Laird Hamilton is someone who I have great respect for is a world class big wave surfer and activist for charity foundations notably autism research. I was recently reading through the latest issue of Men’s Journal and came across some of his top 10 tips for eating, the guy is in great shape and he seems to know a thing or two about good eating!
1 - Start Light
Laird Hamilton likes to start his day with some light easy to digest food; for him thats wither a fruit smoothie with an extra shot of greens or just some fruit before hitting the waves. He likes to add frozen bananas and berries when making smoothies as they give him the energy boost needed to get through the day…..
2 - No Grazing
Don’t eat unless your hungry! When you sit down to eat a meal you should really want it and this means little or no snacking….For me this is a key thing; I used to graze all afternoon and once dinner came around I wasn’t really too hungry. Recently I have been eating my lunch and only having tea, water and coffee throughout the afternoon this has not only led to me enjoying dinner more but improved my body composition.
3 - Chew Slowly
Don’t take your food for granted chew it thoroughly and enjoy the flavors that nature has given us. This is also important to make sure we digest our food well…. Well chewed food is far easier on the digestive system and therefore makes the whole digestion process quicker and better absorbed.
4 - Eat Real Foods
This one is a no brainer, Laird is a strong practioner of eating real whole foods. Nothing out of a box is usually a good rule of thumb. Stick to foods with fewer ingriedients on the label…..If you don’t know what’s going into your body don’t eat it!
5 - Diversity
There are so many foods available each with their own vitamin profile and selection of enzymes, fatty acids, phytochemicals etc…..Each food provides us with something unique. Hence the more diversity you have in your diet the healthier you are going to be. Mix things up next time you go shopping try a new fruit or vegtable or buy a different kind of meat to what your used to; Bison is a great source of lean red meat!
6 - Experimentation
This one goes out to the chef’s out there; with the wide variety of every type of food group out there experiment with your cooking and eating (try new spices, herbs and recipies there are so many available its a shame to eat the same dishes all the time). One tip Laird gives is next time you go for out for Sushi try a seaweed salad instead of your standard edamame for a starter its packed with cancer fighting Iodine.
7 - Listen to Your Body
Cravings get a bad reputation for nothing. Laird see’s them as a signal your body wants something and is looking for a certain nutrient. Listen to your body and learn to figure out what you really want, If Laird get’s a craving for something sweet he turns to tropical fruit like papaya or pineapple instead of junk.
8 - Don’t be a Cheapskate
Buying quality pay’s off especially when it comes to food. Some people blow all their cash on things like huge TV’s and beautiful cars but sacrifice on their food and eat like crap! One example Laird gives is coffee he goes by the rule of buying quality coffee rather than cheap drip stuff…..Remember a quality espresso contains less caffeine, has more anti-oxidants and isnt acidic like other coffee. Americano’s or Espresso’s are the way to go!
9 - Skip The Starches
Laird says that bread makes him fall to sleep as do most other starches, he avoids all starchy food like rice, pasta and other wheat based products simply becuase he feels better that way. Not to say he never eats a sandwhich or sweet treat but its rare and he’ll never go out of his way to do it. It just rolls with living life….
10 - Eat Sustainable Food
When buying meat or seafood look out for things like; Locally Caught, grass-fed or free range this means the animal was properly and ethically reared. The same goes for fruit and vegetables eating seasonal local produce means you are helping the local farmers and ensuring there is demand for the crops.