I used to live my life dieting. I would try every diet under the sun and then after that diet was over I would go back to eating the crap I was eating before. It was a constant dieting cycle and it was a problem. In the last 30 days I have completely made a lifestyle change, one that is sustainable in the long run and one where I allow myself that cookie if I want the darn cookie. It's all about moderation and that is what Kristen Coffield from the Culinary Cure taught me about food.
What helped me the most over the last 30 days was my handy dandy food journal. If you are having trouble sticking to a clean eating regimen, try out a food journal. Writing down everything you eat really helps you keep track of the foods you are putting in your body and how certain things affect you. Say if you wake up one morning feeling bloated, you can look at your food journal from the day before and try to pinpoint the foods that are causing you discomfort.
In addition to my food journal, I checked in with Coffield everyday. I sent her photos of food at the grocery store , asked her questions about different snacks I could eat if I needed a little something throughout the day, sent her my food journal every day so she could add or eliminate things in my diet, she basically was my saving grace throughout this process.
Below is what my normal day looks like:
- 5 a.m. wake up
- Take probiotic and 5 amino acids (only take amino acids on workout days)
- Drink warm lemon water
- 6:30 a.m. workout at MADabolic
- Take 5 more amino acids
- 8 a.m. breakfast: Homemade chia pudding with a fruit (typically an apple) -- this was easiest for me because I eat breakfast at work, but sweet potato toast is another great option!
- 11 a.m. snack: 1/3 cup of almonds or a mixed berry RX Bar depending on my hunger level
- 12:30 p.m. lunch: Salad with chicken and lots veggies (balsamic vinegar for dressing) OR chicken and a veggie
- 2 p.m. snack: A small portion of fruit or a small handful of almonds
- 5:30 dinner: I order Premade Paleo meals for my dinners -- they typically consist of a lean protein and a vegetable (I would highly recommend these to anyone who has a busy schedule and needs something quick and easy for dinner. They even offer breakfast meals, which are delicious!)
So, I don't work a normal job and attend a lot of restaurant openings and media tastings (this is where moderation comes in). It has always been a challenge for me to attend work events when i'm trying to eat clean because I either choose not to eat at all OR I go the complete opposite direction and eat everything in sight and consider it a cheat day. You don't want to be the girl who can't have a piece of cake at a birthday party or a glass of wine at happy hour and you don't have to be! Say it with me people, MODERATION.
I have taught myself, with the help of Coffield that it is okay to have a slice of pizza at a concert or a hot dog at a family BBQ, but don't dwell on it. Eat it, be done with it and get right back on track. Don't think of it as a cheat meal or a cheat day. I think of it like this, 90/10. If I am good 90 percent of the time, I can have that 10 percent to enjoy something I wouldn't typically eat. When you change your mindset, the way you look at food really shifts.
I have been on my own, without Coffields constant supervision and approval of my foods for about three weeks now and I am doing great! I don't overeat, I keep healthy snacks nearby at all times, and I know what is worth the indulgence and what is not. Let me tell you, when you eat food for energy and not just to eat it, you will feel the difference in your everyday life. I am performing better at the gym, I don't hit the 3 o'clock slump as often, and I am rarely bloated. It's an amazing feeling!
Are you considering changing your lifestyle? Below are some tips & tricks on changing your bad eating habits and creating a healthy lifestyle:
- If you don't have it in the house, you won't eat it -- throw all junk food out!
- Drink herbal teas to curve cravings -- think mint tea (also has so many other great benefits).
- Prep, prep, prep! Sundays are perfect for meal prepping and it doesn't have to be difficult. Throw some chicken in the crockpot and grill enough asparagus for the week. So easy!
- If you aren't a cooker, order healthy premade meals. I LOVE PreMade Paleo.
- Don't skip your workout -- If you put in the hard work at the gym, you will be more motivated to eat clean.
- Keep a food journal.
- You are not on your own! Enlist the help of a health coach like Coffield.