So many times we hear, I want to be “healthy”. But what does healthy really mean? Everyone has their own idea..
It can be so overwhelming!
I grew up knowing NOTHING about nutrition. You might think I am joking, but I am not! I must have just eaten whatever I wanted to, and not cared about calories, or what was in the food I was eating. In my 20′s, when I decided to lose weight, I really had no idea what healthy food was, or how many calories were in any type of food. I started doing my own research online, and learning on my own. Thus, my own food philosophy was born, and has continually evolved from this time!
I have always believed that I could lose weight – and maintain – by eating the foods I love. I love cooking – and eating – but did not want to deprive myself by restricting myself to foods I did not enjoy. I take pleasure in eating, and I have not lost that pleasure!
Even with eating grain free/gluten free and dairy free now, I still find ways to eat what I enjoy!
Here are my tips:
1. I think every person has to determine what works for them. Are you a total bread lover? Don’t eliminate bread, or think of it as “bad”! I love bread, and I love making bread! I used to make little individual portion sized of bread so I still got to enjoy my bread, and it wasn’t sitting around molding because I wasn’t eating it.
2. Don’t think too much. Ok, maybe this is just me! I get so wrapped up in all the little details, I confuse myself! Eat what you are comfortable eating. Don’t like eggplant? Don’t eat it! Confused about the whole sugar/Splenda/Stevia/xylitol/other alternative sugars? Eat what is convenient and comfortable for you! I used Splenda for the longest time because it was readily available to me! Over time, I limited my sugar intake, and I rarely think about how much sugar I am eating anymore. I try to sweeten naturally if possible (mainly with fruits — banana, applesauce, etc), but I do use organic cane sugar as well. Which leads me to my next point ..
3. Only change one thing at a time! Big changes come over time. Just like you can’t build a cathedral in a day, Rome didn’t get built in a day, you can’t rewrite your eating habits in a day. Do you have a chocolate craving? Limit yourself to a small piece of chocolate (or a handful of chocolate chips in my case) a day! I have come to love dark chocolate! 10 years ago, I never would have eaten it! I loooove coffee, and have tried to not drink any coffee, but I found it works best for me to have 1/2 – 1 cup of coffee a day. I love the smell of coffee, and cutting it out entirely just led to overeating and binge episodes (and not just coffee binge episodes!)
4. Remember there are other important things in life. Don’t make your life all about food. If that is all you think about (and trust me, I have been there!), you will obsess. Do what you enjoy – reading, watching movies, hiking, gardening, whatever it is.
5. Find someone who supports you. I have always had problems with this, because I tend to be quiet and shy. I always feel that once I verbalize my decision to lose weight or eat healthier — I will fail. I look online to blogs to find my inspiration and motivation. Hey – you have to do what works for you, and that works for me! If it is easier to be accountable to your decisions by telling 50 of your closest friends and coworkers, do it!
Questions? Email me at email@example.com!