Healthy Food Choices
I would say it took me a good 2 years to really understand what a difference my food choices really make and the importance of healthy food choices. And I’m definitely still learning. Let’s take Monday night for example. I’m currently taking part in a health challenge with some friends. Basically you get points for drinking enough water, eating all your fruits and vegetables, exercising 5 days/week, not eating past 9pm, and only eating sugar one day per week. I’m not doing so great points-wise because as I have learned in the past, if I deprive myself of something (like sugar) I will only end up binging myself into a sugar coma as soon as I can have it. But the last few weeks I’ve been trying to not eat sugar except on one designated sugar day. So Monday was my sugar day and at 8:30pm I found myself scarfing down a small bowl of ice cream, multiple pieces of candy, and a huge leftover pancake from one of my favorite restaurants covered with butter and syrup. Honestly, I wasn’t even hungry, but mentally my brain was telling me, “you won’t get to eat sugar again for a week so you better get it all in now.” Tuesday morning I woke up and felt disgusting, gee I can’t imagine why?!?
So why is it so hard to understand eat crap=feel like crap, eat good=feel good. Seems easy enough. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Most of the time we get in our own way. We see a delicious looking cinnamon roll and our mouth starts to salivate and we imagine the chewy, bready, gooey, frosted deliciousness going into our bellies. What we don’t see is that cinnamon roll sitting in our bellies, causing our blood sugar to rise, insulin to be released to get the sugar out of the bloodstream and delivered to cells where it can be used for energy, but most likely will just be stored as fat, adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) released, and then all this combined compromising your immune system making you more susceptible to illness. Sound fun!!? Stupid cinnamon roll.
(photo credit: Skinnytaste.com)
Maybe next time you’re craving that late night bowl of ice cream, go for a piece of fruit instead. Yes fruit still has sugar, but the amount of sugar is easily managed by a small amount of insulin. Plus fruit has fiber, vitamins and nutrients that assist in helping your body stay healthy and feel good.
Get creative…make a fruit smoothie, or dip it in some greek yogurt. There’s a delicious looking recipe for pumpkin pie dip I found on one of my favorite blogs Skinnytaste.com . I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it sounds amazing.
The idea is to find something that will satisfy your sugar craving so you won’t be mad at yourself in the morning and then think, “well I’ve already messed up this week, I’ll try again next week!” Sugar is my nemesis. For others it might be fried foods, or salty foods like chips, or chocolate…whatever your nemesis is, just ask yourself. Does eating (insert your nemesis) make me feel better about myself or worse? As much as I would love Starburst jelly beans to make me feel happier, have more energy, make my body function better, and not mess up my hormones so I don’t scream at my children…they just don’t. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, shop the outside of the grocery store. Choose fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat dairy (and maybe one bag of jelly beans…everything in moderation right?). Your body will thank you.
If you missed our article about Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle: making the decision to get healthy, you should go back and read it. It’s worth it!
So tell me, what is your nemesis?