Nick Evans: Macheesmo and Confidence in the Kitchen #SANE

Nick Evans

Jonathan: Hey, what’s going on everybody? Jonathan Bailor and April Perry and we are back with another SANE show part three of how many series, we don’t know. It’s an epi-journey that we’re on.

April is taking her SANEity to the next level and we’ve all been awaiting with baited breath to get the quick update.

So welcome back to the show, April, with your newly reinvigorated SANEity. How’s everything going?

April: Oh, okay. It’s going so well. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to give a report back on a podcast. And I feel like this is going to be a really healing podcast for anyone who is tired of being hungry, who’s tired of body image issues, who wants to finally have that solved for good. SANE is the best answer that I think could ever exist and I’m thrilled.

 Jonathan, you have again, been a hero. So, excited. (Inaudible 00:56).

Jonathan: Oh. Well, thank you, April, I really appreciate that. And in case you haven’t tuned into the previous two episodes, just to give a little quick minor bit of back story, and please do listen to or watch those two previous episodes. April had an interaction with someone who basically, triggered a bunch of the nonsense information that we’ve all been taught over the past 40 years about oh, if you just eat less, you can be thinner and things along those lines and then that brought up a bunch of body image issues that we wanted to talk about. And if we do want to take our fitness to the next level for whatever reason, whether it’s just a goal, like someone wants to run a marathon just because they want to say they’ve done it. If you want to see definition in your midsection just to say you’ve done it, right? That’s all good. Can we do that through a SANE approach or is it only possible to do that by feeling miserable and hurting ourselves with starvation and calorie counting? So April’s been doing an experiment to take her SANEity to the next level and that’s a quick recap.

And now we get to hear where she’s at from where she began 30 days ago or so?

April: Yes, today’s day 26. Yes, everything that Jonathan was saying that basically, I had been talking with someone who just had different goals than I did and it was hard. It was going through someone who has had an eating disorder, who has found a different solution than me and I had gotten kind of caught up in thinking that my goals needed to be the same as someone else’s goals, which yes, it caused some major problems. But what Jonathan gave me was a prescription because I wanted to know is it possible for me to improve my body without starving myself? Is it possible not to feel hungry constantly, and not to always be depriving myself and not to always feel like if I ate, I was failing, and that if I don’t eat, I’m succeeding. That was my question and I think that that’s a really common question. I think that’s something that a lot of people are struggling with.So basically, Jonathan gave me a challenge to eat a ton more food, specifically green vegetables.

So Jonathan, I’m not sure the best way to report. Do you want me to report first on what I changed and what I did?

Jonathan: Yeah, I think that would be fantastic. And also, I do want to give just one quick additional bit of context, if that’s helpful, and that is please keep in mind that everything we always talk about with SANE is hopefully, we know that there’s three distinct goals; they sometimes overlap and they sometimes don’t. There is to improve one’s health; there is to improve one’s fitness, like your speed, strength and performance at sports; and then there’s to improve your looks. For example, getting a tan improves your looks, but it doesn’t help your health, so these are not necessarily always the same thing.

So what we’re trying to do here is SANE always prioritizes your health as number one, at the same time, can we keep our health as priority number one, but also, if we want to say I want to take my looks to the next level, do that without compromising our health? And that’s the journey that April’s been on.

April: Hey, yes. Exactly. So, shall we just talk about what I ate? What (inaudible 04:20).

Jonathan: Absolutely. Let’s talk about what you changed about your eating.

April: Okay. So, the number one thing is that I wasn’t prioritizing deep green leafy vegetables as much as you encouraged me to. So I was eating a lot of things like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, celery, you know, things like that, but when I took this challenge from you, I went to the grocery store and bought tons of spinach, kale, collard green, Brussels sprouts, broccoli; just completely made my deep greens a huge priority. And what I found was that was the number one challenge, was eating so many deep green leafy vegetables, that I wasn’t completely hungry for anything that wasn’t good for me, but that was a much easier challenge than sitting there starving waiting for the next meal. So that was the hardest thing, just figuring out how do I get more greens? So I’ve been blending smoothies and I have been steaming vegetables. I’ve been really doing a great job getting the greens in, so that was number one.

