer. We can have general rules. I do believe we need to be eating less carbohydrates. Yeah, I think we need to be having more healthy fats. So those are two general rules.

Brian Strickland  03:30

When we're talking about general rules,do you have any absolutes like are there are foods that you're you just say beyond a shadow of a doubt I will not go near I will not touch?

Ed Jones  03:42

For me. Yes, I'm a pretty highly disciplined person and I'm willing to embrace that. And you know, I think the 8020 rule does apply pretty well to most things in life. I, anyone who tries to be you know, a perfectionist is going to probably fall off the wagon that's not suitable for lifelong agendas. For me, the foods that would be like the absolute No, no list, it would be the very highly process. Highly sugared. high carbohydrate foods, except for maybe every blue moon on a special occasion. I won't eat the Twinkies that I did in high school. I'm not going to gorge on the Oreo cookies, which is what I did in high school. You know, eating the whole rack of those little black cookies and not thinking anything about it. The massive amounts of macaroni and cheese by Kraft that I was raised on. I would never do those things any longer. And when I do kind of fall off the wagon, I guess I will say which aren't really things bad bad. I always tried to balance it with something that's going to be healthy, even if that is what I just ate was unhealthy and we'll have something with it. That is going to help balance it.

Brian Strickland  04:59

Yeah, that makes total sense. You mentioned low inflammation. So we've talked about on here before, I think or maybe on one of our social channels, what a low inflammation diet looks like. But before you could you explain that just a little bit?

Ed Jones  05:16

Well, looking at a lot of bloodwork, including my own at high sensitivity, C reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation. And as we get older, chronic inflammation is at the root of most of the things we certainly don't desire to happen to us. Arthritis, plaque in the arteries, memory loss, aches and pains, things that create pretty less than optimal aging, for sure. And, you know, so what is it, what causes a lot of inflammation? Biggest thing, and again, the knife and fork is still the most powerful tool I think that any of us have. But on top of that, you get to have wisdom. So when I look at people who have high inflammation, it's almost across the board, they are eating the wrong macros. What are macros? It's the combination of protein, fats, and carbs. And they generally are eating a very high dense amount of carbohydrates. And one of the the downfalls of our belief system that we can have is, if it's organic, then it's healthy. I don't care how organic it is, if you have, if you have two glasses of orange juice, and it's organic, it's still gonna be unhealthy. It might be a small percent healthier, just because it's organic, it means it's cleaner, but the macros are still this going to do you harm. And that comes with any of these highly carbonated or drinks, or sugar, processed foods that are packaged, anything that has all the high levels of fast acting carbs, is going to create inflammation, it's going to create inflammation. Now, one meal won't, but if you do it continuously, and most people only eat about 12 different foods in this country. 12 different foods in a whole year. That's the variety they're going to eat. And we can look around corn, potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, colas, right there, right? There's inflammation city, right? And most do it for breakfast, lunch and supper. Yeah, no healthy fats. And if they do eat protein, then it's it's they may eat protein, because protein could be tasty, but they're not eating a balanced diet.

Brian Strickland  07:29

Right. And you mentioned, you know, even if it's an organic product, those organic products can still be highly processed, they can still have added sugars, or just on their own contain a lot of sugars, which all leads to that inflammation, right?

Ed Jones  07:43

It does. And you know, marketers have gotten clever, they always have been. And just to put the word natural on a product years ago made it sell more commonly, then they had the word organic. And now they can add non GMO, which is important. But that doesn't change what does it do to your blood chemistry. If it's creating high levels of inflammation, it is harmful. I don't care how clean it is and how non GMO and again, the macros that I live on is a lower carb, pretty high level of healthy fats and a modest to a little bit high level of protein in most of my meals, including my breakfast drink, which we've talked about before. I don't eat it, I drink it, and has the right macros. This is the only way to do breakfast because it's so easy. I get so tired of figuring out what to eat every morning.

Brian Strickland  08:32

Yeah, and we're gonna talk about those certifications in a later video this month, and we're gonna break them down into you know, what you really need to look for when you're talking about organic, non GMO, you know, all that good stuff. So, stay tuned, we'll have more on that later. So just as a general rule, would you say that focus on whole foods would kind of be the way to go?

Ed Jones  08:54

Absolutely leaning toward the foods of the earth. And, you know, we've actually lost our sacred connection to foods. In the history of mankind it you know, a lot of the whole activity of human beings was focused around the growing and the harvesting, and the planting and the processing, but it was always revered. Food was was the fuel of society. Today, it's, it's so discounted, and there's no connection to who grew it and and how did it grow? And where did it grow? In all the things that come about. It may sound hokey, but I think there's something of definitely missing when we've lost a sacred connection to food. And we need to get that back somewhat at least their respect for the food. And I respect companies, local farmers, people who care for this regenerative farming phase which is coming. I absolutely adore that whole philosophy of balancing the environment, the soil, the earth, the water, the critters, everything together. It creates magic. Yeah. And then that creates foods that are more of a platform for building optimal health. Again, we have to be wise enough though to choose. We don't live on all carbohydrates. We don't live in all protein and we don't live in all fat, we have to put those three things together in a common sense matter, and just just throwing food on a plate is not the optimal answer. Yes, we have people we know that have done all the wrong things, and they live a long time. But that's, we can't count on that. That's the rare person, we have to err on the side of doing the best we can. Because father time's going to take us out, regardless of how many times I go to the gym, and how many vitamins I take and how many foods that are healthy.

