The Secret #SANE Foods We Eat Every Day

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Main Points:

  • SANE is a set of principles, rather than following a checklist. You can customize your SANEity to your meet your goals.
  • Start with asking yourself, “What are my goals?” when evaluating what you are eating.
  • We get used to the foods we eat often.
  • Often the desire for anything that is inSANE goes away the more you eat SANEly.
  • We might think that lethargy, lack of energy, or mild depression is normal before going SANE.
  • People like to eat what they are used to eating.
  • You will enjoy eating SANE as much as you enjoyed eating inSANE once you are accustomed to it.
  • Some of Jonathan’s typical meals:
    • Hard-boiled eggs with salt and hot sauce, a vegetable smoothie, and possibly a few desiccated beef liver tablets to meet maximum protein SANEity.
    • A smoothie made with coconut flour, chia seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, whey protein powder, vanilla extract, peppermint oil extract, some xylitol, undutched cocoa powder, unflavored gelatin, and guar gum. Add ice to make an ice cream-like treat. Sometimes he leaves the shredded coconut out and puts eggs in and bakes it.
    • Two or three Salmon or pollock burgers from Costco with a frozen vegetable blend from Costco.
    • Tuna with salsa and hot sauce and pepper with a vegetable smoothie,
    • Economically minded cioppino,  (seafood stew) with canned clams, salmon, oysters, tuna, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, hot sauce, natural tomato paste, seasoning. He freezes the stew for later.
    • SANE meal bar or two always with a green smoothie.
    • Red cabbage as a snack.
    • Raw Macadamia or Brazil nuts.
  • Some of April’s typical meals:
    • Cooked egg whites and vegetables.
    • A whole cucumber or pepper eaten like an apple.
    • A vegetable platter.
    • Tuna salad with greek yogurt with salt and pepper and dill. She eats this with a Romaine lettuce salad with tomatoes and a dressing with xylitol and red wine vinegar. She may add avocado or nuts.
    • Green smoothies for a snack with lemon juice, strawberries and lots of spinach.
    • Greek yogurt with natural peanut butter, xylitol, and mini chocolate chips.
  • Being thin does not equate to being healthy.
  • If one wants to be unnaturally fit, it will require doing unnatural things.
  • The more seafood and omega rich fats you can eat will reduce your risk of many diseases.
  • Deep green leafy vegetables are much more nutrient-dense than other vegetables.
  • While there are benefits to eating more SANEly, we have to consider what is best for us. There are costs associated with stress and having to expend willpower.  Stress is as high of a predictor of certain diseases as the absence of certain nutrients.
  • Always ask yourself what is maintainable, but continue to try new SANE foods and concepts.
  • You can turbocharge your SANEity by putting superfoods into a blender and drinking it.

—NEXT ACTION—
Find one way to increase your SANEity. Be conscious of your food choices and evaluate if they are taking you closer to your overall health goals.

