The Joy Of Eating

I did it again to myself. No one to blame but me.

It was a morning I was running at 90 doing a million things before I left the house for the day. Now it was lunch, I was hungry and I pulled out my less than stellar salad I’d hurriedly tossed together.

Hungry, with food that would feed my hunger, but not necessarily bring me joy.

Ugh.

My favorite goof up was tossing salad in my container one night thinking I’d add protein to it in the morning along with a few more veggies.

Imagine my delight when lunch came and I had forgotten to add that and all I had was mostly dark leafy greens.

Go me.

It’s ok to feel good about eating

When I’m hungry, I shamelessly love my food. When my stomach is growling and let’s me know it’s time to eat I want to enjoy my meal.

In the diet obsessive,weight loss focused world we live in there is often an unspoken idea that really, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t enjoy eating, you should obsess or feel guilt, you should eat food that is unexciting because ya know, gotta lose weight.

You should feel deprived and a bit miserable in the process.

Listen, whether you’re working on weight loss or not, you should feel good about eating. Hopefully, you’re making good food choices, but even if you aren’t at that meal I hope there aren’t feelings of guilt that go down with it.

Unfortunately many of us may have grown up with negative behaviors with food, not been shown good eating habits, or used food as a coping mechanism/drug as we grew up.

Working to develop good eating habits, even if it’s slowly, will help you learn to feel good about it.

So about that “joy” of eating

Back to my opening lines. I don’t have much joy when I’ve been haphazard or lazy about putting my food together. When my lunch is ok and basically takes up stomach space, it doesn’t give me joy.

It makes me annoyed I didn’t take the time to put together food I would appreciate more.

We should enjoy our food, we should have food that not only offers our bodies the nutrients it needs for good health, but it should be satisfying to our souls.

Think of things like Thanksgiving or if you were fortunate, amazing Sunday dinners your grandmother whipped up.

Those are often times we may think of that are joyful eating.

True, not every day is like that. Reality might be a sandwich on the run between meetings or whatever we can grab in a busy day.

Joyful eating

I’m surrounded by a lot of men in my family. Men have this tendency to wolf food down. They love teasing me about my “little bites” and being the last one left eating.

I simply inform them I like tasting and savoring my food. ūüėČ

I like taking my time and not rushing.. nothing wrong with that is there?

Some tips for joyful eating

* Be mindful. Really, be in the moment of what you’re eating. Lose the phone, don’t stare at the TV and really focus on enjoying your food.

* Be aware of textures and flavors, appreciate how it all tastes and smells.

* Take your time. Honestly you may have to practice slowing down if you’re used to eating fast. You’ll have a better appreciation if you do.

* Savor the meal and learn to savor the relationships with those you have around the table. Over good food I’ve learned much about my family.

*Prepare foods you really love. Double win if you prepare foods others love as much.

* Leave any guilt you have at the door. Food and guilt have no place together.

* Look for new recipes that give you joy in cooking for you and your family meals.

Tell me…how do you view eating? Is it a joyful thing or one that is mindlessly accomplished ?

Single Ingredient Diet

Raise your hand if you’re on a diet. I really don’t like that word because it often implies restrictions, deprivation, and doing without things that we love.

It’s a short lived cycle for many before they revert back to what feels “normal” or “comfortable” to them.

I know with the start of the year many people are looking for diet plans to help them get started on weight loss.

I’ve recently done one comparing two low carb diets since that is what many people seem to view as the magic potion right now.

Find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/09/low-carb-diet-vs-keto-diet/

Like each one of us are unique, so will be the vehicle or ways that will help us live a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

Personally, I don’t endorse anything that excludes food groups unless it is for health reasons, or if it overall makes you feel better by abstaining.

What I want to talk about today is learning to think about how/what you eat in the form of single ingredients.

single ingredient

There is a term spun around the fitness community referred to as “clean eating ”

Personally I’ve never liked this term as it seems somehow a bit elitist. Simplified, it really means trying to eat food closest to it’s original form without lots of other stuff added to it.

