For me personally, I didn't start thinking about trying to be healthier until after school, and to be honest the sole reason was purely about weight and external looks, it really had nothing to do with what was going on inside my body - and that right there is the biggest issue. I truly believe its only been over the last few months that I've worked out what works best for me, and I seriously have never felt better, both mentally and physically. So I figured, why not do my best to try and help anyone who needs a little push in the right direction. I've put together what I believe are the key points, the foundation to starting off a healthy life.
Please remember that I am not a trained nutritionalist, and what I am writing is purely from personal experience, but points that I truly believe work.
1. Don't be hung up on your weight
It is my personal belief that if you're purely trying to eat healthy to lose weight quickly, that majority of the time, it won't be a lasting change. Most people are aware that weight does not just immediately drop off by the kilo because you're eating healthy. Of course, transitioning from filling your body with processed food to really good and wholesome food will cause you to lose weight, but it will be a slower process, and that is a really great thing! Rapid weight loss, I have found, will usually be due to under-eating etc, and at the end of the day, it is never a lasting thing. When moving to a healthier diet, you HAVE to remember that its a slow process, and if you are hung up on weighing yourself and constantly analysing yourself in the mirror hoping to see huge changes, that eventually you will grow tired and fed up (impossible standards will always leave you feeling unmotivated), and more often than not will steer away from a healthy diet.
2. Do not be unrealistic or hard on yourself
You're trying to be healthy, which is fantastic, and this by no stretch of the imagination means that you cannot indulge occasionally, and most importantly it does not mean you have to cut out huge food groups all together. This is something I find unbelievably frustrating, when I hear people say that they wont eat any bread, pasta, rice, white potatoes, etc! Let's be real here, carbs are not your enemy, and I will usually eat a large bowl of pasta once a week (I actually just finished eating some before finishing off this post!). I'll enjoy toast for breakfast, and fried rice for lunch, and potatoes I will have an abundance of roast potatoes with dinner, and I will never, EVER feel guilty about it! You need to be realistic, and I truly believe that once you cut out healthy food groups, you are dealing with a diet not a lifestyle change.
3. "I'll start on Monday..."
There are two things that will most likely happen if you utter these words. Either you will, start on Monday and will not stick to it, or you wont start at all. Why? Well it's simple, if you want to make a change, and I mean truly make a change, you will want to do it the second you make that decision. And let's be honest here, this whole starting on Monday thing is slightly ridiculous. If you want to start eating healthy, and being healthy, then just start...as lame as it sounds, there really is no time like the present.
4. Listen to your body
This is so important, and it's said all the time! A lot of people struggle with understanding what this means, which is understandable, but I promise it's simple. If you're hungry eat. If you're thirsty then drink. If you're feeling run down and tired, sleep. If you're feeling light headed, you probably need to be eating more. This whole business where people tell you exactly how often you should be eating is crap, I truly believe that. Every single person has a different body, it runs differently and needs different things. I don't have specific times that I eat, and I'm a giant snacker! I'm probably eating every hour or so, and that works perfectly for me. It will take a bit of time to work out how your body works, but its all through trial and error. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to have this healthy eating thing down pat straight away, the more you understand about your body, the more likely it is that this will truly become a lifestyle and not just a 'phase'.
5. Know which foods are 'bad'
This part is pretty basic. It's not the foods you need to vilify and never eat again. I don't think that there will ever be foods that I wont eat again purely because they aren't healthy. I'm all for treating yourself if you want to, don't deprive yourself because that, for me, is mentally damaging and exhausting. However, its important to know which foods aren't healthy, and by healthy I mean truly good for your body, the kind of foods that help you thrive. For me, I work this out in two very basic ways. First and foremost, the foods that come out of a packet will never come close to be as healthy as the fresh foods you'll find in the ground and on trees, thats a fact. Secondly, I'll have a look a the ingredients on the back of boxes, packets etc, and if you don't understand what some of the words are, or there are a bunch of numbers, that's a dead giveaway that the food isn't healthy.
The one thing I cannot stress enough is to never be too harsh, EVER. You are only human, and if you make mistakes, and have a few days where you eat terribly, that is totally fine. It is not the end of the world. But the biggest mistake you can make, is to not pick yourself back up and start eating well again. I promise you, after a few weeks, cravings of sugary foods will subside, and you will be able to have a truly balanced diet you can be proud of.
Corinne Marabel, creator of A Vegan Kitchen, never intended to follow a vegan diet, much less did she intend on creating what she has today. In July of 2013, feeling constantly run down and tired and after spending far too many months treating my body like a garbage bin, Corinne decided to turn from vegetarianism to veganism for a short detox. However, days turned in to weeks, and she began to find herself feeling not only better internally, but completely inspired to create beautiful and clean vegan dishes.
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