What Is My Diet Is Like Post-Fitness Genes — Dropping Meat

So I know after doing Fitness Genes, many of you have been curious about the dietary changes I've made to my life.

So every few posts I'll take some time to talk about one specific change I've made, and how I feel like it's impacted me and my food choices.

So for this week, we're talking about meat!

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I eat waaaaaay less meat now.

I wouldn't call myself officially vegetarian because I still eat meat from time to time, and if I do it's usually seafood. But even then, I still don't eat it that often.

My rule is that I am a non-meat-cooking household. So I don't prepare meat at home. Buuuut, if I'm at a place like lets say Simply D's in Los Angeles, CA, and someone puts the seafood gumbo in my face (which has a lot more meat that just seafood)... I can't say it's still gonna be there after 20 minutes.

Part of the reason why I took meat out of my diet is because of the saturated fat sensitivity I discovered I had when I tested my DNA with Fitness Genes.

This gene is called the APOA2 gene, which "codes for a protein that is thought to play a role in fat metabolism, insulin sensitivity and obesity" (source: Fitness Genes)

I have one allele that codes for the sensitivity, and one that does not. But if anyone is as dorky of a science nerd as I used to be (ATCG anyone?!), then you'll know that even just carrying one allele means that the trait can have an impact on my body.

And traditional meats like chicken, beef, and pork, along with many animal-based products tend to be some of the highest food sources of saturated fat.

I don't know if y'all remember this throwback video I did at BuzzFeed, where I went vegan for a month...

But honestly after doing that video, I found that drastically reducing how much meat I eat now actually wasn't that hard for me.

And it is pretty surreal how much lighter I feel in my stomach, as well as the vast amounts of natural energy I feel like I have gained since I stopped eating it as much.

But honestly after doing that video, I found that drastically reducing how much meat I eat now actually wasn't that hard for me.

And it is pretty surreal how much lighter I feel in my stomach, as well as the vast amounts of natural energy I feel like I have gained since I stopped eating it as much.

It's crazy, but I also feel like I'm addicted to the natural sense of energy I have noticed in myself since giving it up. I can actually get up at the ass-crack of dawn to be hella LA, and go hiking now…

I would say the only other meat that I do eat at home is the sausage in EVOL's Chicken Apple Sausage, Cheddar, and Egg White sandwich.

I prefer this sandwich over the vegetarian one (which is egg white and goat cheese), because of the higher amount of protein I get for around the same amount of calories.

Even though the sausage one has 40 more calories, and 2 extra grams of fat, when we look at the micronutrient breakdown, the difference in saturated fat is only .5 of a gram.

So for me, when I weighed out the pros and cons, I decided that I would rather eat the meat, and take on the extra 2 grams of fat (because we still need fat in our diet), since it meant that I would get 6 extra grams of protein, and only .5 more grams of the saturated fat.

But big sistah auntie queen Daysha! What about those 40 extra calories?!

Well Queen, one of the relationships that I hope I can help you restructure by being here is the relationship you have with calories.

As someone who struggled a lot with self-love, and went through a phase of rapid weight loss from dangerous disordered eating practices in high school, I can tell you that never in my 25 years of existing did I ever imagine being able to have a healthy relationship with counting calories.

Yes, there are a certain amount of calories that we should be inputting into our bodies. However, just relying on calories alone will not give you an accurate understanding of how what you're eating impacts your body.

For instance, let's look at this bag of oatmeal (also I'm obsessed with overnight oats now btw)...

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By just looking at the calories, it is a pretty reasonable caloric amount per serving. And, honestly, it's low enough to where having two servings wouldn't be the worst thing in the world since, on average, we're supposed to be taking in around 2000 calories a day as women*.

Now let's look at the macronutrients...

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It has 33 grams of carbs!

If you had eaten two servings of this, even though calorie-wise it would have felt like a minimal dent in your daily calorie intake goal (~400 calories), when we think about your macronutrient goals, it would take out about 66 grams of carbs!

Now consuming this amount of carbs in one sitting isn't terrible. But now that I am aware of how many carbs I would be taking in by eating two-servings-worth, I would probably choose to eat more lower carb foods for the rest of the day (and this choice would also depend on how many carbs I have left to consume for the day).

Now I don't bring this up to say that you should never eat oatmeal again, or that you can't have two servings if you wanted it. Rather I bring it up so as to help you understand that part of how we learn how to fuel our bodies right is by paying attention to calories and  macro/micronutrients.

Sometimes there are foods you might come across that might be higher in calories (like the sausage EVOL sandwich), but that have the right macro/micronutrient ratio for your needs. Prior to the unapologetic age, we would have turned that kind of food away because we have always been told that we should always go for the lower calorie option.

But unfortunately, many companies are aware of the selective attention consumers have for trigger words like "low calorie", and while the calorie number might be looking right, they sometimes pump the food with other crappy things that will cause the macro/micronutrients to skyrocket.

Now that we live in the unapologetic age, and we are armed with tools like DNA fitness testing and the 4 Queen Commandments, we can use clarity and control to make confident food choices based off of what we know our bodies need rather than what society says our bodies need.

It's not that your body needs "low calorie" food. Your body just needs the right calorie food.

So hopefully by reading my story, it will motivate you to go forth this week and eat smarter, not lesser!