Just real food.

Mostly I try and eat foods that fall in this category.

Then I read an article recently¬†that made me realize I’m not alone in the idea of wanting to eat this way.

I love the idea of just making the focus on your “diet” single ingredient foods, while still being able to incorporate¬†and enjoy¬†those other things in life that are “extra”. For me, it is having dessert with the fam. For the guy writing the article,¬†it was occasional beer and pizza haha.

You get it though, right? Focus on healthy, real, “clean” foods majority of the time, eat in moderation, listen¬†to your body’s natural hunger and full signals,¬†and allow for some fun stuff in there too. And when I say “single” foods, I don’t mean just eating one at a time.

You can certainly mix up a variety of “single” foods. I make lots of one pan dinners ( these are the cat’s meow by the way….) and they contain assortments of veggies ( sometimes some fruit!) and lean protein. The idea is to build meals/snacks with a single idea in mind keeping you closer to eating just real food.

 

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How about a summery pic since it’s winter time right now ūüėõ Did you miss my “Spotlight on Apples” post? Find it below.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/01/spotlight-on-apples/

For instance, my breakfast may be eggs, sauteed veggies ( whatever is hanging in my fridge) usually spinach is the base of it, berries of some kind, and milk. Some times a slice of multi grain bread if I had a longer training session. That isn’t a single ingredient, but it usually falls under 5 or less. Most of the time the eggs, veggies and fruit adequately fill me up.

Or it could be a bowl of non-fat Greek yogurt with a variety of berries and raw almonds.

Steel oats with craisins and walnuts is a fav before longer endurance workouts

Lunch is usually a salad crafted up depending on my mood. It contains lots of colorful veggies, sometimes some fruit, and of course adequate protein. A few whole grain crackers can go with it if I’m feeling like a need them.

Snacks, I usually try and keep it with fruit or add some cheese cubes with it as well.

Hardboiled eggs, raw nuts, cheese sticks, fruit and veggies are other single ingredient snacks.

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A lunch made of single ingredient foods…..

And chocolate. Sometimes, I may just want something chocolate. And yes, it is totally off single or less than 5 ingredients and that’s ok too.

You see where I’m going right?

Balance and moderation lead to a sustainable lifestyle.

This approach really gives you not only great flexibility in what you can eat, it will ensure you gather plenty of good, healthy nutritious, from all food groups in your day.

How complicated is this?

Simply put, anything that grows from ground and isn’t tampered with will make it easy. Also sources like dairy, meat, eggs, grains, beans etc

Are you a label reader? Learn to be. The ingredient list will quickly tell you what’s in your food.

Does the box just say “brown rice”?¬† Or is it rice with other added things you can’t pronounce?

Focus and learn about new fruits and vegetables. Learn how to make new recipes with them and incorporate them into your meals. Be willing to experiment and explore new things.

I’m¬† not talking crazy or restrictive here…..

listen there are some things I happen to like occasionally and don’t plan on giving up because they will leave the minimal ingredient list…

Chocolate, French fries, pizza, a fun meal out with hubby….

I don’t eat these foods often, but when I want it, I’m not gonna feel bad about it or think I’m “cheating” on my diet.

I really honestly, just want that stuff less and less as time goes on.

My point is, if people overall made an effort to eat more natural, as close to real food as they could, they’d easily lose or maintain weight, look good, and their bodies would reflect the healthier foods they took in.

Remember that old “you are what you eat” saying?

Don’t think for a moment your body won’t appreciate those healthy foods you offer it.

Start simple

At least focusing on single ingredient foods is fairly easy, right? I say single, but really even 5 or less is good too. I know some people way more extreme who say 3 or less. The idea is to do what works for you, with a focus on healthy, balanced and sensible eating that allows you to feel energetic, not be hungry, and helps maintain a reasonable healthy weight.

Perhaps, initially, just focus on what you eat, the types of foods. How do they line up with the idea of being just five or less ingredients? Basically, take inventory of your eating habits.

