Today is Wednesday, which means my 3 1/2 yr old is at family day care. And I get to spend half my day without having to answer 250 questions… why Mummy… but why… but why!!! Her little brain is piecing together this wonderful world, and I must admit, I'm reminded daily of how confusing and magical it is. Trying to explain things like steam from the hot water, rain from the sky, and why some moths have 'eyes' on their wings.
Anyway! I digress…
I was out shopping, buying a birthday present for my 5 year old niece, when I went into my favourite kids shop in town (Kawaii Kids). Lovely Andrea, the owner, and I were discussing my love of clean eating, and how to implement in into our lives easier.
It's a question I get asked the most.
Where to start.
In a world full of easily accessible information, we seem to have been overloaded with information, ideas, fads, gimmicks and lots of bad, misinformed advertising. And now we are now all confused.
We really all know what we should and shouldn't eat. If we be honest with ourselves. But the 'quick fix' sells a lot better than the real answer. We all want our cake and be able eat it too.
"The best diet shake…….
Is the shake your booty makes when you run."
So I'm going to try and simplify it for you.
1. You need to get real about why you want to start eating clean.
Are you overweight, have bad skin, always tired, have no energy, on medication for lifestyle illness (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc). Do you sleep poorly, struggle with moodiness, depression? Are you constantly getting sick? Do you suffer irritable bowel syndrome (constipation-diarrhoea, bloating, gas, pain)?
Your diet effects everything listed above (and more).
What you put in your mouth either fights disease, or feeds it.
What is your goal. And you need one.
Personally, mine was a combination.
I wanted to have more energy, sleep better, cure my IBS, and stop being so moody!
2. You need to get rid of the excuses. Period.
You need to own your behaviour.
I think this is the part where people struggle the most. We have excuses for everything. "It's too hard/I'm too busy/I don't have time/its too expensive/I'm too tired".
You need to be honest with yourself. How bad you do want your goal?
Stop the excuses. You're only cheating yourself. Changing your life is hard.
I came across a great little quote on instagram the other day-
"What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"
Throw out all your unhealthy food- or donate it to a shelter if you don't want to waste it.
Fill your cupboards with healthy foods and snacks. Get rid of anything processed and packaged. If you don't recognise and ingredient, chances are your body won't either. Chuck it.
Put aside 5 min each weekend and plan you meals for the week. Know you're going to a function? Think ahead and offer to bring a salad/ fruit platter- full of foods that fit your lifestyle.
Organise family activity which includes incidental exercise (walk to the park, swimming). Instead of catching up for coffee- grab a take away and talk and walk.
"The better I eat, the better I look. The better I look, the better I feel. The better I feel, the better I eat. I could get used to this cycle"
You're doing this for you. It may be hard in the beginning, but hang in there. Little by little you will notice your life changing.
Don't give in to the haters. People who mock you for wanting to change your lifestyle are only jealous of your commitment, dedication and motivation to better yourself. It's time to be selfish. It's not a bad thing. Look after yourself. It takes courage to step out from what you've always known and been taught. The old ways are not always the right ways. Look where they have gotten you. You starting may be the light switch for everyone else around you. Be that person. Keep going, you never know who you are inspiring.
5. Knowledge is power
I cannot emphasise this enough. We are never to old to learn new things. The more you learn about why clean eating is so important, the more likely you are to embrace it. I know how good the bread basket would taste. But I also know how horrible I will feel afterwards. Learn what all that sugar and processed food is doing to your liver, your brain, your bowel. You'll find it easier to pass on the jam doughnuts once you know what they are really doing to your body. Find and learn new recipes that are easy to cook. Ask questions. Lots of questions!!
What to read?
Some of my favourite books are
It starts with food by Dallas and Mel Hartwig
I quit sugar by Sarah Wilson
The paleo solution by Robb Wolf
Do I practice what I preach. Damn straight I do.
Here's some proof.
Me 40+6 days pregnant. And then 14 weeks later. I put on 18kg this pregnancy.
Clean eating and exercising. No shakes, no starving and no counting calories. I ate wholesome food. It was not easy, I work hard for my health. I'm still breastfeeding and running after a 3 1/2 year old and my husband works long hours. I'm committed. It's simple. And I LOVE how my lifestyle makes me feel.