So I love helping others and one of the ways I do that is by helping people optimize their health, time, and finances to help them live more intentionally in the moments of life and I do that through a company called Shaklee. Through Shaklee, I coach people on various aspects of their lives. One of the biggest things I come across is people wanting to get healthy but becoming overwhelmed by all the information out there. So either they start and give up or they don’t even bother because they don’t know where to start.
I totally understand where people are coming from. I felt the same way too but I found I can do the best I can and forget the rest. So what are some things people can do to get on the right track? First of all, you have to know why you want to make changes you do. That way when the going gets tough you are reminded of your why and don’t get discouraged or give up. I also advocate to make sustainable changes. If you do something for 30 days or even 5 day and then you go back to what you were doing, you are always going to get the results you always got. Make a change for life! Most of my advice here is going to focus on lifestyle changes related to “diet.” Why? Because that is the most popular issue I find with people. I use the term “diet” loosely because we all have a “diet” good or bad!
- Drink half your weight in ounces daily and eliminate all other drinks.
We consume so many of our calories in our drinks and they are EMPTY calories. They have little if any nutritional benefit. They just taste good. Also many of us our chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it. We don’t drink nearly enough water. There are apps to track your water intake or I like to calculate how much I need and then figure out how many of a certain bottle I need to drink. So pre pregnancy I weight 120 pounds. That means I need a minimum of 60 ounces of water. I have a 20oz water bottle so I drink one between breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner, and one before bedtime. This make it much more manageable! Pregnant or say I’ve been very active I would need to drink more and make adjustments.
2. Eat protein for breakfast.
I used to eat eggs for breakfast. I would have 1 whole egg and two whites with some cheese and veggies (usually left over steamed ones from the previous night) but I found that it didn’t keep me full and that’s when I went with a shake. Protein in the morning is really key. Some people have oatmeal or bagels or another carb but I have found benefit in having protein for breakfast. It keeps you fuller longer then other options.
3. Add more veggies and if you think you eat enough… ADD MORE
I thought I ate a lot of veggies until I read the book “The Wahls Protocol.” She developed a diet for people with autoimmune diseases and advocates for 9 cups of veggies a day! That is a TON of veggies but yet so important. I started searching for the various “diets” people use with great success and wanted to see what they all had in common. As you know some say high fat, others low fat, or no carb, or no meat, etc. Then I found this comparison chart. I noticed that all the diets had veggies in them and many emphasized them. I think sometimes veggies are under rated. As Michael Pollen says in “In Defense of Food.” Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
4. Eat Veggies for breakfast!
This goes along with the last one but many of us don’t eat veggies at lunch or dinner let along breakfast. To try to get in more veggie, I recommend a steamed veggie at dinner and have a few servings at least. You can always eat as many veggies as you want in a day. I don’t put limits on this but stress variety. I usually eat a large salad for lunch or have cut up raw veggies. There are so many great salads out there and you can make your own dressing which tastes so much better! Now how do you add veggies to breakfast? You can blend them into your morning shake/smoothie. You can also add the previous nights veggies to eggs as a scramble.
5. Eat fruit for dessert!
I don’t know if you are like me but I like to have something sweet. So instead of convincing myself to not eat something sweet I have a bowl of berries or eat an apple. Sometimes I even do yogurt but am conscious of the brand because many are loaded with sugar. I have also made Chia Seed Pudding which is a nice treat. Not to say you can’t indulge but “real” treats should be at MAX once a week and preferably once a month. Trust me, I understand the struggle and I continue to work on this!
6. Cut Dairy
Many people might say “but dairy is good for you and provides calcium”, but that all comes at a price and there are studies out there that don’t link dairy and bone health. Dairy often contains a decent amount of sugar and salt. Yogurt is a HUGE sugar culprit! It’s also the way that dairy is processed that makes it an issue. Dairy can cause a variety of issues for people from gas/bloating to joint issues and inflammation. I have chosen to drink almond milk instead and there are a lot of alternatives if you have to have ice cream or yogurt. Remember though when you make a change you shouldn’t be looking to replace it with “healthy” treats instead. Ice cream is ice cream and not particularly healthy whether its made with almond milk, coconut milk, or cow’s milk!
7. Limit or eliminate breads, grains, etc.
Some people choose to eliminate all grains, beans, bread, gluten etc. For me I try and limit it to one serving a day. I try to shy away from bread and go with brown/wild rice, beans, or potatoes. I have found that this just helps me feel good. We all can tend to overeat carbs and so when I reduce or eliminate them I feel so much better. I wish I could give you a solid answer on why but I can only guess it may have something to do with how it’s processed or what is sprayed on the grains before they are harvested.
Now you may disagree with my suggestions. Some of this I have learned from trial and error and some of it is from lots of reading/research I’ve done on various diets. Not everything is going to work for everyone. But one thing I can guarantee is that if you stick with a change you will see some sort of result! You can choose to go gluten free and another person dairy free. You have to find what works best for you and these are just guidelines. First, think of what your health goals are because that can dictate your diet as well! If you need help, I would LOVE to help you find a solution that works best for you and your lifestyle. So feel free to contact me!
Also check out: Facebook.com/stortzwellness this coming week I’m going to be posting a lot about “diets” and myths regarding health.