Healthy eating. Diet. Dare I say, clean eating?! These words sound terrifying to the average person. Hell, sometimes it intimidates me, the extent some health nuts go to find the purest, most magical source of food out there. The labels these days are endless and bring on complications that we never really had to think about before. “Non-GMO”, “Gluten-free”, “organic”, “grass fed”. “Don’t consume sweetener, refined sugar or processed food”. In the movie ‘Bad Moms’, this attitude is depicted perfectly in the scene where Christina Applegate is leading a PTA meeting, discussing what parents are not allowed to include in the bake sale. “No BPA, no MSG, no BHA, no BHT. Plus no soy, no sesame, and of course, no nuts or eggs or milk or butter or salt or sugar or wheat. Okay?”
It’s a lot. I get it. I believe it does over complicate things for people who are simply trying to cut out sweets and bring down their calories to get to a desired weight. Now we have to make sure we’re making the right kind of healthy choice? The point in my life that I decided I was going to eat a certain way, was the point I was given a list. Yes, a list. Sounds restricting, but if you want to make a change in how you consume food, I do think its best to start small, learn, and work your way up from there. Let me emphasize that this is my opinion and my experience, and what has worked in my life to get me where I am today. A very manageable, healthy weight, even at 6 months pregnant with my third. There are many who have discovered things like counting calories works wonders for them, but that’s not me. I don’t find enjoyment in the thought of having to write down every single thing I eat throughout the day, there’s enough shit to think about. So, take what I say with a grain of salt if you disagree, I’m simply sharing what I feel could light a spark in some peoples mind when it comes to nutritious, healthy eating.
Back to the list. I was given this list when I became interested in competing [in fitness], and needed a starting point. This list consisted of three categories: Protein, Carbohydrates & Fats. It simply broke down whole sources of each macronutrient. For example,
This was just part of the list, as there are many sources of plant proteins, many meats as well as tons of other carbohydrate sources. But breaking these down into something I can visually look at and know in my mind “these are the choices I will make”, made the process seem much simpler. If you are choosing what you will have for each meal of your day, knowing you just need to pick your protein, your carbohydrate and/or your fat, doesn’t throwing together something like a ground turkey burger, jasmine rice & veggies sound like an easy choice? Or 2 whole eggs, an egg white, an English Muffin & berries. It’s all about BALANCE. Balance out each meal to consume a portion of each macro. (Now I’m starting to sound like a calorie counter!). But see how how simple it can be, and once you’re comfortable with the choices you’re making, that’s when you can deviate from “the list” and begin adding in your “cheats” and what not.
It is now at a point in my life, where I don’t even have to think about it, because it feels so second nature. When I go out to eat and automatically know, I’m looking for that lean meat source, a side of a carb (not 2 or 3 sides, like a lot of restaurants offer), I’m leaving the restaurant feeling like I didn’t just splurge and consume a crazy amount of calories that I’ll pay for later. As a mom of 2 boys (and a bump), preparing chicken breasts or other meats in advance so I can grab and go, takes the thinking out of what I should eat now as I’m running out the door to get to karate class. So learning your “list”, can make things like going out to eat or eating on the go less of a guessing game, leaving room for your true enjoyments later on. Like grabbing some jelly beans, sans guilt, and eat while you work. Something I may possibly be doing at the moment.