|My lunch is rather green most days...and that’s the way I like it!|
Whilst eating a delicious green lunch of "Yummy Zoe Roll Ups" the other week (as coined by a dear facebook friend J) I received an email which hit home and literally brought tears to my eyes. Here is some of it -
That email (and many others) are the exact reason why I share my own journey and have become so passionate about proving that healthy eating does not have to boring or restrictive or horrible. Whilst I will continue to do what I'm doing because it's just my passion, I was so grateful for that email to find that I have inspired or helped others get on the right path. After I composed myself, it really got me thinking even more about how un-balanced we can be with our thoughts about food. You might have heard of mindful eating before, well an eating disorder of any type is really the opposite, twisted version of that. Dysfunctional eating you could call it. (I am not an expert on eating disorders so am not going to turn this into a post about it, but if you do struggle with one or think you might then please talk to somebody and get professional help.)"I've been following your blog and FB page for a few months now and have been meaning to write this email for ages...I stumbled upon your page at a time in which I was battling a very self destructive eating disorder. My outlook was so low and I really couldn't imagine ever coming out on top. Your tips and posts led me to Sarah Wilson's Quit sugar ebook, then to the Sweet Poison book and then to the Paleo way of eating. I know it's still a long road ahead for me but these changes to my lifestyle are gradually changing my health and more importantly my mindset.I hope you don't mind me sharing this but I really just wanted you to know how much your writing has inspired me to make these positive changes that are leading me towards healing both my body and spirit. I just want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart and hope you continue to do what your doing for a really long time!"
The Center for Mindful Eating explains mindful eating as -
• Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom.(download a pdf of the full principles here)
• Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
• Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral or dislikes) without judgment.
• Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating.
That last one is key to those who are wanting to lose body fat and just for general health. In a world of easily accessible food, it is incredibly easy to over eat. It all comes back to that balance of eating to fuel your activity, whilst still enjoying your food and not becoming obsessed with it. That's where my little motto 'Nourish the soul & Fuel the body' came from.
So speaking of nourishing and fueling, if you do want to lean up, than you must nourish your body. In fact this applies to everyone, based on what I witness daily, we can all improve on our nutrition! Yes, calories and macro balances are important, especially to performing at your peak and for changing body composition; but so is the micro nutrients. (I discuss this a bit more in this post.) Here are some thoughts for nourishing the body to help lose fat (and for general health and wellness) -
- Focus on what you should be eating, not what you shouldn’t eat. Start to spend more time thinking about how many different colours of vegetables you ate today rather than why you can’t eat a block of chocolate without it going to your hips/butt/stomach/other problem area!
- Write a list of all the veggies you can think of...then get on google and discover some more! When you do your grocery shopping, try and pick a different vegetable (and fruits) every week. If you shop seasonally, this should happen fairly naturally. Get out of your comfort zone.
- Try and have 1-2 servings of veggies, with an emphasis on the green ones at EVERY meal. Breakfast included. You will increase your fibre over the day which helps your digestion to move things through. You can eat a lot of veggies, particularly the green ones for lower calorie intake which helps you feel fuller and more satisfied. Plus they help your body utilise energy on a cellular level.
- I keep my veggie intake in check by preparing my meals ahead of time – but you can keep it really simple and just steam a big batch then add a cup or so to every meal.
- I also love my green juices in the morning for that extra hit – first thing, on an empty stomach is best or if that doesn’t work for you, then try it after your workout for some extra antioxidants to help replenish and repair your muscles. You can add a little fruit/starchier veg in (try apples, pears, pineapple, carrots) when you first start...green juice is an acquired taste! Or just hold your nose and drink it up.
- Have a green smoothie daily - try my Sexy Spinach Smoothie in my ebook for starters.
- Keep your starchy veggies around your training, I generally have some sweet potato with my green veggies in my pre workout meal for energy and muscle fuel.
- Eat MORE vegetables. We need minimum 5 serves a day. But that's just the minimum and doesn't account for the daily stress of life, toxin and pollution exposure, other poor diet choices, exercise, illness etc... when you apply it in the real world, it's more like 13 serves every single day.
- We need different serves of veggies too - you can't just eat a bucket of mashed potato! Preferably organic, fresh and mostly raw with a colour selection like a rainbow. (A serve is about 1/2 cup cooked veggies or 1 cup of salad/leafy greens.) Anyone managing that? No?
I looked at my current nutrition plan which has already got me seeing great results in the first 20 days (in the mirror, how I feel and 2kgs down on the scales) and it includes no less than 3 cups of green veggies and about 5 cups fresh salad a day. So that's a total of 11 serves a day. My point is it takes some forethought to get in the required serves of veggies each and every day; which is why I include my Juice Plus veggie capsules every day and a big green juice in the morning. This supports my baseline nutrition, cells, muscles, immune system and endocrine system; all priming my body for fat loss so when I get the rest of the macro nutrient balance right - everything starts to fall into place and things start happening!
That's why your mum was right when she told you to eat your trees.
So get stuck into those green veggies.