How SANE Is: Soy, Stevia, Sweet Potatoes, Paleo, and More

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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • If you are not feeling confident about your body image then your mind is constantly looking for solutions, which is mentally exhausting.
  • Since we all eat, but there is only one mass media voice, we are sometimes inclined to listen to information that is un-relatable and will not lead us to our healthiest self.
  • We often ignore the basics and make living healthy more complicated than necessary.
  • Protein is in everything. There are healthy foods such as chia seeds that have protein, but they would not be the best source for protein in a smoothie. You would have to use a large amount in order to get an adequate amount of protein as part of a SANE meal.
  • Most food is composed of water. The volume of whole food protein that you need to consume to optimize your health is a high volume of food.
  • To eat an optimal amount of vegetables and protein, you’re going to be consuming two to four pounds of food per day.
  • The amount of protein you should consume will vary upon your body type, age, and activity level.
  • The biggest difference between SANE and Paleo is the fundamental principles of SANE, which is eat non-starchy vegetables first, nutrient dense protein second and whole food fats third, are completely different from the core principles of Paleo, which is eat like your ancestors ate.
  • Stevia from the store is usually a blend of stevia and Luo Han Go which is somewhat similar. If you use stevia to sweeten things it will take some experimentation and you will want to look for pure stevia.
  • Non-starchy vegetables are typically those that are not eaten raw. i.e. sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc.
  • If you are eating butternut squash, turnips, etc. in place of a starchy grain, then this is a great trade-off. Avoid eating them in place of more nutrient-dense foods such as green leafy vegetables.
  • Tofu is generally not super SANE since soy as a whole is a very industrialized crop. You have to be very careful of where it’s coming from.
  • From a SANEity metabolic healing perspective, choose Erythritol over Xylitol, and stevia or Luo Han Go above both of those.
  • When baking use Xylitol as it bakes better than stevia.

—NEXT ACTION—
Give yourself permission not to let what you don’t know prevent you from acting on what you do know. First focus on eating vegetables, protein, whole food fats, and getting enough sleep.

Reflection Questions

  • What little things get in the way of you overcoming your more important health goals?
  • Should you eat sweet potatoes?
  • Is soy a good source of protein?
  • Do you know the difference between SANE and Paleo?
  • What kinds of protein should you put in a smoothie?
  • How can you choose the right healthy sweetener?

