Back in 2013, I came up with my million dollar business idea — the ultimate cure for cellulite.
Compared to other sub-par cellulite programs on the market this one WOULD help women rid themselves of lumps and bumps forever, through a carefully curated, foolproof routine. It would be the ultimate cellulite solution.
However, as a pragmatic Taurean, I was buoyed in thinking that I could create a solution for millions of women around the world; this would no longer be a like it or lump it situation, I knew I could figure it out.
Fast forward three weeks: I was sitting at my dining room table, with hand-scrawled theories written on loose leaf paper strewn all around, and wondering why I hadn’t yet cracked the code for smooth, supple skin.
Following advice that I had found on the internet and read in books, I had:
Avoided crossing my legs for three weeks
Kept my feet elevated at night to reverse blood flow
Stopped eating chicken skin AND cottage cheese
Exercised my thighs with hundreds of teeny-tiny little pulses (thanks, but not really, Tracy Anderson)
Spent a medically unadvised amount of time in saunas and heated rooms to sweat out the toxins that contributed to my shameful cellulite
Dry body brushed on a daily basis: sweeping upwards on the thighs and downwards on the glutes
Popped collagen supplements and steered clear of any food that would further break down my skin’s apparently delicate structure
And I even spent $99 purchasing a “personalized cellulite removal schedule” that contained eight cellulite reversal exercises. You read that right, $99 for eight, one-move exercises.
But even with all of these interventions, one month later the little buggers were still there.
Ultimately, spending hours each day researching what I had to do to “look better” wasn’t a practical use of my time or my limited finances. As it turns out, weight loss trial and error is both time-consuming AND expensive.
So I archived my research and got back to real life. Eating chicken skin, crossing my legs and exercising in a way that made my entire body feel good.
As it turns out, while I’m still acquainted with my fair share of dimples (as is 90% of the female population), living a healthy, un-obsessed lifestyle did more for toning body than any “groundbreaking” cellulite program could.
Today I offer up another 2018 wellness proposal: be willing to follow through with sustainable, daily health and lifestyle practices, and stay committed to adopting an attitude of self-love. These two habits will do more for the look, feel and longevity of your body than any flash-in-the-pan fitness and diet plan ever could.
Plus, when you consider that 92% of resolution-makers quit long before they reach their goals, it begs the question — should we make them at all?
In my opinion, we should not.
Rather than planning out the next 12 months, what if we just focused on the next 12 hours instead? After all, 365 pretty good days will turn into a damn good year before you know it.
That’s my plan for this year. Instead of spending time thinking about how I can improve myself and my life, I’m choosing to take it day-by-day and week-by-week, with the intention of being rather than becoming.
I have to admit, the idea of taking each day as it comes makes me feel a little untethered. The little Negative Nellie voice inside my head is already berating me for not doing more and being more. But I’m going to practice what I preach…and tell her to zip it!
Being rather becoming doesn’t mean you won’t make progress. In fact, I have a hunch that in doing rather than deliberating you will move ahead in leaps and bounds.
When we take life one day at a time we will quickly realize that we’re actually good at it.
It’s easy to forget how simple it is to be healthy, how easy it is to “choose happy”, and how valuable we already are, sans resolutions to lose weight, be better people, make more money or improve our relationships.
Instead of worrying about the rest of the year, start living for today. Today you can make a change for better health. Today you can choose to laugh instead of cry. Today you can be great!
In the words of our old mate, Albert Einstein:
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
To quickly recap, I used to outsource certain lifestyle decisions (usually those that may be seen as “less healthy”), so that I could have the experience without being responsible for the outcome.
Whether the question was to get takeout for dinner, skip a workout, watch a movie instead of doing housework, or have a glass of wine on Tuesday night, while I may have wanted to do the activity, I didn’t want to be the one who suggested it.
So instead of using my voice, as an independent thinker and 21st century woman, I relied on my sneaky wifely ways to make my husband choose — this was basically an insurance policy that said it was his fault if I felt crappy later on.
