I read Jeremy's blog, Almost Fit, regularly – mostly because he's so entertaining. His background story is an interesting read. It's about his struggles with weight and where he's at these days. He describes himself as, “An average guy whose weight is driving him crazy, and has done so for most of his life.”
Sit back and relax while you read over his guest interview…
- What is your #1 motivation for eating/feeding your family healthier meals?
Like most folks my age, I grew up eating the typical American diet, watching a lot of television, and ultimately being overweight for much of my life. I would like to give my kids the “advantage” of not having to deal with weight problems like I did. Second, I really believe that by instilling these habits early, by word and by example, they will retain them later in life. I know they'll be eating junk as teenagers (who doesn't), but I think as adults they will likely return to those good habits, as many folks do. Not to mention, I also want to preserve their health later in life, and this seems to me to be simply the right thing to do.
- What started you on your path to better nutrition?
I have to say it was really two things: My Wife, first and foremost, and then Dr. Will Clower's book, The Fat Fallacy: The French Diet Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss. My Wife is naturally thin, but she also has a love for food. She never ate all of the diet junk that I was eating; she ate fat, she ate carbs, and she ate dessert. How was this possible? Ultimately I started eating more like her in both food quality and portion size, and that has made a huge difference. And the support from her is better than anything I could ever pay for. The Fat Fallacy had a huge impact because after years of failing at the low fat lifestyle, that book explained to me that maybe it is good to question Nutritionism and the prevailing mainstream views on weight loss. I recommend it to this day.
- What is your biggest struggle in eating/feeding your family healthier meals?
My biggest struggle is that I am still susceptible to junk food. I've been eating well for years now, but I STILL crave that new burger, shake, chicken – you name it – when I see ads for fast food. I still also crave soda from time to time. Fortunately, I'm pretty staunchly against it now for moral and ethical reasons too, so it's easier. But, as they say, I am my own worst enemy.
- What is your favorite healthy recipe?
I know it sounds simple, but a basic well-made balsamic vinaigrette with good balsamic vinegar. The reason I say that is I always hated salad (unless it was drowning in blue cheese dressing) – I always viewed it as filler so that you ate a little less of the good stuff. My wife, again, completely turned my view on that upside down by making great salad dressings at home, which has made me truly enjoy salad for the first time in my life. We never buy bottled dressings – they are always so much better made fresh.
- How difficult has it been for you to get over the modern-day “fat phobia” and go back to drinking whole milk or eating butter, coconut oil, etc. with confidence that it's better for you and without feeling guilty?
Ah, good question. We eat all of those things, and recently switched to raw milk earlier this year. Switching to raw milk took a little convincing only because of the typical fears surrounding health concerns for our children, etc., but once we started down that road, and my eyes were opened to the load of misinformation the dairy industry has sold us, we haven't looked back.
- What is your best kitchen/nutrition tip?
I would say it's my slogan at Almost Fit: Eat Real Food in Moderation. Or as Dr. Clower says, “If it's not food, don't eat it”. Eating real food and savoring every bite is the key to long term success in weight loss and overall health.
- What did you have for dinner last night?
We had a picnic dinner watching a local phenomenon: The Swifts return to an old chimney every year here in Portland, and it is an incredible site. Thousands of birds flying in beautiful formations. So, we packed dinner and went to watch the birds, along with hundreds of other folks. We brought Vietnamese salad wraps, which are basically julienned vegetables (from our garden) wrapped in a rice paper wrap with a peanut dipping sauce; Corn on the cob from the farmer's market, and then our friends brought a few things including pork meatballs that were made from sustainably farmed pork. It was a great evening.
- Do you have a tip for how to fit exercise into your life? How do you do it?
This one is especially tough for me, but my biggest lesson with exercise is I always used to do it just enough – to hate it. I would run for 30 minutes, and dislike every minute of it. It wasn't until I started running longer distances that I started to enjoy it, and see results.
THANKS FOR SHARING WITH US, JEREMY!
- Read more guest interviews
- More great information from Jeremy: Is Pasture Raised Chicken the Healthiest Chicken Choice?
- Other posts about how to lose weight