As a wellness advocate and yoga instructor I’m often asked about what I eat. Fortunately, I have a very consciousness mother and eating healthy has always been a part of my life. Having a solid foundation to build from is obviously helpful. Yet, for some people, a healthy diet is something you want but you’re not quite sure how to achieve this task. It’s really not difficult but rather requires discipline. It can be as simple as following a few steps. However, you have to want to change your existing habits for overall success.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could eat whatever we want, when we want, and feel energized all day long? We know this is not reality. Establishing healthy eating patterns could be challenging if basic nutritional concepts are new to you. Like anything in life, it’s a process. Keep in mind that eating healthy doesn’t translate fancy ingredients or unusual foods. All you need to do is develop a good baseline of foods that you enjoy and begin to experiment.
Four steps to eating well… One: YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION. Ask yourself how you feel – physically, emotionally and mentally. Keep in mind your diet has a lot to do with what time of the day you’re eating, who your with, if you’re stressed, whether or not you had a good nights rest, or if you’re in a rush. Notice which foods you crave. Are you craving salty, sugary, fried, starchy or processed foods like chips, etc.? While you are going through the process of change it may be helpful to avoid restaurants. Packing a lunch and light snacks will make all the difference. Also, do not worry about counting calories. You don’t need to get overly detailed to lose excess weight. You will enjoy eating more if you simply scale back and are aware of your food choices.
Two: KNOW WHAT YOU ARE EATING. You can never go wrong with fruits and veggies. Prepare them in a heathy way. You may want a big bowl of strawberries but packing on a tower of whipped cream won’t get you to your end goal. The same goes for veggies. Eating fried veggies won’t get you there either. Instead of counting calories you may find journaling to be helpful.
Three: KNOW WHEN YOU SHOULD BE EATING. Late night snacks are a NO, NO. Be sure to eat when you are genuinely hungry and not out of boredom or as an emotional response. I start my day with a cup of warm lemon water. This is helpful for cleansing and alkalizing the body. Your breakfast should consist of mostly protein, some veggies or fruit and a low fat protein. For lunch, make it colorful with a big salad and more protein. Dinner, go for more GREENS. Eat light snacks such as nuts along the day to help fuel your body and mind.
Step Four: KNOW HOW MUCH YOU SHOULD EAT. The obesity rate continues to THRIVE out of control in the Unites States. We’ve been confused by portion sizes that restaurants serve us and it’s made us believe we need to EAT MORE. This is FALSE. When you are gauging how much you should eat… eat slowly, know when you feel full, don’t feel you have to eat everything on your plate, only put on your plate what you know you’ll eat. You can always go back for a couple spoonfuls until you truly feel satisfied and not hungry.
Our bodies are our temples and we have one chance to take care of ourselves. You deserve a healthy body if you choose so.
Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. www.e-volveyoga.com