I mean, how crummy is that? I shouldn’t even be admitting it publicly, but I decided to fess up incase you’re doing it too.
Every week I speak with women who blame their situation on circumstances outside their control:
“My co-worker brought donuts to the office…”
“My husband wanted to get popcorn at the movies…”
“The weather wasn’t nice enough to go for a walk…”
Sure, these external challenges may impact your decision making, but at the end of the day it is still your choice to eat the donut, share the popcorn or skip the walk.
And you know what? Making that decision is fine as long as it’s YOU who makes it.
Since I wrote about this concept earlier in the year I’ve been very intentional about making decisions that will benefit my long term health goals while also nourishing my short term lifestyle desires.
What I’ve found is that I feel more in control of my actions and outcomes by simply being the one to choose.
I feel confident saying NO to certain things without feeling deprived, and I can experience great satisfaction from saying YES, without the situation then spiraling out of control and leaving me worse-for-wear.
Because by making the first decision, to say yes or no, I then give myself permission to make all the following decisions. For example: how much I eat, how long I participate in an activity, and when I want to do something different…that’s all up to me.
As it turns out, decision making is liberating!
This new habit is definitely one that I’m sticking with, so now I want to throw the gauntlet to you.
Have you been “going with the flow” a little too regularly in your own life?
Are you outsourcing your decisions (and then feeling regretful and perhaps even resentful)?
Are you willing to do something about it?
This week I challenge you to pay attention to both the decisions that you’re making AND those that you’re avoiding.
What choices do you shy away from, and why?
Finally, commit to making a new decision, just one to start, and put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your own health and happiness.
Of course, as always, let me know how you go by leaving a comment below.
The Los Angeles wellness obsession has gone bonkers.
This isn’t new information— I live in a city where people pay thousands of dollars to have their fat frozen and spend a week’s take-home wage on juice cleansing — but it’s gotten out of control.
The straw that has broken this camel’s back came last night when I popped into the supermarket. As I quickly dashed about filling my basket with veg, milk and eggs, my inquisitive-journalist ears picked up the sounds of a conversation that would only take place in a city like L.A.
Following the treble tones, I turned into the aisle to find two women having an anxious and in-depth conversation about which brand of water they should buy.
I kid you not.
It went like this:
“This one is reverse osmosis”, says the brunette wearing a red neckerchief and holding a $6.99 bottle of H20.
“But this one has added electrolytes,” counters the blonde, pointing her manicured fingers at a label that has flown halfway across the world to sit on this mid-Wilshire shelf.
“Perhaps we should buy the glass bottles?” suggests the first. “To avoid BPAs.”
“Sure, that works…just make sure you read the nutrition label,” replies the second, a little more quietly as she catches me watching, transfixed.
I tear my eyes away, stash a few (home-brand) club sodas into my basket and head to the self service checkout, trying not to giggle at the scene I just observed.
Read the nutrition label on your water? Now that’s a new one!
Look, I’m not scoffing at these women’s determination to hydrate — drinking clean water is very, very important. And if you have the luxury of being able to afford the brand that is alkalized, charcoal-filtered or lovingly bottled at a cold mountain spring, and drinking that type of water floats your boat, then power to you.
But the reality is that it’s totally unnecessary to take a simple health habit — drink more water — and make it something complicated, and frankly a little bourgeoisie. Honestly, do YOU have the time or mental bandwidth to deliberate the pros and cons of various water brands? I sure as heck don’t!
As your wellness coach I suggest that you spend more time drinking water and less time worrying about the ideal way to do it. (Insider tip: the tap turns to the left.)
This goes for any new healthy habit…the easiest way to make progress is by simply starting.
Want to get fit? Lace up your sneakers and walk around your neighborhood.
Want to eat healthier? Load up your basket with fruit, veg and whole grains, and stop buying brightly colored boxes plastered with words like “healthy!” and “fiber!”. (These words are often there to disguise the whopping amount of sugar, sodium or trans-fats that the product contains.)
I know that I’ve talked about this before, but I will continue to beat the drum until we all get the message that being healthy is actually very simple.
