Okay, well what I mean is this is how “I” do it. I have been getting a lot of questions about eating lately and getting started on eating clean and working out, so if there are more of you out there that are wondering the same thing, I am going to share how I got started and stay that way!
Number one, get your eating together. This is definitely easier said than done. Everyone has an excuse why they think they can’t do it or don’t have time to eat healthy. Everyone has time to eat healthy, you just have to make time. You have 3 kids and they are picky, you are pregnant and eating for two, you work 10 plus hours a day, you are exhausted when you get home from work and just feel like something “quick and easy”, and just plain and simple too, shall I say, lazy. That was me, I was lazy and after a long work day all I wanted was just something quick and easy, which usually resulted in chicken fingers and potato wedges (no vegetables). Trust me, I GET IT. But if you want to change you have to do something different, because obviously what you are currently doing, I feeling I know all too well. I was extremely unhappy with how I looked, but most of all how I felt on the inside. I felt tired, lethargic. lazy, and completely unhappy with how I looked on the outside. I got to the point it was difficult to even look in the mirror, as I would criticize myself to death. Not a good place to be. I eventually hit my own version of rock bottom and wanted to change. This is when the magic happened. No one can make you want to change or become healthy, you need to feel that want all on your own. You need to want it so bad, that nothing or no one will stand in your way.
Okay, enough about that. Here is how I got started.
I cut the crap. Literally. I threw all the crap out of my house. No more chips, chocolate bars, cookies, granola bars, pop, juice, ice cream or candy. That seemed straight forward. I could live without those things, although I did LOVE chips (it was my worst habit, a bag a day keeps the doctor away, JUST KIDDING), they were the obvious diet destroyers. But even after cutting them out, I still wasn’t seeing the results I wanted, and this is when the swapping began. I would take one bad thing out and add one good thing in. For example, no more sour cream (yes the full fat delicious version) and substitute with plain non-fat Greek yogurt, I cut out butter and substitute with olive or coconut oil, swapped wheat/gluten products (pasta, bread, bagels, wraps) for healthy grains and carbs like brown rice and yams.
Take one food you love , for me it was chips and make a deal with yourself to cut it out for 14-30 days (whichever seems achievable to you). If you want to do more than one, go for it! Every 2 weeks – 1 month take something bad out of your diet. If you are someone who can go cold turkey without failure, all the power to you, and cut it all out at once.
If the crap isn’t in the house, you are less likely to eat it. If you live with a crap eater that refuses to give it up, ask them kindly to keep it in a special cupboard all of their own.
Now that you have taken out the crap, what on Earth are you going to eat??? My daily diet (a word I use to describe what I eat, I am NOT on diet) includes:
Lean meats & seafood: chicken, turkey, fish, shrimp
Vegetables: Spinach, mixed greens, carrots, snap peas, peppers, celery, onion, garlic, bok choy, beets, yams *or whatever veggies you like. *They are low in calories and keep you full, so eat up!
When I’m not breastfeeding I also include: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
Nuts & Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, hemp seed, chia seed, flaxseed
Carbohydrates: Yams, brown rice, oats, quinoa, beans
Nut butters: Peanut and almond *the only ingredients are either peanuts or almonds
Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, Granny Smith apples, oranges, bananas (limited), pineapple (limited amounts as it’s high in sugar), avocado, cherries,
Fats: Avocado, coconut oil (used for high heat cooking), olive oil, nuts
Beverages: WATER, coconut water and unsweetened almond milk. I really try to avoid drinking my calories.
Sauces: Dad’s BBQ sauce. I make my own salad dressings.
Beans & Legumes: Black, navy, kidney and pinto beans and lentils *before I started breastfeeding I consumed A LOT of beans. It seemed to work great for my digestive system.
Baking: I think I began to love baking for the sole fact that I needed to eat something sweet and yummy without completely sabotaging my diet. I needed to create things that tasted good, but were also good for me. So forget those store-bought granola bars, cookies, donuts, bars and make you’re own at home.
Number two, enlist a friend, husband, mom, dad, partner, sister, brother, or whoever you need to stay accountable to. Mine was my husband, he jumped in with me like a dirty shirt. He was there to eat all of my good dishes and not so good dishes without a complaint! Trust me, in the 2 years I have been on this journey, I have cooked up some pretty horrid things. Check in with this person at least weekly, share you feelings, your struggles and your triumphs. Every bit of encouragement helps. Someone sending you that text message at 8 pm telling you to put that cookie down.