SANE Soundbites

Scroll up to pin and share the sexy infographic versions of these 😉

  • 1:33 – 2:03, “…when you’re struggling with your health or your weight, when every time you see a photograph of yourself or you look in the mirror or you reflect on the state of your physical body, if you’re feeling down about yourself every time you do that, it wears on you so much. So what were you saying, five or six times an hour, that someone who is overweight or isn’t feeling good about their body?”
  • 2:06 – 2:53, “When you’re feeling that and it’s so overwhelming and it’s just discouraging you, your mind is constantly looking for solutions and the reason I love SANE so much is because I trust it. I’ve seen it happen and work, and continue to work in my family. I feel healthier. I love what I’m able to do because of it and I feel like whenever I start struggling or falling back into where I was before, I just keep thinking, okay, how can I be SANEer? How can I make better choices? A lot of times it’s just these little things, knowing what to do with the food in the grocery store, knowing what to put in my fridge, knowing what to eat. That just helps me breathe better, at least know that if I’m not exactly where I want to be right at this minute, I’m on the right track.”
  • 4:59 – 5:16, “The problem with food is because everybody does it and because people are at so different situations and we get information from all different angles, I think it’s really hard for us to take that approach that we take in every other area of our lives, which is get the basics down first and then worry about the other things later.”
  • 5:19 – 6:08, “I think what’s typically happened in my experience is that you’ll either have the general things that are told to you by the government, things like how to set up your plate, and that includes a whole lot of information. It isn’t going to necessarily going to lead us to the best health. I’ll just say that. You get that kind of thing you’re training at school or I’ll sign up for different emails from nutrition experts and it’s so over to the little refinements that I had no idea what language they’re speaking because the vocabulary words they’re describing food and exercise, I’ve never even heard before. I think they’re speaking another language. I just want to know what do I feed my family and what do I have my kids eat at parties?  Really simple things like that.”
  • 6:14 – 7:00, “If you were to join a mailing list for concert pianists, they would be like chess masters. This is the mailing list that people who have been playing chess for 15 years. Anything that you’re an expert in. If you’re a CPA or a lawyer, there’s a vernacular for experts, but the vast majority of us unless we’re professional fitness competitors, we’re just trying to be healthy and happy and whole and achieve nutritional serenity. It’s not that it’s bad or wrong, it’s just that if your goal is to be a concert pianist, that’s one thing. If your goal is to be able to play chopsticks presentably, then a totally different thing.”
  • 9:23 – 10:20, “Chia seeds are freaking amazing. I eat chia seeds literally every single day and probably multiple times a day, however, if I’m trying to get protein, there are about as much protein in chia seeds as there is protein in a Snickers bar. Not truly, but it’s not that far off. It doesn’t mean chia seeds are bad for you, it just means chia seeds are great for you, it’s just not concentrated source of protein. So, that’s the key distinction. So beans have protein in them, so does a pickle, but you wouldn’t put a pickle in a workout shake to add the protein because it’s mostly not protein. The only reason protein powder is so useful is because good protein powders are usually 80 percent protein. So it’s just pure unadulterated protein.”
  • 10:21 – 10:47, “By way of calories speaking, if you wanted to add 30 grams of protein to a smoothie so that you could get a bunch of metabolic benefit that comes from eating that dosage of protein, if you were to try to do that with chia seeds, you would have to probably put 1,000 calories worth of chia seeds into your smoothie, which is probably too many calories of chia seeds to eat in a day versus one scoop of protein powder.”
  • 12:51 – 13:12, “The volume of whole food protein that you need to consume to optimize your health is a high volume of food. I don’t say eat more as a marketing gimmick, although it is very effective at getting people’s attention, I say eat more because it’s true because to eat an optimal amount of vegetables and protein, you’re literally going to be consuming two to four pounds of food per day.”
  • 14:46 – 15:26, “Paleo, in its original sense, like academic sense, was eat things that are found directly in nature. So by that definition, there are huge differences between SANE eating and Paleo. For example, honey is found directly in nature, however, honey is completely in-SANE. Because the goal of Paleo in the truest sense is just to say, eat what our ancestors ate. That’s the goal of Paleo. This isn’t a criticism, it’s goal isn’t lose fat, it’s goal isn’t manage diabetes, it’s goal isn’t improve athletic performance, it’s goal is eat like our ancestors ate.”
  • 15:32 – 15:45, “The goal of SANE eating is to eat so that you maximize the satiety and minimize the aggression, maximize the nutrition and minimize the efficiency or maximize the SANEity, water, fiber, and protein content of your diet.”
  • 16:16 – 16:32, “The biggest difference I would say between SANE and Paleo is the fundamental principles of SANE, which is eat non-starchy vegetables first, nutrient dense protein second and whole food fats third, are completely different from the core principles of Paleo, which is eat like your ancestors ate.”
  • 22:39 – 22:46, “The general rule of thumb for whether or not something is a non-starchy vegetable and this isn’t always true, but it’s true 90 plus percent of the time is can you eat it raw?”
  • 23:09 – 23:34, “The key thing to keep in mind is when it comes to butternut squash, when it comes to parsnips, when it comes to turnips, these are again, it’s what are you eating them in place of? If you’re eating them in place of green leafy vegetables, that’s not the right trade off to make. If you’re eating them in place of any form of starchy grain, it’s a great trade off to make. If you’re eating them in place of any form of sugar or sweetener, it’s a great trade off to make.”
  • 24:40 – 24:51, “That’s a big myth that even professional nutritionists make, something being better for you does not make it good for you. Smoking one cigarette per day versus two is better. That doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”
  • 26:35 – 26:43, “Please give yourself permission not to let what you don’t know prevent you from acting on what you do know.”
  • 26:47 – 26:57, “Don’t let what you don’t know yet, stop you from making awesome progress on what you do know. Which is rock your vegetables, rock your protein, rock your whole food fats, and sleep.”

how sane is paleo and more

April: Hey, everybody, it’s April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANE show. How are you doing today, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I’m doing great, April. How are you today?

