For any body transformation to work it requires a level of desire and commitment to make those changes happen. Eating a whole food based diet does take a little getting used to. But soon you will be noticing differences in the way you feel, your skin, how you react to situations, your focus and concentration, and most of all your energy levels.
Here are my Top 5 tips to help you to wellness.
1. Get rid of processed foods
We don't realise how dependent we are on processed foods: It could be a muesli bar after a work out, or a muffin with a cup of tea. Its about changing our mindsets, so we reach out for a handful of nuts instead of a muesli bar, or we opt for an orange rather than a muffin. The choice has always been there, but we are choosing the addictive, unhealthy, easy options. Its about having something always on hand. Be prepared, carry fruit with you, or even keep a jar of nuts in the car for times when your blood sugar drops to below zero and you are fading. Our bodies are temples, and when we are fuelling our bodies it is important that we choose nourishing foods with every mouthful.
2. Its not a diet. Its a way of life
This is not an 8 week program that lasts only 8 weeks. The goal of the menu plan is to change the way you think and feel about foods for a lifetime of change. There are no processed foods. Just real, whole foods. It is a misconception that eating a real food diet is time consuming. Its about becoming organised. You put effort into cleaning your house, walking the dog, organising the kids - so what about putting time into looking after yourself. Don't put yourself last. Plan your meals, put together a shopping list, order online, have a substantial pantry with back ups, have spare meals in the freezer. Its worth it. You and your partner and family will be thanking you for it.
3. Keep a food Journal
When we are making changes initially to our lifestyle, it is difficult and we can get discouraged. It is not uncommon to complain of headaches or aches and pains during the first week or two of any diet change, but hang in there. It will get better and in no time you will be feeling recharged, with energy to spare.
Journal what you eat, drink, go to the bathroom, how you are feeling, what you are craving and the changes you are noticing. Writing down can help us understand the patterns that we fall into. How often do you snack? Discover the associations that you have with food, and try to avoid or divert these habits by creating new ones.
4. The kilojoule confusion
No two foods are alike, and not all foods are absorbed the same, and every person has a unique digestive system that decides how many kilojoules and nourishment, they receive from the foods they eat. Processed foods such as bread and pasta are simple carbohydrates - these are foods that are easy for the body to digest. It takes little work, therefore raising blood sugar levels quickly, which can lead to over eating and cravings. Think about leafy greens and avocado. It takes the body a lot longer to digest. These are complex carbohydrates, which are difficult to breakdown, blood sugar levels are not spiked, and gives us sustained energy and nourishment.
So for that sustained energy we all want to get through the day with ease, avoid simple carbohydrates, and go for the complex ones that are whole foods, minimally processed, from plants and animals, as nature intended.
5. If you slip up, just keep going
They say it takes up to 8 weeks for a new habit to take hold. So to slip up now and again is totally understandable. Just keep going. Don't punish yourself, just reaffirm your commitment to yourself that you will keep on trying. Reach out, talk with others. Revisit your goals.
Never look back, just stay focused in the present.
Not all changes have to be made at once, change is embraced by people differently. Just keep the end goal insight and you will get there especially when you use these recommendations. Eating a whole food based diet does take getting used to. You begin to think differently about your food choices, you shop differently and you will be cooking differently. Quickly you will become an expert at reading labels and going to great lengths to avoid foods that have been processed in a plant, rather than from a plant.
Like all diets, if you are unsure or have any questions, check with your GP or nutritionist first.
Really the bottom line is as simple as just eating real foods.