 Number two is that yes, I did only eat four times a day. Sometimes I just wasn’t hungry for the fourth, so I ate three times, but I was very careful. I realized I had been snacking a lot in-between when I wasn’t really hungry, so I just cut that and it didn’t change anything. I wasn’t hungry, I just stopped the snacking. And then I made sure I was really emphasizing the best protein source that I could, so I’ve been eating more wild caught salmon, I’ve been having more tuna. Really watching it on meats; if it was kind of fatty meat, not even thinking about it, before I’d go, “No, not that big of a deal,” and so that changed. And then I’ve been really just more careful about the quantities of whole food fats because I think I’ve been kind of overdoing that during my snacking.

 So, those are, I think, the main changes and I recorded it every day. So I have 26 days now, I’ve recorded every meal which, you know, I do maybe check-in once or twice a day. It wasn’t like I was sitting there measuring every little thing, but I would check-in once a day. So I have been eating between 12 to 20 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 80% being green and I’ve been really just eating the quantities that you encouraged me to eat the last episode.

 I didn’t weigh myself. I haven’t stepped on the scale for a month, but I did lose an inch off my waist as of yesterday, and I feel better than I have felt in my life. So that’s number one, is I feel so good and I’m so happy. I feel like I could do this for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t be a problem at all, so that’s pretty good, don’t you think?

Jonathan: Oh, I think that’s excellent, April and I want to highlight two points very, very clearly. One is, we’re 26 days in and you’re feeling great and you’ve taken an inch off your waist of an already slender figure. So if you haven’t seen April, she is perfectly fit. She is perfectly fit as an individual.

April: Normal.

Jonathan: So to say in 26 days, I’ve taken an inch off my waist while never being hungry is phenomenal, and in some cases, it’s almost difficult to believe because as you know, the fitter you get, the harder it is, right? It’s much easier if you have 50% body fat to lose 5% body fat, to go down to 45% versus if you had 15% body fat and you wanted to drop to 10%, it’s going to be much harder. So that’s been an incredible achievement, April.

 I really do want to highlight also, that if I had to summarize what you’ve done, you’ve just been more conscious about your SANEity because everything you just mentioned there, right? We always say focus on green leafy vegetables. Seafood is the primary nutrient that’s protein. Eat consciously. Only eat whole food fats when you need them to feel full and satisfied, don’t just kind of eat them. So it’s not as if you did some crazy thing, it’s almost like it’s getting back to basics.

April: Yes.

Jonathan: And focusing on those optimal sources of nutrition.

April: Absolutely. And I have to mention the exercise because I have been kind of, I’ll say honing it in a little bit on the exercise, but I’ve always rollerblade and walk and I’m around my kids and so I’m moving. I rarely just sit. But, one of the things that I noticed is when I went to the gym this time I thought, “Okay. Jonathan told me I’ve got to increase weights that I’m lowering.” So, for example, for my leg press, I’ve been on 250, I moved it to 255, then to 260, then to 265 and I was doing it every week, as I went and did that. So I’ve had three workouts and I have my fourth one tomorrow. I was amazed. I’m leaving the gym like, “Oh, my gosh, I didn’t know I could do that.” The same thing with the arm, I was increasing each time and finding that I’m still able to do that, that I was getting stronger.

So I think I doubted myself. I was like, “Oh, I don’t think I’m really that strong. I think that’d be too heavy for me,” and so I wasn’t even trying and with your encouragement, now I’m at the gym once a week for maybe half-hour, and then I’ve just been out walking my dog, I’ve been skating, I’ve been just moving around in the normal. It’s not stressing me out at all. It’s amazing to me. Within just a couple of weeks, actually, within three or four days, I already noticed a difference in my energy level and how I was feeling, but then a couple weeks and then three weeks I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I feel better.”

 I do want to dive into some of the psychological things because I feel like that was the tipping point. Obviously, I needed to dial in my eating, but until I fixed things in my head, that wasn’t enough, so I want to share a little bit about that too, but anyway, I’m excited about the exercise part.

Jonathan: (Inaudible 10:08) before we get into the psychological stuff, what you said is absolutely critical just to highlight another few key points and that is remember, let’s take a step back here because this might sound really simple. People might be almost confused. They might be, “Well, it sounds like April was eating SANE before and now she’s still eating SANE and she lost an additional inch off her waist and is feeling better than ever.” Well remember, we talked about there are foods that are SANE and then there are foods that are really SANE. It’s all about calorie quality.

