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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!