Every now and then, when I choose to eat something that’s not typically considered “healthy”, someone asks, “Is that on your diet?”
At first, it rather bugged me as I thought they were monitoring me or judging my choices…but now, I think it’s more curiosity as folks have been watching me drop the pounds and everyone wants to know my magic diet.
But the thing is…I’m not on a diet!
This is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE!
It’s true, I’ve greatly lowered the carbs and I’m careful about the foods I eat…but bottom line…I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want…within reason.
Let me explain how it works…
For starters, I did a full sugar cleanse in May. (You can read about it and watch the video here.) It wasn’t easy…and I was completely unaware that I was “addicted” to sugar as I just thought I liked it A WHOLE LOT. But, with a lot of help, guidance, and encouragement through Cornerstone Naturopathic, I got through it and it’s made all the difference in the world in regards to my relationship with food.
How I used to eat:
There was a time, I couldn’t have a sweet in the house…if it was here, I ate it. My mind wouldn’t relax until the ENTIRE CAKE WAS GONE and when there weren’t chocolate bars, cookies or sweets…I had no problem grabbing a handful of chocolate chips meant for baking! My go-to snacks were usually sweet but also, I was pretty taken by a large bag of chips or cheezies and some nights, sitting in front of my computer, I snacked on junk rather than make a proper supper OR, I picked up drive-thru with the excuse that I was “too busy” to cook anything properly. Throw in…I didn’t eat breakfastt…and everyone knows that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
Basically I was doing EVERYTHING WRONG.
The sugar detox changed things…no longer was sugar and junk harassing my brain and healthy foods were introduced to my daily choices. Here’s what I eat now…
My morning starts every single day with “breaking fast”. Typically, I enjoy a bowl of greek yogurt with berries (blueberry and strawberry) along with nuts and seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, and almonds). It would be healthier if I had Skyr yogurt, but I find it a bit too thick for me and I rather enjoy the greek yogurt. If I’m not having yogurt, my other choices are typically eggs (usually scrambled, poached or fried), a few slices of bacon and a salad or berries or veggies and hummus to round out the plate. Or, I eat anything left over from the night before as breaking fast doesn’t mean you have to eat traditional breakfast foods!
For me, lunch is typically a salad (greens, tomatoes, feta, “salad sensations” nuts and seeds, chicken and balsamic/oil dressing). Or, I’ll have a combination of a few things on my plate somewhat like a charcuterie board (a bit of meat, some veggies, cheese, hummus, nuts, etc…). If I’m out and on my way home, I sometimes grab a greek salad with shawarma from Mezza or a Taco Salad from Wendy’s (where I’ll just crush two or three of the nachos over the top and skip the rest.) I no longer will eat in the car or on the run and I enjoy my meals…keeping to a regular schedule so I don’t get hungry.
For supper…It’s a BIG salad (usually half or 3/4 of the plate) similar to my lunch salad but if I’m in a restaurant…I typically enjoy beet salad or a caesar. Paired with the salad is either chicken, steak (medium rare as I need the iron), roast beef, lean hamburger (no bun) or salmon…and I’ll often cook a veggie like sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash or asparagus. AND, if I’m dining out, I can usually find something healthy on the menu that I can fit within my new lifestyle (usually I order fish as I don’t love making fish at home). Sometimes, if I’m not in the mood to cook at all, I order Mediterranean typically from Ray’s Lebanese, and choose to NOT have the rice, pita or potatoes (though they really have the very best potato wedges and garlic sauce in the world!!)
For snacking, I eat A LOT of carrot sticks and snap peas (often with hummus.) I make guacamole and have it with cucumber and gluten-free crackers. I enjoy a Love Good Fat Bar (usually daily) and I prefer the Coconut, Almond or Mint. And, for a treat every now and then while watching a movie, I enjoy a few handfuls (as in octopus handfuls) of popcorn (something made with a healthy oil).
“Putting the LIFE back in my Lifestyle Blog”:
I’ve made a lifestyle change. I’m not counting calories and I’m not cutting out entire food groups. If I CHOOSE to have something, I have it. I’m eating CLEAN…basically, following the Canada Food Guide, but if you REALLY want to figure out what “DIET” I’m on…it aligns best with a Paleo way of eating…LOTS AND LOTS of veggies!
I believe that the biggest reason this is working for me this time around is that I’m able to eat whatever I want and I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything I love…plus, there’s no math involved, no apps involved, no counting calories or points. For Thanksgiving…I ate ALL THE THINGS and thoroughly enjoyed it and for Christmas, I’ll EAT ALL THE THINGS again! As Dr. Ben explained to me…many of our traditions and celebrations are based around food and if we deny ourselves these foods, we’re denying ourselves traditions that are important to us. (Read this post, You can have your cake and eat it too!)
The best part…from time-to-time I choose to eat DESSERT and let me tell you, I ENJOY IT IMMENSELY and if I don’t, I don’t finish it! I’m making choices and for the most part, I’m making healthy choices but if I want, I enjoy something that’s not typically considered healthy and I’m totally ok with that. With the sugar detox, I can completely control those choices and not fall off the sugar wagon eating until every sweet in the cupboard and the chocolate chips meant for baking are GONE!
Side note…before I started this thing…I would have totally eaten that sugar wagon!!
How much have I lost?
I’m losing weight…a lot, as I’ve lots to lose, but I’ve only stood on the scales one time a few months back so I have no idea what the exact number is. At some point, everything will level out and if there’s still more I’d like to lose, I may have to switch things up a bit to get the last few pounds off but for now, all seems to be going well.
I made this lifestyle change because I was miserable. I had no energy, I was unhealthy, and my body HURT. Now…I’m able to do much more, for much longer, and detoxing from sugar has reduced inflammation in my joints which has taken away the majority of the pain I was experiencing. For the first time in many, many years…this change I’ve made is WORKING for me…and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. In fact, I’m gaining WAY MORE than I’m actually losing!
The weight I’m losing is a major bonus and phenomenal motivation to keep eating healthy…but the energy I’m feeling and lack of pain…is much more motivation than the way my jeans fit!
Even if my jeans are fitting pretty damn good!
Disclosure: My health and wellness journey is sponsored by the amazing folks at Cornerstone Naturopathic. The entire team at the clinic is working with me to get my life back on track! We’ve approached everything from a health perspective…with the weight loss being a massive bonus. I feel good. Better than I have felt in years. Cornerstone is truly in my corner…they want me to succeed and are giving me the tools I need to get there. The doctors and staff have been a wealth of knowledge and even greater cheerleaders through this journey. My success…is their success as well. If you’re looking for a lifestyle change…check them out. While I’m partnering with them on the blog…all opinions are my own.