Brian Strickland  10:44

Yeah, my wife and I actually started a garden in our backyard. And then we actually have four chickens now as well. So we're harvesting eggs. Yeah. And there is something to it, there is something about growing your own food. Because it's a challenge. I mean, we're so used to being able to go to the store and just pick up whatever we want. Even if it's out of season, you can still buy it. And, you know, being forced to make the most of what you have during the season has been really helpful for us just even in the way that we've started eating or, you know, having things on hand and that you can can and save stuff. So it's been really fun. Before we conclude, you mentioned something about the 80/20 rule. And I want to make sure that people really understand what that actually means. So can you explain that real quick?

Ed Jones  11:28

Well, in my life, the 80/20 rule means that I am truly going to be on board with discipline 80% of the time that I'm eating, whether it be other lifestyle habits to exercise, eating, trying to do the right thing, it doesn't mean that I'm going to just, you know, wing it, or just I'm going to just barely try it. No, I'm sticking to the gameplan. Because if you stick with the 80% as a discipline game plan, then then you have a lot of permission on the 20% to err on the side of tastebuds and, and maybe convenience, and maybe saving a little money by buying a little bit cheaper food, occasionally, a birthday party, whatever, having a drink. The people I see, especially in the gym, that I've been in the gym for 50 plus years, five days a week. I mean, there was two people recently they started working on every single day. I just knew how long will this last is going to put in three and six months. And both of those people are now gone. And they get in great shape. But they you can't maintain that type of discipline, unless you're cut out for it. So yes, 80% of time, you'd be really good boys and girls, and 20% do loosen up. Because the mind the body wants to can't have they can't have total discipline, it has to have some free time. And then that allows you to be more disciplined during the 80% time.

Brian Strickland  12:53

Now for some people would, would that possibly be a danger? I mean, when you allow yourself that 20%, that's going to take a fair amount of self control not to just, you know, kind of go off the deep end and then start back up where you left off.

Ed Jones  13:08

That's a good point. Now actually, I'm a 90/10 guy, because I don't the 10% is, I can never have a problem with 10%. We all have to individually decide what's best for our system or mindset. Because there are people who there are people who probably have to be more diligent or else they will fall off the wagon. The problem is I don't see those people generally creating optimal health, because it always becomes a neurotic, driven force. And that's never healthy in the mental state. Let me tell you this, I've witnessed this so many times if your blood chemistry is truly balanced. First off, you don't have any cravings to speak of. You may have leanings toward Oh, I want that piece of food. But it's not like taking you over. You can, if you don't create a lot of cravings, you can manage that 20%. If that 20% sparks a massive craving in you, then you may have to adjust that. I mean, the only time in my life I've in the past 25 years I've ever had the feelings of I want that piece of cake so bad or I want more pasta, or all the things that carbohydrates is used to when I was married and it would be Christmas time and I would take a week or two and just throw the baby out with the bath and I would eat anything I wanted. It took me about a month to get past the cravings again, and once I raised my protein, healthy fat, lowered the carbs went through a little detox. I didn't have the cravings. They're not as easy to do it with no cravings, you can stick to the plan. But the only way to stick to have no cravings is to create the right macros again and create the right blood chemistry. If you're craving foods all the time, you have to raise fats and you have to raise protein you have to go through a small stage of deprivation with carbs and then you it's just like an alcoholic. You've got to get through that.

Brian Strickland  15:01

Yeah, that's good to know it is it is a lot like a detox for sure. Alright, so just to recap whole foods?

Ed Jones  15:09

Absolutely, because they're less process. They are from the earth there they at least have more sacred connection to the earth because they were regrown by some thing grew them and there were humans involved from the earth. So yes, whole foods.

Brian Strickland  15:23

Low inflammation foods.

Ed Jones  15:25

Low inflammation foods, you know, less chemicals, none of the processed items like the artificial sweeteners artificial. Well, kind of artificial, we know, you can fill a book with the words from MSG down the list, yes, we have to have that. 

Brian Strickland  15:44

80/20 rule.

Ed Jones  15:45

80/20. For most people, some people it should be 90/10. No one should be a 100 in my mind, but those small breaks will give you the endurance to last a lifetime if you can do it appropriately.

Brian Strickland  15:57

And most importantly, balancing everything.

Ed Jones  16:01

Balancing everything with the macros with the right protein, fats and carbs. It isn't rocket science. Once you get the concept of a plate and you kind of get the idea of Okay, this is how much fat should be on this plate is how much protein This is how many carbs, you visually can almost do that. And it there's plenty of apps now we have, you know, come see us. We're happy to recommend things you can put on your phone that will help you to do that.

Brian Strickland  16:29

Alright, everyone, hey, we really hope this was helpful. We have a lot more to come this month, we're gonna dive deep into food, maybe even have some recipes, do some different things. So we're really excited. So be sure to check back with this later in July. And on that note, we're going to go ahead and wrap it up. We'll see you next time on Nutrition Made Simple. Take care, everyone.

Ed Jones  16:48

Thank you. Thank you.