SANE Soundbites

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  • 6:27 – 6:31, “Our tastes change as what we eat changes.  We become used to the foods we do eat.”
  • 7:46 – 8:13, “If I’m sitting in front of a huge chocolate cake, or a big thing of fried foods, there isn’t even a temptation.  It’s not even like, “Oh, if I could just cheat a little bit, if I could have that.”  It’s like, “That will make me sick, I don’t even want it.”  So my desire for anything that’s bad for my body is just gone.  I’m almost repulsed by it.  I just don’t want it.  And I don’t feel deprived at all.  I just know I have better foods that I’ll have later.  That’s made a big difference for me.”
  • 10:03 – 10:20, “I didn’t necessarily start that way.  I started by just eating a little bit of healthy food, trying some new vegetables, putting in my servings.  I started really slowly.  But it’s been two years now, and it’s only been the past few months that I’ve noticed that my desire for anything inSANE is gone.  I feel like it’s a process.”
  • 20:30 – 21:20, “Our kids help make dinners.  We plan them at the beginning of the week.  We have a new calendar hanging on our kitchen wall that has little post-it notes with all the different meals we rotate.  Right now we have about 14 meals with the SANE spectrum.  We’ll have beef fajitas, but Alia and I do a fajita salad.  Or we have a chicken dish with a seasoning and sometimes the other family members will have rice with it, and Alia and I do vegetables.  We’ll do salmon patties, eggplant lasagna, we just have a whole bunch of different meals we rotate.  We do eat a lot of chicken because that is the one thing that my whole family will eat with me.  They don’t like fish very much.  So I can do salmon patties, but the rest of the family doesn’t like it.  I like tilapia, or I’ll some other fish.  But that’s what we do.”
  • 23:55 – 24:18,  “We sometimes think that being thin equates to being healthy, and that’s not actually true.  All-cause mortality is higher in people who are classified as thin than in people who are classified as overweight.  So what you would need to do to be thin, in magazine terms, is actually not necessarily even desirable from a health perspective.”
  • 25:24 – 25:32, “The more we can move toward optimal SANEity, there is no question that we’re decreasing our likelihood of developing any and all diseases that plague us today.”
  • 26:18 – 26:44, “As real as those benefits are, there are costs associated with stress, and having to expend willpower.  Stress is as high of a predictor of certain diseases as the absence of certain nutrient components.  So, if you love eating chicken and it makes you happy, and eating salmon makes you miserable and depressed and stressed, then it would probably be a net negative for you to switch from chicken to salmon.”
  • 26:47 – 27:05, “What I’m seeing is that I do put a focus on what’s maintainable, what helps me not feel stressed, but I balance that with continuing education, continually learning what’s optimal.  Or let me just try something new with clams, or let me try something new with kale.”
  • 27:24 – 27:57, “I feel like it’s this balance, and I really appreciate seeing that because I always want to be learning and growing and doing things better, but I don’t want to be so stressed out about it, thinking that there is some perfect, ideal way I’m supposed to be looking or eating and that there is some external monitor telling me if I’ve achieved it or not.  I need to be able to really figure out, okay, inside, do I love what I’m eating?  Am I feeling great?  And do I know that, with all the information that I’ve learned and I’ve been given, that this is going to help me to live a long, healthy life, then I feel really good about that.”
  • 28:07 – 28:20, “You can, most easily, dial up your SANEity, it’s in the smoothie department.  It’s way easier to turbo charge smoothies, because you just throw stuff in a blender and blend it up, rather than to be like, “Oh, let’s change dinner and lunch.”

Read the Transcript

April: Hello everybody, it’s April Perry and Jonathan Bailor, back with another episode of the SANE show. How are you, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I’m doing great, April. We have our matching SANE shirts on, so how could I not be doing good?

April: I have to stand on my tiptoes so that people can see that I am totally SANE. I am loving my SANE t-shirt, and it’s a great color. It’s a great reminder to eat SANE, be SANE. I love it. Can other people get these shirts now, too?

Jonathan: They can. Yes, they can absolutely get these shirts. Just click on the Store link at the top of the SANEsolution.com website and you can rock all sorts of SANE goodness.

April: And you guys can all match, like Jonathan and me, which is so fun. Actually, it’s a really comfortable shirt and for ladies’ shirt, they don’t always fit right, but this one fits perfect. So, love it. Today, we’re talking about what Jonathan and April actually eat. Jonathan, I know you’ve been hesitant to talk about some of this before because you are super, super SANE. You’re Mister SANE. But I think what’s going to be fun is, we’re going to talk about how I eat SANEly in a family context, how Jonathan eats SANEly with he and his wife, Angela, and as the founder of SANE Solution. And then hopefully, people who are listening will be able to come up with some ideas that will work really well in their lives, too. Sound good?

Jonathan: That sounds great, and I think what you’re going to see in common, hopefully, between April and myself, and that can manifest in your own life, is that SANE is a set of principles, as we know. It’s not eat exactly this, at exactly this time, and you must do this, with these checklists, and if you don’t do this you’re a failure and you’re not SANE at all. It’s more a set of principles and guidelines, and then you customize your SANEity based on your goals. So, April certainly has different goals than I do, and we both probably have different goals than what you do. So, again, please see this as some examples and then create your own beautiful, brilliant SANEity in accordance with that.

April: I think that’s a really great place to start, as far as talking about what our goals are. So Jonathan, why don’t you start out and share, when you’re planning your menu, and when you’re looking at your day and thinking about what you’re eating, what goals do you have in your mind? I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this question before.