Then challenge yourself to do it at one meal. From there it could be how or what you snack on. Each step will help you to make better choices for yourself in the long run.

Awareness is the key to getting started and becoming more successful at incorporating healthier foods into your daily nutrition plan, this in the long run, will help you live a healthy lifestyle and not the world of yo-yo dieting.

Tell me, have you considered single ingredient foods as a way of eating and a part of a healthy nutrition plan in your life?

Healthy Eating Tips For Dummies

One of the most overarching things I hear ( and read) are from people who want to eat healthier, who desire to do so, but often seem at a loss of where exactly to begin.

I mean, really, it shouldn’t BE hard, right?

Get the good food, eat the good food.

Why on earth are chocolate covered donuts in the basket??!

Seriously though…..

As I write this I’ll toss out the disclaimer that I’m certainly no expert on perfect nutrition. I openly and freely share my vices with you….hello powdered sugar¬†donuts and salt and pepper kettle chips ūüėõ

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I have just learned how to control my behaviors associated with those things. I’ve learned that those foods don’t support my athletic or health goals. I also don’t deprive myself so if I want something, I have some of it and move on.

On the whole of my day though, I make constant choices to choose wisely in what I eat.

It has been a learned process.

Some days are awesome other days are …..meh.

Ok so now that we’ve got THAT outta the way, lets continue.

You aren’t a dummy, really.

When it comes to eating and nutrition you really are largely a product of what you’ve been raised in, what you’ve been taught, and what you’ve been exposed to. Ok and you do have a healthy amount of “free will” as a grown up in your food choices as well.

You can “choose” to buy a candy bar and coke in the gas station… or you can “choose” to buy water and a banana or pretzels.

Huge difference in calories and nutritional content.

So free will goes a long way to helping us become more successful in our efforts to eat better.

I totally understand environmental factors. I didn’t grow up with a focus on healthy, moderate eating.

I grew up with good food, cooked by a mom and grandmother who knew what they were about in the kitchen ( skills they taught me to which I’m grateful) and food was all about not just eating, but comfort, family,¬†and eating, plenty!

Seconds were just expected and a given. Everyone ate till they were in the food coma stage.

Of all things I’ve learned/taught myself these past years is to stay away from that mentality. It is a feeling I don’t like experiencing anymore, nor want to.

So some beginning steps towards getting smart with food is to understand your background environment ( what food was for you in your family, how it was treated, foods that were prepared etc) and accept your food behaviors today.

No one makes you eat anything¬† you don’t want or more than what you need.

In the beginning….

Ya know, when our Creator landed us here a zillion years ago, eating wasn’t complex. I have no personal experience¬†with this¬†but eating then was probably what it was designed for.

Food was fuel.

You ate to get fueled and you didn’t eat again till your tank was running low and you needed it. Repeat process. Spend time running from wild animals to survive ensured you got your cardio in ūüėČ

Of course our early ancestors didn’t have all the processed, fatty, sugary non-essential foods we have today or I’m pretty sure they woulda been having brownies for dessert too.

One thing is still the same though.

Food is fuel. We need it to survive and to have adequate energy to get through our days.

It’s WHAT we choose to fuel or bodies with, how much, and how often that has become the issue.

It’s eating to eat and not eating because we have genuine hunger and need to fill our tank.

We eat to feed our eyes, mouth, and minds very often, without as much thought to what our stomach is saying.

Are we really hungry?

We’ve been given natural signals to indicate we need to eat yet many people go through their days never being aware of those signals because they never let themselves become hungry.

Back to the basics.

There are a few things you can do that can help you get smarter with your eating. They aren’t complicated or really hard, but they may feel that way as you have to intentionally work to adjust your thinking and behaviors.

Ready?

Eat when you’re hungry. When you’re authentically hungry, feed your body. You get no extra points for ignoring your hunger or pretending it isn’t there, so eat. ¬†If you aren’t experiencing those hunger signals, find something else to do.