The healthiest people that I know are not the ones who agonize over every last detail to make the perfect choice. They don’t obsess over what they eat, how they move, or what they weigh. They don’t trap themselves into rigid lifestyle habits or overload their days with unrealistic goals and expectations. And they certainly don’t spend Sunday evening in the supermarket, analyzing the merits of drinking water.
So your goal for this week is to commit to becoming one of the healthy ones.
You can do that in three steps:
Pinpoint an area of your life that is being held back by perfectionism, analysis-paralysis or straight up laziness.
Set an intention to change one single habit related to that area.
Take swift action, today, tomorrow, the next day, and so on; improve as you go, and know that each day you choose to do something different is the day that your life will change.
I recently had afternoon tea with a couple of close friends in Sydney. It had been about 8 months since we’d last seen each other, during which time I knew they had made some dietary tweaks. Being the curious health coach that I am, I wanted to ask them how it all went.
They told me that by making a few simple lifestyle updates — and bringing just a little more awareness to what was going on their plate — they’ve landed on a way of eating that makes them look and feel great.
I was thrilled! I love hearing that simple strategies bring great results, as that’s my philosophy through and through.
Yet as we chatted more about food, our conversation revealed a challenge that my friends had been facing. It was something that I’m also intimately familiar with and it rings true for many friends and clients who have chosen to shake things up in the healthy living department.
It’s been my experience that when you change how you eat – specifically, when you choose to become a more healthy eater – it’s not uncommon to feel isolated, teased or even ostracized by people that you know.
That’s why in today’s post I wanted to talk about how to handle this situation, as you may experience it too.
Let’s start with WHY “changing your diet” is such a touchy subject.
At its most fundamental level food is nothing more than a source of energy, vitamins and minerals. But we all know that it’s more than that.
Food is culture, family tradition, memories, and at the heart of many (if not most) social events.
This can make it a tricky subject to talk about.
You see, when you decide to change your diet it can send a message to the people around you that you no longer agree with something that you used to do. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that what you’re changing is most likely something that they’re still doing. You’re upsetting the status quo, and they might see you as judging the lifestyle choices they’ve made.
In short, your personal development choices might make people uneasy.
Let me give you an example:
In 2009 one of my best friends was diagnosed with Chron’s disease and placed on a strict anti-inflammatory diet. Despite already being a healthy eater, this was a major lifestyle change (especially for someone who was only 21).
Back then, anti-inflammatory diets weren’t really a big thing. Paleo and veganism lived on the fringes of society, and many people thought autoimmune diseases sounded a little woo-woo…a little “all in their heads”.
So one day my friend told our group that she would no longer be able to participate in our Friday night habit of drinking gin and tonics, and eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
That didn’t go down so well.
Without minimizing my own culpability — I can remember using the expression “you can’t even have one?” —I can tell you that another member of our group (let’s call her ‘Z’) was absolutely shattered.
“What good is it to live in a world where you can’t eat ice cream?” she cried dramatically.
The next Friday night my friend arrived at our house with an apple, a carrot, a bag of nuts and a bottle of water. Z was appalled and couldn’t stop talking about how “dangerous” and “extreme” this diet was.
(Apples, it seems, can have that effect on some people.)
You see, by changing her own diet my friend was challenging the shared Friday night experience that we had come to know and love. Her choices made us all question if we should do things differently too.
To be honest, we weren’t even thinking about WHY she was making those updates (and in hindsight, offering to support her through the process would have been the preferred reaction), but we were only thinking about ourselves.We didn’t like feeling guilty about our own choice to be less than healthy on Friday nights and it seemed to us like she no longer wanted to be part of the pack.
But the silly thing is, that wasn’t her intent at all.She was just making the best decision for herself, and for whatever reason that made us feel uncomfortable.I learned then and there that everyone is responsible for their own choices, and we all need to take ownership of our individual lifestyle decisions.
Since then I’ve been blazing my own healthy trail, which means that I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of healthy living criticism, and while I don’t believe that people do it maliciously, after a while it does get pretty old.
