If you ask anyone who eats with me on a regular basis, I am very selective. And, to be perfectly honest, I get quite a few weird looks from the people in my life when I whip out my homemade chia seed, apple cider vinegar dressing or refuse to touch the goodies in the teacher lounge. But, I’m okay with that.
I don’t strive to eat clean because it’s a fad or because I am trying to control my weight, (the most common and somewhat offensive assumption). I do so because I care about my health and notice an obvious difference in how I feel when I avoid certain things in my diet, (particularly white flour, sugar, and alcohol).
In the past, I have shared many of my favorite nutritional documentaries, (Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc.), but today I just want to focus on some ideas I came across as I researched Vega One Nutritional Shakes. The powder was designed by an Iron Man athlete and is one of the most well-thought out nutritional supplements I have come across.
I’m not here to sell you on the powder, (although I do think it makes an excellent breakfast smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, a banana, and berries), instead I just want to share a few takeaways that have helped me change the way I see nutrition:
- It’s not about cutting things out of your diet, it’s about adding the good stuff in. It’s so easy to obsess about what not to eat, but if you’re eating enough of the good stuff, you crave the not-so-good alternatives less and “crowd them out” of your diet. I find that when I go long enough without sugar, for example, I don’t even want it anymore, (and, I’m a sugar monster).
- After a workout is the worst time to eat unhealthy food. I hear a lot of people “treat” themselves after burning calories, but your body needs good building blocks to repair muscles, not crappy ones. Makes a lot of sense.
- You can find healthy ways to eat out. By the third or four day of travel, I usually feel terrible because I have a really hard time shifting my diet back to more conventional choices and admittedly often lose my self-control when I see old favorites on the menu, (like grass-fed cheeseburgers and french fries). And, when I say feel terrible, I don’t mean guilt, I mean my body actually feels incredibly rundown when I repeatedly eat not-so-healthy choices, (vacations usually end in food hangovers for me). However, this video inspired me to try a little harder. Tonight I’m off to Outback Steak House for a social commitment and I’ve already decided to experiment. I’m ordering from the sides: grilled asparagus, seasoned rice, and my splurge– sweet potato fries. Might sound control freak to some, but I’m excited. Too often when I eat at chain restaurants, I feel like crap afterward. Not tonight.
- Eating healthy does not have to break your budget. This is the most common complaint, and yes, I agree, there are income levels where some health food choices are out of reach, but for most people on a budget, eating healthy just requires trade offs. My husband and I often joke about how our incredibly healthy meals (think veggie currie, quinoa, elaborate salads) cost the same as grabbing fast food, usually around $10 or less to feed both of us. When my aunt got me interested in trying the Vega One shakes, I cringed a little at the price, (about $2.33/serving if you order the big tub off Vitacost, more if you buy it at Whole Foods). But, then I decided to begin with half a serving (still nutritionally dense) for the first month. If I decide to “splurge” with a full serving next time I order, I will just have to cut the money from somewhere else– like one less meal out in a month, which is likely worth it.
As much as I do my best to remain health conscious, I’m not always perfect. Thrive Forward’s website definitely inspired me to keep working at it. Hopefully you found some inspiration somewhere in all of these thoughts, too. My goal is to feel energetic and keep my immune system strong since I am surrounded by germs all day at work. When I am consistent, I notice a huge payoff.
Happy Saturday and happy healthy eating.