If you hadn’t noticed already, I’m pretty big on my healthy food and lifestyle – most of my Instagram snaps are of porridge, I have weekly food posts including some yummy recipes, and I’ve started posting healthy living tips and recipes of me actually making my favourite food on my YouTube channel all to inspire people to accessible healthy living.
Of course, it’s a journey and process when changing your life around, especially when it comes to cutting out your favourite foods in favour of other alternatives, so with an updated version of this post I’m going to make your journey to a healthier lifestyle easy peasy breezy with a bit of lemon squeezy!
Start with small changes and alternative foods for prolonged success
Most of us have the desire for quick turnaround and success in a short-period of time (I am one of those people) but when it comes to a big overhaul in your life, slow and steady always wins the race. It can be hard and you’ll be wondering why nothing isn’t noticeably changing, but I promise you, from the minute you decide to commit you’ll feel a change.
By switching to healthier versions of your favourite foods, your digestion will improve, you’ll find more nutrients to absorb, and you’ll also notice over time your skin clearing up, any headaches you used to experience diminishing, and also a bit more energy in your body to get you started in the morning.
You’ll also notice that by swapping to alternatives and not cutting out entire food groups will make this journey a lot easier, as you’ll still be technically eat the same until you become accustomed to rye bread over white, dark chocolate over Galaxy or even almond milk in your porridge – from there you can start to phase out certain foods, for example I don’t have dairy anymore unless I really feel like it (generally when it’s ice-cream or birthdays when you can treat yourself), nor do I have a lot of wheat or gluten. Admittedly at first this was because both were seen as bad for the bloat and body but now I really don’t crave having bread or flour based things, but of course, on those special occasions I love some butter and bread (however I do pay for it the next day as my stomach is like WHAT IS THIS?!)
In short, switch around those foods to healthier alternatives until you can phase out some all together, and you’ll be on the way to long-term happy health!
What do you really crave?
Dying for a bar of milk chocolate or a big cheesy pizza? I know, I’ve felt it, but is it really what you want? Now I’m not saying it like Amy does to Joey on Friends when he eats the pizza – ‘a moment on the lips forever on the hips’ please, stop – I mean it more in terms of whether you’re craving sugar, carbs, or if it’s just a trigger due to how often you used to eat something.
When I first cut out chocolate, my brain was constantly telling me that I needed it but most of the time I ate it because it was there and now I had nothing to fill the whole or repress the need for sweet milky goodness. Over time this does fade but snacking on a square of dark chocolate or some almonds – even porridge if you’re super hungry and need a sweet kick – will help to phase out the mental side of wanting certain foods and make the switch easier. If you want carbs, try houmous with some carrots or whip up some Sweet Potato chips, or if salty crisps are your weakness go for some olives with a meal just to balance out the craving – of course, top yourself with water as you don’t want a sodium deficiency!
Thou shalt not count calories
For years we were told that calorie counting was the way forward, to only eat X amount for break lunch and dinner to lose or maintain weight, and that anything over the daily amount was bad. Now from experience I’ve eaten under the RDA and probably well over, but now I don’t care for calorie counting as I find it more repressive and restrictive than cutting out a food group. It’s way more important that you’re getting a balanced diet, filled with essential nutrients that give your body a source of vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates to function properly than deciphering whether you’re ‘allowed’ to eat it because someone once said you can’t have a 600 calorie meal for dinner and be happy – eat balanced, eat in moderation, eat clean, and eat happy!
Food is fuel!
I always jabber on about using food as fuel, but it’s true – your body is a living, working machine and how you fuel it makes all the difference. Eating to enhance the performance of your digestion, brain activity, energy levels and even your joints relies heavily on what you consume on a regular basis, so think about what you can do to improve or even enhance the meals you’re already making. Maybe you can add in more sources of protein from grains if you’re needing to feel fuller longer, or maybe that sluggish feeling you can’t kick needs the help of some peppermint tea and a few days without wheat to give your digestion a break – find the foods that will make your performance shoot off the charts and leave you feeling like a new person.
Clean eating and the 80/20 rule
This links in well with using food as fuel, as clean eating has been a big movement in the rise of healthy eating over the past few years and although some might not agree with it, I’ve found that clean eating works perfectly fine – of course each to their own, you have to eat how your body needs to be fed! Clean eating and 80/20 work together as 80% of the time you’re eating clean foods such as your vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins, and then 20% of the time you’re allowing yourself a nice little treat or indulgence, which for me might be a flan or maybe some dark chocolate, but it’s important to let yourself ‘chill’ with foods regularly otherwise you become a wee bit crazy – remember, moderation, moderation, moderation.
If it’s not there, you can’t eat it!
The easiest way to cut out foods you want to avoid is by removing them from your sight – now I personally found this worked for me, so when I used to go on the hunt for chocolate and we hadn’t bought any on our weekly shop, I’d instead eat some grapes or have some tea instead. Torture, somewhat, but you’ll be less inclined to snack or fulfil the craving if you haven’t anything to feed it with.
Eat seasonally when you can
Seasonal eating might not seem practical when you want strawberries in Winter, however it is a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly! To import foods out of season from across the globe costs some serious dollar, which is why in the winter certain fruits are more expensive than they are May-September, so if you can then try to pick your fruits, vegetables and grains seasonally to make your weekly shop cheaper plus have longer lasting fresh produce!
Chug chug chug
And by chug I mean get drinking that water! We are over 60% water so keep your hydration levels up by drinking 8 glasses of water a day, plus herbal tea has be known to fill you up quickly and the various flavours qualm a range of food cravings. Keep a big bottle of water with you and keep on sipping for clearer skin, better digestion, and better energy levels!
Hopefully this has given you a head start on shifting towards a healthier lifestyle, however if you do need more tips or recipe ideas then check out the playlist below of some of my food and healthy living videos from my channel (make sure you subscribe by the way, so much quality content). Don’t forget to leave some questions or types of posts you’d like to see on the blog or filmed, I’m always listening to your ideas and anything to get me in the kitchen is good for me 😉 Told you it would be easy peasy…..
Do you balance a healthy lifestyle easily? What kinds of food and health posts would you like to see? Do you find healthy and clean eating habits accessible?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.