How to Build Healthy Nutritional Habits

 

In my opinion, we ALL know what NOT to eat, so why do we make it so complicated?  I believe we all try to make good choices when it comes to what we eat but don't always have the CONSISTENT discipline to stay away from what we know doesn't truly NOURISH our bodies.  The only time I see most people doing well with their nutrition is when they say they are "dieting for an upcoming vacation" and then they stop realizing it's too difficult to maintain.  These same people will start an aggressive exercise routine and eventually realize it's either too much for them to keep going (whether it's financially or simply requires to much of a lifestyle change to endure keeping at it).  What we are really missing is a healthy dose of DAILY exercise to help us be mindfully aware of our bodies throughout our ENTIRE day (not just during the 30 to 60 minute workout class we may or may NOT attend that day).  Building a healthy habit of waking up eat morning and making time to "Work IT In!" first thing in the morning - even if only to STRETCH our arms overhead and breathe in and breathe OUT to prepare our minds and bodies for what's in store that day.  To wake up every day automatically craving a stretch is the BEST feeling - then breathe in and breathe out oxygen to fuel our bodies with ENERGY, throughout our busy, active days.  Then put on something that makes you FEEL pulled together and ready for ANYTHING - comfortable yet stylish (personally, I'm a HUGE fan of www.GoldsheepClothing.com leggings or anything that www.Carbon38.com sells - fitness / activewear is the way to go - best investment for my wardrobe that keeps me looking sharp, feels energizing when I wear them - can't beat it!!! and then .  Build a daily habit of fitness FIRST, then healthy eating habits will simply compliment your LIFESTYLE ... I intentionally built my healthy eating mindset through discipline and willpower after I first built a healthy routine of daily fitness.  Once I did that, because I wanted to give my body the nourishment it needed for energy and stamina, my healthy eating habits naturally fell into place.  I learned to enjoy the privilege of eating healthy and I didn't take for granted the ability to treat myself to those healthy yet delectable items and recipes.  I eliminated the junk food I once consumed and instead I replaced it with delicious healthy alternatives.   I didn't strip everything down but rather started with one craving I knew wasn't nutritiously beneficial for my body or my health and replaced it with a different tasty, healthy option.  As an example, while my family indulged in ice cream on the weekends in the spring and summer months, I found that I preferred vanilla yogurt with blueberries.  Although the yogurt still had more sugar than I really needed, it was a step in the right direction and I loved the creamy texture and piled on the organic blueberries to really fill me up!  I found that the true treat was in the indulgence of spending all that money on the berries and that was a privilege I wasn't going to take for granted!  I was doing my body good and I could feel the difference!

Just so you know, this isn’t to say that I never eat a desert once in a while.  Sometimes complete depravity can make you want something even more.  However, my personal experience is that if you start your day with sweet foods (even if they are healthy options) your tastebuds will likely crave sugar so I love nourishing my body with savory breakfasts instead.  My personal go to is quinoa topped with eggwhites and avocado and either cilantro or basil and tomatoes. I sometimes alternate between that easy to prepare breakfast and steelcut oats with unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, chia seeds, walnuts, strawberries and blueberries - yum!   It is so important to tell yourself what to eat instead of focusing on what not to eat.  This is a very important part of re-training and reminding yourself to eat healthy.  Your brain is so much better at remembering what to do as opposed to what not to.  The messages you give yourself are very important when adopting and applying a healthy lifestyle.  Also, by practicing healthy habits 99.9% of the time I can eat something not so healthy once in a rare while when I’m at a birthday party or for a special occasion, and it won’t hurt me a bit.  

It is so easy to say “no” to something that I know isn't nutritiously beneficial for my body. when I love what I now eat regularly. YOU get to pick your healthy menu so let our taste buds EXPLORE the nature of goodness!  These days I relish my healthy choices, recipes and dietary habits so much that in fact, I prefer to eat at home. Sometimes when a friend invites me to lunch I am slightly bummed because I won’t be able to enjoy my favorite lunch prepared in my own kitchen by moi!  Let me share with you one of my very favorite lunches….the one that keeps me wanting to eat at home!  I have either my fruit-infused water with lunch or my favorite green tea from True Foods. I buy a large bag of loose leaf tea from Passport Coffee & Tea and brew up a batch every week and this is such a treat!  Because I burn so many calories at Towel Toning I also eat snacks in between my breakfast, lunch and dinner and therefore I eat more "a-la-carte style.”  A word about snacks:  if you are skipping breakfast or eating a small breakfast and then waiting several hours before eating again, this is not good for your blood sugar levels.  Make sure that you eat something every couple of hours. 

 I try to keep my food preparation and my cooking simple and therefore achievable, especially since I'm not what you’d call a gourmet chef. Organic carrots and organic hummus, organic honey crisp apples with Justin's Maple Almond Butter are real staples for me and you will find them in my home all the time. And one of my favorite Mexican food meals might include grilled chicken breast, quinoa, sweet potato hash, avocado, black beans, cilantro, cherry tomatoes topped with fresh salsa.