So, this is the last week of my liquid life detox month. What a long haul. I admit, I haven’t always been able to do the liquid dinners. I found myself to be hungry as winter settled in, more than what my soup could do to fill me up. I have been pretty good with the juiced mornings though. I really like having the juice in the a.m. for breakfast. I find I need a light snack or an early lunch however, or my stomach starts its daily protest. Maybe November in Canada was not the best month to do a liquid diet…but I hope that won’t deter anyone from trying. You may really enjoy it once you’ve tried it. It is certainly a great way to get your nutrients and energy. Also, having juice first thing after your cup of water is another great way to get more hydration in your day!
Here are some tips of lessons I’ve learned this month:
1. Make sure your fruits or veggies aren’t too ripe.
I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I found the juices to taste off whenever I used produce that was too ripe. So much so that I couldn’t even stomach the drink. I may be sensitive, but I definitely recommend using your produce within a few days of purchase.
2. Cut your juices with water.
That much sugar that early in the morning can shoot your blood sugar levels up without any fiber to slow that process down. Better to cut the juices with water so there is less sugar. The water also helps to hydrate you even more. It also helps break up some of that acidity if your juices are fruit heavy.
3. Clean your juicer ASAP.
As soon as you are done, rinse and wash that juicer. This point has several reason for being. If you don’t clean it right away, you might forget and your juicer will be all clogged the next morning when you go to use it. Also, the little bits of pulp and skin can get caked on really easily if they are allowed to dry. Then your cleaning time will be doubled!
4. Drink slowly.
If you drink your juice too fast, you might have an upset stomach. Take your time and enjoy the flavours!
5. Brush your teeth afterwards.
Most of my juices had fruit in them, and often included a beet. Fruit is very acidic and beets tend to stain the enamel. Better to brush right after and prevent any staining or damage to your teeth.
From me to you, these are the best tips I have if you want to wander into the world of juicing. If you are an avid juicer yourself, please feel free to add some more tips in the comment section. Maybe I can learn something from you!
Unless you have major blood sugar issues, juicing could be something that will help you get your body the nutrients and energy it needs! Juicing has been around for centuries dating back to ancient times in India, Rome and Greece. Ayurvedic medicine has long promoted the benefits of juicing. Actually, it describes the body’s best health to be when all of its juices are flowing properly and abundantly. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates was known for being a proponent of using diet to heal. Among his favoured ‘prescriptions’ was different types of juices. He was known for teaching that it was better to be full of drink than full of food. I wonder if he includes vodka in that thought? Hmm…probably not. Influenced by his predecessors, Galen of Ancient Rome also studied and proposed juices for maintaining health and treating health issues. In fact, though he couldn’t know why at the time, but he suggested that cooking juices made them lose some of their beneficial properties. This was hundreds of year before we would discover enzymes! So, if you thought juicing was a fad, now you know the facts. Juicing has been around for a very long time.
So, why juice?
If you follow my blog, you know how important I think enzymes are. They are the little workers that keep our bodies going, helping in every little function we need our bodies to do for us on a daily basis. Without enzymes, it doesn’t matter what else you are eating or drinking. They have to be there to break down all your nutrients so they can get where they need to go. You can see why this is reason number one. Most enzymes can only thrive in a ‘raw’ or ‘uncooked’ piece of food. Our bodies produce some of them, but we need to ingest many of them as well. Our bodily enzymes are not infinite, so maintaining a healthy diet, ripe with enzymes is very important.
2. Vitamins and minerals
We’ve all been told over and over throughout our lives that vitamins are important. Minerals, too. Honestly, they really are! If you are lacking in any of the vitamins or minerals your body needs, your bodily functions can become highly impaired. Unlike enzymes, our body cannot produce the vitamins or minerals we need and we have to get them from food. (Apart from vitamin D, which we can get a bit of from the sun). With most North Americans, and now nations becoming ‘Americanized’, the standard American diet is eaten by a large part of the world’s population. The aptly acronym holding ‘SAD’ diet is devoid of many vitamins and minerals.
