Hey ladies! Welcome to week 2 of my series:
____ is a three week series where we learn tips, techniques, and points for our goal of transformation and renewal. We have three weeks to work on ourselves so we can start off feeling revived and refreshed to take on new projects, businesses, and plans that we may have in the second half of 2018 and the new school year. Ultimately our aim is to pour into ourselves, so we can better pour into others. For us women, we often put self care on the bottom of our to-do list after performing our wifey duties, taking care of our children, running our homes, being the president of the PTA, having 5 businesses and ministries, and taking over the world. No wonder we get burnt out and we are tired all the time! Self care needs to be at the top. How can we be better moms, teachers, managers, leaders, or women if we do not take care of the women in the mirror?
This week we are focusing on our physical health.
Clean Eating and all that good stuff…
How do we feel when we eat that bag of candy or that tub of ice-cream? It is literally a sugar rush. We are so excited to eat it. Our mouth is watering, we are rushing to open the bag or container and take that first bite. Damn, this doesn’t taste good; this tastes delicious. We look at the name of the ice cream and ponder it. We look at colorful wrapping of the candy we bought at the gas station. As we are eating all this wonderful sugar, we look at the back of the packaging to read the nutritional facts. 200 calories per 1 serving (⅓ cup is 1 serving). How much is ⅓ cup anyway? We continue to read: 50g of sugar per serving. Ok that sounds like a lot, but maybe it isn’t, we think. Suddenly we are curious to see how much is ⅓ cup or 1 serving. We continue to eat the candy or the ice-cream as we rummage through our cabinets to find our measuring cup. We look at the numbers. Wow, I ate way more than ⅓ cup of this. I just ate 50 sugar cubes in less than a minute?!! Immediately we feel the excitement of our sugar indulgence, drop. We feel guilty. We feel fat. We feel that acne emerging on our skin (to those that can sugar without breaking out…I am jealous of you.) We then decide to put the rest of our treat in the fridge so someone else can eat it. (Or maybe once we are done feeling bad about ourselves we can get back to it. Come on ladies, who else has been there?) Thirty minutes later, our body feels sluggish. We are cranky and irritated because now we feel gross and greasy. We think: why did I spend thirty dollars at a frozen yogurt store? (True story: my parents and I did this)
When I say “cleaning eating and all that good stuff”, I am not talking about my favorite chips (jalapeno), the brownie mix that sits in my mom’s cabinet, or the delicious “genuine Jamaican pineapple soda” in a bright yellow green 2 liter bottle sitting in Publix’s soda aisle. That “good stuff” is actually bad stuff. It is not real food. (that why it is going to be labeled as bad stuff). Though I am speaking against it, I am not going to sit here and front that I do not eat bad stuff. I do. I am going to be real, I eat junk. So, I know how it makes my body feel. I know how it makes my mind feel. I know how it makes my emotions and wallet feel. I know how it makes my face feel. I bet you know the feeling too. Let’s vow to not feel that feeling that we all feel when we eat that junk, and only eat that junk sometimes. Let’s talk about the word sometimes.
Sometimes means occasionally or once in awhile. Sometimes does NOT mean to eat that whole cake every week. It does NOT mean grabbing that bag of chips and soda everytime you purchase a sub, because you want to make it a combo. Sometimes means once in awhile we are going to eat some cake. Let me say it again: Sometimes we are going to eat SOME cake.
My diet used to be really bad. Am I still eating fake food? Yes, but sometimes. Our goal is to make that all the time bad diet into a sometimes bad diet into a never bad diet. It is possible, it can be done, and it will give us many positive benefits.
So…what is clean eating? How does one eat dirty or eat clean? Clean eating is eating whole foods that are REAL foods. These foods are not or they are very minimally processed…they are more natural than (sadly) a lot of food on the market. Processed food can even include mashing raw apples to make applesauce. So not ALL processed food is bad. The point is to avoid foods that are majorly processed… like woah, that new Apple Rocket Sugar Heaven Blueberry pancakes with fake apples and blueberries chunks in the middle?? Ooh that sounds good, YES! Yes I mean that, but NO, don’t buy that! Ingredients such as Caramel color and high fructose corn syrup are examples too. Ultra processed foods like those pancakes activate dopamine in our brain; this makes us crave to eat more and more…spending more on fake food to meet our nutritional needs, spending more on an increased number of doctor visits, and spending more time feel disgusting
10 Benefits of clean eating include: longer and a healthier life, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of high blood pressure, more energy, less breakouts, improved mood, lower food bills, lower health bills, improved brain power, and weight loss. There are SOOOO many more benefits. As moms, we will feel more relaxed and less cranky. Raising young kids are already stressful enough, but eating clean foods (and having our children eat clean foods) reduces the irritability we show our husbands, our kids, our family, and even ourselves. We feel less stressed. We can manage better. As women, we already are pressured to feel ugly about ourselves from commercials or pop culture & entertainment. Instead, with clean eating, we can FEEL & be beautiful (not for them, but of course 100% for ourselves). We will live longer to raise our children. We will have pumped up brain power so we can be highly effective in our businesses, ministries, and communities. Do I need to say more? Basically, we will feel better, live better, do better, be better, and look better. Isn’t that better than a bunch of health risks and moodiness after eating a whole cake?
Ok sign me up for a better life. Now what do I do? Now, let’s go back into the fridge and grab those cookies and throw them away in the trash. Next, make a trip to a grocery store. If you can, go to Whole Foods or a farmer’s market. You can still go to Publix (that’s where I go) or Walmart, or where ever is close. A rule of thumb that I do is pick up a can of food and look at the ingredient list. If there are a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce or you don’t know what the hell it is, put it down. (Like, what the hell is Red 5? Am I eating a crayon?) Look for foods with a short and easily identifiable ingredient list. (Ok, I know what coconuts are, I know what mangos are…) Opt for more raw veggies and fruits. Nuts can be bought for snacks. Quinoa and oats can be used when you need some whole grains. I like to buy cashew or almond milk instead of cow milk. (Cow milk has so many hormones in it) Salmon and beans for protein are options too. And, Yes, healthy can taste good too! I LOVE blending up pineapple chunks, peanuts, and bananas, to make a smoothie. Buy some avocados to make a nice spread or guac.
If you ARE going to eat a nice big chocolate cupcake, please ladies, make it a sometimes thing. Yes, you can eat that doughnut if you are at a friend’s birthday…but don’t eat the entire box! Every day you don’t have to eat two chocolate bars. The key is sometimes…or better: significantly reduce highly processed foods in your diet to none. All of us aren’t perfect. Some people can quit cold turkey, and others, like myself, start off slow…but a step in the right direction is what counts. Let’s promise ourselves (and I am promising myself too) a better today and a better future…full of healthy choices and happiness.
-A Dear Friend