The Religion of Food

Growing up as a Lutheran PK, people’s expressions of their religious beliefs was a very natural thing for me to see from a young age. I was always curious on how some church members were very chill; some very strict; some very charasmatic; while others were quiet but firm in their beliefs. I’m always reminded of these characteristics when I talk to people about their food choices. Many of the people I train are as entrenched in their diet as those I’d watch in Brooklyn Center every Sunday.

I won’t get into the fact that the government’s food pyramid has so completely misled the American people that they’ve turned most of us into obese, carbohydrate craving lunatics. I’m also not going to rewrite what many people, who are far smarter than me, have already written but I highly recommend Gary Taubes’ easy read ‘Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about it.’ He easily breaks down how our bodies process the three macronutrients and what happens when we heavy load our system with Carbohydrates.

In short, we get fat. Pretty quickly. It’s very easy to identify those who carb up on an hourly basis (insert Wal Mart electric cart users joke here.) There is a big challenge ahead of getting this type of diet turned around. First of all, it’s hard. It’s unpleasant. And it’s not fun at all. Personally it amazes me that someone would rather eat a ginormous bag of Doritos instead of a 12oz ribeye with carmalized onions and mushrooms. Now I don’t discount the tastiness of Doritos, but they make you fat. Sorry. Life’s choices are brutally honest.

We’ll be talking about food choices a lot here at tosabarbell. It’s important. It’s personal. And it’s likely that your choices need to be either tweaked, or outright overhauled. I’ll also give notice to all of you superthin, endurance type athletes (especially the women) who believe that over 30 grams of protein a day is too much and weight training is unnecessary. You’re in just as bad of shape as your obese counterparts. Whatnow??? Yup. You don’t get a pass either. Thin, weak, and malnourished is never healthy. Sorry.

The strength of religious beliefs is equal to those who are attached to their crappy diets. Telling someone they need to give up their carb load can cause the same reaction as telling them they can’t go to church anymore. It’s a challenge, but a worthy one. Stay tuned for more food discussions and in the mean time, start looking at how much protein you’re taking in each day. Make sure there’s some delicious animal protein in every meal. And make sure it has the biggest portion on your plate. Enjoy!

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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2 Responses to The Religion of Food

  1. James Steel says:

    Very good article! Looking forwardto this blog!

  2. veronique faust says:

    that’s mine…mostly for pictures over the years….

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