Number three, allow your taste buds to change. I remember the first time I ate a Larabar I thought who on God’s green Earth would succumb themselves to such crap and enjoy it? Well now the answer to that is…ME. It takes some time to get your taste buds used to the taste of vegetables without butter on them, chicken without cream sauce or melted cheese on top, rice without adding salt and butter, fruit without sprinkling with WHITE sugar (yes I did this) or any other foods you alter the taste of. You will begin to appreciate the taste of real food without adding crap to it. I genuinely enjoy salad without dressing, yams without butter, chicken without calorie laden sauces, rice without butter and just truly enjoying food the way it was meant to taste. Give yourself more than 1 day or 1 week. Give your taste buds time to change.
Number four, allow for time to change. It has been over two years for me now and I am still changing. Changes on the outside won’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of dedication. But I can say changes on the inside happened much quicker, I was feeling soo good, I had energy and wasn’t feeling lethargic and lazy anymore. If you are a mom, especially a new mom, be realistic. You just gave birth to a human, that is AMAZING and your body has been through some crazy sh*t. It takes time to get back to normal. This is something I am still dealing with, do I want a six-pack, of course, but is that realistic for me right now, NO. What’s realistic for me right now is that I eat healthy, breastfeed, workout, and take care of a beautiful baby girl. You need to find what is realistic for you without making excuses. If a 20 minute workout is all you can manage with 2 children’s different nap schedules, or you have to workout after kiddos go down for bed and you leave them home with your hubby so you can get in some exercise, then that is your reality, everyone’s is different.
Number five, use technology. Here are some great resources to help keep you on track:
Myfitnesspal. I cannot say enough good things about this website and app. You can track just about every single thing you consume during the day.
Calorie Calculator – Calculates the number of calories you should be consuming for the weight entered.
Ideal Weight Calculator – This calculator will let you know your ideal weight based on your gender and height. Just be aware, that if your body has more muscle than a regular person, you may weigh more than what this calculator suggests you should. I would just use it as a guideline, rather than an exact number.
Number six, stick to your guns. This part was extremely hard for me in the beginning. I did get a bit of negative feedback from others regarding the way I was choosing to eat. I was either “boring, “needed to live a little”, people were hoping I wasn’t on a diet, or I “wasn’t any fun” anymore because I wouldn’t shove deep-fried hot wings or sundae’s down my gob. When I went to restaurants, I made and still make healthy choices. There is nothing worse than feeling like an oompa loompa everytime you go out for supper. Stick to easy choices, yes I know it’s boring, but it’s worth it. A standard for me, and most restaurants have amazing salads. I just add beans, chicken or shrimp and asked for my meat to be cooked without butter or oil (they use the cheapest oil they can find). If your friends can’t understand why you are choosing to eat healthy, choose new friends. Your friends should support healthy changes in your life.
Now for the workout portion. Do what works best for you. Is it impossible to get to the gym, workout at home, if you are able to go to the gym, GO, if you don’t have equipment at home, they’re workouts for that too.
Here are some awesome programs I have come across:
Jamie Eason Livefit Trainer – 12 week weight lifting program, that takes you through each day step by step. This is what got me started in weight lifting and I highly recommend it. Best part is that it’s FREE!
No equipment, no problem. You can follow Zuzana’s workouts for free! They are challenging and trust me, you will get a sweat on.
Tatianna also has some awesome at home workouts you can do in small spaces.
Currently I am doing Jame’s Wilson’s Fitnessmap 12 week program. He has a gym or at home version you can choose from. I have loved everyday so far! All you have to do is visit his page and private message him.
When it comes to fitness you have to be realistic here too. Don’t start off committing to 6 days a week for an hour a day. Start with 4 days a week 20-40 minutes each session. Hire a personal trainer if you need. Enlist a workout buddy. Meet them at the gym for every workout or just once a week where you workout together and touch base as to how things are going, your progress, your struggles and your goals.
Hope this can help a sister or brother out!
P.S this blog marks my 145 post! Holy crap, where does time go!!!