We always say focus on green leafy vegetables, but so often, we’re not getting those green leafy vegetables in. We always talk about how seafood is the best source of nutrient dense protein, but then if we actually look at how many servings of seafood we’re taking in per day, some people might even say that’s crazy. Aren’t you supposed to eat fish twice a week? Isn’t that the recommendation? Seafood is so phenomenally good for you; anti-inflammatory, fats, just pure bio available protein, so the quality of those nutrients are phenomenal.

And then as a segue into the psychological aspects, you had mentioned that in previous episodes when you had tried the alternate calorie counting, portion control method, it was within 24 hours, literally, tear inducing for both you and your daughter, whereas what we’re saying here is within a day, week, you’re eating more and feeling better and getting better results.

April: Yes. This is why I am so excited and I just want to get this message out to more people. Yes, I’m eating more green vegetables. If you don’t ever want to eat green vegetables and you don’t want to try to eat healthier foods, then SANE isn’t for you. If you just want to eat your junk food and you just want to eat less of it, then okay. But if you never want to feel hungry and you want to feel like you’re in a good mood every day, I mean, my mood has been amazing. I’m optimistic; I’m happy; I’m not complaining; I’m enjoying my family. I have energy to do everything I need to do.

And yeah, 24 hours of trying something else, I was, I was on the phone with Jonathan saying, “Jonathan, I can’t do this.” And my whole family was noticing something’s wrong with mom. And so one of the things that Eric and I were talking about this, he said, “April, I want you to promise me you are never going to look at any other diet ever again. He said SANE works for you. As long as you want to be SANE, this is the rest of your life, but we are never doing another diet, we’re never trying anything else, you are never starving yourself.” And so he just made me promise. It’s really helpful to know when your spouse is saying, “Hey, SANE, that’s the thing for you.”

Jonathan: I love that you brought up again, how you’re feeling and the emotional things which we will transition into because you made a good point, that if you’re not willing to eat green vegetables, if you’re not willing to eat seafood or higher quality foods and you’d rather just shrink your waist by eating 1,200 calories of processed foods, then SANE isn’t for you.

April: Yeah.

Jonathan: So we can sort of tradeoff how we shrink our waist, but we actually can’t trade off feeling better. For example, if you’re not taking in omega-3 fatty acids, that will compromise your mood, it will compromise your ability to fight off cancer, heart disease, diabetes, it will compromise your cognitive function, it will compromise your sexual function period. So while you can say you can eat 1,200 calories of anything and lose weight, that’s true; you can’t eat 1,200 calories of garbage and live life to the fullest period, so there is no tradeoff there.

April: Thank you so much for emphasizing that. I totally agree. I think what you did for me was you just gave me a very specific roadmap. I love that you’re talking about Michael Felts, how he would say sometimes, “Oh, I don’t feel like working out,” and you’re like, “Get in the pool, Michael.” That’s exactly what I kept saying to myself, it was like, “Get in the pool, Michael.” That’s what I kept telling myself every morning if I was ever feeling like, “Oh, it’s a lot of work to blend this smoothie today.” I’m like, “No, I’m going to do it.”

 So anyway, it was super helpful. I felt like I needed a little bit of tough talk from you saying, “Okay. You really want results? Here’s what you’re going to do and there’s no ifs, ands or buts, this is what you’re doing.” I’m good at following rules and I’m good at going through step-by-step instructions, so I think that was awesome.

 But one of the main things I realized, and this is where, I think, a good transition into more of the psychological is, as Eric and I were talking one night because I had actually been hanging out with some friends who do have eating disorders, and they may not say it, but everything that they say when they’re talking about food or their body indicates it. And I think that’s one of the key things that you taught me is that if you have any of these body image issues and you’re putting an excessive amount of energy thinking about your food, your body, what’s going on, what you’re eating and you’re super obsessed about it, that’s an eating disorder. And I don’t think that most people realize they have it, so I think that that was important. But I spent some time with some friends who are struggling with that and whenever I do, and I’ve got to be careful because whenever I do, you’re affected by the people you surround yourself with.

