It may come as no surprise if you’ve been reading my posts the past few weeks that we’ve kind of “fallen off the wagon” with the healthy, whole food diet that we try to maintain. The meds I was on had me intensely craving salt and sugar, and I found myself in the drive-thru lines of some very unfortunate establishments that I swore off years ago. We all know it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet and Jason and I tend to “fall of the wagon” periodically no matter what. This week, being joyfully free of those meds, I’m starting fresh and new and we’re re-committing ourselves to clean eating. I thought it would be a good idea to show you what I do to get us back on track when things get dicey.
First thing’s first, STOP feeling guilty.
This is something that I strongly believe in. Food guilt is not helpful, it’s not healthy, and it keeps you from being able to move forward. Am I proud that that my snacks this last WIAW were a bunch of Peeps, a chocolate bar, and
three two servings of greasy potato chips?
No. Am I glad that I made those eating choices? Of course not. Am I dwelling on how awful it is that I ate those things and beating myself up about it? NO, I AM NOT. The food is eaten, you can’t take that back. But you’re not going to collapse and die from one unhealthy choice (or even a few), and it certainly doesn’t erase all the GOOD healthy choices that you have made. Remember the good choices and be proud of them! Acknowledge the bad choice (which usually happens immediately), then try your best to move on and not make the same mistakes again. In this instance, it meant throwing away the rest of the box of Peeps because I knew I would just continue to eat them out of boredom! Not worth it.
Stock up on whole and healthy foods.
The easiest way to avoid going for the unhealthy foods is just to not have them around. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy items and ditch the bad stuff so that when you’re hungry your options are healthy ones. If you don’t plan and prepare for healthy snacks and meals, you’re setting yourself up to fall back on bad habits in a pinch. Check out my post on meal planning to see how I plan in advance. Make it fun! I took a trip to the farmer’s market with a challenge to myself to find a couple nutrition-packed items for the week. It was an awesome trip.
Today I went grocery shopping and made sure to get a few miscellaneous fruits and veggies, along with good snacks like greek yogurt and nuts. Take a peek inside our produce drawer:
I got a big box of spinach, oranges, broccoli, blackberries, and more.
Keep a lot of grains and legumes around.
Aside from green veggies, the food group I have a hardest time fitting in is whole grains and legumes. Over the past few weeks we’ve been particularly lacking in this department so it was definitely time to fill the holes and make sure we have enough options to go along with lunches and dinners.
My favorite ways to get in whole grains are cereal (like oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, and cold whole grain cereals), whole wheat bread bread, brown rice pasta, and brown rice.
Prepare your veggies in new ways.
I, like you I’m sure, have my standby methods for cooking vegetables. Roasted with salt, pepper, and olive oil…sauteed with garlic and olive oil…that sort of thing. While vegetables can be delicious like that, I get bored with it. But there’s one way that vegetables make me really excited, and that’s when they’re underneath a new sauce or salad dressing! I LOVE salad dressing. So to get back on track I’ll be trying out new dressing recipes and just having fun with it, like this awesome Sesame Miso Dressing that I made yesterday:
Recipe to come tomorrow!
Get informed and inspired!
Maybe this is just me because I’m a dork, but I LOVE reading about proper nutrition and clean eating to keep myself informed. Reading about it makes me feel empowered and then makes me excited to actually go out and DO IT! Blogs are a fantastic resource for this. For example, Lindsay just did an awesome post about how to eat healthy during the week, and I loved this one from Tina that’s packed with healthy eating tips. There are a ton of nutritionists, trainers, health enthusiasts, etc. out there who blog and they have so much knowledge to share! Use it! In addition to blogs, I get a lot of my nutritional values from this amazing book:
I bought Whole Life Nutrition at the beginning of my healthy eating journey (before I really was a part of the blog world) and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s co-written by a personal chef and a nutritionist, and it is an amazing resource that tells you pretty much everything you would ever want to know about how to eat clean along with a ton of amazing recipes. They have a website too with some great info, check it out!
Know Your Plan
Eating intuitively is important, but when I’m making an effort to get back on the healthy horse I really need to remind myself throughout the day what I’m aiming for in terms of nutrition. Otherwise I’d end up eating a bunch of fruit and carbs and not much else. There’s nothing wrong with fruit and carbs, but a healthy diet requires balance. Based on my tastes and personal needs, this is what I aim for:
- Breakfast: whole grain, fruit, protein (small amount of dairy, eggs, or meat)
- Lunch: green vegetable, protein (legume or poultry), whole grain if possible
- Dinner: green vegetable, protein (legume and/or poultry, meat, fish, or soy), whole grain
- Snacks throughout the day: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains