Monday, March 16, 2015

QnA: "Where Do I Even Begin?!"

I sent out a quick message on my Facebook page over the weekend about my "Ask Kate" QnA form. I enjoyed reading the Qs I received! Here is a great Q to kickoff this series

"I really want to live a healthy lifestyle, but it just seems so overwhelming.  I read and hear so many different headlines and they never seem to say the same thing.  I'm really not even sure where to begin, so I try to be healthy, sometimes I start the week off really well...but then just fall into my old routine.  Do you have any suggestions for a beginner?"


Dear Anonymous,

Isn't this the truth?! You are absolutely not alone.  Sorting through the media is extremely confusing, especially when they can make such convincing arguments by skewing data and appealing to our emotions rather than the facts & how our bodies were designed to work.

The other confusing piece of this puzzle is that feeling that you have to be perfect right from the beginning...not the case!  In fact, prioritize a few changes each week to prevent your overwhelm.  Be happy about your small successes because over time, they will add up! (i.e. Choosing the salad side instead of the fries,  picking the oil & vinegar instead of bottled dressing, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, having a bowl of berries & plain greek yogurt for dessert instead of the ice cream).  So what should you change first?

There would be two things I would do to begin.

#1: Pay attention to how you feel when you eat.  Keep a food journal.  I'm not necessarily recommending the calorie counting apps on your tech device...sometimes those cause more harm than good.  I don't want obsession.  I'm talking a food journal where you write what you eat and then how you felt afterwards (bloated, tired, still hungry, satisfied, great, etc).  You may start to find patterns between what you eat and how you feel.  It can be very powerful to see it written right in front of you.

#2: Start to pay attention to added sugars and avoid harmful chemicals, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, GMOs, MSGs, etc.  What does this mean?  Essentially, cut out the processed foods and eat whole, real foods.  Instead of putting Splenda in your coffee, use real sugar or honey (or potentially nothing!) and skip the flavored coffee creamers (use full fat coconut milk or almond milk).  Try to steer clear of meals out of a box with lots of added preservatives.  Choose good quality meats without the added hormones.  These may be more expensive at first, but you'll find they are more satisfying and leave you buying less "fillers" to keep snacking throughout the day. Do not use hydrogenated oils!!! (Margarine, Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, Soybean Oil).  Choose grass-fed butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Red Palm Oil. Avoid picking the low-fat and fat-free option (this can be a very hard habit to break!).

Stop and ask yourself, does this look and smell like something that is going to nourish my body?  Does this seem natural?  If it doesn't look like real food to you, it's really not going to look like real food to your body.  An example that strikes me here are my days of eating Kraft Mac & Cheese...powdered cheese. Hmmm.

Just one final comment that was recently stated by one of my nutrition instructors of my NTC program..."Removing something from the diet is more powerful (most of the time) than adding something.  Supplements rarely make up for all the damage we do to ourselves.  I call this Addition by Subtraction."  Many people want a quick fix, a pill, a supplement to get their body to respond the way they want, but the truth is that real, whole foods that a much more healing effect on the body.  Do not be tempted by all of the hoopla about this diet pill and that slimming tea...those are not the solution to your health problem!

I hope this gives you a place to start! And I hope you'll visit my blog & ask another Q soon!  Best of luck...your desire to change is putting you on the path to health! <3


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