And so I had come home feeling frustrated and Eric just said, “April, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is am I doing my best?” And I think before you and I had this conversation, I didn’t know if I could say yes to that because I was eating SANE foods, but as far as the spectrum and where I was, I was kind of all over the place. It was fine, but I was kind of all over the place and now, if Eric, or if I ask myself am I doing my best to take care of my body? My answer is yes. I don’t know if I could do any better. I mean, maybe I could, but at this point, as far as how much good food I’m eating, thinking ahead, and making sure at restaurants I’m being really wise in my choices, and at the grocery store, I’m prioritizing the best food.

I’m really doing the best that I can right now, especially given the fact that I’m running two businesses and raising four children and taking care of my parents. There’s a lot of stuff going on in my life, so I really am doing the best I can. I think that’s one question that every listener needs to be able to ask themselves is when you’re looking at your food, are you doing the best that you can, given the information you have? And what I would say is if the best you can right now is leaving you feeling miserable, then the answer is you don’t have the right instructions. If the best you can is following this SANE path that Jonathan has laid out and you’re feeling amazing and wonderful, I would say yes. So, that’s kind of my first thought; anything on that?

Jonathan: Yeah, I think that the compliance issues is key and it’s one that I tiptoe around a little bit because so often we’ve been told the problem is we just need to try harder to eat less and exercise more, so I’m very hesitant to say just try harder to eat more and exercise less, but smarter.

But on some level, the reason I do encourage food journaling, which some people say well, if I’m not supposed to calorie count, but you provide apps that allow me to track the servings of food I’m eating, aren’t you contradicting yourself? The answer is no, because when you do consciously track the quality of the food you’re eating, that’s something that gets easier over time. There’s nobody I know who’s been SANE for over a year and still counts their servings, they just know what they’re doing.

You do need to continuously try harder to starve yourself because it’s a willpower thing and it’s unnatural and the longer you starve yourself, the harder it becomes. You cannot eat for a day, but every day you go not eating, it gets harder and harder, whereas every day you go SANE, it becomes easier and easier. So at the end of the day, SANE is so simple, but it’s not necessarily easy to actually do it, but when you actually do it and you put your heart into it, the results are tremendous and then they get easier over time and that’s the big distinction.

April: Absolutely. And that’s how I feel is that while I have been tracking every day for these first 26 days. I feel like now, it’s kind of silly when I sit down and track because well, I pretty much had the same thing for breakfast I had yesterday and I pretty much had the same thing I had for lunch. And so I feel absolutely, this is something that I can continue doing and I don’t feel like I’ll be tracking it in the next few weeks. I mean, right now, I’m still kind of figuring out what are my very favorite green leafy vegetables and my favorite meals? Especially, I’ve been doing some traveling, so I had to kind of adapt things for the airplane, the hotels and things like that, but holy cow, it’s awesome.

But I think being able to ask myself am I doing the best I can in a SANE context, this is the only time I’ve been able to say yes and feel confident and know I can do it for the rest of my life. And that’s what I want for everyone to be able to experience because it feels phenomenal to know I don’t need to (inaudible 19:22) information because this works for me and makes me healthy, happy, gives me results and I feel so much better. So, that was number one.

 The second thing though, as Eric and I were talking a little bit more is that I really needed to understand what beautiful is. I didn’t realize that I had some issues with this, but I’ve actually been spending quite a bit of time on a website called Beauty Redefined. There are these twin girls who have put together a website where they’re trying to help women to stop being so susceptible to media images because what the media is putting out there is not possible for most people to have that rock hard abs. Not only is it not possible, but it’s not really desirable for most women to live like that.

So, as we were talking about beauty, and as Eric and I were going through it and discussing it, I realized that I have become subject to something that these girls from Beauty Redefined call self-objectification, where I was seeing my body as an object instead of an instrument, so this is something that I had to fix in my head. They said that the way that you know if you are seeing your body as an object is if when you’re walking next to a store window or you’re walking across the street, are you thinking, “Oh, what a lovely day. What am I doing today? Who am I with? How are my conversations? How are my goals?” Are you thinking about the people around you and your interactions or are you thinking, “I wonder what people think of me. I wonder how I look. I wonder if I look fat. I wonder if I don’t look right.”

