Welcome to my brain! If you’re like me, you have nonstop jibberish running through your head all day and all night. I’d like to share some of my brain with you. Welcome to my jibberish!
I’ve been super into researching health. I’ve been learning stuff every year, every month, every day. I’ve slowly changed my diet, my lifestyle, my habits. I’ve changed my mind. And it all happened overnight! Nooooo that is a lie! It’s taken me years and I am still on my journey. I started researching on my own and with loved ones maybe 6 years ago (thanks, Dorothy!). And then I got so into this stuff that I decided to go to school. I am almost finished with my one-year program at Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I loved the program so much that it has inspired me to keep taking classes. (BTW If you are ever interested in going to this school to become a health coach, talk to me first because I can get you a secret discount. That’s how I started, actually! Thanks Erin!)
So anywho. Back to my subject line. I don’t “diet”. I don’t do paleo, keto, Nutrisystem, whatev. Do you notice the same thing seems to happen over and over with people who try these diets?
Step 1: Person is frustrated with their weight/health.
Step 2: They try a new diet that has lots of rules/restrictions.
Step 3: They start losing weight. Hooray!
Step 4: The diet starts to get difficult, boring, too restrictive, etc so the person falls off the diet.
Step 5: Back to Step 1.
And that’s why I don’t diet! They often work at first because we shift from eating whatever the heck we want to eating mindfully. Of course we’re gonna lose weight! But the trick is…is this something we can stick with forever? Cuz I’m not just trying to lose weight to fit into a little dress. I’m trying to keep the weight off forever, because a healthy body means fewer doctor’s visits and less chance of developing a condition like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. (But hey, this is me. If you’re on a diet and it’s working great for you then YEAH BABY! Mad props to you!)
OK Julie, so you don’t diet. But I can tell you’ve lost weight. So what DO you do?
I just focus on nourishment. When I plan a meal, I think “What foods do I need to nourish my body?” Then I take some of those foods/ingredients and put them together to make a delicious and nutritious meal. (And sometimes I say screw it; I’ll have a cheesesteak. And that’s ok!) But for the most part, I just aim for nutrition. After all, the Oxford definition for food is “any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life or growth.” Does YOUR meal fit this definition?
Imagine putting soda into your car’s gas tank. What would happen? Your car would get sick and not run properly. It needs a specific fuel; any ol’ liquid is not gonna cut it. We can’t take water and just dye it to make it look like gasoline. We just need to give our car actual gasoline. Humans are the same way. We need the right nutrients for our bodies to function. Right? If I want my blood to pump and my brain to think and my gut to digest/utilize food and my lungs to breathe, I need to give my body the right fuel. “Give me what I need!” so they say. [grin]
The coolest part of this “eating for nourishment” routine? When I eat this way, I achieve SO much.
- My body works properly and efficiently.
- I know I’m taking care of myself, and reducing my chances of developing a serious illness.
- I get sick less often.
- I don’t feel as tired as I used to.
- Oh yeah…and I also lose weight. Woo!
- I develop a way of eating that will last a lifetime, not just temporarily. And since the only guideline I have to follow is to eat nourishing food, it gives me tons of options! So I don’t get bored.
[Disclaimer: But hey, maybe you’re on a specific diet due to a certain medical condition. That’s ok!! You can still make it fun with just rotating foods and making sure there’s lots of color on your plate.]
So. When you’re getting ready to eat a meal, stop and look at your plate. Ask yourself “What is this meal doing for me? Is it going to help me function and feel better, or is there a chance this will slow things down? Will it make me gain weight, make me sick, etc?”
Umm, Ok Julie. Soooo how do I know if something is nutritious or not??!
That’s an excellent question, Julie! I’m gonna talk about that in my blogs. And I cover that extensively with my coaching clients (and YOU could be one of those clients; if you’re interested, just hit me up by going to the Contact tab on my site). But basically, we want to stick with fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein, and some healthy fats. These all contain nutrients that we need.
But Julie, I deserve a treat sometimes!
You sure gosh darn diddly do! That is the truth. In fact, I splurge all the time! But I’ve learned how to treat myself in healthy ways. Or maybe I treat myself to a non-food treat. For instance, today I had a brownie. But not a brownie with sugar and white flour. I had a brownie that was made of healthy ingredients. And it was delicious! So it’s a win-win. But hey, once in a while, I’m gonna splurge on something disgusting and awesome (like a piece of cake made of sugar, topped with sugar) and it’s totally fine. I don’t feel guilty about it, because I eat so healthy the rest of the time.
Let me summarize with this
I want to encourage you to feel encouraged. Remember it took me years to get to where I am. I opened my mind and put in the time. I let myself understand that I will make progress over time instead of just changing everything overnight. Be willing to try new things but give yourself a break! Focus on progress, not perfection. In my blogs, I will teach you some simple swaps! And I’ll teach you to love vegetables, hugs, and life. Stick with me and let it in!
Nourish yourself, baby!
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