I'm starting to notice a regular happening popping up all over social media... comments like 'diet starts Monday'- but why not start today? 'Tomorrow I will go to the gym' - but it never happens. How do you feel when you don't commit to it? How do you feel when you do? 'I fell off the wagon, might as well fall off completely'. Why? A little bump is better than a bigger bump. You don't bump your car and think oh it's only a little scratch, perhaps I'll find a wall so I can damage it some more!
I cannot be righteous in this situation, I too fall into it; tomorrow I will do this, Friday I will do that. I am most pleased with myself when I am able to ignore those feelings of doubt, and instead, be brave by just doing what it is I've been putting off. You may be wondering, but how? It's simple - just do it. Take action. Be in charge of that decision and you will feel more content, more satisfied and with every day that you persevere, you may even feel a little smug!
The foundations of a healthy lifestyle are based on knowledge and equipping yourself with healthy ingredients, nutritional information, food facts and simple skills in the kitchen that allow you to create easy and delicious meals. One of the main reasons I developed my cookery courses (the fundamental basis of my business!) was to demonstrate that, it really isn't as difficult as you think to lead a healthy but enjoyable lifestyle. Having the mindset and confidence to take the first step is key.
Some choose to go full steam ahead into a new lifestyle; buy all that is recommended whilst also stripping cupboards of any temptations. This is a good choice for those who fear 'falling off the wagon' or those who have trouble with motivation and willpower. My personal motto is simply... 'buy it when you want it'. I apply this specifically when considering junk or processed food. This way, it is far easier to monitor how much bad stuff I buy or eat - i.e. it's ok to buy once or twice a week but if purchasing every day then I would know that this is probably counteracting any goodness going in. Get your cupboards stocked with healthy stuff and get the fridge full of fresh vegetables. If you are anything like me and are careful when watching the pennies a little, you will want to be sure to eat the good stuff before it goes off and gets wasted. When you start eating the naturally healthy fresh food I guarantee you will feel a shift.
Questioning Our Habits. Questioning What We're 'Fed'.
Everyone has their own vices or habits that need to be conquered - but that's ok! Take on the challenge of breaking that habit or kicking that craving, taking control of your lifestyle. Sometimes it can seem like a mountainous challenge but when you've accomplished it think about how you would feel? How do you feel when you've accomplished anything? Super happy? Satisfied? Proud?
Recently I've been thinking a lot about food control and cravings for sugar. How can we rewire our brains so that we are no longer influenced by what we eat or controlled by sugar? When you eat rubbish, how do you feel? Great? Full of life? Or do you swing from high to low? Feeling bright one moment, then sluggish the next?
Have a count of how many fresh vegetables or items you eat at every meal. Think about the food you are eating; is it in a wrapper disguised as a healthy option? How long has it been on the shelf for? Can you make it at home? How long would it last if you did? Within my nutritional cookery courses, there are not only naturally healthy recipes to create for breakfast, lunch and dinner but also for snacks and sweet treats. Often it's about hacking traditional recipes and putting a naturally healthy spin on them so that you can have a healthy change and enjoy food as it should be. Try swapping out the more unhealthy elements for ingredients that are more nutritional - for example, swap mayonnaise for Greek yoghurt.
Once we've eaten a meal, we often go in the pursuit of something sweet to eat afterwards, something to satiate our sweet tooth? When I began to notice this, I made a conscious effort to eat my food more slowly, aiming to chew each mouthful 19 times. The average chew is just 9 times; have a go at counting how many times you chew each mouthful - try one at 19 times and compare the food consistency to a shorter chew. Afterwards, assess how you feel. Do you feel fuller? Have you managed to finish all of your food? Do you want something sweet? Chewing for longer often makes you feel fuller after a meal - thus, less likely to go on the hunt for sweeties or chocolate.
We lead busy lives and are surrounded by convenience goods that are processed, full of additives and provide little nutritional value. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be difficult: arm yourself with the knowledge to make sensible changes, equip yourself with nutritional ingredients, plan as much as possible. If we spend a little time looking at and questioning how we eat and why we eat the way we do, we will begin to open our minds to the healthy choices available. Take action today - don't wait for tomorrow!
My recipes and blogs aim to provide nutritional information on the seasonal foods available to us, and how to cook them into simple, easy, quick dishes - learn more, here.