Tag Archives: diet

Compare yourself, to yourself.

Many times when we learn about someone who has reached a similar goal that we have, we compare ourselves to them. Or maybe they seem to be farther along in reaching that goal than we seem to be.

It’s natural to compare yourself to someone else. We do it all of the time. Many times without doing so on purpose. It’s healthy to gain inspiration from those who seem to have a better grasp on their fitness, or seem to be more consistent with their nutrition. However, be careful not to sink too far into the “they are so much better at this than I am, how can I even compare? That way of thinking doesn’t help.

Instead, feel encouraged that at some point they made a decision to slowly but surely improve their nutrition and fitness. Little by little, they got to the point where they are. Maybe you are comparing yourself to someone who works out five times a week and you wish you could do so. Don’t feel discouraged; take inspiration from their commitment and use that to fuel you to add one more workout to the week.

Maybe you have a friend who compared to you, is night and day with the food that they eat. You wonder “how do they eat so well? I ate In n Out three times in two weeks!” Instead of getting down on yourself and focusing on how different your diets are, spend your effort on improving your own diet just a little bit this week. Add one more vegetable every day this week. Just one, in addition to what you are already eating. You can do this by going to the store and buying a bag of a frozen vegetable or vegetables. All you need to do is pop a serving in the microwave and you are good to go. Add one more fruit each day. If you already have one piece of fruit each day, the next time you are the store, buy a few pieces of another fruit. If you already eat a few bananas a week, buy 5 apples also, and eat one a day. Baby steps.

Organic? Grass Fed? Free Range? Stayed at a 5 star resort before it made it on to your plate?

Yes, these are great things to consider when buying food. However, don’t worry about them if you have had trouble having a balanced diet to begin with. Improve the situation you have already consistently followed. Not eating many veggies during the week and then jumping to organic only everything, is a dramatic jump. I would say, slowly work in more veggies and fruits on a consistent basis (organic is great, if you can), then once you get that under control, put more effort into where you food is coming from and how it’s treated.

Gaining inspiration from others is great, but that is where the comparison should stop. We can learn from each other and put into action tips that have worked for others. Beyond that, it’s YOU that matters. What changes can YOU make? How can YOU keep these changes consistent? What can you realistically do, that will slowly move you to a stronger and healthier life?

Personally, I gain lots of inspiration from friends who are more fit or eat better than I do. I try as hard as I can to not get discouraged that I am not at their level, but take the inspiration that I feel from them and use that to make the gradual changes that are applicable in my own life.

The only comparison you need to focus on is how committed you used to be about fitness and nutrition, and what changes are going to be necessary to move beyond and consistently into the future.

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Think “win win win” not “fail fail fail”

I’m huge on positive thinking. The way you think can greatly increase the likelihood of you meeting the goals you have. I have written about how if you want to make positive changes in your life, it’s a matter of how you will make them, not if. How you think, in turn, decides how you will act. How you act, as far as the food you choose to eat, causes your body to react in a certain way. If you put not so great food in your body, you will then feel not so great. Inversely, if you put awesome food in your body, you will feel awesome. Simple as that. Treat your body awesome-ly and you will feel awesome-ly. As a friend would say “It’s so simpoh!”

Continuing with thinking positively and how it leads to positive results. I encourage you to think about your diet in the following way:

Don’t focus too much on what you shouldn’t eat. Spend more energy on learning about and adding foods you SHOULD eat, or eat more of.

If you constantly hear and think “I shouldn’t eat that” I shouldn’t eat this because blah blah” “Don’t eat these” you start to feel lectured. You feel like you are being told what to do and it begins to feel negative over time. Instead, try to think “How can I add more fruits and vegetables into my diet?” “How can I start to eat a good breakfast every day?” “How can I start to make my meals more nutritiously valuable throughout the day?”

The more good foods you work into your diet, the less room you will have for the not so good for you food. It’s simple. We can only eat so much each day. If we fill each day, little by little, with better food, then there will be less room for the food we should eat less often. Badabing, badaboom! Instead of focusing on fail fail fail fail fail. You start to focus on win win win win. Framing the process of adjusting your diet in this way makes it much more of a positive process and, by default, weeds out the things you can replace with better food.

Of course, from time to time, it’s okay to eat the not so great for you food. I do the same. However, it’s no excuse to have a “cheat day” every day of the week. In order to have a cheat day, however often you decide to have it, you have to have been eating well most of the rest of the week or month. Otherwise, it’s just a “day.”

Positive thinking For.The.Win.

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The secret to nutrition and eating better? Shhh, it’s a secret.

Ok, the secret to taking charge of your own nutrition…..

The secret to weight management….

The secret to eating more nutritious foods throughout the week….

Drum roll please………….

(it would really help the drama of this post if you would make a drum roll sound with your hands on your lap,desk, or table. I’ll give you a moment to do it)

Seriously, do it. It would make this a lot more special.