Jonathan: Convenience and efficacy are probably the number one criteria, off the top of my head. And cost effectiveness, because I’m a very cost-sensitive person. Remember, my background is that I used to be a trainer, I was very into fitness, I was very into natural body-building, athletics, sports. And I’m an engineer by trade. So the food as fuel – to be very clear, I love eating. My wife and I, our only vacation is we go on cruises, simply because we just love to eat so much. So let’s be clear that I love delicious, good food. However, I’m either going to sit down and really enjoy what I’m eating, or it’s a total side thought, and it’s more about just functional fueling my body. So for me it’s either extreme. Either I’m sitting down and I’m really going to savor this, or purely functional. Does that distinction make sense?

April: Yes, I think that sounds good. And I think, also, as far as the spectrum goes, your goal, not only as someone who wants to be healthy, but you’re a leader out here in the nutrition industry, so as far as 100% SANE and 0% SANE, where would you say you are on that spectrum, for what your goal is, with the quality of food you eat?

Jonathan: I feel very blessed, April, because I don’t try to be SANE. If you look at what I eat, it is optimal SANEity. But what is cool about that is, I think if you ask someone who has been, for example, a vegan, for 20 years, they don’t try to be 100% vegan, that’s just how they eat. I don’t sit down and say, how can I maximize my SANEity today? I’ve eaten and enjoyed SANE foods for so long that it’s just – I just eat a lot of clams and oysters, like most people eat popcorn and chips. That’s what I do. I don’t know.

April: I’m not there yet. I’d actually like to talk more about that. So, Jonathan, clearly is SANE. He is Mr. SANE, that’s what he eats, it’s not something he even tries to do, he just does it, which is great. So my goals, I am so grateful I don’t have to starve anymore. I feel like, number one, my goal is to eat food that fuels me, that fills me up, so that I can just go about doing the things that are more important. In my life right now, I’ve got four children who are all living in my home, 16 down to turning nine on Monday, so I’ve got kids that are getting older. I work with my husband. He works across the desk from me. We’re together all day long.

I’m doing projects I love. I’m working on my book, I teach programs. We teach classes online. I love to be able to engage and teach. And I specialize in productivity, so for me, I want quick foods, that taste good, that fill me up, so I can just live my mission and I don’t have to worry about counting calories. Because I’ve got all kinds of calorie-counting journals, I’ve got boxes I could show you. And apps – things that I’ve recorded my whole life, I basically lived, from the time I was nine years old, until two years ago when I was 36, where I was hungry most all the time. I was either hungry, or I was full of food I shouldn’t have been eating that was good for me.

So my goal now is super-healthy. I’m not where Jonathan is where every single thing I eat is SANE. There is probably still some stuff on the spectrum that is not 100%, but I would probably say I’m about 98%. I’m really, really close. But I’m not optimal, with things like clams and stuff like that, so maybe that slows me down, but I love it. I think we’re on the same page, though, eating good quality food that fills you up, makes you feel good.

Jonathan: 100%. The thing that’s cool is, I’ve noticed, and I think a lot of people that have gone SANE have noticed, and probably you’ve noticed this as well, April, is that our tastes change as what we eat changes. We become used to the foods we do eat. So again, I don’t want to make it sound like, “Oh my gosh, Jonathan does 100% SANE eating all the time, that’s so amazing!” I try, for example, to experiment with eating more starches to help with workouts, and I didn’t like it. I had lost my taste for starches, it was like, “Oh, I’m too full to eat my macadamia nuts. I don’t like this!” Once you become used to something, it really becomes a lot easier. I think that’s important.

April: Yes, thanks for sharing that. The other thing I’ll add, too, is that I’ve even tried to incorporate some inSANE food into my life, which I know, probably sounds awful, but let me tell you why. As I’ve been with family members who really like to eat maybe some fried foods, or some sweets, I’ll think, “Well, I could have a serving here or there. I eat mostly health food.” But what I found starting to happen is, any time I eat something that’s not good for me, I seriously am sick. I’m up in the night sick. And I can’t do it anymore.

So now what’s actually kind of fun, and it might sound weird, but just stick with me here, because it’s fantastic. If I’m sitting in front of a huge chocolate cake, or a big thing of fried foods, there isn’t even a temptation. It’s not even like, “Oh, if I could just cheat a little bit, if I could have that.” It’s like, “That will make me sick, I don’t even want it.” So my desire for anything that’s bad for my body is just gone. I’m almost repulsed by it. I just don’t want it. And I don’t feel deprived at all. I just know I have better foods that I’ll have later. That’s made a big difference for me.