3. Quality over quantity
Combine our ‘SAD’ way of eating with the fact that our agricultural system is producing food that is less ‘organic’, it would be nearly impossible to get everything you need, every day. The nutrient load of the foods we eat are getting lighter and lighter. Sure, many of us supplement in pill form, but a quart of vegetable juice can give you the nutrients that you would otherwise need to eat five pounds of solid vegetables to get! Crickey! I know a quart may seem like a lot, but over the course of a day, it’s not that bad.
I’ve already written about the amazing benefits of chlorophyll, but a lot of people may have trouble drinking the supplement version of it. Vegetable juice is a great way to get a dose of chlorophyll. With a molecule so close in structure to human hemoglobin, it has amazing detox effects!
There are eight amino acids we consider ‘essential’ because our bodies need them to function and yet we are not able to produce them ourselves. That means we absolutely need to get them from our diet. Like enzymes, vitamins and minerals, without enough amino acids, our bodies would develop serious health issues.
Sure, there are many more reasons why juicing is good for your health and why more of us should be doing it. I will be covering some of them in the next few posts, but for now why don’t you mull over these ones. They pack a pretty powerful punch. Do any of these reasons make you want to try juicing? Why or why not?
- Green Smoothie Glow: Beauty is in the Green (greenster.com)
- Juicing…mmj Style!! All the Medicine Without the High!!! (chrontrepreneur.com)
- Day 81 of 100 Day Juicing (100dayjuicing.wordpress.com)
Wow, it seems as the year comes closer to the end I am getting lazier and lazier about these postings. Sorry!
So month 10 was a bit of a change up and had more to do with what I was putting on my body, rather than in it. Month 11 will be going back to what I am putting into my body.
Your digestive system is an amazing machine. If you haven’t realized this by now, it is time for a wake up call. It takes everything you put into your mouth to nourish you and converts it into the energy you need to function every day. It is constantly working, constantly and tirelessly. Isn’t it time to give it a bit of a break? Well, you can’t really stop eating. I mean, maybe you could, but not for long. In our fast paced and demanding society, a complete fast is nearly out of the question. Some people choose to go really hardcore and go on the Master Cleanse, which is basically lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. I’m not sure I could ever be one of those people, but you never know what the future holds. Instead, I have decided to give my digestive system a less substantial, but sure to be appreciated break for the month of November.
Rules for this month:
1. Breakfast is freshly made juice from fruits and vegetables.
2. Dinner is either completely blended soup or a protein shake.
And those two rules are it. Simple, yet very, very time consuming. Also, it is completely necessary to have a juicer for your breakfasts.
I’ll admit, it hasn’t always been easy. I have had to ‘cheat’ with store bought juices on one or two mornings. I’ve also had to forego the liquid dinner on a few occasions. When you are eating out or invited to someone’s house, it isn’t really easy to have that liquid dinner. I have managed to make my liquid dinners in the majority however, so that is something to be proud of. Also, there’s a lot of liquid dinners to go. At lunch I make sure to include healthy decisions and protein so that I’m not lacking in those. Juicing does not yield a ton of protein, nor does it allow for much fiber. If you are thinking about juicing for the first time, make sure that you research it and if you can, talk to a nutrition expert.
Have you ever gone on a juicing spree? Did you notice any effects it had on your body? Mind? Spirit?
So, as I’ve said previously, inflammation is a good thing. It is the body’s way of dealing with injuries, infections and other attacks on the body. The problem is, too much of a good thing, becomes a bad thing. In North American society, also quickly spreading around the world, our diets are so high in foods that promote inflammation that our bodies balloon up and don’t come back down. Highly processed foods are low in the nutrients that prevent inflammation and high in the ones that promote it. When we have too many dietary triggers for inflammation and not enough levelers, we suffer from chronic inflammation.
