To say that I have had to adjust to having food allergies is an understatement. My first feelings were of total panic and being upset about what I couldn’t eat. “No more pizza? What about pasta? Ice cream is a no-no?” And then I became obsessed with specific foods that I could eat, buying every item in the store that said “gluten free.” Now I am finding a happy medium between what my body needs and what I can eat. It has definitely been a journey, and after 9 months down the road, I finally feel comfortable. Actually, the first day I found out about my allergies, my father said to me “Lauren, this is going to take time. It will probably take you 9-12 months to figure it out. But you will.”
In the past few months when I have really figured out what to eat to feed my body what it needs, my body has responded. I have energy, I enjoy working out, I feel great… really great. And I have lost weight! Instead of dieting, I have changed my lifestyle to feed my body what it needs. And it has apparently said “thank you.” Even my doctor told me that I look different than I did 6 months ago.
I have come to truly understand that eating should be about feeding your body what it needs and not what it wants (that is your mind talking and not your body). So here are my top healthy living tips:
- Veggies fill you up and can be delicious. I never used to believe this until I discovered the power of the spice drawer. My spice drawer is like my third arm in the kitchen. Spice up those veggies with flavor!
- Go for full/low fat and real sugar instead of artificial counterparts. My body doesn’t need toxins, so why would I eat fat free cheese that is obviously made out of chemicals? Go for the real stuff! You will feel more satisfied and will eat less.
- Focus on adding good fats to your diet (avocados, nuts) in moderation. If you don’t feed your body the fat that it needs, it will hold onto its current storage because it thinks you are starving.
- Eat breakfast. There have been so many studies that show that people who eat breakfast have more energy and lose weight quicker. Your body needs fuel to get going for the day!
- Eat treats when you really want them. It’s ok to indulge sometimes; it will put your stomach and your mind at rest instead of thinking for days about that cookie you really want.
- Get on the exercise train. Once you find something you love, stick with it and you will get into a routine of actually wanting to exercise. I actually get angry now when I can’t get to Zumba each week!
- Watch how many processed carbs you eat. I never realized how many carbs I ate, and thus craved, until I cut most of them out. I believe that wheat is over-processed in our society and is the culprit of so many health issues. My body basically yelled at me for eating so many processed carbs by developing allergies. Instead, opt for fruit, veggies, quinoa, edamame, rice as carb fillers.
- Believe you can do it. It really is mind over matter. I have simply told myself that I CANNOT eat wheat and dairy, so I don’t… and haven’t looked back.