Welcome to the second Q & A with me! If you missed the first one you can check it all out over here. I received even more questions since suggesting this become a regular segment on the blog. I hope you enjoy these! Please keep the questions coming by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask me anything: Q & A #2
What do I think the biggest challenge is in encouraging people to eat REAL food? And what strategies would you use to overcome this?
These are two great questions (and one I love and answer daily). Many people think associate healthy eating with being boring and bland…and a whole lot of deprivation. There goes eating dessert- eating chocolate- having a glass of wine- eating out (blah blah!). Essentially they see it as ‘all or nothing’ and this leads to the constant diet yo-yo we see MANY start to ride.
Remember: It’s a choice to think- and eat- this way (full of deprivation, restriction and rigidity).
When I show people that they can enjoy healthy options such as cake and chocolate, and make healthy food deliciously satisfying they start to take interest. Furthermore, when I tell them that being ‘healthy’ or eating in a more ‘healthy’ way is personally defined- in that they can enjoy wine, they can eat sugar- they become even more excited.
YOU determine what it means to be healthy. Here are some tips:
1. Decide what healthy means to you (and only you). Who cares if ‘Jo Blow’ downs two green smoothies a day and boasts about her glowing skin. You might hate smoothies, let alone chugging down a green smoothie. Healthy to you might include:
// Swapping the afternoon soft drink/ soda for a fizzy soda water with lemon
// Cutting down the 3 daily coffees to 2 a day
// Including a salad with dinner a few nights a week
// Enjoying dessert 1 night per week (as opposed to every night!).
2. Eat your vegies (especially green vegies). Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, fibre, minerals and a heck of a lot of nutrients which the body will never complain about. I have never heard or read of someone being told by their Doctor that eating vegetables is a bad thing (go figure!). Here are a few tips:
// I love this idea which I started back in the day when I first moved out of home and realised I couldn’t cook. Make it a game to buy a new vegetable each week during your shop. Research a recipe that appeals to you and cook that bad boy up.
// Experiment with different cooking methods with vegetables as you might find it changes the taste and texture (which helps you enjoy it more). Steaming, roasting, stir frying, oven baking, munching on it raw.
// A good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper can jazz up vegies a heck of a lot. Don’t fear a little salt here and there (please).
3. Drink water. Water seriously curbs cravings which can be caused by dehydration. You can read this post about how to get sipping away on natures gift: water.
4. Ease in to healthy eating slowly and compassionately. Seriously, you are going to find eating healthy food that much harder if you go hard too soon. Sugar and processed foods are addictive and your body will take time to adjust to more natural, less flavoured foods. Go slow.
6. Ditch deprivation. If you like wine, store bought chocolate (the ‘non-real food variety’) and that chocolate cake your local bakery does really really well then don’t deprive yourself of it. Eat it (yes- that’s right- eat it!). Deprivation is what prevents people from falling off the wagon, beating themselves up, then going harder next time (only to fail again because they are so rigid and punishing on themselves). My tips:
// When you drink wine, eat dessert, do whatever it is you are doing out of the sheer love of it. REALLY enjoy and savour it. This means eating/ sipping/ doing whatever slowly and mindfully.
// Eat/ drink/ whatever without distraction. Be present. Savour all of it. You will get more out of the experience and feel more satisfied (trust me!)
// Watch that ego. You might hear the ego pipe in afterwards and say “Why did you do that?”. “You failed (again)”. “Bigger gym session tomorrow for you”. #nightmare. If this little devil comes into your head I want you to try to:
:: Name the ego. I say something like “Oh YOU. Hi. I’m not around to chat right now. Bye”. Give it the flick.
:: Tune into why you ate/ drank/ did whatever you did. Finish this sentence off. I ate/ drank/ did (name it) because ____(e.g. I love my friday night dessert night because it is a relaxing way to see the end of a busy working week out).
:: If you do feel guilty/ ashamed/ or angry at yourself wrap your arms around yourself (tight) and say something like: “Despite having just done ‘x’, I choose to deeply love, accept and appreciate myself”. Keep saying it until you feel strength in the belief of that statement (it might take 10 + times!).
I hope this has been helpful! I look forward to answering the next lot of questions in 2 weeks time!
Last image via @karla_layton