Back to the basics

by Khushboo on January 12, 2015

Hi guys! Hope you enjoyed Urvashi’s guest post on Thursday about her experience on the Raw Pressery One-Day Juice Cleanse.  Although these juices are full of nutrients, I personally don’t think that they should be consumed as meal replacements especially not for extended periods of time.  It’s tempting to fall victim to diets that promise “5 lb loss in 5 days” and other sorts of nonsense- I get it.  However the truth is that permanent results only come about from permanent changes. 

This post was spurred on by various conversations with my mom over the past week. Like most people at the start of the year, she wants to recommit to eating healthier, getting fitter and hopefully lose some weight in the process.  Although eating a healthy diet has turned into a complicated & time-consuming process, it’s actually pretty simple when you go back to the basics.  Does it take commitment & consistency? Yes! Does it mean starving yourself? Nope.  I’ve been sharing my fair share of tips with my mom, and thought it could be helpful to others who may have overdone it on the eating front over the holidays and/or struggling to get back on track:

  • Keep the following meal formula in mind when deciding what to eat:

Complex Carb + Lean Protein + Healthy Fat + Fruit/Veggie

 That could be as simple as a turkey & avocado sandwich on wholewheat bread with a side of carrot sticks.  Alternatively try sautéing pre-cooked quinoa with a couple of eggs/egg whites, whatever veggies you have on hand & drizzle over some olive oil & fresh herbs.  Even though it’s tempting to skimp on meals for “faster” progress, it’s eventually going to slow down your metabolism & likely lead to overeating.

Packed lunch

  • Maintain a food diary, at least for the first week or so: I personally find that this is the easiest way to nix the habit of mindless eating.  The mere act of recording what you are eating keeps you accountable to yourself & makes you all the more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.  Along with actual journals, many apps now exist.  Even easier is the iPhone’s built-in Notes app. 
  • Sip on water: From weight loss to flushing out toxins, boosting kidney &  liver function, increasing energy levels, improving bowel movement and so forth, there are SO many benefits that come from drinking water.  If you tend to forget to drink water, be sure to have a bottle with you at all times so you don’t fall victim to the case of “Outta sight outta mind”.  If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding in lemon slices or fresh mint leaves.  

Bisleri

  • Read your labels: Calories tell us how much energy a certain food has but provides no information on how nutritious or satiating it might be.  For a better understanding, I look out for a few other values including:
    • Protein: depending on exercise levels, we need to be consuming 0.8 – 2.2g per kilo of body weight.
    • Sugar: More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is high whereas 5g of total sugars or less per 100g is low.
    • Sodium: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day.
    • Fiber: The RDA is 25g for women & 38g for men. 
  • Replace processed foods with real foods for maximum satiety & nutrition: One of my favorite food-related quotes comes from Michael Pollan “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.  That means replacing cereal with oats, pasta with brown rice or quinoa, granola bars with fruit & nuts, and store-bought cookies with homemade energy bites/balls.

PB Cookie Dough Balls copy

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls

For more tips, check out my latest post on Huffington Post on 7 Ways to Start 2015 on a Healthy Note.

Please share some of your go-to tips for going back to the basics- we could all use a reminder! 

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Shyamla January 12, 2015 at 2:57 pm

I spy my favourite drawer:)

My go to tip for staying on track is to always make sure my fridge is stocked up with fresh fruit and crudités. When the mid afternoon hunger strikes I always try to have some fruit or veg with nuts or yogurt. That tends to always do the trick and help me avoid reaching for the biscuit tin.

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:05 am

Haha my drawer is empty now :(! And that’s a great trip- having healthy options on hand will undoubtedly make you more likely to eat healthy!

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Shashi @ RunninSrilankan January 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm

I love that Michael Pollan quote – hey so, coffee comes from a plant and so does chocolate – right? 😉
Seriously though, what works for me is having a tad bit of chocolate after dinner – in moderation it seems to squish any major cravings because I have noticed those rare times I deny myself,I end up overindulging!
Happy Monday Khushboo!

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

YES about the chocolate tip- a little goes a long way! Otherwise it’s all too easy to suddenly get the urge and binge on all the chocolate!!

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Lucie@FitSwissChick January 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

So simple!! Love it, Khsuhboo!
Drinking water makes such a big difference for me. I can totally tell when I am dehydrated or hydrated enough.
I also like to be aware of the break in between meals. If I don’t watch this, I snack constantly, even before bed and my body doesn’t get enough time to actually absorb and digest the food.