Eat just enough.¬† Now this can be a fine line to walk for all of us as we tend to eat and think we need more¬†but if we give our bodies a little time to process what’s been taken in we would realize that we’ve had enough. One thing I’ve learned and been amazed over is how little food it really takes to satisfy my appetite and end my hunger. The same is true for you but you may have to teach yourself new patterns and behaviors with it.

Be mindful and intentional. This is where your food choices come in with the other points above. Assuming we’re all adults here, each one of us knows and makes choices over the foods and drinks we consume in our days.

put in my body

No one *makes* me go through a fast food drive thru or *makes* me buy non-essential, empty calorie foods at the stores.

I am responsible for what I do.

Same goes for you.

I’m at a point in my journey now where if I want something, I am fully aware of the choice I’m making. For those of you who still operate in a zone of feeling “guilty” over food,¬† ( find my post on food guilt here…¬†¬†https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/07/food-and-guilty-feelings/¬†¬†¬†¬† ) this becomes very freeing as you know you’ve made a purposeful choice and not just been swept away because you’ve deprived yourself for so long.

Making different, healthy choices won’t be easy in the beginning. Work on listening to your body and eating just enough to feed your hunger, even if your food choices aren’t the best.

As you master the first two habits, you can begin to change things you’re doing.¬† DON’T make sweeping, broad, extreme changes to your eating all at once. You will be setting yourself up to quit in 24 hours.

Small steps are the best steps.

progress

DO think about the foods you consume. Make a list if you have to. Which are healthy and offer good nutrition to your body? Which are non-essential empty calorie foods that don’t promote good nutrition ?

What non-essential foods could you swap for something healthier? Don’t forget what you drink too.

What non-essential. empty calorie foods do you consume that you could learn to live without or have on a less frequent basis?

Are you willing to try new things? To change you must be willing to step out where you haven’t experimented before. Add in a new fruit or vegetable to your week. Find a healthy recipe or learn to swap out higher fat ingredients for less fat options.

One of the biggest swaps I’ve made is using my non-fat, plain Greek yogurt in recipes that call for sour cream or mayo. Sometimes with the mayo I only use half to half yogurt. Not only do you cut fat and calories, you get¬†a little extra protein thrown in too.¬† I also use this when making dip for veggie trays and as well as other sour cream based foods.

Look at how much added sugar or fatty foods you consume and see if you can eat less of it or make healthier swaps for something you like.

Learning to be intentional about what you put in your mouth will be your biggest challenge and your greatest victory to healthy eating.

Once you begin to master that, eating healthier begins to feel like an easy choice.

Why? Because when you build new habits, they tend to take over the old behaviors.

Undoing and changing a lifetime of learned behaviors is a purposeful and intentional choice made day by day, but with time and consistency you will be on your way to healthy smart eating and permanent lifestyle change.

What steps have you taken to becoming a smarter, healthier person?

Life Beyond The Weight Loss

It hasn’t taken long for me to realize through media, talking to people, and my own personal interactions that there is a whole lot of time spent focusing on weight loss, losing weight, ways to lose weight, how fast we can lose weight, and trendy diets to help us lose weight.

The weight loss/diet industry rakes in billions of dollars a year so we could even assume from those numbers people are hungry to accomplish this goal. ( oh I just made a cute pun, appreciate it ūüėČ )

Many will set out with good intentions only to always be on some kind of diet track or have the idea always on their mind they “have” to lose weight.

Many just give up and quit.

Others, others will get it. They will find the thing that works best for them. The “thing” that allows them to slowly, steadily drop weight, live life, not feel deprived and it will be sustainable long term.

They will cross the bridge that leads them to a lifestyle change. This is the only permanent thing that will last. They will find a healthy balance of all foods, learn the right amount they need to lose, then maintain that loss. They will have figured out that a their favorite meal or a treat here and there isn’t going to end their success, in fact, they will have figured out it can lead to their success.

This month marks my 8th year since I crossed over “the bridge”.¬† 8 years of ¬†not just losing it, but keeping it gone. It’s my celebratory month of figuring out what worked for me and getting out of the hamster wheel diet mentality/trap. I’ve learned so much about myself in these past few years. I’ve learned a lot about food, nutrition and exercise too.

