5 weeks down! We’ve made some serious lifestyle changes. We’ve cut out fast food, excess sugar, cheese, most dairy, and we’re drinking plenty of water. Focusing on eating more vegetables and fruits and whole grains has helped to find strength in this new nutrition plan, and it’s taken the focus off of what we ‘can’t’ have. Right?
If you’re even remotely feeling hungry, deprived, or lost, please speak up. Something isn’t quite right. This week is a chance to turn that all around. You should be feeling full, satiated, and satisfied. I’ll hand out some pointers to help target common pitfalls, but please feel free to contact me directly for help troubleshooting specifics.
FILL UP on veggies and whole grains. Crowding out your burgers and fries with healthier options is the way to go. There’s no doubt. Eat enough tasty fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, etc and you won’t even miss the old junk food. HOWEVER, trying to crowd out burgers and fries with carrot and celery sticks just isn’t going to cut it. The diet I’m proposing is a FAR cry from rabbit food, so if you’re feeling like a bunny, use this week to try some new things. If this is going to work for you, you’ve got to work it!
The most common trouble I’ve heard from friends and family tackling a whole foods, plant based diet is that they don’t know what to eat. If they have expressed hunger and fatigue, they simply weren’t eating enough. And most weren’t eating enough whole grains. The fact that you need 1500-2000 calories to live hasn’t changed. It’s not going to. Eating 3 small salads a day with carrot sticks and strawberries in between is in no way going to sustain you for long term weight loss and health. And it’s not going to bode well for your immune system either. That rockin body of yours needs calories to function, so fuel it!
“Veggies” means raw, steamed, water sauteed, baked, grilled, broiled, roasted, stir-fried, etc. Fruit can be fresh raw, frozen, in a smoothie, grilled, broiled, in steamed milk, or in a delish and heart-healthy dessert. Whole grains can be brown rice (almost never white), quinoa, wild rice, oats, black rice, buckwheat, wheat berries, barley, etc. Note: Pastas, breads, and flour products do not count as whole grains in the “virtually-all-you-can-eat” category!
For some of you, this is a tough one, and I honestly can relate. If you have negative associations with food and old habits of overeating, this is going to sound crazy, but you have GOT to eat more of the good stuff. Truly fill yourself up on good healthy meals. Work this week to use at least 2-3 of the BNB approved recipes to fill up your plate. Forget about portion size when you’re eating these foods. Enjoy them and have plenty. You’ve got to reprogram your brain to go along with the new programming you’ve just given your body. It’s not only OK to eat, it’s necessary, exciting, and even fun to eat!
I’m sure someone famous once said, “A few carrot sticks do not a masterpiece make.”
If your future health is a blank canvas, your diet and exercise are the paint. You get to decide what the picture looks like – loads of color, lots of variety, and rich, lush vibrancy everywhere you look. It doesn’t have to be boring!
Analyze your diet
I’m issuing a new challenge this week – start a food journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to cost anything. Just jot down on a piece of paper what you eat at each meal. Carry it with you throughout the day. Keep it up to date every day. Jot down the type of food, how it was prepared, and the quantity. We can use this together in the near future to try to find out where you can make some significant improvements.
Continue at least 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace 2-3 times/week. Add some incline or start jog/walking if you’re able to. Try a higher intensity exercise like Zumba or some kind of aerobics twice a week.
You can do it!