I Don't Believe in Diets
I do not believe in diets, portion sizes or counting calories! I spent years dieting and after all the pain, frustration and starvation I have come to the conclusion that they do not work! Diets are just a quick fix, leaving you feeling hungry, foggy and they slow down your metabolism, which in turn makes your body gain and store weight easier once the diet is ‘over’. Diets are not sustainable long term or suitable if you want to live a healthy life. I also certainly don’t believe that the foods we eat should make us feel guilty, or believe that calorie restriction and excessive exercise keeps us ‘skinny’. I believe that health is not just your physical body - it’s about your mental, spiritual, emotional health. It is all connected!
Eat a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet
As I mentioned before, diets are usually about calorie restriction, portion control, stimulants and excessive exercise routines. This way of eating is all about abundance without guilt and nourishing yourself with delicious and nutritious foods from the Earth. Eating this way is truly the way humans are made to eat. The beauty about it is is that you can still eat all of your favourite foods because it’s all about substitution, not restriction! In today’s world, there are vegan alternatives for all animal based foods. You can eat all the same foods you enjoy such as pizza, mashed potatoes, lasagne, pasta and burritos! This way of eating gives you energy all day, keeps you effortlessly lean, makes you happy and you help animals, the environment and your physical health in the process.
Balance is The Key to Life!
Life isn’t black and white, every aspect of your life has an ‘in-between’ point which I think is important to acknowledge. I believe that balance truly is the key to a healthy and happy life. Being too extreme on either scales of any topic can be not only detrimental to your physical health, but also your mental health. A guideline I like to use when it comes to finding balance is the 80/20 guideline as well as listening to your body and what it’s telling you. This essentially means that 80% of the time, my diet consists of whole, plant based foods that are packed with nutrients and keep my body feeling vibrant and strong. The other 20% of the time I allow myself to have treats (or less-than-optimal foods) such as processed foods such as bread, vegan chocolate, cakes etc. Some times, I will eat lots of processed foods and then won’t eat them again for another two weeks. I eat when I’m hungry, I stop when I’m full, I don’t follow set ‘meal’ times and I eat mindfully. This is me listening to my body. I found that eating in a balanced way helps me eat better overall because I get to eat healthy foods that I love but, also not feeling deprived from eating delicious treats! This balance and listening to your body and your self, doesn’t just apply to the food you eat, but also to other aspects of your life.
People tend to underestimate the impact that stress has on not only our mental health, but also our physical wellbeing. As I was growing up, I was always a ‘stress-head’ and suffered from all forms of anxiety…and sometimes, I still do! But, from what I’ve learnt over my life is that there is no point in stressing. I am now committed to exposing myself to as little stress as possible because in the end, it just doesn’t get you anywhere and leaves you feeling uneasy, bad and hopeless! On a physical level, when you stress your body releases excess cortisol into your bloodstream (and this isn’t the good kind like after we exercise). Excess cortisol eats away at your nervous system, can give you headaches, backaches, cravings for unhealthy foods, uneasy sleep and over time can wreak havoc on your endocrine system. This can lead to unwanted weight gain, disease such as hypertension and diabetes and can leave you feeling unhappy. I understand that stress is in our everyday lives, from work, to money, friends, family, relationships and our environment. The best we can do is reduce the impact these stresses has on us and find ways to manage it. Ways I like to reduce stress is taking 10 big deep breaths when I feel a stressful situation coming, going for a walk, listening to calming music and doing things I love such as journaling and reading.
So many women and men go through life hating their bodies. I know, I was one of them and so many people around me, too! But, I say it’s time for that to change. Accept your body as it is, beautiful in all it’s forms. I found that practicing self love daily was a key element in my recovery and overall health and happiness. I’m not saying it’s easy, it takes a lot of work to reshape your mind, but you will get there! When I started to see myself in a new and positive light, it healed itself. I nourished it with love and healthy foods and in turn, the excess weight and anxiety dropped off. I honestly feel like I can do and be anything I want, and I desperately want you to feel the same way! Remember, you are your number one priority. Get out of toxic relationships that are weighing you down, whether it’s family, friends or a partner. Be real, be yourself and be honest. Find your passion and live with purpose because life is way too short to be anything but amazing.
Yoga Every Damn Day!
Yes, I mean it! Yoga in any way, shape or form every day! This could mean 10 minutes of pranayama or meditation, to 5 minutes of stretching or just being kind, kind to yourself and to others. Yoga doesn't mean that you have to smash out a 90 minute Vinyasa flow, yoga means balance and there's more to it than just the postures - it's a holistic approach to health, happiness and spirituality.
MY OTHER PHILOSOPHIES IN A NUTSHELL
- Eat plenty of whole foods.
- Know your Ayurvedic Body type for optimal wellbeing
- Limit your intake of processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol
- Be sure to eat a balanced diet of good carbs, fats and proteins
- Don't be afraid of trying new foods
- Drink water - all day, every day (filtered and/or spring if possible).
- Eat in a relaxed environment.
- Practice mindful eating - this improves our relationship with food and our bodies.
- Start your day with a beautiful and nourishing health routine e.g. lemon water, gratitude, meditation and exercise
- End the fad diet mentality. Diets don’t work long term so let it go!
- No more deprivation or guilt - enjoy a treat daily or weekly. This is healthy!
- Listen to your body - start to engage when you are hungry and not hungry
- Be kind and love yourself. Remember you are good enough
- Breathe deeply from the belly
- Enjoy solitude and rest daily. Yes, everyday. Schedule in time to rest!