So in the video below I’m sharing three strategies that you can use to minimize these sorts of experiences, which will allow you to eat what you want, when you want, without feeling judged OR making other people too uncomfortable.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch I’d love to hear from you. So stick around and join in the discussion at the bottom of the page.
What To Do When People Criticize Your Healthy Lifestyle
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever felt shunned for making healthy lifestyle changes? How did you handle it? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Here’s a potentially embarrassing confession: I’d get a real kick out of writing for the Dear Abby column. I love sharing helpful advice and thoughtful opinions from the comfort of my own living room…just ask my husband!
However, considering that it’s been almost seven years since graduating with my journalism degree, and Jeanne Phillips — the current owner of the “Abby” pen name — hasn’t yet reached out to me on LinkedIn, I feel that the time has come to take matters into my own hands.
So we’ll be trying a little experiment for the next month or so…
Every Wednesday I’ll dedicate a post to one simple solution or strategy that will make it easier for you to squeeze more healthy habits into your every day life.
I’ll get the ball rolling, but I’d love for you to join in the discussion (see details at the end of this post).
My mission is to help women get back in the driver’s seat of their own health and happiness, by making healthy living simple AND enjoyable. This series should help.
Now on to today’s question…
What is one thing that I can do this weekend to make meal prep easier (if I only have one hour to spare)?
Even an hour spent in the kitchen on the weekend will ultimately save you time and money— and make it easier to stick with your healthy eating habits. It’s a great way to get a head start on your weekday meals.
If there was only ONE thing that I could get done each weekend, it would be to cook and freeze my grains and starches. Preparing foods like rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes during the week is time-consuming, and it doesn’t make sense to do it on a meal-by-meal basis.
Instead, one Sunday a month my husband and I bulk cook these staples, and freeze them in portion sized freezer bags or tupperware containers. Come a random Tuesday evening I’m thrilled to thaw a bag of rice, bake a piece of fish, and cook some veggies with a dollop of butter. While dinner would have taken an hour if we were waiting on the grain, it comes together in 15 minutes (and there’s less washing up).
What can you cook and freeze?
Lots of things actually! We’ve had great success with the following, but I encourage you to experiment (note: these are listed in order of how long they take to cook):
Beans (black, white, kidney, chickpeas…)
Rice (basmati, white, brown and black)
Sweet potatoes (cubed and roasted)
Mashed potato or sweet potato
Butternut squash (cubed and roasted)
TO COOK: Double or triple your regular quantity. Cook as normal. Allow to cool. Freeze in portions that are suitable for you and your family.
TO USE: Defrost in the fridge overnight, or use the microwave; heat in the oven, or use the microwave.
TIP: Start with the ingredient that takes the longest to cook — such as roasting sweet potatoes or boiling rice — and then move on to a quick-cook, like quinoa or pasta. That way everything should be done around the same time…roughly 45 minutes later.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You (Dear Abby…)
What are you struggling with in your health, fitness or self care / self love routine at the moment? What healthy habits do you see other people doing and you wonder — how do they do that? Nothing is too silly or too small!
Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll answer those Qs over the next couple of weeks.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was no math whiz growing up.
In fact, I remember sitting in 9th grade advanced mathematics, tears streaming down my face, while my very intelligent, but not at all understanding teacher, Mr Patel, stood over my desk and pointed at the unanswered equation on my page.
“What’s the answer? What is it? What does this mean?”
I guess he figured that by repeatedly jabbing the end of his spindly finger onto my ink-smudged page — and asking me the same question over and over, in slightly different ways — that the Albert Einstein-esque lightbulb would switch on in my brain, and I’d be able to provide the correct answer.
As you can guess, that didn’t happen.
Mercifully, the next week I was dropped to basic mathematics with the tolerant Mrs Dwyer in room 17J.
Now you may be wondering what this story has to do with your health and happiness, which is a fair question to ask.
Well, scarring childhood memories aside (and the fact that I still struggle to multiply anything that doesn’t end in “0” or “5”), I’m actually a rather big fan of financial books.