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

I’m with you Lucie! It’s so hard to distinguish between boredom/mindless eating & actual hunger so sometimes setting specific eating times works!

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Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli January 12, 2015 at 6:33 pm

I really respect Michael Pollan (while not fully adhering to his standards, I admit) so thanks for including that quote! It’s so important to remember that calories don’t always equal satiety – and that can often make all the difference!

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

Completely- I feel like my whole approach to food changed when I stopped looking it as merely a source of calories!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets January 12, 2015 at 6:49 pm

All good tips and I can respect they don’t involve a detox , cleansing or starving. Those things to me are just band aids and will generally bite you in the ass in the long run.

Michael Pollan is my hero. Him and Ina Gartner.

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:07 am

Pssh you know me, girl- detoxes are not happening around here..at least not anymore!!

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Parita @ myinnershakti January 12, 2015 at 11:46 pm

Drinking lots and lots of water is tried and true classic! I also think that people should prescribe to the magic of spices. Even seemingly bland veggies can be transformed with the right blend of spices. 🙂

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

Seriously- spices & fresh herbs can totally transform a dish!

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Linda @ The Fitty January 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Maintaining a food diary can be really tedious sometimes but I think it’s all about forming a habit. It’s something I oughtta get more into!

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

I agree about it being tedious initially but it’s definitely effective, at least in my case!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 13, 2015 at 12:14 am

You know I love this, girl! These are the kind of things I tell my clients all the time — no extremes, just plain and simple common sense practices. They may not give the instant results, but they’re sustainable over the long run and you’ll avoid all that nasty yo-yo nonsense which only messes up how your body functions. I feel like people are aways looking for some kind of complicated magic formula, when it really is pretty basic…

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

Sometimes I feel like I need to come up with a magic formula to get my clients to believe how easy healthy eating can be if you are willing to commit to it in the long haul!

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen January 13, 2015 at 1:25 am

Love this! And I completely agree with all of these! My only other tip I would add to this list is to eat more food at home/packed from home. Because unless we’re talking about health focused cafes, most restaurant food is a lot lower in vegetables/fruit and a lot higher in calories than we would normally eat.

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

I completely agree, Chelsea! While eating out is definitely fun & delicious, I try to limit myself to 2-3 times a week!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld January 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

I’m going on an all carb diet after reading this.

But in all seriousness, love your approach to this and Complex Carb + Lean Protein + Healthy Fat + Fruit/Veggie what I try to focus on when balancing meals!

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

Hahaha I’m sure Dr. Atkins would love to join you ;)!

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Brittany January 13, 2015 at 9:42 am

First of all, hell yes and congrats on the Huffpost article…so legit. Second these tips are great and I love the examples of food combinations!

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Khushboo January 13, 2015 at 11:11 am

Ah thanks Brittany- I was pretty excited about Huffington Post :)!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 14, 2015 at 12:22 am

These are all great tips, and exactly what I’m focusing on right now. The water alone can make you feel like a new person!

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Khushboo January 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

I agree- the side effects on dehydration aren’t pretty!

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Gingi January 15, 2015 at 12:19 am

Drinking water is the BIG one I need to remember…

Anyhoo, I stumbled upon your page through a fellow blogger, and thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same.. or better yet, keep in touch! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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Khushboo January 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

Thanks for stopping by Gingi & hope you’ll stick around 🙂

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Ashley @ A Lady Goes West January 15, 2015 at 2:15 am

Hi lady! You hit the nail on the head here. If we expect fast results, then we can expect those results will quickly go away. I try to approach most of my meals as you’ve mentioned above. Mostly the getting protein and a healthy carb at every sitting. It’s so easy to eat all carbs, and that’s not doing us any favors. Nice work! 🙂 I hope your Momma listens to you!

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Khushboo January 15, 2015 at 11:16 am

Thanks Ashley! While I’m not ingesting crazy amounts of protein daily, I do try to make sure that all my meals & snacks have a small bit of protein to help fill me up :)!

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Kaylin @ Enticing Healthy Eating January 19, 2015 at 7:24 am

I agree, healthy eating should NOT be complicated! So many people think it is. Great roundup of tips here!

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Khushboo January 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

Thanks Kaylin!

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