Let me explain. I've always been close to eating a plant based diet, but never 100% on board. I was vegetarian for 5 years and started eating meat again about 6 months after Joe and I started dating. I had evaluated my reasons for being a vegetarian and they didn't seem as convicting any more, so I figured it would just be easier to start eating meat again. Plus, Joe is the kind of guy who enjoys a good steak, so I figured this would take the pressure off of finding a place that I could eat at (back then, not very many places had choices for vegetarians).
I also LOVE sweets. Halloween has been my favorite holiday for a while! Ice cream and cakes, frosting and cookies, I could enjoy my days eating only these. Well, as I have been trying to change my diet and eat more holistically, it has gotten easier to choose better options, however it is over all still a challenge. Especially when Joe (at first) really had no desire to change his habits. When there is ice cream in the freezer, Oreos in the pantry, and chocolate candy bars in the fridge, suddenly an apple or cup of fruit looks seriously lame. The past week and a half, I've cooked less at home then I'd like to admit. Eating out has been a go to, and besides the calories, fat, and sugar, worries of cheap ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals have kept me up at night. Well that and my tummy rumbling for a sweet treat.
I am grateful I don't crave fast food (unless Chipotle counts :)) but I do crave everything from nachos to pizza late at night. Usually it is something salty followed by something sweet. The allure of junk food is appealing to a lot of people and it makes me wonder why. When I know what I am suppose to eat for my body to function 100%, why do I still cave in to processed, salty foods? It is my belief that food has become less about giving our bodies the nutrients it needs and more about convenience. How many meals do you eat out? How many do you microwave? We have more food options than ever, and yet our bodies are starving.
This obviously has to change. Especially since I will be starting my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program in the next few weeks, and I really want to be eating a diet that allows me to bust out some yoga moves at any time. And we all know pizza just doesn't allow that.
So, while we know that it isn't as simple as swearing off bad food forever, there are many ways to help make changes that allow more nutritious foods in your diet without breaking the bank. Here are some tips I have found useful:
- UTILIZE FARMERS MARKETS. I can't stress this one enough. Most farmers markets have farmers that are organic or at the very least, pesticide free, and they are local. So you are getting the freshest produce available for a fraction of the price you would pay at the grocery store. Plus, farmers markets give local vendors a place to sell their product! Having fresh fruits and veggies are the BEST way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.
- DRINK WATER. Most of the time, when we are dehydrated, we feel hungry. Making sure you constantly have a water bottle on you and your sipping away (especially in this AZ heat) will help to quiet any false alarm hunger pains.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY. Something that isn't there can't tempt you right? Now this doesn't mean you have to swear away all snack foods. I love Trader Joes brand of bbq baked potato chips (and so does Joe)! Just look for whole ingredients (I translate that to you could look at the ingredient list, and not have to google search anything) and moderation. Tortilla chips with salsa is a delicious choice. Keep dried fruits and nuts (both organic, nuts also raw) around to help when the snack bug attacks. Get rid of the "meals in a box". Anything like Hamburger Helper will not benefit your body.
- MAKE A MEAL PLANNER. Planning out your meals, to the best of your ability, is really going to help you stick to your health goals. It will make grocery shopping simpler, prep time shorter, and your wallet happier! There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest, here is one in particular that I liked: http://heartlandpaper.typepad.com/heartland_paper/2010/08/menu-planner-on-studio-5.html
So, I am going to to commit to something and use my blog as a signature on a contract. I am going to enjoy a green smoothie in the morning. I will enjoy nutritious snacks and healthy salads with different veggies. For dinner, I will make a meal that will satisfy me wanting to have a vegan diet, and Joes need for meat (haha). Basically, I want to keep my end of the bargain. You guys have to deal with me posting links about how the way we eat effects out bodies on Facebook and Twitter, the very least I can do is not to fall off the bandwagon. Not to let junk food tempt me. To ask myself the following question before every food choice, "How will this nourish my body? How will this make me feel?". Maybe you could join me? I also plan on buying a juicer this week (early bday present!!!) so I will be indulging in the life benefits of juicing soon!
What are your favorite tips to avoid eating junk food? What are you fave healthy recipes?