And in my readings I’ve realized that my healthy living philosophy is very similar to my take on finding financial freedom. That is to say: a simple and sustainable strategy is going to reap more rewards than a flash-in-the-pan investment with the promise of a quick return.
Play the smart game and you’ll be set up for success…
But try to cut corners for an overnight win and you’ll ultimately find yourself $10,000 in the hole, or in this case, 10 more pounds overweight.
I came to this conclusion after comparing my wellness programs, and health and nutrition philosophy, to those currently making headlines in the glossy magazines.
The popular stuff is very sexy:
Add butter to your coffee and lose 10 pounds by Friday!
Restrict calories two days a week and eat whatever you want the rest of the time!
Train so hard that you want to throw up, and you only need be in the gym for 10 minutes a day!
My stuff, it seems, is more like what your mum might have told you growing up:
Eat your greens…
Get good quality sleep…
Be nice to yourself…
Don’t eat directly out of the chip bag…
It’s ok, you can admit that it seems less cool…
I know it too.
But if you’ve been following along with me for a while you’ll realize that I actually have very little interest in being cool — largely because it’d put a cramp in my “pajamas by 6pm” evening routine.
And the problem is that “cool” and “sustainable” tend not to go hand-in-hand.
So you have a choice to make, my dear friend. Here are your two options:
Be cool today and then commit to staying up to date with the latest trends, fads and quick fixes. (Warning: results not guaranteed.)
Buck the Hollywood trends, and trust that my “back-to-basics” approach is guaranteed to help you reach and maintain all of your wellness goals, and attain life long health and happiness in the process.
Gosh, that last option almost sounds a little sexy, don’t you think?!
So press play on the video below, where I’ll walk you through 14 of the best healthy lifestyle habits so that you can become a wellness Wonder Woman from the comfort of your own jammies.
The Best Healthy Lifestyle Habits For Sophisticated Woman (like you and me)
Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you!
Which of these 14 habits are you going to focus on first?
Are you willing to invest in your health by making simple and sustainable changes to your current lifestyle?
Today we’re going to figure out your self love language, which actually starts with your family tree.
If you think about spending five straight days with your favorite family members, what comes up?
Probably thoughts of cheer, sitting around a table sharing food, drink and laughter…
Perhaps a slight feeling of frustration or annoyance — ruffled feathers are bound to happen when you put relatives in a room together for days at a time…
And also indescribable love.
Now, if I ask you to think about your body (specifically your physical appearance), what comes up then?
What are the first three words that come to mind when I say, tell me what you think about your body?
Say them out loud…
Hopefully you just heard yourself say something along the lines of: beautiful, healthy, fit, appreciated, strong, unique, consistent, feminine, comfortable, pretty good or bloody brilliant!
If not, I’d like to offer up an idea:
Try viewing your relationship with your body in a similar way to your relationship with your favorite family members. Some days you love its comfort and reliability, some days it annoys the heck out of you, and some days you adore and admire it so much that you can’t believe its actually yours.
Being body positive doesn’t mean unquestionably adoring yourself at every waking moment. If that’s what you’re working towards, you’re going to be disappointed.
Even those people you love the most can still get on your last nerve from time to time. (And just sometimes, on rare occasions, you might even feel tempted to trade them in for a newer model!) But that doesn’t mean you would go around berating them every day, nor would you constantly compare them to others.
If I asked you to describe your most cherished friends in three words, it’s unlikely that those words would be cruel or critical.
So why do it to yourself?
The average woman has 13 negative thoughts about her own body every day — that’s one for almost every waking hour. Many have upwards of 100.
If you spoke so venomously towards another person chances are you’d be in therapy (or have a restraining order taken out against you). Unfortunately, no one is policing what we say to ourselves. So it’s up to you to take a stand and change your self love language.
It’s important to realize that the language of self love needn’t be hippy dippy or woo-woo. You don’t need to self-identify as a “goddess” to love yourself (despite what social media influencers might tell you). In fact, I believe that using these labels is just another shield to hide behind…it’s easier to throw your hands up and yell “I am a goddess” than it is to look in the mirror and say, “you know what, I’m pretty ok”.
