You have probably heard, read, had it stuffed down your throat and been told a bunch of confusing things about food that is bad for you and food that is good for you. It makes it so difficult for us to not only get healthy, but also stay that way because we are so confused about nutrition and our bodies. We spend so much time listening to marketing that we avoid paying attention healthy nutrition (instead of calories) and what our body is telling us in the form of physical and even emotional symptoms.
Marketing mumbo-jumbo looks and sounds a little like this:
Milk is bad for you, so you should switch to soy, almond or hemp milk. But wait! Soy is no longer good for you, almond milk makes you fat and hemp milk tastes like rope. That was yesterday, and today soy and milk are both good for you again, but only if they are organic and made in a plant that has been blessed by the Pope.
Gluten makes you fat, sick and tired. If it says gluten free, it must be healthy. Which is totally bullshit because putting a gluten free marketing sticker on packaging doesn’t make it healthy.
Corn is now the new wheat and should be avoided like the plague.
Meat causes cancer, arthritis, migraines and gout and if you take meat away and eat an unhealthy diet that is full of processed sugars and meat-like products made in a laboratory, you are on your way to good health. Come on!
Let’s not forget…
Eating too much fruit causes candida.
Chips and chocolate are the devil.
If you eat cabbage soup for an entire month, you will lose 65 pounds.
Drinking protein shakes, and only eat one solid meal a day will solve all your cravings.
The confusion goes on and on and on and on.
Contagiously Positive Mini Life Bite
Your body needs nutrients, not calories
You are probably reading this thinking, that all sounds so ridiculous. We don’t listen to that, do we? You may not realize it, but yes, we actually do. When we are feeling fed up, confused, sick, tired, and just want to finally “fix” what ails us, we not only listen, we actually do it. This is totally normal when we get to the point of enough is enough. However, this is not the way to good health or happiness. So many diets and fads fail because they are not based on proper nutrition. They are based on eliminating and lack. We feel like we are missing out on all the goodies and we cannot sustain it. Or, we eat something that has been dubbed, bad for you, and we fall down the rabbit hole of guilt.
My Contagiously Positive Girl Advice
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I eat healthy, but I also indulge (guilt-free) in treating myself my favorite foods that wouldn’t be good for me if I were eating them every day, but the random treat is not going to cause me any harm. When I first started my health journey, I was right where you are and gave up everything that was deemed “bad” for me. It wasn’t too long in that I realized that I had to stop depriving myself and instead create healthy habits that worked for me, my body, and for my health and happiness. This was the motivation behind creating the Contagiously Positive Girls Healthy Living Program. I wanted to teach how to have a healthy lifestyle, not just a fad diet. Here are a few tips from Contagiously Positive Healthy Living to get you through all of the confusion.
First of all, learn how to cook. If you eat real, made from Mother Nature food and learn how to make delicious meals more than you eat take-out, and processed foods, you will be so much healthier and happier. You don’t have to be a gourmet cook either. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or have expensive exotic ingredients.
As much as you can, avoid foods that have a longer shelf life than you do. This includes fast food restaurants. If you want to treat yourself, do it, but don’t make it a regular part of your diet. A treat can no longer be considered a treat if it is eaten three times a day, every single day.
Listen to your body. It will always tell you what’s up. If you eat something and it makes you feel tired, nauseas, sick, gives you a rash, or you experience stomach upsets, that is a sign that you might not want to eat or drink that specific food. Your body will never lie to you. If you can pay attention to the signs (symptoms), you will be able to avoid a lot of unwanted discomfort, which will make you feel healthier and happier.
Most importantly, be mindful. Be mindful of what you are eating and how much you are eating it. If every month you are feeling like you need a full body detox, you may not be being mindful of what you are eating. If you have pasta for lunch, keep the portions smaller and don’t eat it for dinner. If you want a bowl of chips, have the chips, just don’t eat the entire bag. If you want to have a glass of wine, have the wine, but be mindful of how much you are drinking. If you love chocolate, have the chocolate, but be mindful of how much you are eating and eat one small square instead of the whole bar. When you have a treat, enjoy it, savor it and love every bite. You never have to deprive yourself of things you love when you are being mindful.
Being mindful is required in all areas of our lives.
Being mindful of what you eat and how much will keep you on the path of good health.
Being mindful of how long you work will prevent you from burning out.
Being mindful of how much money you are spending will prevent you from being financially stressed and maxed out.
Being mindful of how much you exercise will keep your body and mind strong, healthy and vibrant.
Being mindful of how much you sleep will make you less irritable.
Being mindful will help you unleash your inner Contagiously Positive girl, becoming the happiest and healthiest person you know.
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl