The word diet is a funny one to me, because it conjures thoughts of temporary deprivation. By definition, its designed to fail. Thats not what I wanted. I didn’t want to count calories, I didn’t want to weigh my food, and I didn’t want to fork over a whole bunch of cash to the already booming weight loss industry.
My old eating habits used to be horrendous, 3 coffees per day, egg and cheese on croissants, burgers and fries, chocolate, and cheese plates. I would buy wedges of brie and finish them within the hour. I had some handles on my belly that I wanted to get rid of but I didn’t want to change my diet.
I put off getting healthy for years. There was always another day, another week and it was never the right time. Then I saw the scale shift into a new number that I didn’t care for. I had an illness scare. It was now or never. I told myself that I would try something for 30 days. 30 days is long enough to see/feel a difference and short enough that it didn’t seem overwhelming.
My goal was to lose weight, but to have that be a side effect of a healthy lifestyle, not a constant battle. I love going to restaurants and cooking tasty meals. My new eating habits were not going to get in the way of me enjoying my life. I started reading every healthy food book I could get my hands on. My favorites are:
I began to notice common themes in all of these books:
1. Plants are your friends. Especially green leafy ones. You can eat as much of these as you want. Juicing is a fantastic way to ingest them.
2. Many white foods are your enemy. That includes white flour, white sugar, and white rice. Your body treats these the same way, and its turned into fat.
3. Some animal products can be part of a healthy diet, but not in the quantities we currently consume and not from the industrialized production which is both cruel to animals, and wreaks havoc on your systems.
4. Many people have sensitivities to gluten and dairy and they don’t even know about it (as a cheese and bread lover, my heart broke a little when I learned this).
5. Eat natural food. Food as close to its natural source as possible. As the lovely Kris Carr puts it, “If it takes a lab to make, it takes a lab to digest.”
6. Eat 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between. Stop eating 2-3 hours before your bedtime and eat a form of protein with every meal/snack. This helps us feel full.
7. The type of calories you eat DOES matter. 100 calories of cotton candy and 100 calories of brocoli do very different things to your body.
8. Want to eat something thats so horribly bad for you but oh so good? Do it seldomly and make sure its worth it. Brie with crackers and Shake Shack shackburgers are my weaknesses but an ice cream cone doesn’t really do it for me.
9. Drink LOTS of water.
10. Get enough sleep. A good nights sleep makes for a healthy metabolism.
So those are the pillars by which I eat and drink. I changed my diet for 30 days and 30 days became several months. I am happy to say that since I switched to a plant based diet, I am back to the weight that I was in college (I got rid of my scale, I only know this by going to the doctor). My jeans are looser on me. My skin is glowing . I’m told I look about 5 years younger than I actually am. And you know whats amazing? I enjoy the taste of healthy food because I know what it does to my body. I don’t enjoy the taste of unhealthy food as much because I know whats its doing to my body. I don’t count calories and I feel oddly free.