When we think of going on a diet to lose weight or to get healthy, the first thing we think of is cutting fat. That is why we’re ‘fat’, right? Wrong. It is over-consumption of fats and of the wrong kinds of fats that have that negative effect on our bodies. Our bodies need fats, but in the right ratios. There are many different types of fats, some healthy ones that reduce inflammation and some unhealthy that promote inflammation.
Trans fatty acids – We’ve heard of this one before, it’s been getting a lot of deserved, bad press lately. Sometimes, they are hidden in products using the term ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils‘. Sounds relatively harmless, especially with the word vegetable in there. Trans fats are bad enough on their own, but when they are ‘partially hydrogenated”, they take on the characteristics of saturated fats. There’s a whole whack of science to understand this part of it, but I think the basic points here are that they promote inflammation in the body, raise your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol).
Sometimes Pro-Inflammatory fats:
Omega 6 family – Omega 6 fatty acids supply the building blocks for many inflammation causing substances including prostaglandin E2 and leukotrin B4, but also supplies is with blocks to build gamma-linolenic acid which is anti-inflammatory. The catch with this fat is that the ‘parent molecule’ for Omega 6s is linoleic acid, which is essential for our health. Remember that “too much of a good thing” statement I made earlier? This is exactly what I was talking about. Think of it like a family with some fantastic people as parents, but they just keep having kids. Some kids are helpful and caring, like our little gammas but many are destructive and violent. They may be able to control one or two of them, but they keep having more and more. Eventually they destroy the entire community. Now think of that community as your body. You wanna keep those fantastic people, but make sure they don’t have too many kids in your community. The local ‘inflammatory’ law enforcement can only handle so many peter prostaglandin E2s and lucy leukotrin B4s.
Wow, that was like an ‘after school special’ explanation, but I love it!
Omega 3 family – Much like our parents that have a mix of rotten egg and angel children in the Omega 6 family, the Omega 3 family provides the building blocks for a whole family of powerful, anti-inflammatory substances. The difference is, their children are all little angels, as far as our body is concerned. The most potent omega 3s are found in coldwater fish, so if you are not a big fan of sea food, it is time to start taking an omega 3 supplement derived from the fishies. Along with all of their angelic offspring, omega 3s also remind our body to turn off the inflammation process when it is no longer needed.
GLA or gamma-linolenic acid – As mentioned before, GLA is technically an omega 6 fatty acid, but even the worst family has a few good eggs. GLA behaves more like its omega 3 cousins, suppressing inflammation
Omega 9 family – This family is found mostly in olive oil, avocados and macadamia nuts. The omega 9s are always working with the omega 3 family to create anti-inflammatory substances to help your body.
Now that you have a better idea of what the fats do, you may be wondering why it is now becoming such a rampant problem. We never had to worry about this before, simply because we ate better. Omega 6s are not bad for us if they are balanced with omega 3s. The issues is that they are not balanced in the average person’s diet. Whereas people used to consume roughly equal amounts of omega 3s and 6s, they now consume twenty to thirty times more omega 6s. That is an astronomical number! On top of that, the quality of the omega 6s are often low. No wonder we are so inflamed! All the people walking around with a condition that ends in ‘-itis’, take note. You could be perpetuating that condition every time you eat a meal if you’re not careful.
Do you have an inflammatory condition? Have you tried the use of omega 3 supplements?
- Vitamin C, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids may help asthma (foodconsumer.org)
- Value of Omega-3s: Not Up for Debate (health.usnews.com)
- 5 Secrets To Omega 6:Omega 3 Balance (valerieberkowitz.wordpress.com)
- Omega-3 fatty acids help advanced lung cancer patients (foodconsumer.org)
I just happened to stumble on to this article this morning and realized immediately…I am a food porn offender. In fact, so is my husband. For those of you who live in Ontario, you know that if you visit an LCBO (our liquor commission) that every quarter they release a magazine called “Food & Drink”. It is a fantastic little publication that pairs the liquor they have with fantastic recipes. Ones that make you drool uncontrollably and your eyes roll back into your head. We sat on our bed last night and leafed through the latest edition. I have to say, I love their fall pubs, they make me feel all cozy inside! However, after reading this article, I’m not sure that I should look at these magazines ever again…ever. It talks about the ghrelin production that occurs just from looking at these pictures. They are made to stimulate that part of our brain that used to keep us alive as humans thousands of years ago. All that shiny, fatty, dessert goodness. That gorgeous glaze for meats. We are wired to think, “YUM!”
