Get educated to make your ideal food lifestyle stick.
Lunch Hour Lesson #36
It is summer, and our schedules may be a bit different than they are the rest of the year. There are a lot of get togethers with friends and family, barbecues, vacations, you name it.
Sometimes we can start to feel that the healthy diet that we like to maintain is slipping, and it can be hard to get back on track.
An important thing to note is that guilt has no place here. Guilt just brings us further behind. I teach a group nutrition program called RESTART® which has as its Rule: Whatever I eat, I choose it consciously, I enjoy it thoroughly, and then I let it go.
Here are my top 5 suggestions for getting back to where you’d like to be:
Know WHY you don’t eat certain foods, and be able to explain why other foods are better choices. Know the long term damage that particular foods can have on your body. This is what works for me, more than anything else.
- It may seem negative to start with this suggestion of knowing how damaging certain foods are, but I do feel that there has to be a higher purpose to my decisions than just knowing that if I eat this I might get fat, or I might have a stuffy nose, or my joints might hurt the next day.
- We are all really good at putting up with a lot of discomfort. If joint pain was one of my particular health challenges, it’s just not scary enough to think that a certain food will cause joint pain. Because lots of things cause joint pain. And I’m used to the pain. It doesn’t feel good, but it isn’t the end of the world and there’s always tomorrow to try something else.
- Instead, if you’re truly educated, you may know, as I do, that something called glyphosate (RoundUp) is sprayed on wheat and corn and soy and other fruits and vegetables, and is highly toxic and causes cancer. Knowing that helps me make good choices.
- If a food is organic, I know it isn’t sprayed with glyphosate. So if I’m at a restaurant and I’m not sure if the bread is organic or not, I have an easier time making the decision not to eat it. And sometimes I do eat it! And in those cases I employ the RESTART rule, and I know that my body can handle small toxic exposures once in awhile.
- I also know that inflammatory vegetable oils like I talked about two weeks ago do damage to my arteries, and cause weight gain, and bad skin, etc. So they basically gross me out, and that makes me less likely to want to eat out at restaurants a lot because that’s what the food is cooked in, and so by default I eat more food at home where I completely enjoy my food.
- Diet change will become an actual lifestyle change if we know why it is better on a deep level. Knowledge is power, as they say, and is empowering.
Give your body a vacation from sugar, processed foods, and starchy carbohydrates.
I talked about How To Create a New Habit in one of my previous lunch hour lessons, so you should go check that out. Heads up: maintaining a habit does require your participation! It’s like brushing your teeth; would you ever go a week without brushing your teeth and then just say, that’s one more day of no teeth brushing. Oh well, I’ll get back to it eventually. I don’t think so!
If you’re not absolutely convinced that a particular dietary change is an important thing to do for your health, and if you haven’t made it non-negotiable (like teeth brushing), it is something that will come and go.
Probably the easiest way to get back on track is to do Intermittent Fasting. It’s great because it isn’t something else that you have to eat, it is choosing not to eat for a particular period of time. I talked about it back in May.
Cut Out Sugar
Read labels obsessively. Anything with a sweet taste has to go. Even fruits. You can reset your sweet tooth this way, and soon the things you crave won’t hold such a draw anymore. This was my very first lunch hour lesson, called The Concept of Added Sugar.
Make time for meal prep. Schedule it on your calendar. Choose a day to do meal prep, and two large-batch meals you will make each week to reheat for leftovers. You’re much more likely to grab meals and snacks when they’re already made and prepped.
Research one food topic this weekend. Investigate one of your symptoms and see how a particular food might help or hurt. Or, get to know a popular diet trend, like Whole30 or the Ketogenic Diet. It doesn’t mean you have to do it, but start learning.
Lunch Hour Lessons with Allison
Watch this week’s Facebook LIVE – Lunch Hour Lesson #36: How to Get Back on Track with Food. Each week I bring you a topic related to nutrition and health that I think is interesting, and give you a lesson to take with you into your daily life. Watch Live on Facebook, Wednesdays, 12:30pm PST!
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