Recently, I was teaching nutrient-rich nutrition to a group of Certified Natural Trainers, at an up- and-coming chain of natural fitness gyms in LA, called the Monkey Bar Gym, which espouses a plant-based way of eating. This is in stark contrast to the vast majority of fitness chains that promote the standard nutrient-poor, low-carb, high-animal protein diets that are ultimately causing so many weight and health issues in America and around the world.
These guys know natural training better than anybody, and they don’t stop there. They also promote alignment and recovery as well as plant-based nutrient-rich nutrition. In a world that still values big muscles and weight loss-only, without consideration of the role that optimizing health has on performance, I am privileged to work with such great people that are standing for the new lifestyle standards, and the new way to get lean, while building muscle and actual “fitness.”
One of the things I noticed throughout the training was that while everyone bought into the Switch to Rich–The Nutrient Rich Way to Eat, certainly by day 5, that their minds were still locked into the weight loss dieting mentality that we have all been indoctrinated into for the past 50 years. Let me put it another way, for most of our lives we have been told that we need exact ratios of protein, fat, and carbs, that we need to consume 2000 calories or more, that we need to eat less, and that we we need to eat 5 times a day, etc. None of this is true.
I realized that the Switch to Rich takes place on a few levels, not only at the level of eating itself, but also at a mindset and intelligence level. Everyone is smart enough, they just need new and higher concepts to make the Switch with confidence. This is the reason why nutritional education is the most exciting part of making the Switch to Rich. For the first time you start learning nutrition in a way that makes sense, i.e. nutrient-rich nutrition vs. nutrient-poor nutrition. This education helps a person make the Switch on an emotional level as well.
As we went through the curriculum, on day 4, I found that the old mentality and the new way of thinking clashed to the point that attendees were wondering if there was really something to the nutrient-rich way to eat. It was the final capitulation before realizing that the Switch to nutrient-rich healthy eating was imminent. They were doubting the nutrient-rich way to eating because it was not dependent on overly-simplistic hard and fast rules like 40/30/30, which is a popular ratio of protein to carbohydrates and fat. What they discovered is that there are new rules, and that they are far more intelligent and flexible than the old ones, which only made sense when you were eating nutrient poor.
In the nutrient-rich world, things change. A calories is no longer just a calorie. You don’t need to eat 5-6 times a day. You don’t have to worry about protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios, unless you have not optimized the way you eat for nutrient density, and are eating a junk food diet, which many people do, regardless of how they eat– nutrient poor or nutrient rich. You also don’t need to count calories because, for the first time, your body will start giving you accurate information on your nutrient needs, how much food you need to eat, and how many calories you need. Your body will also develop new desires for foods that do not cause food addiction.
This is not to say that there aren’t successful proven formulas when eating in a nutrient-rich way. The most important one is eating 90% or More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich®. You must also understand The 3 Classes of Foods. And, you must know the consumption ranges for each category of first-class nutrient rich foods. Eating this way also allows for an acceptable level of nutrient-poor foods, which you can consume for various reasons, and still be able to achieve all of the Success Results. Last, but not least, you must know how to optimize your diet for nutrient density. There are more principles, but that’s a good start!
I learned a great deal this week, and I’m glad that I was faced with this exact situation. If you can introduce a new way of eating to the fitness crowd–a group of very disciplined, hard-training, fit-looking people, you can help almost anyone change. The reason is simple, this group already thinks they are getting great results, for the most part, as they follow regiments that help them stay lean and build muscle.
I found it challenging to help them understand the reasons that they were eating so often, had to be so regimented, gained weight at the drop-of-a-hat, and were getting migraines and other symptoms including fatigue. I explained that these occurrences were not due to aging, or some cruel natural joke played on us all, but that they were happening because they were eating a diet that was too stimulating, wearing down their metabolism, toxic and nutrient poor. I showed them that their current eating style was not the best way to lose weight and build muscle, and that there is more to health and fitness than diet and exercise alone.
This was an awesome group of Certified Natural Trainers, who are now primed to start helping people, not only get fit in a natural way, but to now help people eat in an normal and natural “nutrient-rich” way. What a gratifying week!