Jonathan: I think one of the coolest things about that, April, is that some people might hear that and think, “Has something strange happened to April’s body? Before she could eat fried foods and she would feel great. Now she eats fried foods and she feels terrible. Has her body lost its resilience to fried foods?”

April: How sad.

Jonathan: I know, right? What we have actually noticed is that, unfortunately, so many people, and the data actually bears this out – Henry David Thorough had a saying about people who live in quiet desperation. So many of us may think that this low-grade headache, or this low-grade state of low energy and mild depression and lethargy is normal. So when you actually experience that as not the default, when you experience this more empowered state of eating and being, when you eat those other foods, they’re not actually making you feel worse than they used to make you feel, but the contrast between how you normally feel and how those foods make you feel is just so much larger, because your baseline has gotten so much better.

April: Yes, absolutely, and all I can say about that is, this is the change that I am grateful for every day, because before, if I went to a birthday party, I would seriously be sitting on my hands so I wouldn’t eat the Doritos, or so I wouldn’t have the cake, or so I wouldn’t eat whatever was there. Or I had to talk myself through it. I’d go to a restaurant and I’d eat all the bread on the table, because I would eat six rolls, or whatever. I would have to purposely psych myself up to not eat. And now it’s completely opposite. I just love healthy food and I feel so good and I can’t even tell you how much it’s changed me.

So that’s where I am, but I didn’t necessarily start that way. I started by just eating a little bit of healthy food, trying some new vegetables, putting in my servings. I started really slowly. But it’s been two years now, and it’s only been the past few months that I’ve noticed that my desire for anything inSANE is gone. I feel like it’s a process. I love how Jonathan always emphasized progress over perfection. I never had to put myself down for not eating perfectly, Jonathan didn’t ask for my measurements before we got on any podcast. It was always done in such a very loving, helpful, encouraging, taking care of the whole person way, that the journey has been easy and fun and I’m so happy where I am.

Jonathan: Speaking of encouraging, April, one thing I think is really important for everyone to understand as they hear this is that April and I aren’t special. And I promise that to you, because you might be hearing, “Oh, Jonathan and April think broccoli is delicious. That’s crazy. They’re crazy people.” Look at any other culture in the world. For example, what is eaten in China is very different from what is eaten in Africa, which is very different than what is eaten in Russia. Human things can find very diverse things to be delicious. Human beings like to eat what they’re used to eating. Period. There are things eaten in other cultures which those cultures love. Go to Hawaii and try poi. Hawaiians love it, they eat it their whole lives. If you’re not Hawaiian and you try to eat poi, or Vegemite…

April: Vegemite, yes, in Australia.

Jonathan: People who like poi aren’t special or better than other people, they’re just used to eating poi. So as you get used to eating SANE, I promise you, you will enjoy it just as much as you enjoy eating inSANEly. And that’s beautiful.

April: All right, so shall we just dive into it? Shall we just start with a typical day? We’ve been getting emails like crazy, people saying, “Just walk me through a day. Tell me what, exactly, are you eating?” So Jonathan, even if what you’re eating is weird, I want you to tell us the truth, okay? And I’ll do the same, we’ll just share, because when it is all broken down, you can eat a variety of things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are tons of SANE options. We’re just going to share what we eat, specifically, because people want to know.

Jonathan: I eat like – if you ask any professional athlete or fitness competitor how they eat, what they will probably say is that they have seven meals that they just rotate, depending on what they like to eat. These are not breakfast, lunch and dinner, because I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full. But generally, here are the meals that I eat. I eat hard-boiled eggs with some salt and some hot sauce and a vegetable smoothie. That’s usually a type of meal I consume.

April: For breakfast? Or any time?

Jonathan: When I feel like eating eggs and a smoothie.

April: So you’re just going to list seven meals and they can have them any time of the day.

Jonathan: Exactly. That’s exactly right. I had those hard-boiled eggs this morning for my first meal, and I had them last night as my last meal, because I had a craving for – I had a hankerin’ for some hard boiled eggs.

April: Okay, now tell me, hot sauce? Just like regular hot sauce, like what would be on a table at a restaurant?

Jonathan: Probably not, because what’s on the table at the restaurant probably has high-fructose corn syrup in it.

April: So what do you do?

Jonathan: It’s crazy, I really like hot things, so I think it’s called Mad Dog 357 hot sauce that’s sold on the internet with a warning on it, because it’s really hot.

April: Okay, and how many hard-boiled eggs are you eating?