Of course, just because this is the month I started the¬†process doesn’t mean it’s when all things connected for me. That took some time, some patience, and some strong willed perseverance. It took a willingness to learn and experiment. To stumble and get up again.

Eventually, I hit a point where losing weight wasn’t such a focus anymore. I stopped my weekly check in’s with the scale. I stopped thinking or worrying every bite was gonna land on me like a ton of bricks. I stopped worrying about what size label my clothes carried.

I was in a good place.. the land of maintenance.

So what about those who “get it” who cross over into that understanding that the only thing that works forever and long term is a lifestyle change. It’s about losing the old¬†lifestyle and mindset that got you there in the first place. ¬†This means mentally, physically, and emotionally. An entire changed perspective on how to approach food, our relationship with it and finding the balance of eating just enough but not to much. It’s a better awareness on taking care of yourself.

Where do you go after weight loss?

In the beginning you’re so focused on the numbers changing, whether it’s your clothes or the scale it unwittingly becomes your main focus on the journey. Once you hit that point of being comfy you realize you need to have a new focus.

I’d say where I am now, as to where I was then, I’ve learned a lot more about food and nutrition.¬† Yes, you can lose weight¬†with almost any foods as long as you are creating a daily deficit.

Losing weight comes down to having a negative expenditure each and every day. It’s just learning what to eat ( in a positive way) to contribute to the weight loss.

But there are things that start to happen in this process, in the “after” part of losing weight…

You really start to prefer healthy, nutritious foods

I was never a horrible eater¬† but I probably snacked on stuff that didn’t support my health and fitness goals like I do now. It has been a ongoing learned process, to intentionally select good foods over fast foods or some junk type of food.¬† In time your body really does begin to crave the good foods and you lose your taste for a lot of the things you used to find so desirable. I often eat salads now simply because I enjoy them, I crave the veggies, and it leaves me feeling energetic and not sluggish for my day.

By the time you get to a maintenance mode, you’ve learned more about the foods that got you there and don’t view eating that way as being deprived or missing out.

So yeah, you’re much more tuned in to how to eat and what to eat and you feel better not only physically, but mentally too when you do. Making good choices just makes you feel good all over.

You don’t dread those morning workouts anymore

I try and tell people this when they are wanting to start exercising. They seem to not believe me. I’m telling you, do it enough, it becomes a habit. And it turns into a habit you WANT to do. You anticipate them and you might even find yourself up for some new challenges you never thought possible. And you’ll get all kinds of energy from keeping at it. Not only that it builds your confidence, clears your mind, helps center you and gives you a new appreciation for what your body can do.

Speaking of energy

it’s fairly obvious, the less you have to drag around on your body¬†during the day, the more energy you might have. Of course, if you’ve been exercising along the way that has been building your entire cardio system so you’ll feel more energetic in your daily tasks without huffing and puffing¬†so much¬†and as well during your purposeful exercise.¬† I just love having the energy to still hang with my young 20something kids if we’re up late ( they freely admit I have more energy than they do) or to be able to play in the pool with my grandson catching him ( over, and over, and over ha) as he comes off the water slide. And in a weird way, energy seems to breed energy, so the more you do the more you seem to produce. It’s a good feeling.

Clothes shopping anyone?

ok I’m a girl and it goes without saying, I can be drawn in by lots of pretty things. It’s even more fun when all the pretty things fit great and look good ( hmmm maybe that isn’t a good thing) it’s just an enjoyable experience.¬† I really do love fun,¬†trendy¬†fashion, a lot. There were times in the past I didn’t want to shop¬†nor did I find it nearly as fun as I do now.¬† Shopping is just much more enjoyable when you are rewarded with fitting into smaller clothes for your efforts.