You can be body positive and:
Complain about your creaky knees
Desire to lose or gain weight
Feel a little frustrated that you over-plucked your right eyebrow
Body positivity comes from loving yourself despite your imperfections (or perhaps, because of them).
Being proud of who you are means being real about who you are…
So its time to use real language, speak real words, and have real thoughts and opinions about yourself — just like you do with Uncle Fred.
When you can love yourself unconditionally — even if somedays there are certain things you don’t like — then you have won the body positivity battle.
I thought this was an important point to make as I see more and more women desire to improve their self love practice and fall in love with their body and life. I know this journey takes courage and persistence (I’ve walked its path too), but I also know that once you find the right footing, your life really does change.
So my suggestion for you as you enter a new day: treat your body the way you’d treat a favorite family member, with the self love language of respect, kindness, adoration, frustration (and even the occasional whinge).
So you’ve decided to make healthy eating a priority this year. You want to have more energy, maintain your ideal weight, and feel comfortable and confident in your beautiful body. Trouble is, you have no idea where to start, which begs the question: what’s the best diet for you?
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. For many years I struggled with food and my body. I believed that I couldn’t find the perfect diet, or if I had I must have been doing it wrong. (In the words of my inner critic I lacked motivation,I wasn’t good enough,I would start again tomorrow)
Truth is, I hadn’t actually found an ideal diet for my body, so it made sense that I was having a pretty rough trot with the whole eating thing. But once I figured it out, everything fell into place and questions of motivation were wiped off the table. Because you don’t need to be motivated to eat foods that make you feel great.
Today I’m sharing five actionable steps that will help you also discover your best personal diet. Read on my foodie friend.
Diet Versus Dieting
Before we dive in to the meat and potatoes — i.e. figuring out what you need to eat in order to feel healthy, happy and filled with delicious delight — I need to clarify the distinction between YOUR diet and dietING.
The friendly nerds who contribute to Wikipedia (my darling husband included) tell us that: diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism (1). They go on to talk about dietary choices, the ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients for energy, health and longevity. Basically your diet is just another way of saying the foods that you eat.
What makes this word tricky, and almost taboo, is when it ends with “ing”,or sits in a sentence with words such as follow, start, stick to, new, strict, struggle, celebrity and fad.
Going on a diet, or the act of dieting, is synonymous with restriction and deprivation. These are also words that make me think of a short-term commitment, something that you’ll (miserably) try for a while before going back to your regular diet, aka what you normally eat.
It’s a tricky distinction to make, but it’s really important that you do so. You should be able to talk about YOUR diet without people thinking that you’re going on A diet.
I’ve even had comments from women visiting jenniferdenewellness.com who have blasted me for being another so-and-so who is condoning unhealthy body image for women. Hmmmm…guess they didn’t see this post about flaunting your dimplesor this one where I helped you get back in touch with being beautiful you.
Honestly I don’t want to always say “the foods that you eat” or “your nutrition choices” just to be politically correct. A healthy diet means that you eat foods that have a high nutritional value and do wonders for your longterm health. It’s a word that has outlived any single dieting trend, and it’s what we’re talking about today.
Should You Stick To One Type Of Diet?
We’ve established the difference between diet and dieting, which is my cue to step off the soapbox!
Now you may be asking but what about things like the Paleo diet or being a vegan? Are they diets or dieting?
Unfortunately it’s in our culture to label everything we do, which leads to many people using these diets to self-identify — I am Paleo or I am vegan. But restricting yourself to the boundaries of a certain label makes it difficult to honor your body’s needs.
For example, a woman who is trying to get pregnant requires a certain amount of carbohydrates to ensure healthy hormone levels for fertility (2). This becomes a problem if she’s following a strict Paleo or Keto diet that focus on very low carbohydrate intake.
