Whenever I speak with my adult female friends on nutrition, I often hear them speak about wanting to "get back to eating clean." When I ask them what does that mean or look like for them, it is often "oh, super super healthy and I do everything perfect."
Honestly, that immediately sounds stressful to me! If you've been reading most of my blogs, you'll start seeing the pattern of how I talk about things: first mentality, then lifestyle change. The problem with starting off on a kick of strict "clean eating," is that this means DIET. It means that you will go on it and then eventually, you will go off it. This is an exhausting yo-yo that tends to never lead to lasting change. The second problem with this idea is that as soon as you break your perfect clean eating streak with one yummy muffin from Starbucks, it is too easy to decide to scratch the whole operation and "go back" to eating the way you would rather... which mostly means you would rather not feel under stress about your choices!
Lasting change does not come out of binging... on carrots or on chocolate. Just like you cant expect to stop biting your nails in just a few days, you can't expect actual life long change and balance from "clean eating" for a few days or weeks. The change has to come gradually, and you need to achieve milestones that you can actually commit too. Can you commit to drinking a glass of water each morning when you wake up? Great, add that to your routine. Do you want to include a vegetarian meal one time a week? Perfect, make that a goal and it starts becoming second nature.
And who is rewarded when we decide we are the worst person on earth for eating a cookie? Do you really want to live in a "clean eating" world where you have banned yourself from some of your occasional sweets for life? I sure don't. And the more you punnish yourself for it, the more you go for your 3rd, 4th, and 5th cookie... in secret... in your closet when you get home. Stop living in shame! By allowing yourself to have that craving you wanted, you don't have to go into binge mode because you are fearful that it's the last time you will never allow yourself to have it! And in time, your craving for those sweets become less and less. Its the law of attraction: when you allow yourself to have something, it becomes less attractive to you.
I'm sure there are quite a few people who have stopped reading by now. They wanted me to tell them the quick fixes towards balancing their life and nutrition. They wanted to hear all the fast lane gimmicks that help them get to "clean eating" the quickest way possible. That's not what I'm telling or teaching. But I am excited to write about steps towards life long change that can really help people. If you're still reading, then I know that's what you are searching for too. Moderation is everything, and I'm excited to write a series on this very subject. I want to help others improve their lives, so I hope you enjoy everything in the nutrition section moving forward!