You might find yourself inspiring others or giving advice

In a weird turn of events, what started off as me doing my own thing to lose weight and get on a healthy lifestyle change has morphed into being here talking to you ( my blog) as well as sharing things on my other social media sites, and encouraging/helping people who ask me questions on everything from nutrition to how to start running and all things in between.¬† I think that’s like, a super cool thing. My desire always is that if someone can see I’ve done it, they can do it too. There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone “get it” and start on their own journeys.

The rest of your life

I guess it goes without saying, being at a healthy weight, exercising to keep your body strong and fit and eating good foods to support that will go a long way to letting you live a full, healthy life. Hopefully without diseases or ailments that can plaque people who carry extra weight or lead a sedentary lifestyle.   Being a strong, healthy you means the ability to live a active life to enjoy your family and all the adventures you want to have with them.

Strong. Healthy. Fit. Energetic. Active.

I’d say those are some pretty good goals to have in the long run far beyond the¬†weight loss.

 

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Celebrating 8 years of  living a strong, fit, healthier lifestyle

Holidays, Food And Guilty Feelings

baby

 

 

So I’m writing this post pre Easter weekend. I am assuming that the majority of you reading will have just celebrated it in a variety of ways.

I can’t speak to the rest of the world. but in the U.S. it will involve family and faith and ¬†all kinds of tasty foods as well¬†as a plethora of candy.

It is however,¬† now Monday and you may be feeling guilty over your “self indulgence” of the weekend. You maybe feel like you enjoyed those stolen treats out of your kids basket a bit to much.

Heck, I usually have plenty of left over stuff I don’t need to raid their stuff ( and yeah, I still make my adult kids Easter baskets ūüėČ

Seriously, though. I have a deep appreciation for chocolate although now days, it just takes a little for me, to much makes me feel yucky.

Of course I see things circulating on the internet that always make my skin crawl… meme’s that talk about doing certain exercises to “negate what you ate”

For the love of chocolate bunnies, you can’t undo something that’s already done!

Of course, there are things you can do after the fact…..like… move on and get back to your regular routine. Move forward…life as usual… you know, normal stuff.

Did you enjoy your time with your family? Was the food good? Did you have fun watching the kids experience the day? Whatever your day looked like, was it good?

Life is good. It’s meant to be enjoyed. That means there will be times we have celebrations and food and its food we really love ’cause it’s special to that event.¬† Life isn’t about constant restrictions and feeling guilty over what we put in our mouth.

A “diet” shouldn’t ruin our holiday celebrations.¬† On the other hand you shouldn’t use it as open season to just eat like an out of control person because it is a¬† holiday.

Balance. Moderation. Be sensible. It works.

One thing I’ve learned on my health journey that’s been freeing is that the food is always there. The chocolate is there. I don’t have to just drop into the deep end and gorge like I’ll never have it again.

I know I can. I know I will. I just let myself live in those boundaries.

Will I maybe have more than “usual” of food or treats over the weekend?

Most likely, yes.

Will my body let me know it’s not used to it and get back on track ? Absolutely.

That, my friend is how you need to train yourself too.

After a celebratory weekend you should be focused on getting back to what you do ( which is hopefully eating well) .

You don’t have to throw in the towel.

You don’t have to wait till another day to “start”.

You don’t have to feel guilt or beat yourself up.

You don’t have to go to the gym and workout longer or extra hard to burn off calories you’ve consumed days before. ¬†( PLEASE! don’t)

What can you do? What should you do ?

Don’t weight yourself! It’s not “fat” you’ve gained but a healthy dose of water weight. If you need to weigh yourself, wait at least one day before you do. You don’t get “fat” from eating some extra calories for a day or two.

Be thankful for the day you had with friends and family.

Be thankful you were able to enjoy good foods and treats.

Pick right up with your balanced and sensible eating.

Do your exercise ( whatever you do) do it how you usually do. Don’t attempt to push yourself harder ( you may get hurt)

Refocus on your goals and remember living a healthy lifestyle also enjoys room to breathe and enjoy life and get back on track again.

Love yourself.¬† You’re doing a great job.

The key to success is to keep moving forward and staying positive.

