You might know, I have a document called “Dan’s Nutrition Rules,” which is a set of guidelines for eating clean. I try to keep it easy by tweaking the things you are already doing to maximize nutrition, basically so you don’t have to completely shop for different stuff and restock your cabinets. Certainly you could try a more intensive process like Ultimate Reset or 21-Day Fix which basically prescribes what you eat, but honestly what I’ve found is that from MY rules, basically following 3 of them will have a large impact, perhaps as much as 85-90% (anecdotal estimate...) the results you will get from following a strict, prescribed diet. Here they are:

I heard a phrase recently that I think perfectly describes the state of America's nutrition at the moment.  We are over fed, but under nourished.  In other words, our food is rich in calories, but low in nutrients that we need to survive.  This is mostly because of two things: processed foods and man-made chemicals in food.

Processed food could also be called "convenience food," because it is anything manufactured to simplify ingredients to increase shelf life, reduce cost, and likely make you addicted to the food.  Yes, twinkies and oreos get the bad wrap, but technically most bread, crackers, and cereal should be considered "processed" as well.

Friends, I'd like to talk today about cholesterol.  Whether or not you are currently at risk of high cholesterol, this can be an important article for you, as it relates to your long term health.

What is it?
Cholesterol is a molecule produced in your body that is found in every cell.  A "sterol" is a sub group of steroids, cholesterol being the most important of this group as it is in every cell of the body, and helps build hormones and manufacture vitamin D.  Therefore, without cholesterol, you wouldn't be alive!

Today, I've come up with 3 new plateau-busting diet rules.  They are particularly for active people.  If you are doing a Beachbody DVD program, you are active, so that means you!  The first one is kind of a no brainer, but is so important I had to include it.  For 2 and 3, I tried to think of unconventional things, or at least things that aren't often framed this way.  My hope is something in your brain will click and you can make changes going forward!  You'll notice a theme: active people shouldn't think about cutting things from their diet without adding healthy things back into it.

A lot of people have been asking me recently specifically about issues with working out first thing in the morning, how soon to workout after eating, etc. so I thought "pre-workout nutrition" would be a pertinent topic for a blog post.  I just have to say before I start that unfortunately information about diet and nutrition seems to always be changing.  For example if you read two consecutive editions of Men's or Women's Health magazine, you will probably see articles that contradict each other.  From my own research, and some of the latest scientific studies I have read in journals and heard on NPR for example, I'd like to claim what I'm going to say today, to the best of my knowledge, is up to date and will help you achieve results!

I recently watched a couple episodes of The Weight of the Nation on HBO.  I was fascinated that so much research is being done on obesity, yet people in this country are still extremely overweight and it's getting worse.  How can this be?  What I have come up with is a bunch of what I call, "Yes! But...s" which take some overly simplified generalizations about weight loss and dissect them a little bit further.  The truth is, almost everything you have read about weight loss online, or in magazines is probably true on some level, but utlimately we have to look back at anatomy and metabolic functions - the EMPIRICAL data - to figure out how to lose weight.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but all of them relate to one-on-one conversations I've had with several people over the past couple of months.  Will this article help you?  Yes! actually have to read it.  Ready?