By Personal Fitness Trainer and Primal Health Coach Adriana Brown
I hear this from people all the time, “What if I don’t want to do Paleo 100% or not 100% of the time? What if I can’t do it or if I screw up and have a sandwich?” Well then I punch you in the face. Kidding. If you don’t want to be all in on the Paleo bandwagon that’s just fine with me. Everyone’s fitness journey is different and their personal journey to nutrition and wellness should be as well. If it was a one size fits all we would all workout the same and we’d all eat exactly the same and we’d all look like Greek Gods and Goddesses. But every person’s body is different and so we were not made to fit into a box. But I’m here to tell you that one of the best boxes you can try to fit into is the Primal Box! But again, what if you just can’t pull the trigger and be 100%, I mean a lady needs some cheese with her dry red wine from time to time. I have good news for you! I have some helpful tips that I believe are the cornerstones for any healthy way of life and worthy of your efforts.
- EAT LESS (or NO) PROCESSED FOODS! The average American eats more than half of their calories from Ultra Processed Foods! That’s insane. What you are eating on a consistent basis isn’t even real food. We have become so nonchalant about our processed food we don’t even care to read the label and if we do we just shrug at all the random things that are in our food. Do you know what Soy Lecithin is? If you can’t say it or don’t readily know what it is, or better yet if it’s ingredient #4 on a list of 15 ingredients on your food package probably don’t eat it.
- CUT THE SUGAR. Drink coffee with heavy cream not the flavored creamer. Cut out the processed dressing/sauces/soups that have sugar. Avoid dried fruit/bars/shakes with added sugar. Sugar comes in all forms, it’s in everything. READ LABELS, make conscious choices. The power is in your hands, take charge of your refrigerator, your cupboards and your closets. Added sugar comes in disguise in many different forms. Don’t let the FDA trick you into eating your way to diabetes!
- EAT REAL FOOD. You know the kind you can grow in your garden, the kind that you see at the farmer’s market, the kind your local butcher gets from a local cattle farm, the milk that has to be used in 5 days instead of 35 days because it’s just milk from a cow and not 500 other things. Eat the nuts that are not slathered in oil before roasting. Eat the dips, salad dressings, marinades you make YOURSELF that don’t come from a package or jar. Get in the kitchen, connect to your food. Appreciate food for what it is, not what kind of wildly addictive powders and additives they put in it to make you eat 5 servings in one sitting. Get nuts, join a CSA!
- TRY NEW THINGS. Don’t turn up your nose at butternut squash noodles. Don’t judge cauliflower rice before you give it a try. Its 2017 people, break away from the staples of cereals/bars/baked goods and make something in your own home. Pinterest has anything and everything you need to get creative and really broaden your horizons!
- REMEMBER TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY. You had a crappy day, you lost your mind and you ate a whole pizza with a side of breadsticks for dinner. Is it time to throw in the towel? No way, tomorrow is a new day. Try harder, surround yourself with good choices and remember you are in control of what goes in your mouth, no one else!
- BE PREPARED. When have you ever succeeded in anything by just winging it? Your S.A.T’s, the beginning of soccer season, your firm wide presentation, your wedding vows? At what time did you ever have something extremely important happen in your life that you didn’t prepare for and things went just as planned? Literally, maybe never. Food is the same way. You cannot expect success without effort. You cannot expect success without having a plan. Whether it be meal planning, grocery shopping lists, looking at the menu ahead of time online so you know your options, or just having good snacks in your purse/car/backpack so you are never faced with a crisis of eating a bag of Doritos or dying from starvation. Be thoughtful with yourself.
- IT’S MORE THAN YOUR WAISTLINE. Food and nutrition affect all aspects of health; from weight loss to muscle gain, from digestion to healthy skin, from joint health to restful sleeping. Nutrition is all of who we are and what we do. Listen to your body, love and respect yourself. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to try. You don’t have to be all in; you just have to be conscious.