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Raise your hand if you hate diets! (I just raised my hand) If you’ve never tried one, don’t start now.
A diet is essentially the idea of cutting out any food group for an extended period of time (some people try to do it for life, but it doesn’t always turn out well), or trying to control what, when, or how much you eat.
When I say control, I don’t mean choose. I’m talking about ignoring what your body wants or needs for the sake of what some outside source or “expert” says.
Now if you’re someone who has to follow a specific diet for health reasons, and you’re being directed by a nutritionist or dietitian, that’s a different story. At that point it is still your choice to decide what you’ll eat based on how you want to feel, and how you choose to care for your body.
But for the sake of this article, I’m referring to the type of diets we follow in order to lose weight. Which we’ve often been told looks like less calories, less fat, less carbs, less...less...less.
It also often means sacrificing the foods you love for the sake of being skinny. You know, like that one saying of “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Uhhh...I’m calling BS on that one. I’ve been skinny, and it doesn’t feel any different. How is skinny a feeling anyway? You can feel good at any size. Also, I love food. I also love eating healthy.
So I’ve chosen to combine my love for food with my desire to eat healthy.
Wanna know how? Here’s a hint...it doesn’t include days and weeks of chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli. I’m about to get even more edgy on you and tell you that I don’t eat foods if I don’t like them. If I don’t like the taste of a food, I will not eat it. Even if it’s considered “healthy”.
Now there are some exceptions to this...there are certain foods that I don’t like prepared certain ways, so I like to experiment and see if there’s a way I can make them taste yummy. For example...steamed broccoli? Heck no. Broccoli tossed in olive oil, seasoned with a garlic based seasoning and roasted in the oven until it’s crispy? That’s a yes for me! Also, broccoli in mac & cheese is pretty dang delicious. I love those Amy’s TV dinners, especially the mac & cheese and broccoli one. All that creamy goodness with a bit of crunch and I’m getting my veggies in??? I’ll take it!
There’s a difference between eating to be skinny and eating for your health. Eating to be skinny looks like counting calories and macros, and eating flavorless meals because God forbid you add too much fat in, like olive oil and avocados (theeee best!).
Eating for health looks like what I like to call “nutrient-based eating”. This means I just search for foods with the highest amount of nutrients. Not only do these foods tend to taste amaaazing (after you get used to eating more natural foods, of course), but they also satisfy me in a way that doesn’t leave me hunting through the cabinets for more, more, more!
I love superfoods for this reason. Sneaking in chia seeds and flax seeds, and loading up my smoothies with maca powder and various superfood powders from Organic Burst.
I’ll bet that healthy eating is difficult for you because you haven’t found a sustainable and satisfying way. And satisfaction is the key here. If you don’t feel satisfied with what you’re eating, then you’re gonna go for something that does satisfy you.
So here’s a place where you can start...ditch the idea that you should count calories, or macros, or leave out any food group (keto much??), and start focusing on getting more nutrients into your daily life.
Here’s a recipe you can start with:
- Go into the grocery store or your local farmers market, and pick out 3-5 veggies that sound appealing to you. I love potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and garlic.
- Preheat your oven to 425º
- Chop the veggies, toss them in olive oil or any oil of your choice (coconut oil is also great!), season them with salt and pepper, or turmeric, or cumin, or any seasoning combo that tickles your fancy--get creative on this!
- Roast them until they reach the texture of your liking...any range between soft and crispy!
Now take this mixture and sneak it into any meals you’re having this week, have it as a side or a snack, or a meal on its own (I love to add in a boiled egg or some hummus for protein).
Voila! You’ve just taken your first step toward ditching the diet mentality and eating food that will nourish your body.
Now before I let you go, I want to remind you that this doesn’t have to be 100% of the time. You don’t need to designate weekends or “cheat days”, just pay attention to how you’re feeling and what your body is asking for. Let your body lead the way!