Let’s be serious for a moment. Just about every woman is or has been unhappy with their body at one point in their life, or unhappy with their energy levels, including me. So, what do we do? We immediately start looking for a diet and ways to change this. I have spent hours scouring the internet, rummaging through books at the library, and researching the best way to feed my body for optimal health. Through all of this though, I have learned one thing. What is that? Well, it has less to do with participating in an actual diet, and more on learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.
What a Healthy Lifestyle means to Me
To me, a healthy lifestyle means not filling my body with the garbage of processed foods. Our family practices a clean eating style. Along with this, we also are living a gluten-free lifestyle, have eaten Paleo-style for years, but now we are leaning more toward a plant-based diet. Now, this may sound like a lot, but in reality, making small changes over time will soon become second nature. None of these changes have happened overnight. It has taken planning and careful consideration, to determine if these changes were the best for my entire family or not.
Why Fad Diets Do Not Work
New fad diets seem to be popping up almost daily. I find this scary. These fad diets promise that you are going to lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time, have more energy and a higher quality of life in the long term. Well, research has proven that slow and steady weight loss, is more likely to stay off long term. Typically, 1-2 pounds a week is considered healthy, depending on specific criteria such as starting weight. On the other side of the coin, you will read that certain “fad diets” actually cause harm to the body long-term.
Other fad diets include the miracle drinks that promise to melt your fat and weight away. Think about that for a second. If there were a wonderful drink that does that, we would no longer need any other fad diets.
How to Change your Mind Set
Before you are successful in a healthy lifestyle, your mindset has to change first. There is no way around this.
You have to commit to a healthy lifestyle. It is just that, a new lifestyle. That means that you have to continue it for long periods of time. It is not a one-month process; we are talking years or even the rest of your life.
When figuring out your new healthy lifestyle, first do your research. Do you want to avoid sugar? Do you want to eliminate meat? What about gluten? Do you have food allergies? If so, you need to find a lifestyle that you can easily avoid your allergies.
Make a Game Plan
Second, you need to come up with your game plan. Are you going to meal prep? If not, how many times are you going to grocery shop throughout the week? Or are you going to have food delivered through a service?
Write Down Your Goals
Third, write your plan and goals down. Keep these in a place that you can quickly remind yourself of what you are doing. I have them written down in my pantry and my refrigerator. In case you are wondering, yes, I do have some sweet snacks in my pantry. But I have learned to use my positive mindset to learn self-control. It is unrealistic to say; I am never having a cookie again. Here, is where restraint takes place.
Our Healthy Lifestyle
Although I have always considered myself healthy, I, too, have had down times. You can read about our journey toward a gluten-free lifestyle here. The key is not to focus on them and let them consume my life. As I said earlier, we are focusing on a clean eating, gluten free, more plant-based diet. If this is scary, trust me it is not. I am going to break down each one for you.
When you chose clean eating, you are staying away from packaged and processed foods. You will also want to cut back on sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and trans-fats. See that is not too bad. Our family has started eating out less, so we can control what is going into our bodies. We also work together as a family to prepare our meals now, which is a bonus.
Gluten Free/Dairy Free
What is gluten anyway? Simply put, it is proteins in wheat and other grains that create the elastic texture, so it holds its texture. Currently, gluten is in most bread and cereals. Well, if you have Celiac’s Disease, this could be detrimental. Even if you do not have Celiac’s Disease, gluten could be creating issues in your digestive system.
For me, (and our youngest daughter) being gluten-free are and staying away from dairy are best. There are plenty of dairy alternatives out there, and we use them. We never drink cow’s milk, substituting instead with almond, rice, cashew or hemp milks. For cheese, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives out there that are yummy. We don’t miss it.
You can read about our journey toward a gluten-free lifestyle here.
You can read about the top five benefits of going gluten-free (for the modern family) here.
A plant-based diet is one that focuses on plants. The idea is to limit animal meats such as beef, pork, and chicken. It includes limiting eggs, and the products that come from beef, such as milk, cheese. In a plant-based diet, it also discourages bleached or refined flours, sugars and oils. So, it goes along with the gluten-free diet and clean eating.
Now, I am going, to be honest with you. I am learning so much about the benefits of plant-based diets (specifically lectin-free, plant-based diets!) and will be creating a bunch of articles under our natural living tab. Both are topics that I am very serious and passionate about. I want to live a long, vibrantly-healthy life and watch my kids grow and have babies. Also, I have taught my girls about a healthy lifestyle from a young age. Therefore, they already know how to read labels, and make choices that create health, instead of take it away. My hope is that they will carry this into adulthood.
So, let’s quit those fad diets, and learn about healthy lifestyles for all of us. Tell me, what was a fad diet you tried?