April: I am great. I’m really excited to ask you a whole lot of questions, put you on the hot seat and get all of my answers about SANEity.

Jonathan: It ended up because the seat is so hot.

April: I actually get really excited to be able to record with you because I want to write down all of my questions. I actually even have more here in my planner. I’m going to pull it out and keep a page of questions to ask Jonathan. I’ve been receiving lots of questions from other friends and SANE families program and so here we go. Here’s my chance to ask you. I’m really excited because we talked a little bit before we recorded. We know the basic principles of SANE. We know it’s important to have our non-starchy vegetables, nutrient dense protein, whole food fats, low fructose fruits, we know we should drink water, we should sleep more, we should move more. Did I get most of the basic principles there? Anything I left out?

Jonathan: You’re doing great.

April: Can you tell I talk about this all of the time? I’m thinking about it all of the time because I want to be healthy. One thing I’ll just preface as we’re getting into some of these details of foods and we’re just peppering Jonathan with questions about what we’re actually buying in the store, what we’re eating, what we’re making, and those types of logistic questions. I think what it comes from, from what I can tell, the people who I talk to and for myself, is that when you’re struggling with your health or your weight, when every time you see a photograph of yourself or you look in the mirror or you reflect on the state of your physical body, if you’re feeling down about yourself every time you do that, it wears on you so much. So what were you saying, five or six times an hour, that someone who is overweight or isn’t feeling good about their body? Is it something like that Jonathan?

Jonathan: Absolutely, yes.

April: So, when you’re feeling that and it’s so overwhelming and it’s just discouraging you, your mind is constantly looking for solutions and the reason I love SANE so much is because I trust it. I’ve seen it happen and work, and continue to work in my family. I feel healthier. I love what I’m able to do because of it and I feel like whenever I start struggling or falling back into where I was before, I just keep thinking, okay, how can I be SANEer? How can I make better choices? A lot of times it’s just these little things, knowing what to do with the food in the grocery store, knowing what to put in my fridge, knowing what to eat. That just helps me breathe better, at least know that if I’m not exactly where I want to be right at this minute, I’m on the right track.

Jonathan: I think that’s a really powerful point, April. On our last show we did sort of rapid fire questions and we’re doing some now. I wanted to make a distinction I think will really help people. That is I had given an analogy in a previous show about over optimizing. When you’re an Olympic athlete for example, the only thing that’s left are these very fine little tweaks you can make and a distinction that I realized is that eating is one of the few things that every human being does.

If you think of something that not every human being does, for example, basketball, let’s say not every human being plays basketball. It is true, right? Let’s say that you had a goal of becoming a better basketball player, and you didn’t even know how to dribble a basketball, you know that sort of worrying about your wrist being positioned this way, when you do this kind of a shot, in this sort of offense, is not something that you would at all be thinking about because you’re saying look, I’ve got to dribble the basketball first. I know that. When people become better basketball players they start dribbling basketball. Then they move on and we understand that.

The problem with food is since we all do it, we’re all at different levels, but there’s only one mass media that you have these magazines that are written for these people. You hear all of this stuff and it doesn’t factor in where you’re at or your unique circumstances. One more analogy, if you’re an individual who is completely inactive and you’re significantly overweight, significantly struggling with your health, you know that your goal isn’t to figure out the perfect advanced squat technique so that you can squat the most weight ever. How can I walk consistently? How can I do the basic things first?

The problem with food is because everybody does it and because people are at so different situations and we get information from all different angles, I think it’s really hard for us to take that approach that we take in every other area of our lives, which is get the basics down first and then worry about the other things later.

April: I appreciate you saying that. I think what’s typically happened in my experience is that you’ll either have the general things that are told to you by the government, things like how to set up your plate, and that includes a whole lot of information. It isn’t going to necessarily going to lead us to the best health. I’ll just say that. You get that kind of thing you’re training at school or I’ll sign up for different emails from nutrition experts and it’s so over to the little refinements that I had no idea what language they’re speaking because the vocabulary words they’re describing food and exercise, I’ve never even heard before. I think they’re speaking another language. I just want to know what do I feed my family and what do I have my kids eat at parties? Really simple things like that.

