What do you think of when you hear the term “eating clean” or “eating healthy?” Do you think of salads, and kale shakes? Do you think of eating an apple for lunch, and saying no to dessert? Well if you believe any of those things, you have fallen under the category of people who put a stereotype on health. I’m going to tell you what I have learned from this lifestyle, and hopefully it can help you as well.
1. Joy. The first thing you need to know about living a healthy life style is: it makes you happy. No one should ever be unmotivated to eat clean or hate their eating habits. I hate to say it, but if you don’t look forward to your meals, than you are doing this all wrong. This kind of life style doesn’t have any end goals because essentially we eat better to prolong our lives and be happy. I don’t like the word ‘diets’ because they imply a temporary fix that usually has an end goal in mind. You shouldn’t think of it as a diet, but more of a lifestyle. If you are not happy with how you live today then you need to revise your lifestyle. But once you make the switch to a healthier and happier one, you will realize all that you have been missing was right there in front of you!
2. Easy. Eating healthy is not hard at all. People complain all the time saying “eating clean is so hard”. No, it really isn’t. You just have to change your motivation and will power and it’s all up hill from there. Think positive and believe that you can make a change. Don’t slack and give up by eating junk food because it’s “easier”. Your body will appreciate it when you fuel it with healthy foods.
If it’s the actual food itself you are worried about being hard, don’t fret, that part is easy as well! Every grocery store has fresh fruits and vegetables for you, and even beans, legumes, lentils, grains, nuts seeds, etc! You just gotta look for them. You can also look for the whole foods or organic section, more and more stores are starting to incorporate them now.
3. Exciting. Eating healthy is so fun and exciting. I’ve heard people say salads and vegetables are boring. Well, hello! There are tons of healthy foods in the world besides salads and vegetables, just take a look around my blog! Expand your horizon; try new things. You’ll love it, I promise.
4. Worth it. Once you set goals for yourself and know what you want in life, you can start to work towards them and accomplish so much. Being healthy and happy is way better than sitting on the couch eating potato chips. PLUS if you say no to a hamburger and replace that with rice, sweet potato, lentils and broccoli, it will be so much better for your body, and you’ll realize it’s worth the sacrifice. You may regret that greasy burger, but you will never regret vegetables and a workout.
Some people believe they are living a healthy lifestyle, but they actually are not. I’ve seen people trying to lose weight and putting themselves on strict meal plans. They drink “nasty” kale sakes, workout every day of the week, eat an apple for lunch, and say no to anything sweet. This breaks my heart because this is NOT living healthy and they are putting themselves through such a hard time in the process. Below I have listed these common habits and how to correct them.
1. Restricting. You should never have to restrict yourself. If you are eating all the right healthy foods, you can eat in abundance. Eating tons of vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, grains, etc will NOT make you fat. So why not indulge? Never should someone restrict themselves to “one” fruit, or “one” vegetable.
2. Gross. Healthy foods are not supposed to be “gross”. If you are on a juice or smoothie cleanse, or even just eating vegetables at dinner, they should never be gross. It all depends on how you prepare your foods and what you put in them. Healthy protein shakes and smoothies shouldn’t taste bad because YOU are in charge of what goes in them. I make a delicious green smoothie with just bananas, kale, spinach, peanut butter, water and almond milk. It’s green, it’s healthy, and it’s to die for. I just can’t get enough of it. Don’t think that just because you’re making a protein shake that it has to contain every single vegetable there is in the world, because then you just end up with a brown colour and a nasty taste. Just think simplicity.
3. Over exercising. One should never over exercise or push themselves to make it to the gym 5 days a week. Take it slow and take it easy. There are no rules saying you have to go to the gym a certain amount of days to workout. Exercise when you feel like it. The best amount of time to work out is 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes. This gives your body a short but great workout, and it’s enough to lose weight and or build muscle. And you don’t even have to go to the gym! I do all of my workouts at home. You can create workout schedules from the comfort of your own living room. It’s that easy. And you’ll feel great about it.
4. Saying no to anything sweet. NO! Don’t ever do this. I’ve say this many times before, but if you eat clean and exercise, and live an overall healthy lifestyle, than it is 100% okay to treat yourself. You shouldn’t have to say no to a chocolate cookie when all of your friends are having one. You shouldn’t have to say no to a piece of cake at your mother’s birthday dinner. A treat will not make you fat and it will not make you lose all of the progress that you have made. Smile. Eat. Be happy. Treat yourself.
On another note, I know it’s hard to believe, but there ARE indeed healthy desserts; I’d know because I make em all the time! Flourless, refined sugar free, vegan, paleo, etc. I’m not saying you have to strictly eat healthy desserts, because unhealthy desserts are 100% okay, and 100% delicious. But I am just letting you know that there are options and variety, and you can eat desserts that are guilt free.
Now that you have read my opinions on living a healthy lifestyle, I hope you are able to think about it and allow it to help you become an overall healthy and happier person. I know you think it can be hard, and I know that you may want to give up, but if you ever feel like that, just read this over again. I promise you it will help. Remember, this will all be worth it. There are never any downsides to living a healthy lifestyle. 🙂