I’ve heard people joke about porn being the major use for the Internet, but I never thought it would include food porn! They have some suggestions about how to control the problem, including cooking at home. That way you can control what you are putting into your food and the portion size. That’s great, but I’m sure my Food & Drink isn’t the best thing to be selecting recipes from. I don’t often pick up my heart healthy cook book and have to wipe down the pages from all the drool falling onto them. Maybe they need to take sexier food photos…hm. All these cues, driving your dopamine levels up. You start imagining the taste in your mouth, that savory sensation. My mouth is watering just writing about it. The article suggests that really great pictures taken of healthy foods may be able to do the same thing but I’m not convinced. See the brussel sprout shot? Not super sexy.
I sort of have issue with the idea that I should take my inspiration from food porn and cook at home in order to avoid added calories and over-consumption. Have they ever actually observed someone cooking tasty desserts? I, personally, end up snacking on ingredients while I do so. Licking the spoon is a baking tradition! This is why I’ve avoided baking altogether recently. I mean, why put my will power under even greater strain. Maybe after I’m done cooking and to the serving part I eat more mindfully, but the during is so hard to resist.
How about you, are you a food porn offender? What techniques do you feel would work best for you?
By Theresa O’Rourke
“It’s your classic money shot, the camera tight to reveal every detail of steamy cinnamon buns drizzled just so. Jam-glazed pork falling off the bone. A slice of buttery-crusted apple pie letting it all hang out. Sweet or savory, slow baked or flash fried, it’s food porn–and experts say it’s whetting our appetites in ways we never imagined. “Like the sexual kind, food porn allows us to lust after taboo things,” says psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of Eating Mindfully. “And now it’s on our terms: We can search for exactly what turns us on, enlarge the images, and linger for as long as we want.”
Just a few short years ago, food sites were predominantly recipe-driven. Now, a growing number shamelessly flaunt the fact that few people visit for the articles. FoodPornDaily.com (tagline: Click, drool, repeat.) stripped away recipes altogether in favour of luscious panned-in shots. Food images are also the fastest-growing category on the hugely popular inspiration-board site Pinterest, where they generate 50 percent more re-pins than fashion and style photos. If you don’t find anything that turns you on there, you can log on to Flickr’s Food Porn Group. Boasting nearly 600,000 images, it’s one of the most active categories on the photo-sharing site. (Search: Food photography)
Problem is, that Flickr group isn’t the only thing that’s growing. Photos seem harmless, but they provoke a real emotional and physical hunger response that can be tough to control, says neuroscientist Laura Martin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center who studies how we respond to food. And straight out of the insult-meet-injury department: Those who are overweight appear to be more sensitive to the effect of viewing irresistible food. Does that mean you can never ogle your cake without eating it too? Not necessarily. There are savvy ways to curb your appetite–online and in real life.
Eating with Our Eyes
The best food porn plays on the fact that the more indulgent a photo appears, the more likely it will trigger our instinct to eat. “Food porn relies on a phenomenon called supernormal stimuli, which exaggerates qualities we’re already hardwired to love,” says Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program and author of Waistland: The Revolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. Usually, that translates to visual cues that a food is high in calories–things like pooling oils and the sheen of sugar–which were coveted assets back in hunter-gatherer days, when calories (particularly the gooey, fatty ones) were harder to come by, says Barrett. That might explain why, according to a recent study from 360i, a marketing firm that studies online trends, pictures of desserts are the most likely to be shared online. Cheesy, oozy comfort foods also get favourited more frequently on sites like Food Gawker.”
