Eat Real Food, Mostly Plants
Anyone care to admit how many diet trends they have tried? It's that shiny object that promises amazing, lasting results like no other diet plan before. I mean, after all, none of the others you have tried have worked so THIS, THIS has gotta be the ticket to thin and happy, right (note: thin does not = happy)? How often have you ditched this new diet because you couldn't follow it to the "T"? Or it didn't bring results as quickly as you had hoped? Or you just wanted to eat a damn donut and socialize like a real human being?! Guess what? You are not alone and there is a reason that the diet business is a multi-million dollar jackpot. People are always looking for the next great thing. Our lives are moving a million miles an hour, stress levels are through the roof, everyone is sleep deprived and no one wants to take the time to realize that all good diets tell you the same thing:
EAT REAL FOOD, MOSTLY PLANTS
Sounds pretty easy, right? Somehow we find a way to complicate it. Busy lives, finances, or that peer pressure to "eat it anyway" that is so pervasive in our culture, they all prevent us from the simple truth that eating well and being healthy isn't something you need to read about in yet another book. I had a friend tell me this week (make that TWO friends) that they were "going Keto". I prefer not to label my eating but I think for many they need the framework in place so that they know exactly what they can and can't eat, but here's my issue with that: you are making foods "good" and "bad." See the problem here? Food is fuel for our bodies. Food brings people together. Food is part of every culture. But food is also something that should make you feel good - and that includes that brownie you love. Calling it a cheat or telling yourself you've been bad for eating it doesn't set you up with a good food relationship. See how that diet mentality can be toxic? I can't tell you how often I'm out socially and people will say, "oh, you're being sooo good!" or "I shouldn't show you what's on MY plate" or "you aren't going to eat that, are you?!" Listen, a healthy diet is about balance and knowing how food makes you feel. I'm gonna eat that delicious homemade brownie I've been saving up for (gluten-free or NOT!), enjoy every little bite and have no regrets. Note, I did not eat the whole plate of brownies.
This has become habit for me but my tips are as follows:
Fill 75% of your plate with plants
Add a little protein (meat or otherwise)
Always include a little healthy fat (yes, fat can be good for you!)
Ditch the simple carbs
Eat whole grains in moderation
Eliminate processed foods
Make water your drink of choice (1/2 your body weight in ounces per day is recommended)
Aim for naturally sweetened instead of artificially sweetened
Enjoy a cocktail now and again with friends (vodka or tequila and soda are my faves)
Dessert should always be WORTH IT
If you are following the rules above, your body will be happy. It's not about fitting into a certain size, or following a new fad that's really not uncovering anything groundbreaking. Eat well, feel well, and be well. Ok, I'll get off my soap box now.