I’ve heard from so many community members, it’s really inspiring and awesome that this movement has made such an impact on so many lives. I’m humbled and grateful to all of you for helping make it happen.
I wish I could get to each and every question, but that would be close to impossible. So, we’ll start with a few of the most commonly-asked questions and my answers to them. It’s my hope that this dialogue will not only help the people who reached out, but may also help some of you on your journey as well.
Do you have any tips for eating real food on the go?
Chris: “I drive a truck three days a week… They are three long days, usually around 15 hours. I usually always fast food it, but now I’d like to pack a couple of meals. But what?”
Many of us struggle with the fast food trap—even the “healthier options” are usually full of artificial ingredients and sugar. So, good for you for taking the first step!
Now, it’s going to take a little bit of preplanning, but once you get the hang of it, eating Wild on the road will become second-nature.
First I would recommend investing in a few products:
Thermal Lunch Box or Cooler
Pack it full of fruits and cut veggies, cold meats like chicken breast or roast beef, boiled eggs, and grass-fed cheese (like Kerrigold). These are things you can eat with your hands at a roadside picnic table, and they’re thrown together quickly in the wee hours before you head out.
Leftovers can be your best friend. You can pack just about anything in a thermos—chili, roast and veggies, soups, stir-fry, and even old-fashioned oatmeal. Pour boiling water into your thermos and let it stand for a minute, then dump it out right before putting in your reheated leftovers. This will keep the food hot longer.
Reusable Water Bottle
Very often when we feel hungry, we’re actually dehydrated. While you might have to hit the rest stop a few more times, drinking plenty of filtered water will help you stay feeling full, keep your systems running smoothly, and make you more alert!
Wide Mouthed Beverage Container
This could just be a mason jar… or you could spring for a straw cup. All you need is something to sip a smoothie from. You can make up a large green smoothie and take it along for a quick drinkable meal full of healthy veggies. With a huge handful of baby spinach, a bit of frozen fruit, ice and water, you have a meal that’s quicker than fast food.
You may also want to start your day with a Fatty Coffee—French pressed coffee blended with a teaspoon of MCT oil and a teaspoon of grassfed butter or ghee.
These healthy fats will be burned directly as energy and keep you feeling fuller longer—you shouldn’t have to eat a meal for about six hours. Fatty coffee is a great way to incorporate a ketogenic fast into your day.
If you need to hit a diner on the road, just try to stick to lean meats, veggies, and big salads with no dressing or just oil and vinegar (if they have it).
If you can find a place that serves breakfast all day—score! A big omelet with all the veggies they have (and maybe a side of bacon) will hit the spot and be much better for you than the drive-through.
Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget?
Josh: “I guess my biggest struggle right now is eating healthy on a budget… Any advice you can offer would be great.”
This is a concern that comes up with a lot of people. If you compare the cost of a pound of bison to a pound of factory farmed ground chuck, you start to wonder how you’re going to stretch your grocery money. But I don’t think you can compare apples to apples, here. (Or bison to beef.)
You have to look at your shopping as a whole, rather than the sum of its parts.
Cut out processed food
The average American spends 23% of their grocery budget on processed food and sweets! If your budget is $100 a week, that’s $23.00 wasted on junk food that’s doing you more harm than good. Leave the chips, crackers, and frozen lasagnas where they are and spend that extra money on organic meats and vegetables.
Give up juices and soda
Eliminating beverages other than coffee, tea, and water saves you a lot of money- up to 11% of your budget. Buy a pitcher water filter, make iced tea, and enjoy your morning cup of coffee. But cut out the sugary fruit juices, sodas, and sports drinks.
Fill your cart with veggies
Vegetables, even organics, are the cheapest and healthiest items you can put in your cart. Shop the produce section first– buy a variety of colors and stick to what’s in season. You can fill ¾ of your cart with veggies for only about ¼ of your budget.
If you have a farmer’s market or local crop share, you can save quite a bit of money by shopping the seasonal fruits and vegetables offered locally. Plus, you get the health benefits of heirloom varieties, organics, and fresh produce that hasn’t been travelling for days or weeks.
Cook in bulk
Buying in bulk and cooking up a huge batch of, say—chili or roast– then freezing it for later use or for the thermos (for workday lunches) will help save both time and money… plus, the ready-made meals will prevent you from succumbing to takeout and expensive restaurant meals when you’re strapped for time.
I recently bought enough fresh, organic food to cook ten feasts for four—including chicken, eggs, beef, bison, spices, tons of vegetables, and a few Wild desserts—for $153.00!
That’s forty plates or bowls of food that were absolutely delicious, healthy, and filling. And this was all at one local grocery store—if you can shop a few different places, hit your farmer’s markets, and get your food in bulk, you could do it for even less. Make it a challenge, and use the money you save each week to do something fun.
Can I be a Wild Diet Vegetarian?
Beth: “My husband Ron and I purchased your materials and we are working with your system! Do you have any resources for vegetarians?”
Absolutely! While the Wild Diet generally utilizes grass-fed, free-range meats as a healthy source of protein, fat, and other nutrients, you can go Wild as a vegetarian successfully.
The thing most vegetarians are concerned about is protein. If you’re eating your share of dark leafy greens, eggs, nuts, and some dairy, you’re going to be fine with protein.
Try drinking a green smoothie each day that includes two cups of packed greens– plus you can add in chia seeds, hemp seeds, kefir, or almond butter for an even bigger boost.
If you choose to eat legumes, buy them dry and soak them yourself before boiling. This will make them more easily digestible and lower in sodium than the canned variety.