To continue reading this article, go to the original posting at http://fitbie.ca.msn.com/eat-right/food-porn-problem
You know how things come into your life at the time you need them most? Well, it just so happens that all my research about diets and inflammation, as well as the rest of my Year of the Detox is coming in really handy right now. My dad
has been having osteoarthritis problems in his wrists lately. Really, really bad ones. His left wrist was swollen, almost to the point of not being able to move the fingers. Painkillers weren’t helping and the pressure cuff he was wearing made it only marginally better. I made an appointment for him with my integrational therapist, Adele. She identified the source of the inflammation as there being too much yeast in his system. Now, I don’t mean to ‘get down’ on the medical system, but every doctor he had been to see just wrote him a prescription for stronger drugs. Now he has been slowly eliminating foods that feed yeast from his diet and has already, in just two weeks, started to see a marked improvement. Adele said with the overabundance of yeast that he has, it will take months to get him back to normal. But the fact that we are now treating the cause and not just trying to control the symptoms is a fantastic start.
The reason I added ‘rant’ to this blog title is because I am not really quoting anything I’ve researched, just listing off my opinion. As I read more and more about the inflammation connection to many of the diseases our bodies suffer, I really think people should start being more educated about what their diet could be doing to them. Many people don’t have a clue what is healthy and what isn’t. I was at the mall the other day trying to eat healthy while out, getting some greek food. Over near the A&W stand, I overheard a grandmother talking to her grandson saying that he had to choose something ‘healthy’ to drink with his meal. “Pop isn’t healthy.” , she said knowingly. “Fruitopia!”, He yelled. To which his grandmother responded, “Okay, that’s healthy.” Now, I don’t think A&W has fruitopia, but I didn’t stay long enough to find out what the end choice was. The point is, Fruitopia, while it sounds like it might be healthy is not really a “healthy” choice. Just because it has the word fruit in it. Fact is, it has 32g of sugar (8 tablespoons) in one can. The only health benefit it has is vitamin C. Healthy, grandma? Healthy? You’re at A&W for crying out loud! If you want your grandson to eat healthy, taking him to a fast food restaurant is your first fail. Your second fail comes as you convince not just him, but yourself that something like Fruitopia is a healthy choice for a child. Your third fail comes from the mixed messages you send to him, allowing him to eat french fries or whatever else, then acting like it is balanced by the fact that he is drinking a healthy drink. I’m not saying kids should never be allowed fast food. I think that occasionally it is fine, as long as it’s kept in strict moderation. The problem that I see here is the mixed messages that parents/grandparents are sending their kids when it comes to nutrition.
The major problem with calling out this issue is that, let’s face it, the average person has limited understanding when it comes to nutrition. Things are categorized by good or bad. Companies take advantage of this by naming products with health buzzwords like the ‘fruit’ in Fruitopia. Now, I’m not putting all the onus on companies either. We as consumers should educate ourselves if our health is important to us. As shows like Dr. Oz play, more books get published and the Internet is updated with health news on a daily basis, we have no excuse NOT to inform ourselves.
The other problem I see is the medical system. Though I’ve never attended medical school, I also think nutrition and its effects on the body should be more of an in depth study for all doctors. The doctors I’ve had experience with know little about nutrition past the Canada Food Guide. The ones that do have done their own research into the matter. It’s true that we have other health care providers that are more informed on these matters, such as naturopaths, nutritionists, dieticians etc. But it is rare I hear, “My doctor referred me to this nutritionist for my…” unless it has something to do with their weight or dietary deficiencies. My dad had been taking pills and pills, the more he hurt, the higher the dose he was given. They were treating the symptom, not the cause. I don’t blame the doctors, they are just working with what they were taught. The medical education system should really pay more attention to the health wisdom that has been around for years that revolves around nutrition.
And that is my rant for today. Wow, I had more to say than I thought I did! How about you? Anything to say on the matter? Any personal stories you’d like to share?