TADA!!! There is no secret. There is no easy way around it. You have to buy good food and prepare it in order to reach the situations listed above. Either that, or pay someone to buy you good food and prepare it. Most of us reading this blog, don’t have that type of monetary income. If you do, and are reading this, feel free to give me some of that money. It will be fun. Don’t believe me? Try it, then compare theory to result.

Really?! You got us all excited for that?! WAHHH freakin WAHH WAHHH!

Since no one actually did the hand drum roll sound, which, to be fair, I did ask for nicely. Then we’ll call it even.

I do, however, have a suggestion of how to make the process of eating better though out the week, a bit easier

Taking the time out of a day to prepare food for the next few days is a great way to increase nutritional content of your meals throughout the week. This way, the work you did a few days earlier, yielded meals or parts of meals that you can enjoy now. It’s much better to have good food that you prepared earlier that week, than having to resist temptation when you now have to go buy food from a restaurant or store/cafeteria. It’s all about helping yourself make it more likely that you will make good choices. If you make your own food and fill up on your own food, there is a much less likely chance that you will go out and buy something that nutritionally punches you in the face.

As an example, allow me to show how I have chosen to do this:

Before the week begins, I set aside some time to cook foods that I can package for the next few days of lunch/other meals.

Here we see some nice bok choy, yams and hard boiled eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with a few other veggies and a type lean meat (if you so choose), you have a few meals. In this case, I was a busy bear (busy bee didn’t sound as tough as I would like) this week, so I went to Trader Joe’s and bought the chicken I showed on a previous post. Also, notice the mixed veggies, also from the TJ’s post.

To be a bit more environmentally friendly, you can substitute the plastic bags with reusable BPA free plastic containers, or glass containers are great as well. It takes a bit of work, but once you have a few meals saved to the side, you can add a few fruits and maybe a few snacks and you are ready to head out the door to work or school. Granted, you need to keep this food cold. If your work doesn’t have a fridge or if you are at school and don’t have access to one, you can buy a small bag that can put icepacks in. Bam, food on the go.

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It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “how”

Does the following describe you? You are committed to making a change. You are convinced that you want exercise to be a bigger part of your life. You are starting to realize the positive changes that come about from eating a more balanced diet. If yes: I encourage you to focus on “how.”

Don’t say “I don’t know IF I can do this.” Say, “I will figure out HOW to do this.”

The information is clearly out there. There are a million recipes and lists of foods that are great to eat. There are a million work outs and exercises out there. There are studies and studies and studies about this and that and the other. There are TV shows and magazines and movies that refer to fitness and nutrition. It can all feel overwhelming. The trick is to find out what works for you. I am here to try and simplify this process. I will share what has worked for me, as well as ideas that will hopefully work for you.

This is a constant learning process. The information out there can feel like it’s a bit much and does take effort to wade through it all. However, what’s important is that we learn little by little and try the ideas that we think may work. We need to constantly be aware of what is and isn’t working for us, so that we can make the appropriate adjustments that are necessary for us to continue on this path.

This is a lifestyle. It takes time and effort. A lifestyle that can feel tough without the support of others. Maybe you are on this journey with close friends or family. Maybe you feel like you are the only one who cares about this. Regardless of your situation, you have a supportive community right here.

It’s important to motivate each other; to keep the fitness fire going. Sometimes we need motivation, sometimes we can’t help but share motivation with others. Either way, let’s help each other grow with this lifestyle.

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I want to eat better, but how do I start?!

I talk a lot of hoopla about eating better food and the positive effect it has on your life. Now, there are lots of questions that come up about food. How much? Organic vs non organic? Grass Fed? Raw vs Cooked? Where was it grown? These are great questions that do deserve attention. As previously mentioned, these are issues to spend some time thinking about mostly if you have a good grasp on how to consistently eat balanced and nutritious meals. However, if you’re looking at starting that process, let’s take a look.

Today I was at Trader Joe’s and decided to share a few ideas of things you could buy that you can prepare a meal with. For the money you might spend eating a couple meals at a restaurant, that same money can produce many meals that would benefit your health a lot more!

It’s usually better to cook your own meat/chicken/beef etc. at home because you have more control over exactly what you use to cook it with. However, this chicken from Trader Joe’s is not a bad choice at all. It’s much better than something fried or breaded or swimming in a creamy sauce. You can use this chicken in a sandwich, on its own as the entré, on some whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce…etc.

Adding vegetables to the day/meal is very easy. If you are having trouble with finding time to buy/prepare fresh veggies then don’t you worry. Frozen vegetables and fruit are a great option. Not only because they make it easy to eat, but because they are usually frozen right when they are ripe and picked. This is much better than produce that is picked and then shipped hundreds or thousands of miles (which is not good for its nutritional content). Notice the difference in price between the organic raspberries and non organic raspberries. Not too bad. If you feel it is worth it to pay a little bit more for organic, it can be a great choice.