Jonathan: That’s exactly right and just by way of analogy, if you were to join a mailing list for concert pianists, they would be like chest masters. This is the mailing list that people who have been playing chest for 15 years. Anything that you’re an expert in. If you’re a CPA or a lawyer, there’s a vernacular for experts, but the vast majority of us unless we’re professional fitness competitors, we’re just trying to be healthy and happy and whole and achieve nutritional serenity. It’s not that it’s bad or wrong, it’s just that if your goal is to be a concert pianist, that’s one thing. If your goal is to be able to play chopsticks presentably, then a totally different thing.

April: I’ve got the chopsticks down. What I was going to do is just give you some of the questions that have been coming and I think really this is what’s going to enable us to do is to reinforce the basic principles of SANE, but kind of help bring us back to center. That’s why I hire you to do, Jonathan, is bring me back to center, all of the stuff in the media, all of these questions, hey we call you JB around our house. Alright JB, what do we do about this?

Here’s one question for example. A friend of mine sent me a picture, and this was actually submitted by Andrea and it was in this month’s issue of Martha Stewart Living and it says, oh, do you want to get more protein in your smoothies without using protein powder? You just add chia seeds, peanut butter, sliced almonds or whole kemp seeds. It says you’ll have anywhere from 3.5 to 5.0 grams of protein per serving. You’ve just added protein to your smoothie, without protein powder. So the question comes in, what does Jonathan think about this as a substitution for protein powder?

Jonathan: This is not going to be a rapid fire one. I don’t want it to be a rapid fire one because we’re going to keep recording these shows for a long time.

April: They’re magazines right? You just open the magazine and they tell you to use protein powder.

Jonathan: It’s so common. So let me just make one thing really, really clear. Vegetarians and vegans will be the first people to tell you what I’m about to tell say and agree with it. Protein is in everything.

April: Okay.

Jonathan: There is protein.

April: It’s in a bagel.

Jonathan: Absolutely. A Snicker’s bar has protein in it. By definition, if you have a bowl of cereal and you put a Snickers bar in it, you’re going to add protein.

April: Chia seeds and almonds and these aren’t Snickers bars, right? You see it and you think that’s healthy.

Jonathan: Absolutely. So why are they not Snickers bars? The reason we think the Snickers bar analogy is ridiculous, there’s so much else in a Snickers bar that isn’t protein.

April: Right.

Jonathan: So it’s not a good source. It’s not a concentrated source of protein. Chia seeds are freaking amazing. I eat chia seeds literally every single day and probably multiple times a day, however, if I’m trying to get protein, there are about as much protein in chia seeds as there is protein in a Snickers bar. Not truly, but it’s not that far off. It doesn’t mean chia seeds are bad for you, it just means chia seeds are great for you, it’s just not concentrated source of protein. So, that’s the key distinction. So beans have protein in them, so does a pickle, but you wouldn’t put a pickle in a workout shake to add the protein because it’s mostly not protein.

The only reason protein powder is so useful is because good protein powders are usually 80 percent protein. So it’s just pure unadulterated protein.

By way of calories speaking, if you wanted to add 30 grams of protein to a smoothie so that you could get a bunch of metabolic benefit that comes from eating that dosage of protein, if you were to try to do that with chia seeds, you would have to probably put 1,000 calories worth of chia seeds into your smoothie, which is probably too many calories of chia seeds to eat in a day versus one scoop of protein powder.

April: Okay. That makes sense. All right. Good question Andrea. So, another question about protein. I was reading in the SANE startup E-book about how clams are an optimal source of protein. Correct?

Jonathan: That is correct, yes.

April: Okay. So I went and bought canned clams and I’m gagging at the store, as I’m buying them, Jonathan says eat canned clams. A can of clams only had 10 grams of protein in the can. So to trigger muscle protein synthesis, do I need to eat three cans of clams at one meal? That’s a whole lot of clams.

