(Truly The Best Diet Ever)
When I decided to go back to school for health coaching, it was truly a hard decision to make. It wasn’t difficult because of what I was going to be studying; I was super excited about learning everything that went into coaching and about all of the diets, but I knew that I was going to have to commit to changing my eating habits. I love the idea that food can be so healing and so powerful, but knowing that also comes with the responsibility of taking your health into your own hands. It’s easy to go to the doctor to get a pill to “fix” health problems, but it can be a lot more challenging to change habits and stick to a diet when the results don’t feel instantaneous. I have always loved to eat, so the thought of having to be more aware of what I was putting into my body kinda sounded like it was going to be torture.
New diets do not have to feel like torture!
I remember being about halfway through school and being so confused about what to eat that I was ready to consider being a breatharian and living off of air. Each week we were learning about a different diet. One week we would learn about the benefits of butter and raw milk and then next minute we were learning about why it is better to be dairy or oil free. The next class would be about the benefits of being vegan and then the next about the benefits of the Atkins diet. Learning about so many different diets was becoming overwhelming to the point where I thought it would be easier to avoid food altogether.
New diets do not have to feel so overwhelming!
To this day, I still love learning about nutrition, natural healing and diets, but I have noticed that there has become a diet war. People have started wearing their diets like a badge. “I’m whole foods plant based”, “I do Paleo”, “I do Keto”, “I only eat organic”, “I do intermittent fasting”, “I follow the Mediterranean diet”, “I eat right for my blood type”, “I’m on the taco diet” (I wish!), etc… The hardest part is that everyone claims that their diet is the best diet ever!
It’s no wonder that people are completely confused about what they should be putting in their mouths. I went to school for it and I am completely confused! I went on a vegan cruise and sat in the classrooms of some of the top doctors in the country. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Neal Barnard or Dr. Michael Greger, I find them both to be truly incredible in the world of healing. I truly believe in a whole foods plant based diet and I have met so many people that have turned around major health issues like heart disease and diabetes by following it, but then I went to a Functional Medicine doctor and she swore by the Paleo diet. She also claimed that her patients had a lot of great results from following that diet. She was completely against a vegan diet and tried to get me to eat meat even though it’s something that completely grosses me out. That became even more confusing to me. My doctor was telling me not to trust my own body.
New diets have to work for you and your body!
How confusing is it when you have so many incredible doctors that are giving you completely opposite advice? The worst part is, the more confused you get, the more likely you are to do nothing. So, I want to help you figure out the best diet for you and it’s a lot simpler than you think. Changing your diet is not something that you have to do overnight. In fact, it’s often a lot better to start making small changes so that you’re able to stick with them. You can apply this concept to any area of your life as I explain in “The Low Risk Way To Change Your Life”. I am going to tell you exactly how to do that in a way that feels good to you.
How many times have you gotten gung ho about eating healthier, gone to the grocery store, bought everything that you think that you should be eating, and then returned to your normal shopping list the following week? The thing about changing your eating habits is, you also have to change your shopping habits and your cooking habits. It’s hard to stick to something that doesn’t come naturally to you, especially if you’re limited on time. It’s also hard to get your taste buds to cooperate when you’ve just sent them into a state of shock.
New diets should be enjoyable!
The really cool thing about taste buds is that they adapt. Initially it can be really hard to move away from sugar because sugar acts like a drug in our brains, but the less sugar you eat, the less you will crave. I found that keeping a chocolate bar in my freezer is the perfect fix for when I’m craving something sweet. One little chocolate square usually does the trick for me. I started with Hershey’s dark chocolate and then I started working my way up until I got to the 80% dark chocolate. It used to taste bitter to me and now I have grown to love it, but it was a process to get there. That’s what I want you to keep in mind as you start moving towards healthier choices. You don’t have to make one huge leap, you just need to take small steps to get to where you want to go.
New diets don’t have to put your through withdrawals!
If you have a habit like an addiction to Coke or Diet Coke that you want to kick, you don’t have to do it all at once. I personally like to go cold turkey when I quit something, but you can decide what works best for you. You can start by adding in more water and slowly backing off of your beverage of choice. If water is too boring for you, add some fruit to it. Cucumbers, orange, lemon, lime, or berries are all a great way to enhance your water and give it a bit of flavor. You may not love it at as much as a Coke at first, but give it a chance, it will grow on you until one day Coke might even end up tasting too sugary. The same thing applies to eating junk food. Instead of never eating it at all, start adding in healthier snacks. If you like chips and hummus, try substituting carrots, bell peppers, or celery for your chips. There are plenty of ways you can still eat the foods that you love by just converting them to a healthier option. Tacos or wraps go great in a lettuce leaf. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds can offer a nice little bit of crunch when added to something. Herbs and seasonings are also a great way to add a lot of flavor into your food while still keeping your recipes healthy. Get creative with your substitutions!
Here are a few things to take into consideration when you’re inventing your new diet:
- Stay away from processed sugar.
- Up your fruit and vegetable intake, make sure your plate is colorful.
- Balance is key. It’s okay to have whatever you’re craving, just don’t go overboard. Have just enough to kick the craving.
- Drink more water (1/2 of your body weight in ounces every day).
- Listen to your body. Eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you almost feel full. Be aware of emotion eating or eating out of boredom.
- Eat whole foods. If you read a label and can’t pronounce the ingredients or know what the ingredients are, it’s best to stay away from it.
- Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. Take note of when you don’t feel well or when you feel great.
- Find healthy recipes that you love. Don’t eat something that tastes gross just because it’s good for you.
- If you eat meat, try to buy organic grass fed meat so that it’s not pumped full of hormones and antibiotics.
- Stay away from substitutes like margarine or artificial sweeteners.
Now, here’s the trick:
Just pick one thing on this list to focus on. Commit to that one thing and do it until you’re comfortable with it and it feels like second nature. Once you’re not dreading that change, you can move to pick a second thing on the list. As you’re starting to change the way you eat, just try to learn one new recipe a week. Most people get caught up making the same seven recipes over and over again because it is convenient and easy. If you can set aside some extra time one night a week to try something new, it doesn’t have to feel like work and it can actually become really enjoyable. I’m not particularly a huge fan of cooking, but I do love to turn on some music, light some candles, pour a glass of wine, and go into experimental mode. It’s great to find a relaxing type ritual and it can be even more fun if you have some good company to help with the chopping.
Pinterest is a great place to find new ideas and there are so many ways you can search for new recipes. You can search based on ingredients you want to use or even by ingredients you would like to avoid. Cooking nights with friends are also a great way to teach each other new things and support each other with healthy lifestyle changes. As you’re going through this process of trying new things, give yourself time to find your new rhythm and see results. If you end up making major life changes over night, it’s a lot easier to get overwhelmed and give up on them. If you start making one small change at a time, then not only will they be more sustainable, they won’t feel like torture.
You get to choose the best diet and you get to name it whatever you want because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great a diet is if you can’t commit to it and it doesn’t work for your body and your lifestyle. If you’re ready to take on the next year and not only get into healthier habits, but your mindset and relationships as well, signup for my “Small Weekly Challenges”. They are not only meant to be fun, they are a great way to change things up and help stay consistent. If you’re needing a little bit more support, feel free to book a Complimentary Consultation and see if one of my coaching programs would be helpful for you. Small changes lead to big changes whether it be with a diet, trying to reach a big goal, or doing a complete overhaul on your life. Figure out your first step and get excited about everything you have to gain. You get to choose what works best for you!