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Would you like to kick your health off to a great start in 2019?
How about finishing the year feeling fitter, stronger and more vibrant than ever before?
One of the things that I did to transform my own health was to upgrade the food rules that I lived by.
From personal experience I know just how confusing and overwhelming food can be. There is so much conflicting expert opinion out there in the world that it is easy to fall into a bit of a muddle.
Before going on my healing journey I had grown to see food as my enemy. It appeared to be the cause of all my pain and suffering…
So you could imagine my surprise when it dawned on me that food was a vital part of the solution!
I share more about my weight struggles in my first book Losing Weight is a Healing Journey.
To help you start the year right, here are 4 simple food rules that helped me to lose 60 pounds naturally and keep them off for good…
1. Eat consciously.
Eating consciously is about being mindful of the foods that you eat and making the connection to how food affects you. It is about choosing to eat in a way that feels empowering and uplifting for you.
When I was at the peak of my struggle I was eating unconsciously, typically on the go, squeezed in between other more seemingly important things.
By making the choice to eat consciously, I was able to start tuning into the wisdom of my own body. From this place I was able to make food choices that supported my long-term health and wellness goals.
Here are some ideas to help you to eat consciously…
- Give thanks and appreciation for your food
- Chew your food properly
- Slow down to taste your food
- Use cutlery when eating your food
- Stop eating when you are full.
2. Eat real foods.
Eating real foods means eating whole natural foods that haven’t been tampered with, just as nature intended. Real foods nourish the body and support its ability to detoxify and self-heal.
Your body knows and recognizes real foods. These foods grow in nature and are rich in nutrients.
When I shifted my focus to predominantly eating real foods, I noticed my body start to respond. It helped me to reduce all the inflammation, bloating and puffiness that had been my constant companions.
Here is a guideline to help you to eat more real foods in your life…
- Eat 80% real foods (such as high quality proteins, fresh vegetables, fruit, seaweeds, legumes, nuts and seeds).
- Eat 20% lightly processed foods (such as high quality oils, naturally preserved foods, wholegrain breads, hummus, tahini, and tamari).
- Avoid fake foods (such as highly processed foods, deep fried fast foods, ready made meals, diet foods, soft drinks, refined flour and sugar, any foods that have artificial colors, flavors or additives in them or that have been genetically modified).
3. Substitution not deprivation.
Once you are able to classify your possible food choices, into either ‘real foods’, ‘lightly processed foods’ or ‘fake foods’, then your focus then shifts to upgrading your food choices where possible.
How your food is prepared and cooked makes all the difference. For example a burger could be harmful or healing for your body, depending on how it was made and the ingredients it has been made with.
One of the main reasons why the dieting model doesn’t work is because it is based upon restriction, deprivation and control.
Whenever you remove something from your diet, it is important that you look to replace or substitute it with a healthier and more nourishing option.
By working with a healing guide and re-educating myself about food, I was able to break free of my emotional eating, food addictions and compulsive behaviours.
Other great ways to learn about real foods is by reading ingredient lists, watching food documentaries and by regularly cooking at home.
4. Progress not perfection.
Rest assured that upgrading your food choices is very much a journey of ‘progress not perfection’.
You may feel that eating 80% real foods from where you are today might not be possible. But if you stay with the process and take small steps towards your goal, then you will certainly be able to make progress in the long term.
Even now after being on the path for almost 20 years, I am not perfect. Nor do I aspire to be.
Unlike what the dieting magazines say, you don’t have to be perfect to get amazing results!
The philosophy of ‘progress not perfection’ is still very much a part of the way that I eat today. I find that it gives me the flexibility to enjoy and experiment with food, as well as my life.
These 4 food rules changed my life and I know that they can help you too.
Now it’s over to you! I’d love to hear your comments including any tips and tricks you are using to increase your health and wellness in 2019.
You never know whom your words might inspire…