Jonathan: That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that sentence in my life. That’s a whole lot of clams.

April: I’m eating all of these clams, I’m like Jonathan!

Jonathan: There’s never been a moment where I’ve been walking down the street and someone is just like Jonathan, look over there, that’s a whole lot of clams. Maybe if I lived on a beach.

You’ll notice two interesting things and this applies to seafood pretty generally. Seafood and most food in general is mostly water. I know that sounds a little silly and/or obvious, but if you look at a can of clams and if you look at how much it weighs, let’s say it weighs 100 grams, for easy math, and then it says I add 10 grams of protein, what the heck are the other 90 grams? There is no fat and there is no carbohydrate. The other 90 grams of weight is water. So clams are mostly water.

Vegetables for example, if you put vegetables in your blender, you blend them, they are mostly water. That’s why when you dehydrate something it becomes so small because you take all of the water out. That’s also why oil is just a concentrated source of calories. It doesn’t have any water in it. It’s just pure unadulterated energy.

To answer your question and that also has to do with why clams and protein in general is so highly satisfying. The volume of whole food protein that you need to consume to optimize your health is a high volume of food. I don’t say eat more as a marketing gimmick, although it is very effective at getting people’s attention, I say eat more because it’s true because to eat an optimal amount of vegetables and protein, you’re literally going to be consuming two to four pounds of food per day.

April: So, yes, I should eat three pounds of cans of clams or should I have one can of clams and then some other protein?

Jonathan: Again, it also varies by body type. So when we say 30 grams, as an estimation, so if you’re a 250 lb., 6’5” linebacker it’s probably towards 40 or 50. If you’re a 6 year old child, it’s probably more towards 20.

So it depends again on where you’re at on that spectrum of size, but should you eat, I would say you should eat two cans of clams or you could supplement your clams with some other source of protein, maybe you’ve got some other seafood you want to throw in there, maybe you have some Greek yogurt. And eating a lot of healthy food is great, because after eating three clams, you’re not going to have any room for some other inSANE nonsense.

April: That’s a lot of clams. That was helpful because I think this is optimal, man, I have to eat a lot of it, but I guess the cans aren’t that big. That’s really helpful.

Then we have some questions about how SANE is different than Paleo? And I know you’ve talked about this in some other podcasts, but the most common question that I keep getting, do you have a one sentence way of explaining how you differentiate the two?

Jonathan: Yes. There’s two sentences. We should get really clear on what we mean when we say Paleo, because there is actually like 17 different versions of Paleo. There’s Paleo, there’s Primal.

Paleo, in its original sense, like academic sense, was eat things that are found directly in nature. So by that definition, there are huge differences between SANE eating and Paleo. For example, honey is found directly in nature, however, honey is completely in-SANE. Because the goal of Paleo in the truest sense is just to say, eat what our ancestors ate. That’s the goal of Paleo. This isn’t a criticism, its goal isn’t lose fat, its goal isn’t manage Diabetes, its goal isn’t improve athletic performance, its goal is eat like our ancestors ate.

Just like for example, Atkins goal is eat so you achieve ketosis. The goal of SANE eating is to eat so that you maximize the satiety and minimize the aggression, maximize the nutrition and minimize the efficiency or maximize the SANEity, water, fiber, and protein content of your diet.

The biggest difference between Paleo and SANE, Paleo is a totally different goal. Paleo is saying, eat like your ancestors ate and your ancestors ate honey, your ancestors ate sweet potatoes, your ancestors ate potatoes, your ancestors ate rice, so there’s a bunch of different things. Your ancestors didn’t eat 12 servings of vegetables per day, they didn’t eat green leafy vegetables year round. Green leafy vegetables weren’t available year round, they weren’t available at all in certain parts of the world.

The biggest difference I would say between SANE and Paleo is the fundamental principles of SANE, which is eat non-starchy vegetables first, nutrient dense protein second and whole food fats third, are completely different from the core principles of Paleo, which is eat like your ancestors ate.

April: Is there anything like in a SANE diet that wouldn’t fit into a Paleo diet?