Also, if you are eating gluten free whole grains, make sure you’re sprouting them. This process makes grains easier for your body to process.
Otherwise, try out some of the Mainly Vegetables recipes—they’re hearty and filling, and will help get you the nutrients you need as a Wild vegetarian.
What superfoods are part of the Wild Diet?
Corey: “I am curious if you have any suggestions on adding in superfoods to the smoothies, like goji berries, cacao powder, chlorella, or maca powder.”
Superfood is just a buzzword for a natural food that is high in phytochemicals and other nutrients, making it especially beneficial for health and wellbeing.
So, the answer is that almost all the superfoods are acceptable on the Wild Diet—and most can be added to smoothies!
As in any other food purchase, make sure you are getting high quality superfoods—a good person to help you find the best quality product is the knowledgeable attendant at your local health food store (not big box vitamin outlet).
Once you’ve got the products in your cupboard, they’re really easy to add to a smoothie!
TIP: Soaking the goji berries for five to ten minutes helps soften up their chewy dryness, and you can add the soaking water right in to your smoothie.
TIP: Always use the raw cacao nibs or powder, because once it’s roasted it loses some of its “super powers.”
Try this recipe: 2 cups packed baby spinach, ½ – 1 cup frozen dark cherries, 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk, 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder , ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, pure stevia leaf or extract to taste, and pure filtered water to facilitate blending. Throw everything in your blender and blend on high until smooth.
Try the goji with strawberries, red beet, and beet greens! Or the chlorella with pineapple and chia. There are as many ways to make a smoothie as there are fruits and veggies—and all the superfoods make great mix-ins for an extra health punch.
What if I’m feeling hungry all the time?
Peter: “As a 6’4″ 245 pound guy who loves resistance training, how can I lower the amount of hunger that I sometimes have?”
If you’re hungry, eat! The best thing about the Wild Diet is that there’s no time clock and no calorie counting. Snack on veggies all you want (I am often caught with a cucumber in my backpack). If you’re feeling like you need protein, eat some leftover chicken or a boiled egg.
If you’re doing a ketogenic fast, then you can drink a primarily-veggie green smoothie during the fasting period or eat a bit of fat—yep, like a spoonful of coconut oil!
If you’re following the Wild Diet, but still feeling hungry, check your intake of “acceptable sweets.”
Too much fruit sugar, raw honey, or even stevia can stimulate your body into thinking it needs more sugar or carbohydrates- thus making you hungry.
Most importantly, listen carefully to your body.
Are you hungry, or maybe just thirsty?
Try drinking a glass of water or herbal tea. If you’re still hungry fifteen minutes later, eat a high fiber vegetable or your big meal of the day.
Are you starving, or can you acknowledge your hunger and move forward comfortably?
It’s okay to be a little hungry now and then. BUT, you shouldn’t be ravenous. Remember, everyone has slightly different nutritional needs depending on body type, age, weight, activity level, and so on.
For example, if you’re training for a marathon or doing high levels of resistance training, you may need to amp up your carbs. Highly active athletes, or people with high metabolism, will need to eat more carbohydrates than others.
Try adding a roasted sweet potato to your post-workout dinner or a handful of carrots with hummus for a snack.
The starchy root vegetables are the endurance athlete’s friend—and keeping them around may prevent you from eating a whole pie after a long run.
How can I get my family and friends to understand my diet?
Make delicious food.
Really, no-one is going to argue with a mouthwatering steak or a scrumptious coffee cake.
Once they realize that you aren’t depriving yourself, and they start seeing the results in your health and wellness, they’ll probably come to YOU for advice!
In the meantime, let your well-meaning friends and relatives know that you are choosing to eat this way because it makes you feel better. Bring dishes to pass when you’re asked out, or better yet—host the dinner parties!
But whatever you do, don’t get on your high horse. If someone is dead-set in their ways, you’re not going to convince them that bread is the enemy. Nor is it your place to do so. Always share with those who are open-minded… the rest will come around, eventually.
What’s the best way to stay active at the office?
Elysie: “How do you stay active at work while on the computer? Is it best to stand all day or go on short walks between computer time?”
A sedentary job is something a lot of people struggle with—being bound to a desk all day can truly be exhausting. So, is the answer to stand all day? No, standing all day isn’t really necessary. But standing for a little while is good.
Our bodies are designed to engage in a wide range of motion—so doing the same thing all day every day, whether that be to stand, walk, lay down, run, or move a widget from one part of a machine to another, is very taxing not only on the body, but also on the mind. So, the trick is to shake it up.
If you are able to put your computer up high on a counter so that you can stand for part of the day, that’s great. While you’re standing, make sure you stretch your muscles and joints out once in a while.
If you’re sitting, a good trick is to sit forward in your seat with your legs crossed at the ankles and lifted a few inches off the ground in front of you. This will engage your core and help sculpt out those abs… not to mention straighten your back and help with your posture. Just do this a couple of times on a given day.
Take a break and go for a walk. Absolutely, if you can get out to stretch your legs it will be good for your physical and mental health- especially if you can walk outside in the sun and fresh air.
If you have a long lunch break, you might be able to squeeze in your once or twice weekly aerobic exercise—but only if you have a shower on site, lest you offend your co-workers.
Try a few different ways of moving throughout the day—even if you get weird looks after you do a few burpees in the hallway.
The most important thing is to do what feels best for you and your body to achieve the results you desire.
I love the questions—and I also love hearing about your positive results! Keep ’em coming.
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