I realized that I was spending way too much brain energy concerned of what other people were thinking of me and I wasn’t letting my mind rest on that and focus on how I can be an instrument and do good for others. I’ve been doing a lot of defining in my own head what beauty means. One of my favorite definitions that I actually found on the Merriam-Webster site is that beauty is the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. I love the idea that beauty is an aggregate of qualities; it’s not just someone being a size 0 with a certain color of hair, with a certain kind of makeup and certain clothes who would look good in a specific fashion magazine. We need to look at the whole aggregate of the person and what you’re actually doing with your life. So understanding what beauty means has been huge for me.

Jonathan: I think it’s extremely powerful, April, and a beautiful person as in contrast to a beautiful body is a huge… I’ll tell you right now here at SANE, I am only interested in helping create beautiful people because we are so much more than our bodies and our bodies are a mechanism for us to manifest whatever you want to call it, the divine spark, your purpose or your passion and to the extent that food and nutrition allows us to do that, that’s beautiful, but it’s about being, like you said, I’m going to use different terms than you, but a beautiful person rather than a beautiful body is so empowering; I love that.

April: I also realized that beauty, for me, how I perceive it, doesn’t draw attention to itself. I realized in the work that I’m doing, I don’t want people to be gawking at a body. I’m not trying to create a body that when I walk around the beach everyone is oohing and aahing, I really actually, would prefer that not be the case. I don’t want that to be the case. I don’t want my body to be the object of attention and because I feel like my purpose and my message is so much bigger than that, that the body can actually become a distraction. I could do surgical enhancements, I could do all kinds of things to try to attract more eyeballs, but that’s not why I’m here, and so just getting that solid in my head. Yeah, the media’s going to try to convince me otherwise, and maybe I’ll receive some emails from people who don’t think I look how I should, but really, I need to become strong enough that those influences don’t mean anything ever.

Jonathan: April, I’ve had a very similar, just slightly different version of that thought. I’ve never actually shared this publicly before, and I know we’re a little bit over, but this is worth sharing. You talked about I want to be defined by my body and we know, we’ve done testing that if I was more like, “Look at my arms. Look at my abs. I’m going to take my shirt off and marketing material,” that we could potentially get some positive results from a business perspective, but I do not want SANE, I don’t not want myself to be defined by my body.

Let’s just take a step back and be purely vain for just a second. If you define yourself by your body, your success and your beauty by your body, you are setting yourself up for failure because unfortunately, we all age. So, if your definition of success is how you look, I guarantee, you will be unhappy because the longer you live, the harder it will be for you to achieve that. And what’s beautiful is if you don’t lead with your body and you do happen to have a beautiful body and it’s just in addition to. Michelle Obama, wonderful person and she has nice arms. No one’s like Michelle Obama has nice arms and when her arms start looking flabby, she’s not as good of a person anymore. It’s more like oh, it’s (inaudible 25:13) Michelle. Or, Paul Ryan, congressperson, awesome and oh, by the way, he’s also really fit, then it’s really cool. It’s icing on the cake.

So be a beautiful person and then when people see that you also have your fitness on lock, they’re just going to be blown away because they know that’s not your primary thing. It’s almost like you just do it on the side. It’s effortless for you and that’s really impressive.

April: That’s why I love SANE, that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I want this message to get out there to everyone because really, this is how we’re going to be healthy. This is how we’re going to start to overcome what the media’s trying to tell us is right and I feel so motivated to continue being healthy and to learn how to continually, refine and improve. I’m happy to keep learning. I just love that this is about me as a person, how strong my family is, and how we’re going to carry our unique messages to the people who need us.

 So, thank you, Jonathan. I’m so happy.

Jonathan: My pleasure. Well, April, I was excited. On some level, I wasn’t worried because I know how this science works, but on some level, you always have some level of nervousness. All right, we really put ourselves out there in the previous two episodes. It’s only been 26 days and we know SANE is about the long-term, it’s about deep metabolic healing that takes time, but the fact that even in 26 days we’re seeing these results is awesome, so we will continue to check in, in the future episodes. But this has just been beautiful so far.

I so appreciate your sharing with us, April, and I hope for everyone who’s listening and watching as a next action, please just do what April has done here. It’s not about oh, I’m just going to grit my teeth and try harder, just take a step back and say, am I doing the best that I can with my non-starchy vegetables? Am I doing the best that I can with my nutrient dense protein? Am I doing the best that I can with my exercise? And then just take it to the next level and enjoy the next level of results.

 And as always, remember, stay SANE.

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