- Arthritis Diet Plans (answers.com)
- Chronic Inflammation Causes Virtually All Leading Diseases (naturalsociety.com)
- Why Inflammation Is So Harmful to Diabetics (doctorshealthpress.com)
- Inflammation and food (therealfoodchannel.com)
- Managing Joint Pain Through Nutrition (observer.org.sz)
And so begins Month 8 of my Year of the Detox. I’ve already talked about and done a lot as far as helping my digestive system, but the things I’ve done have been to better overall health. This month the things I’ll be doing focus specifically on the health of my digestive tract…from start to finish.
Drinking lots of water helps your digestive system, as does eating foods with lots of enzymes. Exercise helps to massage the organs and I had already added a probiotic course in month 4, but it is worth doing again. As you can see, I’ve already been nice to my digestive tract, but I can do much better.
The rules for this month are:
1. Chew every mouthful at LEAST 20 times before swallowing.
Digestion starts in the mouth with the enzymes that breakdown your food in preparation for the stomach. The more you chew, the easier you make it on your digestive system.
2. Take a probiotic every day.
Good intestinal flora is essential to your gut health, so I will help mine along.
3. Add fiber to your diet, every day.
This can be a tricky one. Everyone already tells you to add fiber to your diet, but if you are constipated already, this will make it worse. I’m going to be tracking my bowel transit at the beginning and end of the month, I suggest you do the same. (More on that, and other semi-gross things to come!)
4. Follow the ‘poop rules’:
- Go as soon as nature calls you
- don’t treat your bathroom like a public library
- use a ‘stool’ stool to get in optimum position to go
So, you may be confused by what a ‘stool’ stool is. Humans were designed to squat when we go and our modern toilets don’t exactly have that as an option. By putting a little stool to raise up our legs a few inches, we help our bowels release as they were meant to.
What do you think? Are these rules doable for the month?
I’ve also planned on getting a colonics session done this month, closer to the end. I didn’t make that a rule because I know that colonics is not in everyone’s comfort zone. I’ve had it done before…it IS uncomfortable, but so is a facial or a bikini wax. I’d rather look great on the inside and outside than just the latter. Wish me luck!
Eating organic can be tricky. A lot of companies, especially from the United States, are ‘green washing’ their products. In the case of food, this can mean throwing the word organic on their packaging. This does not mean that the product you are buying, and often paying extra for, is completely organic.
In the case of produce, those little stickers they put on them are really helpful in determining what you are eating. If the product has been genetically modified or is certified organic, it is required to have a distinctive code. In the case of regular produce, you’ll see a four digit code on the sticker that usually starts with the number four. Although this product is not genetically modified, it will definitely have been exposed to pesticides. I still remember some of the codes from the two and a half years I spent in University as a grocery cashier. The first code you learn on your first day is bananas, 4011. Ask anyone who worked as a cashier. He he he.
Genetically modified foods have a five digit code that begins with the number 8 and is five digits long. These foods have changes introduced into their DNA to be bred for largeness, visual appeal and other desirable traits.
This can also be in livestock and scientists are splicing and dicing more genes every day. GM produce is still exposed to pesticides as well. There is a lot of controversy about GMO/GM products and whether or not they are safe.
Organic produce is often indicated in supermarkets, so customers are able to find what they are looking for more easily. If your supermarket does not do so, look for labels that begin with the number 9 and have five digits. This ensures that what you are consuming was raised without pesticides or genetic tampering. Does this mean that it will be completely free of pesticides, guaranteed? Unfortunately, no. The use of harsher pesticides in the past has left a contaminant in the soils of most farms that still carries through today. However, the percentage is much, MUCH lower than if you buy regular produce.
Products like meat, eggs and dairy is a label reading game, too. If it says organic on the label, chances are you are on the right track, but it’s always best to look and make sure that it clarifies the diet and lack of hormone injections, as well as antibiotics, in the livestock. Another tip having to do specifically with eggs, is to look and make sure they were ‘free-range‘ chickens who were never injected with hormones. This means they roamed free and fed of the land, a much healthier way to raise chickens, organic or not. It means they were moving and healthy, not kept in little cages until they were fat enough to slaughter. ‘Free run‘ is a slightly modified version of this where the chickens are kept in a large open barn, allowed outside for a period of the day, but are given boxed nests to make collection easier. They are much cheaper because less collection work is involved and more eggs can be harvested. Either way, make sure the packaging includes the words ‘hormone free’ and ‘antibiotic free’.