When I’m in a rush to pack food or eat before I need to head out, I’ll pop some mixed veggies along with broccoli in the microwave and it’s a great addition to any meal. Notice how both organic options aren’t as expensive as you might think. Frozen veggies and fruits are just a great option in general, when keeping in mind nutrition, amount of effort, as well as price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Isaac, I would like something crunchy on the side. Maybe something to satisfy my craving for chips.

Ok, mythical person who I quoted on a previous post. I have just the thing. Trader Joe’s has bags of popcorn that have three ingredients: organic popcorn,  organic olive oil, sea salt. That’s it. Generally, the less ingredients something has, the better. This is a great option to substitute for chips. It has less calories than chips do, tastes great, and adds some fiber to the day.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking exactly this “This is great, but what do I drink? I see lots of good food ideas here, but I need to drink something!!!!” Yes, you do need to drink something. First, calm down. That is one too many exclamation marks in your thought. Second, way ahead of you. My answer, to you, reader, is drink water. Drink it all the time. It’s great for a bunch of reasons that I will dedicate a whole post to in the future. For now, I’ll give you a slightly more exciting option that I found at Trader Joe’s. Green tea with a tad of blueberry and pomegranate. It has no added sugar or coloring. BAM! I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself. What a good suggestion that was. That one I just made.

These are a few of my favorite things. Hmm, that sounded good. I should make them lyrics in a song. I bet it will be a hit… But seriously folks, these are just a few ideas of how to incorporate a cleaner diet into your life, or, at the very least, give you a few options to take more control of your nutrition.

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I’m not fat so I don’t have to watch what I eat

I don’t mean to be insensitive to weight issues people have. However, I want to address this idea that if you don’t see yourself as being overweight, that you have a free pass to overlook the contents of the food that you eat. Yes, people who are overweight have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease and many other horrible diseases. I’m not here to say who is or isn’t overweight. I’m not in the business of figuring out what body mass percentage puts someone in an “obese” category and not another person. As far as the weight issue, for now, I will leave it up to you. You know if you are carrying around some extra pounds than you should. You know if you don’t quite have the energy you used to, or if you feel less physically able to do the things you used to do when you were leaner. That part is on you, to decide when a change needs to be made.

What about the people who look in the mirror and don’t seen an overweight person? What if you are more active than most people, but figure you don’t have to watch your diet as close enough because you will “burn it off later”? I know people who think that because they don’t feel overweight, they don’t have to watch what they eat.

It is very easy to think that since you don’t struggle with weight, nutrition doesn’t require any special attention. I am here to explain that that is an excuse. Nutrition is important for everyone. It is entirely possible to have the genetics that don’t make you look quite as fluffy, but still have arteries in your heart that are getting slowly but surely clogged up. It’s entirely possible to not be overweight and still develop type II diabetes. You are kidding yourself if you think that diet should not be a major priority in your life. Your quality of life as well as dependence on medication can be greatly affected by how you fuel your body, regardless of whether or not you have a weight problem.

No matter the shape of your body, there are always life and health benefits from making good food choices.

Nutrition affects everyone. For some, it is more of a serious issue that needs to be dealt with more suddenly than others. However, it would be ignorant to think that nutrition is somehow less important to you if you don’t fall in that category. Nutrition is important, always.

Okay Isaac, I’m convinced! Stop yelling at me!

Ha, okay okay, mythical person speaking to me, I hear you. I will be posting practical ideas of how to slowly adjust your diet. I will post pictures and ideas of what to eat and how. I will be doing that over time. For now, I just want to show the world how passionate I am about this. THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE. Whether you choose to accept the responsibility of your nutritional choices is on you. If you are, however, interested in making changes, the readers of this blog as well as myself will help out.

Let’s.Do.This

P.S

Luckily, I was raised in a house that stressed the importance of a well balanced meal. Whenever possible, our plates always had vegetables and fruits on them, no matter what else was being served. The importance of a well balanced diet stayed with me. As an example, I have always enjoyed a whole grain cereal with chopped up fruits more than a sugary cereal. This is because I have been trained to take into account taste as well as how I feel after eating food. Also, meals to me don’t feel complete without fruits and vegetables. I am greatly appreciative of my family for instilling these nutritional values in me and look forward to sharing them with those who would like to listen.

I don’t mean to, in any way, make it look like I think I eat the perfect diet. I don’t. I am constantly learning about foods and how to incorporate better ones into my diet. I am on this journey just like everyone else.

What about you?

Please comment and share the type of nutritional or diet values your family has raised you with and how that has affected how you eat today. It is very interesting to share this information with each other and greatly enhances the cycle of information and inspiration on our journey.

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