Jonathan: Until I’m full.

April: So, like how many would that be? Come on.

Jonathan: Now we’re egg-counting instead of calorie-counting. I’ll probably eat four hard-boiled eggs.

April: And do you eat the yolks?

Jonathan: I do. And then I’ll usually eat to get to 30 grams of protein. I’ll probably throw in a couple of desiccated beef liver tablets to get to the 30 grams of protein.

April: Wait, we’ve got to back up. What? Desiccated beef tablets? Tell me. I’ve got to hear this.

Jonathan: We’ve only got 20 minutes, so this is why asking me what I eat goes down rabbit holes.

April: Oh my gosh, no! Okay, I won’t go down every rabbit hole, but seriously, you’ve got to tell me. What is that?

Jonathan: Okay, so we’ve got to back up here first, because eggs, remember, are a whole food fat, so if I eat four eggs, if you’re really savvy with your SANEity you say, “Well, Jonathan, that’s only 24 grams of protein. Don’t you need to eat 30 grams of protein per serving?” The answer is yes. Desiccated beef liver – desiccated means dried. When you open a can or anything you see those little packages that say, “Don’t eat this,” that is the desiccant. It keeps moisture from building up. If you’ve ever eaten a spirulina powder or a wheat grass powder or any kind of powdered anything, they’ve desiccated it. They’ve taken the water out, they’ve taken the moisture out. So desiccated beef liver just means you take, usually, grass-fed Argentinian beef liver, because I find liver to be not so tasty, and they desiccate it down into a little tablet form, and each little tablet is about 2 grams of protein, and you just eat them like pills.

April: Okay. All right, keep going.

Jonathan: Any time my main dish doesn’t get to 30 grams of protein, I usually desiccate my beef liver up to 30 grams of protein.

April: Hey, that’s actually really helpful. Keep going.

Jonathan: Another type of meal I eat is a smoothie that is made of chia seeds, coconut flour, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, whey protein powder, vanilla extract, peppermint oil extract, and some xylitol or erythritol. I put some undutched cocoa powder in there, as well. It’s a delicious, creamy, wonderful thing. That has no vegetables in it, so then I would drink a vegetable smoothie, as well.

April: Is that recipe in your book, or in your program?

Jonathan: No, because it’s more of an organic thing that I made.

April: That sounds great. Maybe you need to put that into your SANE Ignite program. I think that’s awesome.

Jonathan: There are things that are similar to it. There are chia seed cereals and things along those lines. But again, a lot of what I eat is not as tasty as what non-Jonathan Bailors would eat.

April: Non-Jonathan Bailors. Okay.

Jonathan: I think they’re delicious, but other people say, “That is disgusting.”

April: This is actually super-interesting. Okay, keep going.

Jonathan: All right. The other things that I eat are salmon burgers and pollack burgers from Costco, and I usually eat those with a frozen vegetable blend that I get from Costco. I eat two or three of those patties and then a bunch of vegetables.

I also eat a lot of tuna out of the can, mixed with salsa and hot sauce and pepper, and I’ll drink a vegetable smoothie along with that.

I also eat an economically minded Cioppino. Cioppino is a seafood stew, so I get canned clams, canned oysters, canned wild caught salmon, canned tuna, canned mushrooms, canned artichokes, olives, a bunch of hot sauce, all-natural tomato paste, a bunch of seasonings. I make giant bowls of that and freeze it and I eat that stew on occasion.

April: You don’t eat chicken.

Jonathan: I accidentally am a pescatarian, not intentionally, but I actually don’t buy meat. I used to get beef over the internet but it became a bit of a hassle with the company I was working with so I don’t do that anymore. That’s pretty much what I eat, so there you go.

April: So now my meals seem super boring, Jonathan, after all that. I don’t have anything so exciting. But I’ll share what I eat. So funny.

I’ve found with my life that three meals a day, and then maybe a fourth meal or snack, is typically what I’ve been doing. Every morning I have egg whites and vegetables. This morning I had a whole sliced zucchini and some baby carrots – the carrots I just ate while I was making the eggs – so I just had sliced zucchini and eggs whites. I didn’t do any yolks, actually, I don’t really need it. That’s okay, right? I can, if I want? Do I need the yolks?

Jonathan: No, they are two different things. One is, we focus on egg whites because they are a great source of protein. Whole eggs are a whole food fat. So you can eat just eggs, you can eat just egg whites. You can eat a mixture of the two, depending on what your goals are for that meal.