Jonathan: Absolutely. Protein powder. Protein bars. Anything that you can’t find directly in nature. What is the definition of Paleo? It becomes very difficult. Nut butter isn’t found directly in nature and our ancestors didn’t eat almond butter, but if you search is almond butter Paleo on the Internet, you will see the answer is yes. Corn is found directly in nature, soy, beans are found, tobacco is found directly in nature. Those are some of the differences.

April: So that’s helpful. Put that away for a second because there is some people who are saying, oh, I’m excited to be SANE, here is the tofu that I’m starting to eat, but I don’t see tofu ever mentioned by you. So what’s your recommendation on that?

Jonathan: Tofu is generally not super, super SANE. Soy as a whole is a very industrialized crop, so it’s like wheat or it’s like corn in the sense you have to be very, very careful of where it’s coming from in that sort of mon-cropped type culture that we have. Soy is also not high in protein. It’s generally considered a good source of protein like beans or nuts are considered good sources of protein, but most soy and tofu products are actually mostly fat. It’s not a bad thing.

The other thing just to keep in mind when it comes to soy and tofu is very few people, if anyone, just eat tofu or soy because it’s disgusting by itself. You have to put it with other things. You have to marinate it, you have to do things with it. We don’t have an obesity epidemic because people are eating too much soy, but if you are able to eat other things than soy, soy is just lower on the SANE spectrum than other options.

April: Okay. If someone let’s say is a vegetarian and they choose soy, that’s just an option of what they’re choosing to do.

Jonathan: I would just highly recommend that they try to stick to soy as close to its natural form as possible. There is an interesting tension between the common sense of highly processed manufactured food isn’t a good idea and being cruel to animals isn’t a good idea. Those both make total sense, but Tofurky is you’re being kind to turkeys, you’re not killing them, but it’s this chemically engineered nonsense, so if you’re going to eat tofu, eat like the simplest, purest cleanest tofu you can find, not these meatless nonsense sausage patties, which have all of these chemicals and toxic garbage in them.

April: We had chicken that had an apostrophe where the E was supposed to go and Eric thought it was regular chicken and he wasn’t looking and bought a bunch of it and we got home and that’s what it was.

Question about stevia. When you’re talking about things not processing, I’ve been seeing this going around online and talking about how you think you’re buying stevia, but you’re really not. You’re buying something that is totally processed or mixed with other chemicals. This is where I start feeling like oh, man, here I think I’m doing something good and then wait, maybe I have it totally wrong. What do you recommend as far as sources for stevia, Xylitol, SANE sweeteners? How do you know they’re really SANE?

Jonathan: Just read the nutrition facts. That’s the easiest way.

April: Really? Where do you find that?

Jonathan: The Interent and the SANE store.

April: The SANE store. I went to a health food store, I went to my local grocery store. I was looking all around and everything that says it’s stevia, when you look, there’s something else that’s on it.

Jonathan: It’s usually always a blend because stevia and there’s another thing called Luo Han Go which is somewhat similar. They are very difficult to cook with because they’re not at all like sugar. The reason Splenda is as popular as an artificial sweetener is because you can use it pound for pound like you would sugar and it behaves like sugar when you bake with it, but stevia is more analogous to cinnamon, it’s an herb, so it’s a totally different thing.

If you want to use stevia to sweeten things, it’s going to take experimentation, and you’re going to want to look for pure stevia, which is something you’re going to want to find on the Internet, not only because it’s going to be pure, but you’re also going to save a lot of money versus buying it at your grocery store.

April: Okay. That sounds good and is stevia better than Xylitol?

Jonathan: It’s not a really a question of better or worse. I would say it’s different because Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, and there’s been a huge amount of research done on it. Xylitol for example has great anti-bacterial benefits, it’s actually been shown to be helpful with things like ear infections, believe it or not. It’s like saying, what’s better, honey, or table sugar? It depends on what we’re using them for, so what’s better for baking unequivocally, Xylitol bakes better than stevia.

From a SANEity metabolic healing perspective, I would recommend Erythritol over Xylitol and I would recommend stevia or Luo Han Go above both of those, but stevia and Lo Han Guo are so hard to use because they’re so unlike sugar that again, you have to do that trade off, are you going for ease of use and I can actually do it or it’s perfect. I think that’s the tension or decision we have to make.