Or what happens when a man who thrived on a vegan diet for years starts experiencing depression, joint pains or fatigue? Will he be open to eating animal foods that will quickly boost his B12 and iron levels, or will he feel unable to make that choice because he has told the world he doesn’t eat meat? (3), (4)
The point is that we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves to stay within the boundaries of a certain label, and we should never, ever be held hostage to the food that we eat. That’s why I see these diets as guidelines…more like a cuisine than a strict set of rules.
I see enormous benefit in the principles of enjoying a vegan, paleo or mediterranean diet. But what works best for me is not following any of them to the letter, and rather taking a mix-and-match approach that suits my body’s unique needs.
With that in mind, here’s the mindset I want you to have as you start to incorporate the following tips into your lifestyle:
Food is just food, it’s not your enemy and it’s not your gate-keeper
I give you all the freedom in the world to combine the best bits of each diet to suit your unique needs — like mashing together potatoes, peas and gravy at Sunday lunch!
How to create the best diet for you
Below you’ll find my five top tips for discovering your best diet yet.
Keep it simple and enjoyable
Overcomplicating anything leads to confusion. A statement that is especially true when it comes to improving personal habits.
Planing 7 days of meals in advance may seem smart, but it’s actually very overwhelming…meal prep is absolutely a skill.
And while I used to do the big Sunday cook-up, I no longer do. These days I prefer to spend a little more time in the kitchen each day, to prepare the right meal for my body on that day. This shift has helped me reconnect with my physical needs and conquer old habits of overeating and emotional eating.
So instead of playing Martha Stewart during the working week, you can simply plan to have a few staples on hand — such as cooked quinoa or rice, roasted sweet potatoes, hardboiled eggs and plenty of washed green veggies. These form the base of an easy meal that you can top with other yummy things.
Get educated (but take other people’s advice with a grain of salt)
Here’s the deal — you can’t succeed at something that you don’t understand. Learning why it’s a really good idea to kick your sugar habit, or that drinking diet-soda is linked to dementia and stroke (5) will make it a heck of a lot easier for you to stick with your new way of eating.
Saying that, it’s also not a good idea to blindly trust every piece of diet advice that you hear. Glossy mags tend to publish the Cliff’s Notes version of any given dietary theory. While this may spark your interest, you really need to understand the why behind the what. I recommend working with a professional who can explain what is the best diet for you, why that’s the case, and how you can follow it.
Keep A Food-Mood Journal
In terms of intelligence, sometimes your body is smarter than your brain. A food diary traditionally tracks calories and quantities. A food-mood journal explores how different types of food make your body feel. I prefer the latter.
Here’s how to get started:
Start a new word doc (or grab a notebook), and create four columns
Column A: record each meal that you eat, listing as many ingredients as possible
Column B: make a note about how you felt physically immediately after eating
Column C: note how you feel 2 hours after eating; this is useful to highlight digestive reactions, note fatigue or energy, return of hunger, etc
Column D: this is a spot for any notes, thoughts or comments that you might have
Your food-mood journal can help you pinpoint the meals and ingredients that make your body thrive.
Be Consistent & Avoid Squirrel Syndrome
Once you’ve found a way of eating that works for you, you’ll need to stick with it. And yes, that includes ignoring the latest trend in Women’s Health or on Dr. Oz.
Again, feel free to gather information, but don’t jump ship on something that’s working well for you. Put your healthy blinkers on and commit to eating your ideal diet for 3 months before making any big changes.
Your Needs Will Change, So Be Adaptable
Avoid squirrel syndrome but also keep in mind that your dietary needs will change over time. Variable factors include: your age, lifestyle and immediate health needs; the climate in which you live; your menstrual cycle (are you pregnant, peri-menopausal, going through menopause or postmenopausal); holiday season and festive eating; and even life events that cause stress, physically, mentally or emotionally.
Creating YOUR own perfect diet is what serves your beautiful body at every stage of life.
You Don’t Need To Do It Alone
Would you like help in discovering your perfect diet? Are you committed to dropping the weight of deprivation, and slipping back into your ideal body and life? Why not find out more about working with me in my Fit, Feminine & Fabulous coaching program. Click here to learn more.