Why You Gotta Be like That??
People are constantly changing and evolving. If we stayed the same as we always were, where would we see fruit and growth in our lives? Much in the same small ways we change from day to day, so do our choices about how we take care of ourselves. There always seems to be one diet trend or another…from Keto to Paleo, to Whole 30 and Faster Way to Fat Loss…..all of these are ways we change our eating habits to (hopefully) improve our health and well-being, therefore improving our quality of life. At one point or another within the last few years, my husband and I did a few rounds of Whole 30 and actually loved it! I would definitely recommend that approach for cleaning up your diet if you are just not ready to give up meat. That’s pretty much how we transitioned to our current lifestyle, which is a Whole Foods Plant Based approach. Whole 30 taught us to clean up our ingredients, remove gluten, dairy and sugar from our diets, and set us on the right path. At the time, we had no idea that Whole 30 would just be a segue way to an almost vegan diet!
Fast forward a couple of years, and both my husband and I had some health issues that began to creep in and affect our daily lives and quality of life. With my full stop in 2018 from my spinal fluid leak, I ended up taking that year off work. I instead spent my time focusing on my recovery, as well as researching how to use food to heal chronic illness, autoimmune issues, and a host of other medical problems. Slowly, over time, we began to see the value in increasing the amount of produce we ate, as well as decreasing the amount of animal proteins we were taking in. Anthony ended up losing about 30 pounds! My weight essentially stayed the same, always fluctuating a pound or two here and there like usual. So….how would I “label” our lifestyle? Well, I wouldn’t. I don’t like labels. They are limiting and give off an air of exclusivity that rubs me the wrong way. Besides, our label would be horribly long…..are you ready? We are Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Plant Based Pescatarians. (What a mouthful!!)
3 Tips for Improving Your Health
- Think FRESH! Increase your volume of fresh produce in your meal plans. Don’t avoid fruits, they are so good for you! Try to make your plate the most nutrient dense it can possibly be! Yes, it’s a lot of food prep, but it’s actually not too bad once you get used to it. I find chopping produce to be quite cathartic!
- Remove inflammatory foods from your diet….the 4 biggest ones being dairy, gluten, eggs and refined sugars. And this step is actually far more work than you’d think! These 4 items are literally in EVERYTHING. You will get very good at reading labels! Even ketchup and salsa has hidden sugar in it. (It doesn’t hurt to go ahead and remove alcohol for the most part, too! We still enjoy our wine here and there.)
3. Begin making your health a priority! Get more sleep at night, Say “NO” when you’re overwhelmed, and cut down on family obligations that take up all of your weeknights. Slow down and be intentional about how you allocate your time. Schedule in some family down time, like puzzles, reading and flipping through magazines. Don’t drink so much caffeine. Let your body learn to regulate your sleep/wake cycle without that! And just be intentional on being the best version of yourself you can be!