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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Should You Eat?


I get this question A LOT. People want me to design a menu for them. First, I'm not a nutritionist (yet, heh) and second, I don't know what YOU need. I only know what *I* need! The reason for this is, depending on your genetic predisposition combined with any damage you've done to your body thus far in your life (i.e. insulin resistance, heart disease, type II diabetes, etc.), your ideal diet will vary somewhat from everyone elses. Here is another MAJOR reason that educating yourself is important. You have to find out what works for YOUR BODY because YOUR BODY is different from EVERY OTHER BODY!

A couple GENERAL rules of thumb are to eat as much raw food as you can. I am not a raw food person. In fact, I love a good steak and sweet potato! However, I try very hard to eat at least 50% of my food in the form of raw fruits & veggies. Other than aiding in digestion, filling you up for less calories and making your skin glow, these foods are LIFE GIVING. Where most other cooked foods are, to at least some degree, dead food. When you eat something raw, you are taking LIFE into your body.

Make sure you're drinking enough water. The 64 oz thing is way too "one size fits all". Some say drink half your body weight in ounces (which means, if you're 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces). I can't offer you an exact amount of water you need to drink but you need to make sure you're getting enough which involves trial and error.

Don't be afraid of healthy fats! They are NOT the same as the bad kind (such as partially hydrogenated oils). I will give this one general rule of thumb, if it comes directly from nature (nuts-especially raw, olive oil, etc.) it is more than likely okay. Again, educate yourself. There's too many rules for me to list them all.

Lean meats such as salmon, chicken, etc. are good in the right amounts. I eat approx 3-4 oz servings but this will vary based on your needs. Just keep in mind that meat should (again, in my opinion, based on what I've learned over the years) be a garnish, not the main part of the meal. Other protein sources I rely on are cottage cheese, eggs, almond butter, beans and nuts.

Part of this is eating foods that have a good balance of protein, fat and carbs. I'm not going to give you an ideal balance because that depends on you and you have to take the time to learn this magic number for yourself. Also, I'm not going to give you examples of carbs you should eat because this also varies from one person to another. However, if you are struggling with your weight and cravings, check out this video from Metabolic Effect for suggestions on what carbs you should be eating.

If you're constantly hungry, check out this article on possible reasons why.
One of THE most important things you can do RIGHT NOW is to start writing down what you eat. I'm not saying count calories (I'm not opposed to it, but there's a LOT of variables you need to be aware of if you use this method.) What I'm suggesting is write down everything you eat, what time you ate it & in what amounts and then write down any changes that you have mentally or physically and what time you have them. You will start to notice patterns.

For example, I noticed that when I had my little chocolate squares after lunch, I would feel tired, get a headache, a stuffy nose and get hungry again very soon. I reduced my chocolate intake & moved it to after dinner time and the problem went away!

Another example is when I noticed that on the mornings I had bread with breakfast (even 100% whole wheat) that I would get tired & gassy and feel hungry waaaay sooner than the mornings I had fruit as my carb with breakfast instead. I eliminated wheat and now I cruise right through til lunch with no problems.

These are MY experiences, yours could very well be different. Why? Because YOU are not ME!

Here is a great article from BodyBuilding.com that outlines 10 Nutritional Mistakes You Might Be Making - And How to Fix Them.

One of the very biggest pieces of advice I can give about changing your eating habits is to stop with the all or nothing mentality! If you are eating (and craving) large amounts of fast food and soda day after day and have had trouble kicking the habit in the past, WHAT IN THE WORLD makes you think you can switch to my clean way of eating overnight and make it stick?! I tried this method for most of my life and it obviously didn't work. What finally did work for me was changing one habit at a time. And EVERY SINGLE habit I changed was something I could live with for the rest of my life. So, if you can't imagine living without a certain food or drink, don't swear them off and say you will never consume them again. Realistically ask yourself how much you could reduce that food or drink and still manage okay. Once you have reduced your intake and feel comfortable with the new intake, reduce it again. This is a process not an overnight miracle!



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1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post! Sad how diet fads are so attractive, because there is a stage of weight loss when you just don't want to learn about nutrition and do the thinking for yourself and want easy answers on the platter. I can definitely say that it's one of the reasons why my past diets failed, because I never took the time to learn all of these pearls of wisdom for myself.

    Raw food component, hydration, good fats, better meats....Yes!

    I really like your blog, and am so impressed with your story. Wow!

    ReplyDelete

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