So all in all, follow these suggestions.
- look for organic produce labeled with the number 9 followed by four more digits
- look for meats and dairy that have the words hormone free and antibiotics free on the packaging
- look for eggs that were from free range chickens but that also specify hormone and antibiotic free
- for all other products, make sure it clarifies that it is 100% organic, FDA regulations allow the word ‘organic’ on packaging even if it contains genetically modified ingredients
If you are vigilant with your label reading, you can be better assured that you are getting the healthiest foods for your body.
Have you experienced ‘green washing’ in your grocery store purchases, getting home to read the label more carefully and realizing it wasn’t completely truthful?
- Genetically Modified Food Crops (gravitycontrol.org)
- Guest Article: How to Determine If Foods At The Grocery Store Are Genetically Modified (frugalrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Produce Stickers Are Actually Helpful (datewithyourplate.wordpress.com)
- How to Tell if Your Food is Genetically Modified (http://www.naturalnews.com)
I used to be a huge fan of the Biggest Loser, that show where contestants compete by losing weight and making themselves healthy with the help of trainers. Lately, I can’t watch it anymore though. The network seems to have gotten its claws into it and it has rapidly turned into a race to win the game rather than remaining focused on changing lives for the better. That’s just my humble opinion of course, but when you start to watch an episode and all this scheming happens…it’s just not fun anymore. I feel like I’m watching the plus size version of Survivor. But I digress.
I think it was Jillian Michaels, a former TBL trainer, who said that you can eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time. If I’m not mistaken, it’s in one of her books. I totally agree with this if you are already at your target or close to it. But if you are starting at somewhere much heavier than you should be, then you should be on 100% all of the time. I know, it is really, really, really hard to do that. Not just sometimes, but all of the time. It can be a constant struggle.
For a long time, I thought 80/20 would be a smart way to go and for some people it is. I have realized that I am not one of these people. I need to get into a stronger habit of saying no and not having in mind this ‘treat’ or ‘reward’ at the end of the tunnel. That vision is like the misguided efforts of the network to make the Biggest Loser a more riveting show with weird challenges that breed negative competition. I’m looking the wrong way, searching for the end of the tunnel instead of being aware of the journey.
I’m not saying that after having been completely sugar free (to the best of my knowledge) for 15 days that I’m ready to go the rest of my life without sugar. That’s just crazy talk! However, I am prepared to continue past the end of this month and to the end of the year doing my best to avoid sugar and let my body heal from the 29 years of sweet abuse I’ve put it through. I will be more aware of sugar in the foods that I buy, since they are everywhere! Also, I have definitely decided to be a better dinner guest by not imposing a no sugar in their cooking rule. My cousin (and dietitian) had the…ahem…pleasure of my dining company the other night and did extraordinarily well, but it isn’t fair. It is a self imposed food restriction and not a food intolerance others need to respect. I will just skip on the obvious sugar laden areas.
In the meantime, I’m also looking at different coping mechanisms. I’m someone who reaches for the sweets and finds comfort in foods when I’m down. Not being able to eat them, I need to find other ways to perk myself up. I mentioned this in an earlier blog about finding ways to get the happy flowing. So far, I think my poison of choice is movies. Ooh, I love a good movie and I’m in luck because the big summer blockbusters of every genre are coming out as we speak. I went to see the Avengers today and it was spectacular! It’s not like I’m short on film availability. My husband has a massive movie collection that will keep me in onscreen plots for years to come. I think I will also try to start walking more. I used to love it and now that the weather is more cooperative, it will be much easier. Once I close in on my goals, I can re-evaluate my diet, but for now…100% is the way to go.
Half way through the month I thought would be the worst and feeling pretty darn good!
How about you? Does 80/20 work for you, or are you more like me and need 100%, at least to start with?