For those of you who are lucky enough to love vegetables, despise greasy fast food and crave juices and smoothies it is all too easy to look at others and think “Why are they eating that?” Everyday I hear my friends saying things like “How do you find the willpower?” or “I simply couldn’t live without bread, sugar…(insert unhealthy food here)”. But the truth is that the road to health is not a straight and simple one and no one is born with infinite willpower. Today a friend came to me after a doctor recommended she avoid sugar and lactose, but before I even began to share with her the wonderful possibility of good health and endless energy she was already dreading her new diet like it was a death sentence. People think that what I eat is bland, boring and horrid, when in fact it is awesome! What people don’t realise is that once you learn to embrace healthy food, be enthusiastic about all the things you CAN eat and focus on the foods you’re adding to your diet, then what you used to eat, your old weaknesses no longer bother you as much. I can safely say that cleaning up my diet (no gluten, little to no sugar) has been the single best thing I have done for myself.
Like most teenagers, before I ate healthy, I loved bread, sugar and all snacks available and tolerated vegetables whenever I had to, I was far from enjoying them…however, I noticed as my diet started to change so did my tastebuds. Good food started tasting good, and bad food even started to taste bad. My attitude also began to change and I learnt quickly to embrace healthy foods and healthy alternatives. Before long I was engrossed in masses of nutritional articles and exploring the previously unchartered waters. I learnt many things and I am still learning, but one thing I think everyone needs to do before they try to change their diet significantly is change their attitude towards healthy foods. Organic isn’t just for hippies, raw isn’t just for vegans, meat isn’t just for paleo followers. Good food is for everyone and good food is GOOD for everyone! Here are a few ways you can embrace healthy food:
- Love your greens! Green vegetables are the super heroes of the food world, packed full of goodies and nutrients. Use a mixture of greens as the base of your salads (not iceberg lettuce, it has zero nutrition!), lightly steam them as a side dish or enjoy liberally in juices or smoothies.
- Focus on adding; this great piece of advice came from one of the experts in Food Matters and can really change your attitude to lifestyle alterations. Instead of staring at all the cakes and snacks you can no longer eat, focus on the wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables you can enjoy and all of the clean treats you can revel in baking.
- Find alternatives. Can’t live without milk? How about nut, rice or soy milk? Can’t bear life without chocolate? Try some raw, or at least very dark chocolate and you will be surprised. Love baking? Check out the mountain of recipes online for gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and just about everything else free recipes.
- Slowly add. Ever started out one day and decided from that moment you will eat perfectly and by mid-afternoon you’re snacking on anything and everything? Some people may be able to do it all in one go, but for us mere mortals it can be a slow transition and if you are consistent you will get there eventually.
- Swap it one at a time. See my post about swapping things one at a time as part of a healthier change.
Good luck, stay healthy and EMBRACE HEALTHY FOODS :)