Stay Motivated to Make Healthy Food Choices
Four Ways to Keep On Track
A common question many people ask me is how I stay motivated to eat healthy and take care of myself. This is a great question and I’m going to share some insight with you that I hope motivates you to do the same.
It’s a priority: My husband Walker and I make healthy eating and staying active a priority. I have the past to compare to because when I haven’t been eating well I can relate it directly to how I was feeling, which was not very joyous. More specifically, I suffered from many digestive problems, which led to anxiety, hormonal imbalance and more. So in simplest terms, I know what I don’t want (feeling/looking crappy) and I know what I do want – to feel and look joyous!
Those days when I might feel too tired to roll out my yoga mat, instead of agreeing with me, Walker will often encourage me by reminding me how great I feel when I’m active. If you have a partner, be supportive of each other’s health goals. When you have someone to be accountable to, this will help on those days you need a little extra push.
Make a joyous choice: Every thought you think and every morsel you eat boils down to one thing – choice. No one is forcing you to drink so much beer you can’t recall last night’s events or indulge in a nighttime ice cream binge.
This is a very powerful tool you have – the ability to choose. These thoughts and these bites are energy for the pendulum. This pendulum moves in 2 directions – towards health and towards disease. What will you choose?
Focus on how you feel, not how you look: Our society is focused on looks and appearances so much so that we go to great lengths to improve our appearance, sometimes even at the cost of the health of our body.
When you change your mindset to focus on how you feel instead of how you look, you will find you naturally feel better about your appearance and your mental outlook will be drastically improved. Remember that good looks are a side effect of good health.
Cook your own food: When you make meals at home more often than you eat out, you will naturally make better food choices. Studies show that those who cook their own food eat more “whole” foods.
Make a promise to yourself to make healthy meals at home six out of the seven days of the week. If you eat out every day, this is going to be a healthy challenge for you so stock up on some delicious and nutritious recipes. Go online for my Chopped Kale and Beet Salad recipe.
Chopped Kale & Beet Salad
Walker and I make this salad at least a couple times per month because it’s crunchy, filling and flavourful. Plus it’s bursting with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients. The two main ingredients are kale and beets. As a nutritionist, I always love to share the health benefits of the ingredients, so here goes:
- Cancer prevention. Once kale is eaten and digested, plant medicines called glucosinolates can be converted to cancer-preventive compounds. Cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate have all decreased in relationship to the intake of kale.
- Anti-inflammatory action. Kale is a source of both omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA and vitamin K. Both of these nutrients provide kale with an exceptional ability to lower chronic inflammation associated with many diseases from cancer to heart disease.
- Antioxidants protection. Kale packs an antioxidant punch with carotenoids (mainly lutein and beta-carotene) and flavonoids (over 45 different ones) that protect our cells from damage due to oxidative stress.
- Detoxification support. The rich red colour of beets is an indication of two phytonutrients called betanin and vulgaxanthin. These nutrients provide phase 2 liver detoxification support. When the body is better able to eliminate toxins and chemicals, this balances hormones and cholesterol levels.
- Anti-inflammatory action. These same nutrients help to reduce inflammation inhibiting the activity of cyclo-oxygenase enzymes (including both COX-1 and COX-2). The COX enzymes are widely used by cells to produce messaging molecules that trigger inflammation. In most cases the body is undergoing unwanted inflammation and dampening this process is a good thing.
- Digestive health. Beets contain a unique type of fibre (just like carrots) called pectin polysaccharides, or more simply stated “beet fibre”. Regular consumption of this type of fibre may be beneficial for the prevention of colon cancer.
4 medium uncooked beets, grated (2 cups grated beets)
2 bunches kale, washed and ripped away from stems into bite size pieces and then finely chopped.
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
6 medjool dates, chopped (remove the pit)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, to taste
2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Chop, chop, and chop the kale. The secret to kale not tasting like tree bark is by chopping it or massaging it. This helps to break down the tough fibrous parts of the kale.
In a large bowl, combine the kale, beets, pumpkin seeds and dates.
Whisk dressing ingredients together. Pour over top of salad and enjoy! Give it a little taste and add more dressing if you feel it needs it.