TIME TO GET BATHING SUIT READY
Spring is a time of renewal and growth. We have spent the dormant winter letting go and shedding what we no longer need in order to make room for what is to come. We naturally put weight on in the winter as our bodies follow the rhythm of nature. Now is the time to spring into action. Just as the lotus flower rises through mud to bloom, we too have to rise up to become our best selves. Part of what nourishes us is what we feed our body and the other part is what we feed our soul. In this blog we are going to focus on what we feed our bodies. Bathing suit weather is approaching and whether you are thinking about getting your body ready or not, it is always good to take a look at your diet and see where you can do a little improving.
What we choose to put into our bodies each day in the way of food and beverages is the fuel that allows us the perform. It can either fuel us like a race car or it can weigh us down. There is no one set diet that works for everyone, but there are things, in my humble opinion, that I would urge everyone to steer clear of including soda, products high in sugar, processed foods, fast foods, and fad short term diets.
SHORT TERM AND FAD DIETS
There has been a lot of popularity and hype associated with diets such as Atkin’s, Paleo, Keto, South Beach, and many more where quick positive results are often seen. However, these diets often set us up for stressful failures because when we return to our regular lifestyle and diet, we gain the weight back and sometimes twice as much. Atkin’s requires giving up carbohydrates, but carbs are not our enemy. Carbohydrates provide energy. The Paleo diet goes back to the way our ancestors ate in the Stone Age, others know it as The Cave Man Diet. It consists mainly of meats and animal proteins, low carb non starchy vegetables, fruits and zero grains. The Keto Diet is a low carb, low protein, high fat diet said to reprogram our metabolism. Finally, South Beach is meal plans that are delivered to you similar to Jenny Craig, which creates dependency.
LIFESTYLE DIETARY CHOICES
Whether you are struggling to lose weight, recovering from illness, or just reevaluating your diet as a way to improve overall health, you should consider making lifestyle changes that will work for you long term. Be aware of the foods you eat and how you feel after eating them. Practice full acceptance of yourself along the journey. Improvement can be a tough road. If you slip a little do not worry, simply get back on the horse and continue onward. Try to have someone who can help you be accountable to your dietary goals. Researching nutrients and vitamins in food, especially when considering a vegetarian or a vegan diet, is extremely important. A B-12 supplement is almost essential with a vegan diet and it is strongly suggested with vegetarian diets, as well. It's wise to consult your physician with any major changes in your diet or exercise routines.
I have been vegetarian for nine years. I did not eat much meat prior so it was not hard for me to give it up and I do not miss it at all. I love to cook though so for me it is easy. I have heard from some people that cooking for yourself is key. Last month I experimented with eating a vegan diet as an attempt to become a tiny bit more healthy. This transition was not as difficult as I thought it might be, but it did take some adjustments like learning about vegan substitutes for popular foods such as mayonnaise and cheese. To my pleasant surprise I discovered that Hellmann’s makes a great vegan mayonaise and there is a great vegan Thousand Island dressing by Whole Foods, too. Visit my blog at www.yogafitboutique.com for a detailed account of my one month of Plant Based Living. After a month I decided to adopt a hybrid diet of plant based and vegetarian.I would say 4-5 days a week I am still eating vegan. You see, there is no wrong or right way to do it. It is all about what works for you as an individual. I am low weight, thankfully due to a great metabolism and active lifestyle, but I feel that when my body craves organic cage free eggs and cheese, small amounts are Ok. I encourage you to listen to your body, practice awareness, and do what feels right for you.
I do want to touch on what vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and plant based eating mean because many people ask me the difference. Vegetarians eats zero meat - NO CHICKEN, BEEF, PORK or FISH. A pescatarian is a vegetarian who also eats fish. A plant based diet is all fruits, vegetables and grains - no eggs and no dairy. Vegans do not eat eggs, dairy, honey or any other animal products. They also do not wear wool, leather or silk.
Top Ten Long Term Diet Success Secrets:
- Drink a lot of water. Ladies need at least 2.7 liters a day. Men need 3.7 liters. I like to fill a large water pitcher each day with fresh fruit and cucumber in my fridge. This way it is more tasty and I can track how much I drink.
- Portion control is key to achieving your weight goals. If you eat chips, do NOT sit down and eat them out of the bag. Instead put a small handful in a bowl and put the bag away. You do not need to deprive yourself, but be disciplined.
- Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. This will assure you are getting the variety of vitamins and nutrients that your body requires to be energetic and healthy.
- Consume whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. They contain fiber which is great for cleaning out your system.
- Move your body. The calories that you ingest must get burned. Exercise also builds and tones your muscles, which increases metabolism, makes you feel better about yourself and also reduces stress.
- Eat local organic foods whenever possible. "Certified Organic" means that it is free from pesticides, herbicides and GMO's. It is so important to know where our food comes from and to not ingest harmful chemicals and toxins.
- Eat slowly and completely chew each bite. They say you should chew each bite 50 times. Have you ever tried doing that? I challenge you! It's not so hard if you make it a habit, so put your fork down between each bite, become conscious of your chewing and enjoy the flavors and textures of the food before you swallow it. Chewing is the first stage of digestion and in the case of vegetables, it breaks down the cellular walls and releases the nutrients within so that you body can absorb them.
- Be aware of what you eat and how you feel. Eliminate foods that make you feel heavy and tired.
- Avoid sodas and drinks that are high in sugar. This will immediately help with weight loss.
- Avoid fast food. If you must eat out, look for healthy alternatives. They are available, it just might take will power and effort.
Your body is your temple in which your soul dwells, so treat it well. You deserve to live a long healthy active life. There is no easy quick fix or magic pill. Make the commitment to yourself to eat healthy. Your mind is an amazing muscle and you are capable of so much more than you even know.
Food is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Dinner is an excellent time to share and reflect upon your day. Put down the paper and your phone and talk with each other. Slow down. Enjoy life. Enjoy your food. Live, Love, Laugh.
P.S. - There are two books about healthy eating that I highly recommend. They are "Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss" by Joel Fuhrman, and "The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World" by John Robbins. Both of these books are conveniently linked on my website, YogaFitBoutique.com to Amazon.com.
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