I woke up this morning stuffy, bloated and feeling like JUNK. Why you might ask…. I love the organization – but I hate the cookies! I fell into the trap of eating some Thin Mints. Yuk…. my body just doesn’t tolerate that stuff anymore.
Diets are all the rage…….. juice cleanse, paleo, keto, vegan, Whole 30, Bulletproof…. Where to begin??? Then you have the commercial diets….. Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers. They are all lined with flashy promises and motivation.
They all have merit and science behind why they work. After gaining what felt like…. the most weight ever from one pregnancy….. I tried several of these diets. I would lose a few pounds but did not ultimately drop the weight and truly start feeling better until I made REAL lifestyle changes. My in-laws used to joke about me being the champion bread basket eater. No more…. it would be a stretch for you to even find something that resembles bread in my house these days. And – I am happier and feel better because of it.
We are all different. Different DNA, different physique, different lifestyles, different health, different ages, different fitness, different challenges, different allergies and food sensitivities, different everything! That being said there is no one magic diet that is the cure all answer. So, how did I start to feel better? Keep reading…
Americans, in particular, have adopted a terrible way of eating and looking at food. It is often referred to in literature as SAD (Standard American Diet.) This typical food intake in America stems from factors such as the rise in processed foods, misleading advertising, poor recommendations, and lack of education.
Many of the commercial diets are aimed at offering a quick fix and rapid results. But is the process healthy? Are these diets supporting our delicate internal systems? Are they setting us up for long term success? I would argue that while they have some merit to produce quick results by tight calorie control , they are not a long term solution providing wonderful nutrition that supports our internal systems such as immune, digestive, endocrine, cardiovascular, etc…
So what are we to do?
I would encourage you to speak with your doctor or health care provider and look closely at your blood levels, health concerns, weight, and overall wellness. The old adage eat less – move more, simply isn’t the answer when we look deeper at how our body really works. What matters is making small incremental changes toward a healthier lifestyle. Changes that are sustainable. Many of these changes can result in truly feeling better, aging gracefully, providing more energy, better mood, less aches & pains, and overall wellness improvements.
There are some basic resounding themes and principles of nourishment that can lead us all on a better path to wellness.
- Drink water… aim for half your body weight in ounces
- Limit sugar and refined carbs
- Ditch processed food
- Avoid anything fried
- Fill most of your plate with plant based food
- Reduce exposure to toxins
- Eat good animal protein sources in moderation that are organic, free range, grass fed, wild caught
- Get adequate sleep
- Be physically active
Easier said than done.
I find for myself, that leaning towards a ketogenic eating plan with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables truly makes a difference in how I feel each and every day. This emphasis on a plant based diet with the right amounts of healthy fats and protein provides excellent nourishment for all our bodily systems and can help reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to countless health concerns and diseases. So, finding a lifestyle that supports the work your body needs, in order to keep you healthy, is key. Learning the ins and outs of listening to your body, fine-tuning how you feel, and making sustainable changes will result in feeling better. We will all grow older, but as Jimmy Buffet says “but not up….” and, we certainly don’t have to be miserable or feel like junk either!
Stay tuned on the blog for more details and tips on each of these steps
A few of my favorite clean eating recipes:
Quick & Easy Chili…… serve with tossed green salad
No Pasta Salad…perfect for lunch or potluck