April: Okay, so that’s usually what I have for breakfast, and that usually will hold me tight until lunch. But if I need a little snack, seriously, I just eat these whole cucumbers. I know it’s so weird, there’s the end of my little cucumber, and my little puppy likes cucumbers, too, so I share it with her. I give her little pieces. You can find me with a whole pepper or a cucumber. I just have a lot of random vegetables that I’ll eat, and like just apples. I know my family thinks I’m a little weird, but I will just snack on vegetables. Or if I’m making a little vegetable platter for Eric and I to share I’ll actually slice things up and peel them and make it look nice and we’ll have vegetables together. That’s usually good until lunch.

Then for lunch I’ll usually do a tuna salad, so I get a can of tuna, some Greek yogurt, salt and dill, and then I make a huge salad. I have Romaine lettuce, tomatoes. I love to just sit and eat a really big salad. I think it’s fun, and it’s colorful, and I’ve been doing xylitol and red wine vinegar and just making a little dressing with that, and that’s really good. So that’s huge, and sometimes I’ll put some avocado in that, or I’ll have some raw almonds or something, but that’s usually my lunch.

Our kids help make dinners. We plan them at the beginning of the week. We have a new calendar hanging on our kitchen wall that has little post-it notes with all the different meals we rotate. Right now we have about 14 meals with the SANE spectrum. We’ll have beef fajitas, but Alia and I do a fajita salad. Or we have a chicken dish with a seasoning and sometimes the other family members will have rice with it, and Alia and I do vegetables. We’ll do salmon patties, eggplant lasagna, we just have a whole bunch of different meals we rotate. We do eat a lot of chicken because that is the one thing that my whole family will eat with me. They don’t like fish very much. So I can do salmon patties, but the rest of the family doesn’t like it. I like tilapia, or I’ll some other fish. But that’s what we do.

And then, if I need a snack, I do make green smoothies, the ones Jonathan taught me how to make with lemon juice and few strawberries and a ton of spinach. And then, I love Greek yogurt with natural peanut butter in it, some xylitol, and some cinnamon, and some of these mini-chocolate chips I’ll put in there. That’s like my ice cream, my Greek yogurt.

That’s kind of a typical day for us.

Jonathan: I love that you brought up snacks, April, because I didn’t. I remember, now that I’m not on the spot, I remembered a few other things that I guess could qualify as snacks, or side dishes. I sometimes eat these as side dishes. I will take that smoothie thing that I talked about that has the coconut and the chia seeds – that also has unflavored gelatin in it. Forgive me, I forgot that. And it also has guar gum in it. Sometimes I’ll take that and mix it with a bunch of ice and make it into more of an ice cream.

I also take that same basic recipe, but I take the shredded coconut out and I put eggs in, and I bake it and it turns into a bread of sorts. If I bake it for a long time it’s a crispy cracker type thing, and if I bake it for a shorter period of time it’s almost like a bread pudding, because it’s coconut flour and coconut flour cooks a lot differently than other flours.

I also eat a lot of SANE bars. I eat a SANE meal bar or two per day, and I usually eat one Cravings Killer per day, always with a green smoothie. Green smoothies are how I get all my vegetables, with the exception of, I do eat a lot of red cabbage, like you eat cucumbers, because I think it’s delicious. I also eat raw macadamia nuts, and I really like brazil nuts, so I will eat those raw, as well.

April: I have a question for you. Right now, the foods that I’m eating fill me up, I enjoy eating them. I feel like I just don’t even really think about it, and I fit in all my clothes, and I’m happy and I have tons of energy. But if I wanted to take things to the next level, or as you were hearing me talk about what I eat, what would you throw in, or change, or what would you suggest?

Jonathan: I think you have achieved a healthy body weight set point for who you are and where you are in your life. If you wanted to stray from what would be a healthy optimal range for someone – let’s be very clear here. We sometimes think that being thing equates to being healthy, and that’s not actually true. All-cause mortality is higher in people who are classified as thin than in people who are classified as overweight. So what you would need to do to be thin, in magazine terms, is actually not necessarily even desirable from a health perspective. So, if you wanted to be unnaturally fit, you would probably have to start taking some unnatural steps, which would require things like not only just increasing the quality of your food, but you would have to get more meticulous about the amount of that food that you’re eating, the amount of exercise you are getting, the amount of sleep you’re getting. You’d have to start treating it a little bit more like a professional would, because you’re expecting professional caliber results. Does that make sense?