I understand this may be a foreign concept to you, but with a little practice and patience, you will learn to implement it into a part of your healthy lifestyle ūüôā

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Habits

So it’s afternoon coffee time and I’m ready to kick back and write for awhile. This morning was my “brick” training session… meaning I run, bike, then run again. Today I increased my miles on foot to a full 5K.¬† I’ve been gradually moving it up as I’ve adjusted to this activity.¬† I really do love it. It’s different and it’s challenging.

Oh. And I want to do a duathlon at the end of the year so I do have some extra motivation ūüėČ It involves a 5k run, 22 mile ride, and a 5K run… on some crazy hills as well.

The weather was on the hideous side. Foggy, misty rain, poor visibility,¬†cool, but not cool once I warmed up. I gave up on wearing my glasses as I couldn’t keep them cleared off ( any tips or ideas on that faithful readers?) once I was on the bike I was chilled from being wet and now flying down the road, water running off my helmet into my face, my gloves wet and the roads somewhat tricky in some places.

Good times.

I believe if I’m training for something, I need to do it in all weather ’cause¬†I never know what race day will deal up.

Anyway, it’s a rather strong way to start my day. I’m really loving multi sport days. As time moves along I will most likely increase my training to two days a week doing it.

But goodness… it can fire up my metabolism all day long!

Ok enough of that.. on with the show!

I thought since I talked about building new habits yesterday I’d focus on a couple specific to eating.

One should be obvious but often it’s one we ignore or sadly, we never experience it anymore.

Let yourself get hungry and experience those hunger signals.

To often in our world, we are programmed to eat “because it’s time”.¬†¬† As if we experience those growly, hungry¬†feelings we might not survive.¬† It might take some practice, but learn to experience hunger 30-60 minutes before a meal time.¬† It is one thing I began doing years ago, learning to eat when I had true hunger.¬† Not because the clock said I should eat. It’s amazing how good food really tastes when you have true, real hunger.

( and hunger after a hard workout?? eek.. food has never tasted better haha)

Seriously, though. Get back in touch with your body if you can’t remember those feelings or overlook them.

Again you will have to work at it. It might be a new habit for you to work on if you don’t currently practice it.

Once you start getting in touch with your bodies natural signals again, you might want to practice this next step, or new habit.

They kinda tie in together…. which is…

Learn to eat just enough food to satisfy your appetite, but not over eat.

This might be tricky in the beginning for you. We are often conditioned to eat what’s on our plate, or eat because it just tastes good. We can eat well beyond what we need to be comfortable and satisfied.¬† Allowing yourself to eat slowly and really savor your food gives your body and mind time to be in sync. You will be surprised that a lot less food will handle your hunger.¬† Again, it’s a practice, a discipline, you will have to work on to build this as a new habit.

And a final new habit you might consider….

Learn to eat 3-4 healthy balanced meals in your day.

Unfortunately so many of us have been conditioned to skip breakfast or lunch and then go crazy at dinner like it’s our last meal or something. We practice a weird form of starvation all day and gorge in the evening.¬† When you learn to eat real meals, at regular times,¬†and satisfy your natural hunger you don’t spend all day thinking about when you can eat.

Crazy, I know.

Somehow we’ve accepted a thought that eating breakfast is a good way to lose weight or that we don’t have time for it.¬† Or if we skip lunch we can have a bigger dinner.

But what if you had satisfying meals, staged at regular times, and got hungry for each one? You’d be less likely to snack or be thinking about when you could get your hands on food again.

The “4th” meal would be if you workout heavily, you might need extra calories somewhere between your meals.¬† Some days I need more, some days I need less depending on how hard I workout.

As in any other habit, you will have to be intentional about what you do. It wont come easy or over night, but with practice you’ll master these new habits. New habits lead to a lifestyle change and steady sustainable weight loss.

 

 

 

So You Eat Healthy

green and red healthy food

 

“So you eat healthy?”¬† I heard it behind me but didn’t pay much attention ’cause I was lost in rapture at how totally gorgeous and big the red peppers were. ¬†I just assumed in a store full of people that it wasn’t directed at me.

