5 ways to simplify your diet
I’m what people call an “emotional eater”. Whenever I get stressed I loved to eat the nearest sugary thing in sight, and though it makes me feel better for a short period of time (a real short period of time) it leaves me feeling bloated and even more stressed later.
Though for the most part I no longer emotionally eat, I still sometimes struggle with not driving out to the nearest store and eating a whole bin full of supermarket cookies, but what can I say, it’s a process.
BUT, with some trial and error, I’ve been finding more and more ways to deal with emotions. For instance, my first step was getting all those junky, sugary foods that I want to eat when I’m emotional out of my home because you can’t eat what’s not there!
Second, whenever I was feeling emotional, instead of reaching for the cookie jar I started by clearing my mind and taking 5 deep breaths. It cleared my head enough for me to realize that eating would not make me feel better and I’d have to deal with these emotions a different way.
Nowadays it seems like everywhere we turn there’s a new ad telling us about this new food that we should be buying to drop 10 pounds in only a few short days, or telling us about the foods that we thought were healthy but shouldn’t be eating.
All this noise makes it hard to even begin thinking about what we should be eating. There are so many choices!
So then what should we do?
Well at some point I stopped asking myself what I should be eating and focused on what made me feel good when I ate it.
Whenever I ate packaged foods like chips or granola bars, I would always end up feeling bloated and just kind of ‘meh’, so then I stopped buying and eating them.
As I started listening more to my body, I realized that it wasn’t very fond of dairy! So then I cut dairy out of my diet.
The simple thing is this: you have to listen to your body.
What foods make you feel bloated and less-than-stellar after you eat them? What foods put you in a bad mood? What foods put you in a good mood? What foods make you feel full yet still light after you eat them?
Using this listening-to-your-body thing, if it makes you happy eating a cookie then by all means eat that cookies! But if you start to feel bleh after two or three then maybe just stick to one as an occasional sweet treat for yourself.
What else can you do besides listening to your body?
1) Eat More Veggies
Veggies! Are! Good! For! Your! Beautiful! Body!
Sorry for all the exclamation points I just really wanted to get my point across. : D
But veggies are good for you!
For the longest time I didn’t like eating veggies raw. So I’d put them in a soup, or steam them or stir fry them. However it may be, make veggies work for you!
For me personally, I’ve started eating veggies because there was this one time that I ate a salad for lunch and afterwards, I didn’t feel bloated or too full. On the contrary I felt light & like I had more energy!
So for me, I eat veggies because they give me energy and make my body feel healthy and strong.
2) Plan Your Meals
You can save so much time during the week if you know your plan ahead of time. So try this: take 20-30 minutes during the weekend and plan some meals. Maybe have a stir-fry Friday and a Soup-y Tuesday and a Curry Wednesday theme every week for dinner and then use leftovers for lunch or make a salad!
Are you a breakfast skipper? Find some quick things that you find delicious and make you feel good. Do you like toasted bagels in the morning? Are you a smoothie person? Do you like yogurt and fruit? Or maybe oatmeal and fruit?
Whatever it is, planning it in advance can help you save money (no more buying random grocery store things you’re not sure whether or not you need), it can help you save time (no standing in front of the fridge trying to figure out what’s for dinner!) and it can make you healthier (because if you have a healthy meal planned and all the stuff to make it, 9 times out of 10 you’re probably going to make it and eat the healthy food!).
3) Keep your favorites
Just because you’re adding new recipes to accommodate more veggies into your diet (like we discussed in number 1, right?), that doesn’t meant that you have to give up on your favorite meals! If they make you happy and feel good, then they deserve a spot on your meal plan (like we discussed in number 2, right?) :D
4) look for short labels
Personally, I no longer buy packaged foods, but if you, try to look for short labels with understandable ingredients. If you’re going to be putting something into your body to help fuel it throughout the day and keep it strong, then make it some damn good-for-you food!
5) drink water
I know, I know, you probably hear this 10 bajillion times (I also know that’s not a real number but bear with me here) a day, but that’s because it’s true! Stay hydrated! You’ll feel better and your mind will be clearer. Trust me.