I’ve had a lot of questions lately regarding my diet. Mostly asking what foods I stay away from. Like carbs. Do I eat carbs?
I eat ALL THE CARBS.
ok…maybe not alllllll the carbs. But I do, in fact, eat carbs. Good ones and bad ones.
So, today, I thought I’d take some time to talk about all the foods I eat and those I stay away from. And the short answer to the last part of that statement is, I don’t necessairly stay away from any foods. Let me put it this way, I don’t have a list of foods I definitely won’t eat.
I don’t like restricting myself. When I do, it consumes me. And tends to lead me down very unhealthy roads. Like the time I ate 1200 calories a day and worked out 2 or 3 times. Or the time I decided not to eat breakfast or lunch because I had to get rid of my nasty love handles (that didn’t exist).
So, for me personally, restricting foods, or food jail as I like to call it, doesn’t work. But, about a year and a half ago, I started having some health issues that caused my daily life to be uncomfortable. I knew that I was going to have to make some changes so I slowly started cutting down on some of the processed food I was eating. I focused on eating a more “clean” diet, trying to change up one thing at a time.
What I mean by a clean diet is just trying to eat real, unprocessed food. That doesn’t mean I cut out all sweet treats or bread. But instead of buying the processed versions, I make them at home. That way, I know what I’m putting into my food and my body.
And the thing is…my health issues slowly started going away. I had more energy, I felt better, my mood was better. And because of all those things, I stick to the clean diet and incorporated it into my lifestyle.
Do I still eat processed food? Yes. Sometimes. But, through the process of cleaning up my diet, I’ve found what foods make me feel horrible and what doesn’t. I took my very unhealthy relationship with food and turned it into a very healthy one. And that comes from just being aware of what is going into my body and why I’m eating it.
Meaning that I know when I’m eating because I’m hungry vs. when I’m bored. So that means that if I’m bored, I just find something to do instead of eating half a bag of potato chips.
I’m not perfect. Far from. I still put a little sugar and creamer in my morning coffee and I’m not changing that anytime soon. There are some days I eat everything in sight and others I don’t eat enough. But there is a balance there. A healthy balance.
I don’t eat a clean diet because I feel like I’m forced to. I do it because I want to, because it makes me feel better. And that makes all the difference.
So, here are a few tips I have to help anyone looking to clean up their diet:
1. Start. You have to start somewhere. So just do it. Decide today the one thing you’re going to cut out. It could be soda, chips, candy, super sweet tea. Whatever. Just make a commitment to yourself to start.
2. One thing at a time. Can’t stop chugging the soda? Start there. Eat chips every day, cut that out. Take out one processed thing at a time and eventually you’ll be eating chips and wishing it was an apple.
3. OR….try the whole 30. Yes, this does contradict my previous point. But it goes along with the whole “everyone is different” philosophy. Some people can do one thing at a time and others need to just cut it all at once, no looking back. The whole 30 is a great program for anyone struggling to start eating better but it can also be very overwhelming. Check it out here.
4. Be kind to yourself. It’s a journey. Stay positive. Don’t beat yourself up.
5. Don’t buy it. If it’s not in the house, you won’t eat it. Stock your shelves and refrigerator with healthy alternatives.
6. Have support. Talk to the people closest to you. Have them help you. Having that support can really help when all you can think about is Dr. Pepper.
7. Be realistic. This is a journey. It will not happen overnight. Even if you do a whole 3o, once you’re off the program, you might slip up. It happens. This process is a long one. Don’t compare yourself with others on social media who have been on this journey for years. Just be you. Love yourself no matter where you are on the journey.