During the first week of January, I shared a post called 3 Ways to Create a Longterm, Healthy Relationship with Exercise. I wanted to share that post because so many people push hard in January and lose that motivation as each month goes on. I see so many people decide to kick off their exercise goals but rarely stick to them and that’s often because of mindset. If your only goal is to lose weight or be skinny or gain weight or get huge…well motivation can often be lost when those goals aren’t attained quickly. OR if life throws a wrench in your plan and some of those attained goals are lost. But the thing is, exercise should be a part of everyones life. It can sometimes feel tough or not be at the top of your to-do list, but just like brushing your teeth, it’s something you need to do daily. Physical activity is so important.
And when I shared this post, someone asked me to do the same post but this time about eating clean. And just like exercise, making healthy choices when it comes to what you put in your mouth day after day, well it can be tough. In the world we live in now, there are constant temptations, easier choices, and fast fixes. Which all can making clean eating day after day, month after month and year after year, seem pretty daunting. We are a society that is given instant gratification every day. So the thought of creating our own meals every day can seem exhausting when it’s easier to quickly grab our food in minutes in a drive-thru. I get it. But if we look at our American society as a whole, we are getting bigger and sicker by the minute. And if we don’t face the fact that it’s what we are putting into our bodies, we may never be able to turn our health around. Just like exercise, clean eating is something we should be doing day in and day out. Because clean eating is so incredibly important.
Now before I get in to how I keep my diet in check day after day, I want to take a quick stroll down memory lane. Because I use to eat SH*T. I drank Mountain Dew daily, I went to Taco Bell all the time, I ate at Cinnabon, Dairy Queen, McD’s, and Olive Garden most weeks, and I constantly purchased cookie pies from the grocery store and ate it all to myself. I was an emotional eating sh*t show. But like most people out there, I didn’t know any better. I was never raised to understand what kind of food I should be putting in my body and why. And it wasn’t until I found CrossFit, I read Robb Wolf’s book, and I had Loren Cordain as a professor, that I finally started to put all the puzzle pieces together and understand what clean food actually does for our bodies. And with knowledge comes power. And that power I felt inside was the first stepping stone to creating a life for myself filled with delicious food that made me feel my absolute best. Aka PaleOMG!
So let’s face some facts here. At this point in time, eating clean is more challenging than how most Americans eat. It’s easier to order pizza, pick up burgers or eat Chinese food while binging on Netflix. What isn’t as easy is planning out meals for the week, grocery shopping, prepping the meals, cooking the meals and serving your family who may be complaining about not getting fast food. That sucks. It’s harder and it’s more frustrating. But it’s worth it long term. Remember that. Great things don’t come to those who take the easy road. And let me tell you, you’re pretty damn great. So let’s start with 3 steps today to make tomorrow healthier. That way you can take these steps daily and these steps will become habits and habits will become your new lifestyle. And before you know it, you’ll feel like the best version of yourself every.damn.day.
- Step 1: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
- How many times have you heard this quote in your life? Hopefully a lot. I know I’ve said it so many times on this blog because it resonates so deeply with me. Do you want to fail? Hell no. So start planning. Plan your meals, plan your grocery shopping, plan your days. The more you plan for what’s ahead, the more likely you’ll be able to stick with your clean eating.
- Not only does this include planning your meals at home, but plan your life outside of your home. If you’re going on vacation and eating out a lot, do your research. Figure out restaurants you can eat at, grocery stores where you can find your favorite products, and healthy snacks to bring along the way.
- Step 2: Recognize how you feel.
- Once you begin to eat clean on a regular basis, it’s pretty evident how terrible processed food and most restaurant/fast food is for you all based on how you feel when you eat it. Recognize that. If your body is rejecting the cheese crust pizza you’re eating and the beer you’re washing it down with, well maybe it’s time to reconsider those foods.
- The more you recognize how your body processes certain foods, the less you will crave the foods that make you feel like sh*t.
- Step 3: Balance is key.
- No where in this post am I telling you to eat paleo or keto or count your points or blocks or follow any specific diet. I’m telling you clean eating is the way to go. And clean eating looks different to everyone since we are all so incredibly different. Clean eating also means still enjoying life. Enjoying the holidays, enjoying some drinks on a date, enjoying your grandma’s Christmas cookies, enjoying food when you travel. And yes, you can still enjoy those things while eating clean most of the time.
- Balance also means you may have to face the fact that grandma’s Christmas cookies make you feel uncomfortably bloated or drinks on a date have you feeling too depressed the next day. And maybe those things aren’t worth it. Finding your own balance also comes by recognizing how you feel and deciding if it’s worth it or not.
If you can start planning out more of your meals, recognizing how food makes you feel, and finding balance in what you consume day after day, you’ll begin to create a healthy relationship with food that truly lasts. It’s not about perfection, it’s not about some 30 day challenge that has you in a frenzy by day 31. It’s about finding a long term, healthy relationship with food where you can enjoy what you’re eating and enjoy the moments with your friends and family along the way. There is freedom from counting and worrying and obsessing. It may just take a little time and some self reflection to get to that point. I hope this helps you on your own path to clean eating and feeling like the best version of yourself in 2019!