Yep, it’s that time of the year – the NEW year (or at least it was the “new year” at the time of this writing!) I’m not a fan of “new year resolutions” for various reasons. Absolutely you need to have goals, but perhaps it is more effective to revisit those goals and the actions you are taking on a regular basis and not just at the end of the year! But new year resolutions are NOT what this post is about. But it is about what may be holding you back from accomplishing your wellness goals (whether you want to call them “resolutions” or not!)
Take an honest look at how you are feeling – both mentally and physically. Think of all the things you are happy with about yourself – and keep doing those things that bring you the happiness and feeling of wellness! It is important to celebrate the great things you DO have and are doing; and not just think about what you don’t have. It’s easy to get into the self-discussion of “I want” or “I need”…but what if you started your thinking with “I have”? Try it and see how that may help to shift your thinking! The power of positivity continues to amaze me!
But if you do struggle with things like weight, energy, allergies, inflammation, digestion, or skin problems, then maybe it’s time to take a hard look at what’s on your food plate. What’s holding you back to make the lasting changes you need to improve your health and to feel good inside and out?
I’m pretty sure that most people know that diets don’t work – I don’t think anyone who has ever tried a “diet” could dispute that. Yet we see these fad diets pop up all the time – you know what I’m talking about! Sure, they may offer some quick wins. But long term, most dieters gain back all the weight they may have lost and then some; and are plagued with other side effects, and the emotional baggage that yo-yo dieting brings. I cringe every time I hear someone doing the “keto diet” or the “paleo diet” – and I get continual reinforcement of just how powerful (and often misinforming!) the media is! Many fad diets can give short term results that seem to be positive, but the long term effects may be devastating. We live in a world where “instant gratification” is an expectation, despite the potential long-term effects.
Let’s face it…there is more than enough proof that shows how a plant-based, whole-foods eating lifestyle can change your life and even reverse diseases like diabetes and heart disease. And if you don’t know that, then perhaps you aren’t looking in the right places for answers; or I hate to say it – perhaps you aren’t open to considering that the lifestyle you’ve embraced for however many years, may actually not be the best. I can say this because I’ve been there! “Healthy eating” has so many interpretations and it took me over 40 years to truly learn what that means!
You know veggies are good for you, so why does it seem to be so difficult to embrace a plant-based, whole-foods lifestyle? No gimmicks, no “quick wins”, and most important, no side effects or bad consequences as a result of some of these other body-altering fads. So what is holding you back?
I want to share three perceptions that may be preventing you from achieving your wellness goals and experiencing greater health.
First, let’s talk about taste and variety. Getting past the perception that a plant-based diet will consist of only celery sticks and hummus can open MANY opportunities for great variety and amazing flavors. There are so many delicious and EASY plant-based options that can ensure your meals aren’t boring OR lacking flavor. Look for resources online, in person, or in print that can help you to learn. Please trust me when I say that it isn’t hard, but it does take some learning! Check out my online educational videos on the website for some quick tutorials and demos! Find what motivates you to learn. For me personally, the book by Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Diet, was a life-changer for me. Some folks tell me that some powerful documentaries like “What the Health” and “Forks Over Knives” have changed their lives. Whatever it takes – get educated!
Next, let’s be realistic about the time it takes to create plant-based meals. There is a perception that eating plant-based is going to require much more time in the kitchen each day. It doesn’t need to take more than 30 minutes to make an exceptional plant-based meal. Proper planning; equipment like a food processor; or even the convenience of pre-cut veggies available at many supermarkets can cut your time in the kitchen. There are also some excellent plant-based fresh meal delivery services out there if you really don’t want to be in the kitchen! Try the TB12 Performance meals by Purple Carrot – they give you recipes and the ingredients so that you can learn to cook plant based. You will be amazed by how simple the ingredients are and how easy it is! You can keep the recipes and make them again and again – you just have to purchase the ingredients. Another favorite of mine is the local Chip and Kale – they have everything already chopped/prepared for you and all you need to do is assemble and cook! Super easy! And if you are really pressed for time, try VEESTRO – I always keep some frozen meals on hand for times when cooking just won’t be an option.
Finally, it is necessary to understand that YES, you can get more than enough protein and calcium from a plant-based diet. The media just don’t want us to know that! The reality is that about 97% of Americans are deficient in FIBER (which is essential for digestion and weight loss) and only 3% are deficient in protein. Our daily requirements for protein, calcium, and fiber can easily be met with a plant-based lifestyle.
Consider your perceptions – are they reality? What’s on your food plate? Are your food choices helping you to achieve optimal health? Change can be difficult, but the consequences of NOT changing can be much MUCH worse.
Enjoy the journey – it is worth the ride!