Most of us are aware of the major offenders like fast foods from chains like KFC and McDonalds and all the junk at the grocery stores, cookies, cakes, frozen dinners and pizzas..etc.
I grew up on lots of fast foods, junk foods, processed foods, candy, pop…etc. So I know how hard it can be so make changes when that is what you are used to!
First of all I know I used to love the taste and they were my comfort foods. Secondly, they were what I knew how to make. Thirdly, they were what my family and most of my friends ate. And last but not lease, they were my FAVOURITE foods.
Well, here is the good news for all of you out there who can relate to what I just said but want to feel better by eating better, your tastes adapt and change over time. Your habits can change too, and you can meet awesome new people by trying new things. On top of all that, eating better really does make a HUGE difference in how you feel. It affects everything, your mood, your energy levels, your feeling of self-esteem and self-worth, your desires, your ambitions,…
I can tell you after a decade of working on my diet and building up my vitality, when I have any kind of crisis in my life one of the first places I go is to the kitchen!! I know now that whatever I am facing in life, my journey will be easier and clearer if I am well fed and well supported by my nutrition!
So with all of that said, I want to talk about how to begin to make diet changes if you are starting off with addictions, poor quality nutrition and you have the intention to want to change but just don’t know how!
I will tell you first. I did it the wrong ways a lot. Perhaps, from a higher perspective, there are no ‘wrong’ ways really, I did learn a lot from my mistakes, but I sure went through a lot more pain and discomfort than I think I needed to!
I tried to change my whole diet overnight. I started reading tons of books and doing strict diets, I was afraid as I learned about what I had been putting in my body, and I was determined to whip myself into shape. I did some intense cleanses, freaked out my friends and family and I really didn’t get very far with it despite all the effort and struggle.
If I could go back and talk to myself at the beginning of my journey getting off of processed foods I would probably tell myself the following things. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you reader, as well, and that you have a more pleasant and shorter road to your goals.
PS. Even though my journey was rough, it was still worth it!! And yours will be too. The benefits of reclaiming your vitality can’t be beat
How to switch your diet!
1. Find healthy whole foods you like and just eat them.
This is just so simple, it must sound almost silly! But it’s easy to get caught up in eating what we think we ‘should’ eat and miss this simple approach. If you like apples, buy some, and eat them. If you like carrots, buy some and eat them. You only eat so much food in one day, and you only have so much money for groceries, so simply start by buying and eating healthy whole foods that you like. STAY AWAY from the packaged foods as much as possible and that can help you stick to true whole and healthy foods. Packages foods often are made to trick you into thinking they are healthy. They will say they are made with this, or that, free of this or that…but a lot of times changes have been made or junk has been added. It really easiest just to buy fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes,… in their most natural state possible. If you need to throw a bit of cheese on top of something go ahead. If you need to sweeten something a bit, do it with a natural sweetener like honey, stevia or maple syrup. Make sure you enjoy what you eat, or you will just go back to your junk food.
Anything with Hydrogenated fats, modified fats, canola oil, cottonseed oil, or any oils that have been heated to high temperatures are not your friends. These oils are very toxic to your body and they are one of the things you should become aware of.
Yes, this means french fries, and all those fast fried foods, a lot of nuts and seeds, are coated in these oils as well. Check for them before you buy. However, don’t avoid fat! You need fat, You will feel better if you get enough of it. It can help prevent cravings for junk too. One of the most important fuel sources for your brain is fat, if you don’t get enough of the right kinds you will always be trying to fill that gap! Organic/Free range Eggs with runny yolks, raw nuts, and seeds , becuase beans and avocados are all good sources. Keep nuts and seeds in the fridge so the oils don’t go rancid.
As for sugar, it can make you feel so gross and terrible it’s just not worth it. Find other ways to appease your sweet tooth. Artificial sweeteners are even worse than sugar so don’t substitute with those! Stevia is best because it will not spike your blood sugar and if it is unrefined and proceeded it’s sooo good for you. It may take you a bit to get used to the taste but it’s worth it. Small amounts of maple syrup and raw honey are fine too. And you can use apple sauce, and dates in recipes to sweeten things up. There are so many health raw chocolate recipes out there and whole food desserts. If you have a sweet tooth, I would get to work learning some of these recipes. Find some that you like and make a few each week to have on hand so that you don’t get into the rut of sugar addiction. A bit more about sugar, it feeds cancer cells, suppresses the immune system, feeds unhealthy bacterias and you will always feel like you need more, more, more. It’s no way to live!!
This could be a recipe, a topic you want to research, a trip to a healthy restaurant, a hike with a friend… make time for your vitality. Trust me, you won’t make changes if you don’t decide to make time for the work required. Set aside some vitality time each week. Once you take the first step in any direction it gets easier. The first time you make a recipe it can be challenging. The first time you go to a new class or group, same thing. But after you have done anything once or twice, you will know if you like and if you want to do it again it’s SOOOO much easier. So make a date for your vitality goals and get cracking! A fuller life, more happiness and more fulfillment are just around the corner.
Those are my tips to you if you are just starting out! Keep in mind, consistent small efforts are soooo powerful. Your body will slowly adapt to the changes and efforts you make. Your body changes every minute, every hour every day. You start taking baby steps and consistently make small changes and over the course of a few months they add up! They make a big difference. So if you start to feel overwhelmed, just ask yourself, what’s my next best step?? Keep it simple, keep it joyful and get your friends involved! It’s more fun when you can share the journey.
Blessings and happy new year everyone!