I often get asked…
“How do you manage to eat healthy?”
“How do you run a marathon?”
“How do you enjoy working out?”
“How do you like vegetables so much?”
“How do you balance everything?”
Well, for that last question, when I finally find balance I’ll let you know…until then I’m going to keep working on that one.
Yes, as an RD, nutrition and wellness are my “expertise” but I am by no means perfect. It seems that those two letters behind your name are code for being healthy 100% of the time and, my dear friends, that just isn’t the case.
Which brings me to healthy tip number one.
1.) Healthy living is not all or nothing. Seriously, if we were all 100% healthy all the time we would drive ourselves absolutely insane. Healthy is enjoying cake without guilt, sleeping in on the weekends, and skipping a workout without beating yourself up. Healthy is also having a drink with friends, ordering pizza late night, and eating one too many desserts every once in a while. The key is embracing these indulgences without guilt or judgment and listening to your body to tell you what it needs. You’ll be healthier and happier. Promise.
2.) When it comes to increasing fitness or your running abilities, focus on the day to day and not the long term goal. People say to me all the time “I could never run a marathon.” And I say well yea probably not right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t if you really want to. Focusing on the long term goal can be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead set a daily goal and meet that. Then naturally all the daily goals add up and BOOM, you’ve accomplished the long term goal.
|The first 26.2 [Chicago Marathon with Schrades!]|
3.) EAT REAL FOOD. When you begin eating nutrient rich, whole foods, you are far more satisfied. I cringe when I see people eating Special K bars and “lite” yogurts for breakfast or sugar free puddings for dessert. Ya’ll that isn’t even food. Carbohydrates and fat are not the enemy. Eat nut butters, yogurt without artificial sweeteners, real ice cream, and sugar in your coffee. As a culture, we have become so focused on specific nutrients [high fiber, lowfat, zero sugar] rather than eating whole foods to meet our nutrient needs. A Fiber One bar is not the same as eating a fiber rich apple. And what the heck is reduced fat peanut butter?
4.) Develop a healthy tongue. My love affair with vegetables did not begin at birth. Focus on the foods that you ARE eating instead of the foods you are NOT eating. Because when you are filling up on wholesome real foods, you are satisfied rather than deprived and cravings for sugar slowly wean. A diet full of nutrient rich superfoods is far more important than avoiding desserts or indulgences. And the more whole foods you incorporate into your diet, the better you feel and more you want to make choices that feel good for your body.
5.) Eat foods that make you physically feed good. When you are filling up on primarily fruits and vegetables in addition to whole grains, beans, animal proteins and nuts/seeds you will probably feel pretty good. Your body likes to feel good and so over time your body will crave these nutritious foods more and more.
Nobody, even RDs, will ever be perfectly healthy all the time. But that’s the beauty of balance. Life doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. But at the end of the day, week, or even month the important thing is that overall you FEEL GOOD.