A good friend of mine reached out last week and asked for tips on "cleaning up" her eating. Oh fun! Where should I start, I thought!
With so many clean eating options, vegan, intermittent fasting, vegetarian, paleo, whole-30, plant-paradox, keto, etc etc it can be daunting to find your grove. What will work for you, like... NOW?
Below are 5 things you can start doing as soon as right now to help relieve the sluggishness, the bloat and the over all blah that we sometimes get from not paying enough attention to what we put into our bodies.
1. When you MAKE dinner tonight, double the recipe.
Eating out for every meal is great when your low on time and FUN to treat yourself, but let it be just that, a treat. Restaurant food is filled with butter, salt and who knows what else. You also have no idea where your products were sourced from, organic? Probably not. So, do yourself a favor and when you make dinner tonight double the recipe so you'll have left overs to bring for lunch or eat for dinner again in a few days. If you are like me and get sick of eating the same thing over and over again several times in a week, freeze a portion and eat it again in a few weeks.
2. Nix Alcohol.
I know, I know - it's summer and beer and white wine (or rose, duh) is so refreshing! But reach for a La Croix instead. One of the biggest reasons we eat like shit and don't make time for exercise is that we are too busy. So, how do you have time for alcohol? Or a HANG OVER!? Ya don't! I'm not strict on this, I love a cool glass of wine or a refreshing beer occasionally but I'm much more productive and way less of a total snatch when I don't have a hangover... so go ahead order that double soda water and be proud of it. (Oh, and watch that extra cash stack on in your bank account... that doesn't suck either).
3. Listen, observe (and more likely than not, smell) your body after you eat.
People do elimination diets and get testing for allergies, but we don't always have the patience or resources for those options. I've found that paying attention to the ingredients I just ate and how my body reacts to them can tell you a lot. EXAMPLE: Just ate a spinach salad, lots of raw veggies and a simple salad dressing (no dairy). About 15 minutes later, I get some stomach cramps and about 30 minutes later I start to pass some interesting gas. OBSERVATION: I've learned that my body doesn't love raw vegetables. WHAT? Vegetables are suppose to be good for you! With the current state of many of our microbiomes, raw vegetables can be rough to digest (no roughage pun intended). I try to cook them as often as I can and if I can't (or don't want to) I'll pop a digestive enzyme or activated charcoal to help with the stomach cramps.
4. Follow some new foodies on social media.
We all do it, scroll scroll scroll. Add a few new inspirations to your followers list and get some fun new recipe ideas. Some of my favorites are:
5. Buyout the spice aisle.
SO many really simple (and healthy) quick meals are asian or indian foods that require anywhere from 3-15 different spices. FILL up your spice drawer so you are ALWAYS prepared to rough together a quick stir-fry or curry. It's always quick, easy and super delicious. Below is a list of spices I recommend keeping stocked at all times.
- chile pepper
- red pepper flake
- garam masala
- lemongrass stalks (I buy a bunch and freeze them)
- kaffir lime leaves (I freeze them)