“So you eat healthy?” that broke my concentration¬†in my study of the lovely red peppers. Still grasping one in my hand I turned around looking for the one directing the question now obviously at me.

Then I realized I had to look down somewhat as there was a young man in one of those motorized carts with his gaze fixed on me as he repeated the question again… for the third time.

I glanced at my basket that was full of produce, smiled at him, and said “yeah,¬† for the most part I do eat healthy”

“It’s so hard, isn’t it!” he blurted out

Still clutching a pepper in my hand and stuffing it into the bag,¬†I glanced at him and said “No, I don’t think so. At least it’s not for me now.”

He then started telling me how his “doctor told him he needed to start eating better and healthier” and he was trying but it was just so hard but he knew it was something he had to do for his health.

I offered him some encouraging words and a few suggestions before I left him looking kinda pathetic studying the produce.

I’ll tell you this, if he’s in one of those little carts and he has a doctor making these suggestions to him, it sounds kinda serious. I certainly didn’t probe into the details but it appeared he needed to make some changes for the betterment of his health.

If you know my story and back round, 8 years back my doctor made a suggestion that I might change some things I was doing for my health. Thankfully, I had no health issues or problems that forced me into it. Thankfully, I listened to his advice and made some changes to create a healthier lifestyle for myself.

Sometimes, people wait till it’s to late or they are dealing with issues before they are forced to recognize their bodies aren’t designed to consume to much sugar, fats, processed foods, alcohol etc that contributes to excess fat which in turn leads to all kinds of health related problems and diseases.

Our bodies need good food for health and well being.

It’s not supposed to be something horrible and torturous to eat good nutritionally dense foods. It shouldn’t be viewed as some kind of death sentence.

“I have to eat healthy”

Believe it or not, in time, you lose your desire for so much of the not so nutritionally good foods as you feed your body more healthy foods. You really will begin to crave them and want to eat them and it won’t make you feel like you’re “missing out”

Listen, what you will miss out on for having health problems and other related ills is an energetic life or having a body that is strong and able to do things with your family and for yourself.¬† There are diseases brought on by obesity that you just don’t wanna mess around with. Some of those things can’t be changed and the effects they have on your body are permanent and lasting.

You don’t wanna “miss out” on an active abundant life. That’s what you don’t wanna miss out on.

Learning to pass on foods that don’t build a healthy body shouldn’t be viewed in a negative way.

Your focus should be on caring for your body so you can fully and energetically enjoy the precious life you’ve been given.

I like being able to run and chase little kids and walk stairs and park far from the store and not be huffing and puffing. I like having energy and knowing I can take on things I have to do in my day and not be exhausted from the exertion.

No. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

But it has taken me some practice, discipline and intentional steps to get where I am.

Can I offer these words of advice to you? If you know you’re carrying excess fat ( and trust me, we ALL know when we are) please don’t wait till you’re at a doctors office and he’s giving you the ultimatum of ” you must do this now or else….”

Begin to take small steps that will lead to bigger changes.

Look for ways to get more movement into your day.

Learn to try a new vegetable. Learn how to cook them different ways ( I love roasting almost everything ! A little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, I’m in heaven ūüėČ

Aim to eventually get veggies in at all your meals.

Understand what proper portion sizes are. I can guarantee, it’s not what you probably think it is.

Learn to eat enough to be satisfied but not stuffed.

Watch your alcohol intake.

Be aware of how much sugar you consume. Sugary drinks are huge offenders.

Stop going through fast food places, or learn to look for healthier options if you do.

Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry. Sounds simple, yet so many people reach for food to comfort them on some level. Find other activities, remove yourself from the kitchen, or call a friend… just do anything to give yourself time to think through why you don’t need to put food in your face.

In time, with repeated practice your new habits will take over leading you to a healthier energetic lifestyle and that’s one decision you won’t regret.

 

Tell me… is eating healthy hard for you?