Days when you are not feeling like a salad
Don't know about you, but if I eat certain foods, its a downward spiral to overeating and feeling miserable. It happened to me yesterday at breakfast. I have always known that eggs when served on their own create havoc with my constitution. Literally, within 1/2 an hour I am starving, and feel like I am watching the clock to meal time, or hanging off my pantry or fridge door. No matter how I try to distract myself, working, walking the dog, my mind is fixed on food. It won't be the green leafy type rather the healthy kids muffins or breads that I make. Honestly, these are good foods, but I prefer to avoid them as for me, they are the foods that tend to congregate around the middle.
So, yesterday there was nothing in the fridge that I felt like. I hadn't been cooking or experimenting so there was nothing quick and easy to snack on. The only ingredients that I had on hand were the green leafy type. Problem is: I DID NOT FEEL LIKE ANOTHER B______Y SALAD.
I think you get the picture.
Despite these feelings, I thought ok, I don't feel like one, but Im going to make it anyway.
First I got the celery out, chopped it, put it in a bowl. Ok, not bad. Next a cucumber. Hmm Looking better, then an onion, red capsicum, green beans, spinach, olives and 1/4 avocado. Ok, I can do this. Drizzled a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Seasoned with himalayan salt and pepper and topped with a little crumbled fetta. By the time I had finished putting it together, I was really looking forward to it, and it was DELICIOUS.
My cravings stopped. I didn't think about food till I was preparing dinner, and I felt sustained all afternoon.
So next time you have a craving, eat the foods that you least desire. It may work for you as well.
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.
Whether you are going on a plane, car or boat, travelling with food allergies and intolerances can be a nightmare. I recently went travelling abroad with my family. In our mix, four of us are gluten or dairy intolerant. Flying was one thing, but when travelling to other countries with these intolerances made it somewhat difficult. It made me sympathise with anyone with a true allergy or coeliac disease. Here are some tips that I came up with to make travelling a little easier.
We purposely choose Airbnb during our travels which worked extremely well. We could have what ever we wanted for breakfast and pack our lunches and snacks for the day. In the evenings we would plan to eat out. The questions to ask airbnb before deciding to rent is where the closest supermarkets or local food shops are. Making sure that you are central and within walking distances to shops makes it that little bit easier to get what you need at a moments notice.
2. Google gluten free restaurants before you leave
Wherever you are staying it is good to get an idea of restaurants that can cater for gluten free (GF) and book in. When you have a firm booking for dinner then you are likely to plan your day to end at the restaurant rather than wandering around looking for places to eat. Alternatively, when looking for places to eat check out the menu. Find out what their specialty is. If it is pizza, the cross contamination of flour can make any gluten free pizza a bad choice. If they do grilled meats with vegetables or salad this may be an option, but you will need to check with the chef or head waitress whether the sauces contain gluten.
These days restaurants are very savvy when it comes to GF dining. Dishes are either labeled GF or restaurants have a dedicated GF menu.
Some questions to ask when ordering are:
Chips: Are the chips coated with any flour?
Oils: Are GF fried foods fried in the same fryer as non GF foods?
Stews and slow cooked meals: Has the meat been coated with flour before browning. If so what type of flour?
Marinades and Sauces: Check to see if they contain gluten or is there potential for them to be cross contaminated.
Our most memorable eating moment was in England, when we ordered a huge pile of hot deep fried chips from the local fish and chip shop. Piles of thickly cut fresh potato deep fried and wrapped in the old fashioned butchers paper, piping hot. Delicious. And no gluten.
3. Getting ready for your flight
The last trip we did, I spent hours planning and preparing meals for the flight. I packed a fridge bag full of GF bread, cookies and crackers to supplement our meals.
Error no 1. Check the time of your flight. Yes, this is very important. For instance, you are not going to eat as much on a night flight as a day flight.
Error no 2. Don't pack too much. We were sitting in economy, and their is hardly any room for your legs let alone a fridge bag full of food that you can't pull out at a moments notice. Obviously not an issue for those travelling in Business or First Class.
Error no 3. I packed one big bag, but in hindsight it would have been better if we all had our own smaller bag with our extra food that we were each in control of. Order a GF meal, and use your own supply of bread and cookies to complement the meal. The GF meals that we ordered were tasty, but the breads could have been used to play shuttlecock.
4. Know what GF is in non english speaking countries
On our travels we visited Paris. This is where we became a bit unstuck with our GF lifestyle. Just remember to look for 1 phrase "Sans Gluten" . A lot of restaurants do offer GF dining, but it helps to have a few phrases on hand
"Avez-vous des aliments sans gluten" - Do you have GF food
Just remember to have goggle translate at hand.
So, although we did slip up once or twice, unintentionally of course, it is possible to eat well overseas. That is with a little planning.