Nutrition 101

This blog focuses mainly about fitness and exercise, but without this VERY IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle, you will never truly be healthy. Here is the cold hard fact. That saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” is the absolute truth. You will never ever ever be healthy from just working out. If your diet is crap, you will never achieve your fitness goals.

Now, I am not a nutritionist, I have no license or degree to tell you how you should be eating, but take it from someone who has spent her life trying every conceivable diet out there, diets don’t work. There is no simple cure or quick fix. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice. Did you catch that? LIFEstyle choice. Not a 2-week detox or cleanse, but a lifetime of healthy decisions. And I can promise you one thing, the less crap you choose to eat the less you’ll actually crave that crap.

Just like with exercise, if it’s not convenient and you don’t enjoy doing it, then you won’t stick with it, and remember I said earlier that your nutrition and fitness is a lifestyle, not a diet that you only stick to periodically. There is no quick fix.

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not telling you that you can never eat cake, or cookies, or candy again … in fact, I am going to eat a small piece of cake tonight, but do so in moderation and if possible, eat something that is homemade and not processed with tons of chemicals and junk you can’t pronounce. Here is my rule: 80/20 – 80% of the food that goes into my mouth either comes from a mama or grows from the ground, the other 20% is where I treat myself 🙂 You noticed I didn’t say “cheat meal?” If you use the “cheat” word when talking about food, I want you to take that word out of your vocabulary right now. “Cheat meals” or “cheat days” are basically telling your body and mind that you are doing something wrong. You are “cheating” on your diet. But everything you choose to put in your mouth is just that, a choice. If I want to eat sweet potato fries then I am allowing myself to eat them. I am not cheating because it is my choice. The key, here, is moderation!

If your head is spinning from doctors and nutritionists telling you how to eat, don’t worry, you are not alone. One day eggs are good for you, the next they are the devil, but then egg whites are deemed okay, but then yolks are okay too again, that is until the next study comes out saying that eggs will actually make you grow and extra toe or a horn in the middle of your head if you keep eating them. It’s confusing to say the least, but here are some simple tips that I follow that will help you out when figuring out what to eat:

  1. If it doesn’t grow from the ground or come from a mama, don’t eat it.
  2. If you want to eat dessert, try to make it homemade instead of a packaged good.
  3. If you buy packaged goods, look at the ingredients and if you can’t pronounce the ingredients or have no earthly idea what they are, put it back.
  4. In fact, if it has more than 5 ingredients, put it back.
  5. Shop the exterior of the store as much as possible. Isles are typically filled with all the processed junk.

Here are some more things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t forget the 80/20 rule I mentioned before. 80% of the time your nutrition should be on point the other 20% enjoy something a little naughty 😉
  2. Everybody’s body is different so find what works for you and STICK WITH IT!
  3. Instead of letting others bring you down, bring them up. You will always have that one (or two, or 10) person that questions why you order a salad (dressing on the side) instead of a burger with fries. If a healthy lifestyle is what you are truly seeking, don’t let others discourage you. Instead, explain to them why you are doing what you are doing and how it would be a benefit for them to try a healthier option on occasion as well. One of the most important things you can do to improve your health is to surround yourself with people who are going to support your decisions and make it easy for you to stay on track. Again, I am not saying you can never eat a burger and fries ever again, I LOVE burgers and sweet potato fries, but I don’t eat them everyday and when I do, I may only eat half and bring the other half home for another tasty meal later in the week.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. We are all human and our primal instinct is to grab food and shove it in our mouths in order to survive. We are all a work in progress so enjoy the journey, slip ups and all.
  5. Most importantly, LOVE YOURSELF & YOUR JOURNEY!

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