Diets? Nope just Simple Food Modifications for Better Health
With the holidays approaching and fast, many people tend to over indulge. It's common, nothing to be ashamed of. But in case there is negative feelings attached, there are ways to get around the guilt and shame. This a great way to start the holiday season off and to preemptively work on New Years resolutions. Psst...this is not a diet plan. It's a way to make simple food modifications for better health and perhaps weight loss. In all honesty, who wants to be on a diet? Not many people. Diets are hard to stick too and can bring about low self-esteem and isolation. I want to talk about adopting better eating habits in order to have food freedom. Growing up and into adulthood, I had this idea of how a "perfect" body should look. I also had the idea that if I ate "extra" at meals, I would get fat. What can I say, I'm a child of the 80's where eggs were bad, margarine was good and low-fat was even better.
I distinctly remember going into the doctor for a regular check up as an elementary aged kid, and being told I needed to go on a diet. My beloved peanut butter would have to be reduced fat and goodies were to be limited. I never once heard healthy fats, lower carbohydrates or exercise. If only I had been told to make simple food modifications instead of a diet.
Making simple food modifications sounds too easy. Getting a fair amount of exercise, what? I know, but it really is that simple. Exercise has been a huge part of my life since I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I started to do exercise videos with my mom and then all by myself. My Nana had a few exercise videos, including a dancin grannies video that we did often. When I got older, I walked my dog almost everyday (even before I realized it was important for the dog) just to get outside. Running started in late elementary school and I never turned back.
Movement has always been important to me. Throughout school, it helped me feel alert, so I could concentrate and study. At the time I didn't realize it but I know now, that it played an important part in who I am today. The diet part wasn't as easy to figure out. In fact, it has taken me well into adulthood to figure out what works for my body.
Simple Food Modifications
Staying away from gluten has helped. Not only because I have celiac disease but it helped me drop a lot of weight and inflammation. Eating gluten free helped for a while but I slowly started to get a lot of food sensitivities. After meeting with a naturopath and getting certified in holistic nutrition I finally have my health and stomach issues under control. Through this process, I have found food freedom. I don't have to worry about a diet. I concentrate on eating whole foods.
Eating whole foods means no or minimally processed foods. It also means eating food that has natural sugars like maple syrup and honey. Sugar is hidden in almost all processed foods. Once I cut out gluten free processed foods like chips and crackers my skin stopped breaking out. This has been an on going problem for me but I never realized it was totally linked to stress and not so great food choices.
Eating greens at every meal is a major focus area. I never feel like I need to eat a salad or get more greens in at the end of the day. It's just something I eat. Another really important part of the simple food modifications is eating healthy fats and protein. The fats help to keep me full longer. I used to eat all the time. Snacks were a necessity throughout the day. Now, if I prepare by having good fats and protein, I don't feel hungry all the time.
Sweets. I love them. Wish I could have them all the time. It's always been my weakness. Focusing on eating real whole food includes sweets. I make everything from scratch or make sure honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar are used as the sweetener. Most store bought sweets have something bad in them, like soy, soy lectin or fructose. Making things at home that are grain and refined sugar free, really help. Now, I don't feel guilty when I eat sweets a lot. Of course still eating them in moderation is helpful but if I happen to eat too many cookies, I don't feel guilty.
It's so nice to have the freedom to eat what I want, when I want. Especially after living most of my life thinking I needed to keep my food intake under a certain amount of calories or eating "diet" type food. If you want to work with me, I can help you on your journey toward food freedom.