The goal can seem quite daunting and LARGE to say we want to "get healthier" or even "eat healthier".
Since there seems to be oodles of ideas of what this means, I can see how we end up in a paralyzing struggle with no action forward because it's all so conflicting and confusing.
Here's a secret. There's no one real, true, right way for everybody. But there ARE 4 steps you can take right now to get yourself on your way.
Step 1: Look to Lifestyle to Make the Right Plans
First of all, not every program, diet or situation is right for everybody. It makes no sense to begin a style that is so involved in your life if you can't see a way it fits into your LIFESTYLE.
So the first step is to get real and honest about the things that are real and true in your life. For example: if you hate cooking, can't stand being in the kitchen, a plan where you're mostly making everything from scratch may not be suited to you. If you are a busy go getter in the morning, starting with a nutrient dense smoothie might be a good option. Either way, you need to take a look at and identify what your life and you are really capable of or willing to accomodate. Then you can see which habits it would be in your best interest to change, if need be.
Again, there's many options and programs to choose from, it's simply a matter of determining what will work with YOU.
- How do you like to live? Do you like to live this way currently? Is it beneficial for you? What things would you like to change?
- What is true about you as a person? Do you like to cook? Will you never use the juicer? Are you on the go? Do you eat while working? Have little storage space for fresh goods?
- These are the kinds of questions to identify first, before making any new decisions. Changing how you eat is a big deal and we want to set ourselves up for success. It doesn’t make sense to make decisions for change that go against or make it difficult or nearly impossible with the chosen lifestyle.
Step 2: Flood with Nutrient Dense Foods
The goal is to flood the cells with such nutrient dense supportive foods that they start cleaning out the muck. In order to do this successfully, it helps to have a plan in place. It's simple to keep ready prepared nutrient dense foods on hand, based on what you’ve determined about chosen lifestyle.
- Nourishment that is complete and deep into the cellular metabolic level is necessary to start feeling better, feeling more energy, and thus more capable to make good decisions for yourself. Here are some very simple ways to do this.
- A. Prepare nutritious broths to share that can be eaten throughout the week, shared with meal buddies, and canned and stored for quick use later.
- B. Make smoothies. They can be made ahead or made fresh. It is ideal to gather all ingredients, prep them, and then store them in freezer bags so they are ready to go for the week. You can also make dehydrated fruits and vegetables and powder them. These can be packaged into smoothie kits for quick use later.
- Hopefully there is less appetite after being nourished on a cellular level. If you're hungry (not bored, angry, etc) but truly hungry, the body is saying it needs fuel. Trying to heal is not the time to prohibit - but only of the food fuels you should be using, of course. It's not time to binge on snack foods, but only quality produce, broths, proteins, smoothies, etc.
- Flood with nutrient dense foods to start correcting blood sugar and hormonal imbalances. Broths, smoothies, and juices that are chockful with nutrient density can help this, easily and simply.
- This will likely help cravings and curb appetite, increasing appetite for fresh nutrient dense foods
- Supplement with any nutrient deficiencies, enzymes, hormonal supports, metabolic supports
Between the two nutrient dense food staples(broths and smoothies) and supplements, there is complete nutrition, it makes eating for health a snap. It's more convenient than "convenience" food. Now, knowing that the body is being nourished as well as it can be, we can move on to step 2 to deal with untraining the habits we have formed. It's easier to do this when you're satiated and happy and not worried about what to eat.
Step 3: Habit Training - Remove trigger foods and lifestyle choices
- Remove the trigger foods from the home and environment so the access is less available, less easy to get to.
- Find out where/when the problem times are and make alternative plans for how to deal with them when they arise. It's all in the planning. Recognize where you go astray and create a "what will I do instead" scenario.
- Find out what the problem trigger foods are and come up with an alternate plan to have on hand to substitute.
- Come up with new plans for habits that have encouraged the decision for poor eating habits. For example, if everytime you get together with this one specific couple the snacking is out of control, you might need to find a different activity to do with them, or hang out with someone else. Perhaps share what you're trying to do. You never know, maybe they are struggling too and you can be Foodie Buddies.
- Encourage knowledge and experimentation of vegetables and fruits. Browse the produce section, farmers markets, and sustainable food sources. Take time to look and touch. Buy and try things you haven't tried before, or try them in a new way. Pick one new seletion of produce each week and try it a multitude of ways.
- Produce Bingo - Create a bingo card with produce in the squares. Get a bingo for consuming 5 in a row. Give yourself a reward for meeting your goal.
- Go and purchase whichever produce draws you, and pulverize Pinterest with all your searches for recipes to use with it.
- Grow a garden, even if it's just 1 or 2 plants. Make them foods you will use. There is something emotionally fulfilling and peaceful about eating what you produce and can encourage you to want to eat more of the same.
- Buddy up! Create a buddy system so you have a partner to share healthy meals with, then there's less cooking and planning and more trial and discovery.
- Admit what's true. If you just don't like cooking, don't get all crazy about collecting ingredients and recipes that will have you spending hours in the kitchen. If this is you, maybe invest your energy instead in learning to make easy smoothies, one pot meals, crockpot meals, cooking once and eating for a week, or looking up easy on the go healthy options. Look to what your lifestyle brings and adapt accordingly.
Step 4: Set Yourself Up For Success Through Planning and Environment
I know I know people don't always like to plan ahead. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." But it can be true! Don't look at it as always having to be so thoroughly planned out, think of it more as action steps moving you in the direction of your dream health, body and life.
- Instead of being at a loss for what to eat, come up with a meal plan, buy the groceries, and stick to it. Buy only what is on the grocery list. Eat only what is on the meal plan. Plan for holidays, events and parties.
- Take cooking classes - not only to learn and encourage healthy habits, but to find new like minded people, cooking buddies, and engage in the garden of that which you want to play. Learning something new aid feelings of depression and hopelessness, plus you’ll get to sample new foods.
- Join Sprout market, the local food coops, and farmers markets, get on their mailing list, and attend their events.
- Create a meal plan together with someone who is knowledgeable about healthy eating
- Or, go see a nutritionist to help plan meals that are appropriate for you.
Keep going you've got yourself pushing you along, and a ton of resources at your fingertips at DrFoodie.live!
Want to learn more about taking charge of your health and learn Food Functions, too? Join the list and get 4 FREE resources to help you! This link will get you to free tips, free tools like our Food FX chart and tally chart. https://mailchi.mp/drfoodie.live/students-of-drfoodie-subscriptions
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Amanda Plevell, PhD, CNHP is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, researching Cellular Biochemistry, and the effects that food, disease, experiences, emotions, and beliefs play into the programming of the cells, along with the resulting health expression. She is the founder of the Natural Source Companies including community WellClinics, Health Rocks Cafe online education hangout and, as a Personal and Business Transformation Expert, The Success Conditioning Academy. Author of over 28 natural health and self development books, her bestselling books include such titles as "The Genesis Code", "UnBound: Kicking Anxiety From Your Bucket List", "The Energy of Divorce", "The Real Heal", "Clean Your Plate", and "Beyond the Plate". When she's not serving at her Minnesota-based practice, she spends her time homeschooling her children along with her husband, growing food, and making garden medicines. Get the complete DrFoodieU course here.
**Not a licensed Physician. For entertainment and educational purposes only, not as a substitute for diagnosis, treatment, or cure or proper medical attention. read our full common sense Disclaimer here.
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