Caution!! This is a no filtered message from a slightly disgruntled, but incredibly passionate Nutritionist. There are a few truth bombs here, and some colourful language. Enjoy!
Alright so it’s the beginning of another New Year, and the possibilities for this New Year are endless. If you are like many others at the start of a fresh year, and after likely over indulging for the past month, you may have set a weight loss or “get healthy” type goal, and if that is you, then this information is totally for you!
Lets start with focusing on the stuff, many of us know we are doing wrong. If any of the following apply to you, then you have Definitely made the Right decision to read this letter from me to you, for the start of 2018!
Now if you have been on a healthy journey before I am sure you are assuming you are going to see the same advice that you have seen before, and frankly you probably will, because well, there are some just non- negotiable basics. (Stop rolling your eyes, master the basics and I guarantee you get results!)
So what are these Non-Negotiable Healthy Living Basics? Well smarty pants here they are (.......again)
1. Stop skipping meals and snacks!! Unless you want the metabolism of a sloth (which for many is an actual problem) and if you really don’t like feeling energized all day, then by all means skip them!! But if you want your body to function like it actually has a decent metabolic rate, then schedule your daily meals and snacks! Look at your daily routine and aim for something nutritious every 2-3 hours.
Eating Consistently: stabilizes your blood sugar, prevents fatty tissue gains, and reduces cravings. Stabilized blood sugar means you have will power (it really is a super power) and your brain will be in a better position to make healthier choices. Lets face it cucumber slices suck, when your blood sugar is on a roller coaster ride.
2. Throw the processed garbage to the curve!! Our modern world has become a society that consumes more canned, boxed, frozen and fast foods than natural unprocessed foods. It only takes a quick peek at our top National causes of death (Cancer and Cardiovascular disease) to know this sh*t is a problem!!!
Eating most of our calories from packaged foods floods our body's with incredible amounts of preservatives, flavour enhancers and other chemicals that become what we of the Nutrition field gently refer to as “Toxic Burden”. AND......... if you are not eating enough of the natural unprocessed foods, that support your body’s natural pathways to break down and eliminate these toxins, then you become a wonderful storage container for them!
North American Humans have become addicted to the chemical reaction we get when we consume, the over processed, and highly flavoured foods vs. having a “nutritional” reaction to our foods as we get when we eat unprocessed natural foods. The problem is we choose more of he highly flavoured, over processed foods than the natural foods and we end up completely nutrient deficient, toxic, fatigued, unmotivated, bloated….. Do I need to go on?
Eliminating processed foods is tough!! That’s why Step 3 is SOOOOO important!
3. Plan your meals and snacks!! If I had a magic wand that helped my clients get great results, it would be a meal-planning wand!! (however I do have the next best thing customized meal plans) If you want to eat well, you need a plan to eat well. Seriously if you want to do ANYTHING well, you need a plan!
Meal Planning is definitely tough at first, it’s a skill, and I look at it as an underused muscle. You need to strengthen your weeny little meal planning muscle!. Now you may be starting with the weeny meal planning muscle of a eight year old girl, but if you keep working your weeny meal planning muscle, it get stronger, you will feel stronger, you will have more control, you will start eating less of the processed garbage that is polluting your body and mind, AND you will start to enjoy the healthy unprocessed foods mother nature has prepared for you. You will start to feel vibrant, healthy, clean, and full of energy and guess what also happens? YOU WILL GET RESULTS, and they will be permanent!
4. Avoid Ridiculous Restrictions. If you want to be tortured as you get results, and if you don’t want to keep your results, by all means follow a super low calorie, low fat, or low carb diet.
I wont deny significant restrictions get results, but I will promise the moment you step outside your restrictions, you will have a very (and I mean very) hard time maintaining your results! These types of programs kill your metabolism because protein (muscle) is a faster source of fuel than fat. Unless you are doing crazy amounts of weight training with a expert in muscle building, following a restrictive program will burn your muscle and destroy your metabolism. (PS your muscles are kinda important, they are what burn calories when you are at rest!)
5. Take a Good Quality Whole Food Based Supplement as an insurance policy. Now I wont ever pretend that my diet is perfect! I plan for all our family’s meals and snack in about 20 minutes on a Sunday EVERY week. I make a healthy grocery-shopping list to match the meals and snacks we have collectively chosen as a family, but life happens and some weeks are “life-ier” than others. It’s NOT about perfection! It’s about setting standards and working on them until they become your “normal habits’ and then you can slip up occasionally and still get results! AND having a good daily back up plan for quality nutrients is important for those moments when life shows up, because we all know it will!
My TOP Recommended whole food brand is Juice Plus+. Its what I use with my family, and it’s the only brand I recommend to my clients! How did I come to the conclusion that this was the product for my family and myself? Well for one, there is actual third party studies done on the Juice Plus products, and over 35+ clinical publications (this is nerd proof, and it matters). Its NSF certified, meaning my children are not getting a product full of chemicals, its tested by Health Canada (many products on the market are not!) and it’s a totally ALL WHOLE FOOD based product and non GMO!! It checks a lot of boxes that matter to experts in the Nutrition field. I also love that the company focuses on helping the entire family get healthy, with the Children’s Health Study!
6. Join a group of like-minded people or get professional help! If you think you will do well on your own you may, but you may not, and I am a big believer that you are, what you hang out with. If you have 9 unhealthy friends I guarantee you will be the 10th!!!
There are lots of great groups to join. If you are new to healthy living lifestyle, then find a group that focuses on the basics. If you have a significant health or weight loss goal work with a professional!! Working with a Nutritionist will help you with meal planning, accountability and help you find the right group to be a part of! If you need help with number 6 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will set you up, or point you in the right direction with meal plans and healthy living groups.
Ok so realistically, I could add about 10 more to this, but I will end it here as I am worried your undernourished December brain is starting to slow down on me. Do me one more favour before you conk out on me, take a moment to identify what habits you know are your biggest culprit. Start there. Make them your New Years Resolution.
Long term results are found in creating solutions for our worst habits. Start with one at a time or jump in with both feet. If you plan well, eat on schedule, avoid the processed garbage, avoid crazy restrictions, take a good quality whole food based supplement and find support, I promise you will be successful and by the end of 2018 a healthier version of you!
Alisa Herriman has been researching and teaching Nutrition since 2003. Leaving her job in the health care industry to share her passion for healthy living, Alisa travels all over Canada sharing her mission and teaching communities how to prevent and fight disease with Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.