April: Okay. All right. Another question about potatoes and rice, some things like that our ancestors ate. Questions about sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, butternut squash, sometimes it’s hard to know what are these, they’re not non-starchy vegetables or are they? What would you suggest?

Jonathan: The general rule of thumb for whether or not something is a non-starchy vegetable and this isn’t always true, but it’s true 90 plus percent of the time is can you eat it raw? You can’t eat peanuts raw, not that that’s a vegetable. You can’t eat sweet potatoes raw.

April: [Inaudible 22:57] turnips raw.

Jonathan: Again, 90 percent of the time, but for example, potatoes, sweet potatoes, they’re generally things that are not eaten raw. Corn is not eaten raw. It’s a starch. The key thing to keep in mind is when it comes to butternut squash, when it comes to parsnips, when it comes to turnips, these are again, it’s what are you eating them in place of? If you’re eating them in place of green leafy vegetables, that’s not the right trade off to make. If you’re eating them in place of any form of starchy grain, it’s a great trade off to make. If you’re eating them in place of any form of sugar or sweetener, it’s a great trade off to make.

Again, it’s what are you eating this instead of is the key question versus just objectively, where does this stand?

April: Okay. So at most restaurants, if they offer sweet potato fries as this healthier option, I don’t know what kind of oil they’re cooking them in, I have no idea, but they look healthier than the regular fries. What do you say about those?

Jonathan: Sweet potato fries are healthier than conventional potatoes fries. Just to say a filtered cigarette is better for you than a non-filtered cigarette, but that doesn’t mean that’s good for you. The fried sweet potato is better for you than a fried potato, but a fried anything is not good for you because heating oil to that temperature is terrible. Sweet potatoes are something that depends on your goals. We can talk about that in a separate podcast, about when you should and shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes, but they’re better for you than regular French fries. That doesn’t mean they’re good for you and that’s a big myth that even professional nutritionists make, something being better for you does not make it good for you. Smoking one cigarette per day versus two is better. That doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

April: Okay. All right. I feel like you’ve given me a lot of really good information. What would you suggest as a next action for me or people who are asking all of these questions because I know you’re kind of laughing. I could see you laughing over there, but we have all of these random questions and I think eventually it will just become common sense for us. What’s the next action when you have these questions or you’re not quite sure if I should be eating three cans of clams or type of thing? What do you suggest?

Jonathan: I’m definitely not laughing because it’s not that I think the questions are bad or wrong, it’s the three cans of clams. The questions are fine to have. The thing that I want to make sure we give ourselves permission to do is to always seek out improvement rather than perfection and to be okay with ambiguity because it’s always going to be ambiguous. It’s ambiguous for me. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, like we said, sweet potato fries are better for you than regular fries, but we know frying stuff, it’s probably not a good idea. At some level we know that, right?

It’s never going to be perfect. As long as we’re making steps in the right direction, I think that’s great and I think we need to celebrate. For example, if you’re asking a question like, should I be eating one can of clams or three, should I be using stevia or Xylitol? This form of stevia, is it as good as the other form of stevia? The fact that you’re even asking those questions means you are on the right path.

So it’s a good thing, just please give yourself permission not to let what you don’t know prevent you from acting on what you do know. And that’s the key, stretch goal, takeaway. Don’t let what you don’t know yet, stop you from making awesome progress on what you do know. Which is rock your vegetables, rock your protein, rock your whole food fats, and sleep. Does that make sense?

April: Yes. I feel that’s a great recipe for life in general. Wouldn’t you say in a whole lot of other circumstances, whether it’s financial, whether it’s spiritual, whether it’s relational, but they’re moving forward with what you know and then continuing to learn, that’s what we learn to become, it’s all about that growth and that progress.

So thank you so much Jonathan. I hope that you have enjoyed this episode and I personally feel so grateful we could just give Jonathan these rapid fire questions and just get better directions that we can totally be SANE. So have a great wonderful day and remember to stay SANE.

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