April: Okay, yes, that does make sense. But would you recommend things like replacing chicken with things like clams or oysters? Would there be a benefit to me, knowing the goals that I have, and that I’m pretty happy just being where I am right now, are there any other benefits besides just, “I want to look more like a fitness model?” If my goal is, “Is there any way I can decrease my risk of diabetes more?” Or, “Is there anything what would help me more?” What would you say?

Jonathan: Oh, absolutely, yes. The more we can move toward optimal SANEity, there is no question that we’re decreasing our likelihood of developing any and all diseases that plague us today. Just by way of example, we know there is a dose-dependent relationship beween the amount of omega-3 you consume and the likelihood of certain neurological and cardiovascular problems. For example, salmon, which is higher than chicken in omega-3, chia seeds, flax seeds – the more seafood and omega-3 rich proteins and fats you can take in, those are going to reduce your risk of any and all major diseases. That’s why I’m a huge fan of seafood, but also chia and flax. And then vegetables are not all created equal. Things like deep green, leafy vegetables are way more nutrient dense than something like a Romaine lettuce.

April: Carrots, or zucchini?

Jonathan: Exactly. But here’s the trade-off, though, April. As real as those benefits are, there are costs associated with stress, and having to expend willpower. Stress is as high of a predictor of certain diseases as the absence of certain nutrient components. So, if you love eating chicken and it makes you happy, and eating salmon makes you miserable and depressed and stressed, then it would probably be a net negative for you to switch from chicken to salmon.

April: Okay, I think that’s helpful. And really, what I’m seeing is that I do put a focus on what’s maintainable, what helps me not feel stressed, but I balance that with continuing education, continually learning what’s optimal. Or let me just try something new with clams, or let me try something new with kale. I actually do kale and eggs most of the time, I was just out of kale this morning. And I do a lot more spinach and spinach smoothies and spinach salads, too, so I feel like you’ve taught me, a lot, how to use these deeper greens, when I never did. I never bought kale, and I rarely used spinach, and now I do that a lot more.

So I feel like it’s this balance, and I really appreciate seeing that because I always want to be learning and growing and doing things better, but I don’t want to be so stressed out about it, thinking that there is some perfect, ideal way I’m supposed to be looking or eating and that there is some external monitor telling me if I’ve achieved it or not. I need to be able to really figure out, okay, inside, do I love what I’m eating? Am I feeling great? And do I know that, with all the information that I’ve learned and I’ve been given, that this is going to help me to live a long, healthy life, then I feel really good about that.

Jonathan: April, I think you’re spot on, and if there is a place – this is actually an area that SANE is going to be focusing on a lot more in the future, where you can, most easily, dial up your SANEity, it’s in the smoothie department. It’s way easier to turbo charge smoothies, because you just throw stuff in a blender and blend it up, rather than to be like, “Oh, let’s change dinner and lunch.” So, I think SANE smoothies is something we could talk about more in a future show, that is our number one, lowest-hanging fruit, easiest way to take your SANEity to the next level. It’s way easier to just put a bunch of magic super foods in a blender and drink them than it is to be like, “Okay, family, we’re not going to eat chicken anymore.” So, I think that’s a great approach.

April: That sounds like a good next action, for us to look at our diet, look at what we’re eating. Maybe as you’ve been listening to Jonathan and I talk about what has been working for us, sit down and really think about one thing that you could do that could work better for you. And if smoothies is one place where you could find that way to improve, that might be a good place to start. Any other thoughts you would share?

Jonathan: Just make sure – and this is more, I guess, a stretch goal – one thing I am proud that April and I are both doing is we are consciously eating and we are choosing our foods based on our goals. I think just that consciousness, just saying, “Are the food choices I’m making taking me further away from my goals, or closer to my goals?” That right there, just eating consciously and deliberately can have a profound impact on your health. So if you can just do that even weekly, I think that would really help you.

April: All right, wonderful. Thank you, Jonathan. It was fun to be able to go through our menus. I loved getting a behind-the-scenes image of what you’re eating. It’s really fun and entertaining, I might add. Those of you who are here with us, thank you so much for being part of the SANE community. We hope you have wonderful day, and remember to stay SANE.

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