When healthy eating makes you miserable…
For years I didn’t realise how miserable I was trying to be healthy. Why? Because I took myself so damn seriously! I got so uptight about rules and spent so much energy thinking about all the things I couldn’t eat.
I was eating healthily out of fear of gaining weight. And that wasn’t much fun! It made eating stressful and rigid.
I loved healthy food then and I love healthy food now. But the comparison of how much more enjoyable it is these days is crazy. All it took was a few shifts in mindset to feel relaxed and happy about living and eating this way.
If you want to be healthy AND happy, here are 5 ways of approaching it differently:
::Crowd out, don’t cut out.
Instead of cutting things out and putting them into an imaginary “I’m not allowed” box, start adding things in. The second you tell yourself you can’t have something, you want it. The end. It’s the way it goes. Even if you think you won’t react that way, you will.
Plus if you do end up eating it, you will feel tremendously guilty. Which causes much unneeded stress.
Start thinking about the abundance of healthy foods you can eat and add more of them in. The nutrient dense, real, whole, healthy foods will start to crowd out the foods that are detracting from your health, rather than supporting it.
::You don’t have to be perfect.
For years I carried around the toxic belief that I had to eat 100% perfect or ‘what was the point?’ But that mindset and that way of eating only caused a massive amount of stress. Stress that affected my health more than eating badly would have. And around the corner from every strict and perfect eating stint, is rebellion. (Think: binging, emotional eating, being hard on yourself etc).
If you can focus on eating well just 80% of the time, you are onto something good.
::Remember to indulge.
Indulgence is part of healthy eating. Allowing yourself to enjoy something you love, healthy or not, is so rewarding and eliminates any feelings of deprivation.
The key to indulging however, is to be present. When you eat something you love and give it your full attention, (as in not scrolling down your phone or watching tv), you give yourself the full experience. And that is satisfying.
It’s almost like your brain needs to know you’ve eaten. If you’re mind is focusing on the TV or the internet, it wants you to eat more so it can get that eating experience.
So eat your favourite foods and be there. Slow down and take your time. Enjoy every bite.
::Ditch all the rules.
The second you start laying down strict rules on yourself, eating. gets. heavy. It’s not as fun. And healthy eating should actually be about fun. We eat well to feel good! And if you’re constantly trying to follow strict rules you won’t be feeling good, no matter what you eat.
Self imposed rules make you feel small and restricted. Just let them go.
It’s easy to get into a rut and eat the same old thing every day. And when you’re in a rut, you get bored and you get over it. If you’re looking for fresh, real food, meal ideas that I highly recommend you check out Claire’s and my Medicinal Meal Plans series. A series of transformative 7-day “Food as Medicine” meal plans to become your most radiant self.
Now wait Jess, why would you, someone who bangs on about dropping the rules, ditching diets and listening to your body, create meal plans?
It might seem a little contradictory on the outside, but while these ebooks are called ‘Meal Plans’ it’s really only one part of the ebook.
The Medicinal Meal Plans are broken down into three sections:
::Clever, easy to digest info on the specific condition/way of eating. Including what foods will best support you and which won’t. (And why.) All compiled and set out by my good friend and naturopath Claire.
::An example of how you might eat this way for 7 days, aka the meal plan.
::All the recipes in the meal plan, packed with the foods that will best support you.
So if you are craving guidance on healthy eating, we’ve provided you with the tools. (Click here to check them out.)
Let the information and recipes inspire you. You can follow the plan or just start adding knew meals and snack ideas into your everyday eating.
Healthy eating should be fun. Otherwise what’s the point?! We eat well to feel good, to feel amazing. You can’t feeling amazing if you are stressed out and miserable. So relax and enjoy.
Any comments or contributions? Leave me a note below!