Let me just start by saying, I love food. Like, a lot. There are very few things in this world that are better than a delicious plate of warm fettuccine pasta covered in Alfredo sauce, topped with juicy shrimp and perfectly sautéd mushrooms. Or a gooey Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar right out of the oven. Wow, I’d better stop there. My mouth and eyes are starting to water. Get the recipe here. You can thank me later. Just limit yourself to one bar a day-not one pan a day like I may or may not have done…
Although my love for good food is apparent, just as equally as important to me is my health. You might have heard the saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Mmm…I’d have to disagree. I do agree that nothing looks as good as healthy feels. As for me and my body type, I know I’ll never be “skinny”, and I don’t necessarily want to be. I just want to be healthy. I want to be strong. I want to feel good.
For the last month, I have been using this app called LoseIt! to track my food, exercise, and weight. I have not missed one day of tracking! I’ve learned a few things about being healthy along the way and I just thought I’d share!
1. The number on the scale is just a number.
I know people who look amazing and live a healthy lifestyle, but beat themselves up because they aren’t a certain weight or they gained a couple pounds. Sure, setting a specific weight for a goal as something that can be readily seen and reached is good, but in the end it is how you think and feel that is the most important. You will know you have reached your goal when you start to think positively about your body, when you don’t feel lazy or tired, when you have more energy, and when you are just overall more happy. All those things are more important than a meaningless number on a scale.
2. You don’t need to reward yourself with food. You’re not a dog.
I know some people have this mindset. No, no! Stay far away. Can you imagine eating a cookie or a handful of skittles or a bag of chips for each time you finished a paper or folded 5 shirts in your pile of laundry?! Yeah, no. Not good. If you are the type of person who needs to be constantly rewarded, first of all you might wanna work on that because that’s not how life works, but second of all find something else to reward yourself with like a piece of lettuce or a sick of celery…JK!!! I would never do that. But really, maybe take time and read a good book or blast some music and have a dance party where no one can see you-or where everyone can see you, your choice. Reward yourself with something productive and healthy for your mind and/or body.
3. Protein, protein, protein.
Okay if you track your food in LoseIt, they create a pie chart with your carbs, fats, and protein. I can almost guarantee you, if you eat whatever you want without thinking healthy, at the end of the day your chart will most likely look like 66% carbs 21% fat and 12% protein. Not good. Here is some golden knowledge that you might wanna consider with your diet: 20% carbs 30% fat 50% protein. And BAM! you’ve got yourself a healthy “diet”. This is pretty much the hardest thing to do in the world. Not really, but it is a challenge. Almost everything is loaded with carbs, so it is important to find the perfect balance, which is the percentages I listed above. Need some foods packed with protein? I’ve been going with cottage cheese, tuna, chicken, eggs (I was gonna say beans, but no. Gross.) Also protein shakes!!! I have one every morning and then also again at some random point in my day when I’m feelin’ it. These are super good to make sure you are getting in all the protein you need and they aren’t that bad-tasting either (unless you are my mom, who gags with every sip, haha)! To be honest I was getting a tiny bit tired of the same protein shake every day so you can switch it up a little by adding foods and making it a smoothie! I use the protein as modeled above. ^^
Here is a recipe of something I recently threw together one morning:
Peanut Butter Smoothie
8 oz. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I get the Silk brand)
1 medium banana, sliced, frozen (slice and freeze the night before and just put it in a little baggie)
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (I use this kind-tastes good and packed with protein)
Throw everything in a blender and blend until well blended…? Duh. And you’ve got yourself a delicious smoothie!
4. Stay away from sugar!
Holy cow. I did an entire report in my college English class on this. Sugar is literally poison. Unfortunately, sugar is also in EVERYTHING! Not really, but a lot of things. A lot of companies trick people into buying foods that are “Low Fat” or “Fat Free” and people think they are being healthy, but truth is, when they take the fat out of those products, they add a bunch of sugar in to make it taste good! Fat is not the problem. The problem is sugar! Excess sugar is stored as fat. There is an amazing documentary called Fed Up. Watch it. It is so good, but so scary at the same time.
Here is the trailer so you can get a feel:
5. Exercise is important.
For some people, eating clean, unprocessed, whole foods in proportions is the hard part, and for others the hard part is exercising. Everybody is different. Exercise is extremely important to burn the extra calories and help keep you on track. It is also important to get that heart pumping and working hard. Not to mention, it is a great excuse to go out and buy some stylish workout clothes-my favorite. Sometimes you have to sweat like a pig to look like a fox. There are a ton of things you can do to exercise daily, go for a run, lift weights, squats, abs, etc.
Some of my go-to exercises are:
squats (stick your bum out, don’t let your knees go past your toes, and go as deep as you can!)
leg-lifts (lay on back with hands under bum for support and lift both legs in the air, then lower to an inch above the ground and repeat)
penguin (lay on back with legs bent at the knee, making an upside down V, with arms straight to your sides, move side to side touching your ankles one at a time)
pushups (I can get more in if I do modified pushups on my knees, but whatever works. Just keep your back and hips straight!)
running (just do it.)
^^^Here’s a sweaty, post-workout pic of yours truly. Thought you might like it. ;) ^^^
6. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
Not much else to say about this one. Plain and simple.
7. Moderation in all things.
Basically you’ll be okay if you have the occasional smoothie or mint truffle. I don’t know how you could live without them to be honest. Just make sure to include it in your daily calories and don’t go over board.
So there you have it; my tips on living the healthy life. Wishing y’all a healthy and happy one!