“What do you eat everyday?”
People ask me this all the time. And the short answer, “I eat out of the fridge.” I stay clear of the pantry (no cereal, chips, bread, granola, bars, etc.). This is much more extreme and painful and horrific than that statement conveys. Because chips are my life.
But chips (and alcohol) diabolically prevent me from achieving the post-ten pound baby tummy tightness I enjoy. So, five days out of the week, I refuse them… and choose what’s best for the BEST me (Ok, ok, I don’t JUST restrain for the hope of washboard abs, chips obviously aren’t contributing to my health in any manner either).
My health choices aren’t just about restricting the bad and forcing down the good. What drives my breakfast, lunch, dinner, drink, and snack decisions comes down to two things: my ability to operate at 100% as often as possible AND consciously fighting disease.
Did you know your gut wall houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system? Um, that’s a lot. Which means it’s pretty damn important what you let into your gut. Not to mention the indisputable connection between your gut and your brain health. Do a little research on it, you won’t regret the mind-blowing facts you gather. And, let’s face it, when it comes to health, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Let simple facts and tips be the fuel for burning your old unhealthy habits.
Our bodies are not our enemies. This is especially important for women… in America. Size, shape, skin–they all have one purpose: to carry us from one life experience to another. Our bodies are our vessels, transporting us from–and allowing us to be–present in one moment to the next. This is so important to understand.
We weren’t given these bodies to pick apart, criticize, compare, or curse. They are a gift to us so that we can LIVE and enjoy every adventure and dream we can imagine.
But… most of us don’t see it that way. Society tells us a different story from a very young age, conditioning us to want to look like “the ideal” picture of “beautiful”. You know what’s really sexy? A fully functioning, healthy, strong, capable body that is built for endurance, equipped with stamina, and operating on all cylinders.
Sometimes that seems impossible because of injury, disability, disease or… pregnancy. But the truth is, wherever you are, in whatever way your body presents itself today, there is a maximum potential. It may not look the same as your best friend or the Instagram models or your trainer at the gym… but that’s so irrelevant it’s not even worth the energy you spend considering it. You don’t share the same personality or parents or personal experiences as those people, so why on earth would you share your body’s max potential with them either? YOU WOULDN’T. So stop trying to fit the same mold as them.
This should feel absolutely liberating and equally challenging. You get to be YOU through and through without apology–YAY! And it’s time to find out what your edges are–what is your greatest limit and sharpest edge? If you don’t know, it’s time to PLAY!
What does 100% look like for you? How do you sleep? Are you hydrated? How does your body like to move–lifting weights, practicing yoga, hiking, running, climbing, sports? What language does your body speak and how often are you talking to it?
Just like everything else, health starts with connection. If you’re not in love with your body, it’s time to talk about where you’re disconnected. Get curious. Contemplate. Journal. Reflect.
Start small. Set achievable goals and slay them. Every slayed goal will build your confidence and carry you into conquering your next goal.
No matter where you’re beginning, find the next right step.
Cut soda and fast food. Drink water. Increase real food (fruit, veggies, organic meat). Make green smoothies. Start transitioning to organic: produce and meats first, then pantry items and spices.
Take a walk today. Do some push-ups. Hire a trainer. Learn about proper form, different movements, and new ways to exercise. Find out what activities are fun for you and start there. Do you like sports or swimming, rock climbing or canoeing? Find a beginning point and let your body lead you to the next step. Pay attention. Listen. Follow.
Eight years ago, when my daughter was almost one, I started making green smoothies. Since that first healthy choice, I’ve slowly incorporated new habits one by one–from holistic remedies to non-toxic household products–my kids and I are super munchie-granola-hippie humans now and our energy levels show it!
So, without further delay, the scoop you’ve all been *anxiously* awaiting, here’s what a normal day of eating looks like for me:
I mostly drink water and herbal tea only on the daily, and everything listed below is organic.
Morning (usually around 9am or 10am, I wake up between 6-7am): herbal tea with marine collagen, vitamin d3, probiotic, b-12 and a superfood green smoothie. Depending on my schedule and workout for the day, I may or may not have some eggs (with turmeric) and sweet potatoes.
“Feasting time” (usually from 1pm-7pm, I go to bed between 10-11pm):
LUNCH: hummus and veggies (zucchini, squash, peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes), homemade chicken salad, leftovers from dinner.
SNACK: fruit, nuts, frozen fruit, homemade kale chips, cooked veggies, smoothie.
DINNER: hamburgers (bunless), spaghetti (gluten-free or zuch noodles), stir fry, pizza (homemade, gluten-free or cauliflower crust), homemade soups, chili, chicken pot pie, etc.
There are reasons why I mostly don’t consume grains or oats, sugar or processed foods, caffeine or gluten. I have learned (after doing the Whole30 cleanse… for a whole 11 days–I never claimed to be an overachiever) that my body operates best with little or no cow’s dairy, gluten, grains, sweets, etc. When you take responsibility for your body and your own health, you get to learn what fuels you into your maximum potential and how certain foods will slow you down, cause you pain, or hinder you from your reaching your best.
What’s your next right step? How will you connect a little deeper with your body today?
May you discover yourself in all your exquisite glory and learn how to fully embrace every part of you, one step at a time.
Live well, my friends.