In order to live holistically healthy lives, it’s important to ensure that our bodies are well taken care of through exercise and properly nourished by organic and nutritious foods. When both of these are done right, they can have incredibly uplifting effects on our emotions and our mental health, allowing us to live and enjoy our lives to the fullest.
It’s a misconception that all you need in order to live a healthy life is to be at the gym every day of the week and that you need to be following a specific rigorous diet in order to achieve your goals. Obviously if you want to loose weight or put on muscle in the gym, discipline is required. However, if you simply want to develop healthy long term habits, many of the popular fad diets are unsustainable.
It’s important to establish a positive relationship with food in order to enjoy eating our favourite treats without feeling horrible about ourselves. It’s about living our lives with the whole rainbow of nutrients we need to keep us alive for as long as possible without falling ill.
The key is finding a balance that aligns with our values and lifestyle choices, not one based on what everyone else is doing.
Too often in this modern world we find that we don’t have time to think about what we’re putting into our bodies. We don’t have time to cook or to look for healthy restaurant options so it’s easy to get a cheap ready meal or to stop at the fast food joint around the corner on the way home. It’s no wonder why our society has become so moody, stressed and unmotivated. We don’t make the connection between the food we’re eating and the way our bodies and minds feel.
In the same way that you make time to go to the gym or to attend a yoga class, it’s essential to make time to be in your kitchen. To connect with the food that you’re making, knowing exactly what and how it’s being prepared and the way that it will do you good. As cliché as it sounds, your body is a temple and should be treated as such.
There are a few thing you can learn in order to kick start a positive long term relationship with food and to get yourself out of unhealthy eating habits.
1. Know that anyone can cook – even you!
If you’re someone who has never used a cooking utensil before or you think you can’t cook then it’s time to change that. Cooking is absolutely not rocket science and it is not as hard as it may seem at first. The internet has some delicious, and simple healthy recipes that everyone can follow that will help get you into the habit of being in the kitchen. You might even find that you enjoy it!
2. Learn to meal prep
The easiest way to make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet throughout the week is to make time, over the weekend for example, to prepare and freeze meal boxes. Meal prepping allows you to cook only once or twice a week, thus saving both time and money in the long run. It reduces the stress of having to think about what you’re going to eat every day and will help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
3. Don’t be afraid of Fruits and Veggies
Every single different fruit and vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are not only preventative measures against some of the most destructive illnesses but contain healing remedies far more beneficial than even that of modern medicine.
In order to get the best results, it’s advised to eat fruits raw on an empty stomach because being completely natural, they are ready to be digested by the body. If you consume them with or after other foods like carbohydrates or processed foods, their nutrients can get lost and won’t enter your system as easily as they otherwise would. And that defeats the purpose of eating them at all.
Cooking vegetables allows you to infuse them with spices and flavours, so experiment with them any way that you feel will make them more interesting for you. Be sure to eat the full rainbow to benefit from the range of nutrients.
4. Hydration is key
Water and the benefits of hydration is something we all forget about but is so important. Without water, our brain cannot function at its maximum capacity and our bodies feel sluggish and dry. Drinking warm water instead of cold water, especially after a meal boosts the enzymes in our digestive system and makes so we don’t feel so bloated or full up. So be sure to have a water bottle with you at all times throughout the day so you can get at least 3 litres of water into your system.
5. Listen to your stomach – Don’t eat with your eyes
Taking your time to eat your meal allows you to realise when your body has had enough. Serve yourself reasonable portions and listen to your body when you’re feeling full. This can allow you to avoid that horrible bloated feeling you get after you’ve overeaten which prevents you from being productive and just makes you feel heavy and unable to focus.
6. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself
Life is too short to deprive yourself of the foods that make your tastebuds explode! It’s okay to indulge in your favourite comfort food; that slice of cake, or that sweet treat. As long as you practice self control and keep your ‘treat’ for when you’re really craving it. It’ll make the experience of having it that much more enjoyable than if you were having it every day.
7. Eat early and don’t snack after 8pm
Your food needs time to digest, especially in the evenings when you’ll be sleeping and your body is at rest. The earlier you eat, the more time your food has to settle. If you go to bed on a full stomach, you’re more likely to feel bloated and in a horrible mood in the morning instead of waking up light and refreshed.
8. Keep a food journal
Especially when you’re starting your health and fitness journey, you’ll want to keep yourself in check. Keeping a journal allows you to record the foods you’ve eaten and the effects you’re feeling. It can help to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and lets you set goals for where you want to be. It may seem like such a small thing but keeping yourself accountable will create a system that you will be able to stick to in the long run. You’ll be able to make adjustments and create healthy habits that are representative of the healthy life you want to live.
Once you’ve mastered all of the above, you’re guaranteed to be well on your way on a beautiful journey towards living your best life. You’ll have more energy, so your positivity and motivation will skyrocket and you’ll be able to tackle even the most difficult tasks that life throws your way.