GUEST POST BY MARTA BLADES, HOLISTIC HEALTH COUNSELLOR
On the journey to feeling our best, I’m sure we’ve all had our struggles. Personally, I know this path all too well. After a decade of battling my own weight and seeking health, I found the plant-based lifestyle which transformed my body and my life for the better. Now, I’m a certified Holistic Health Counsellor and new mom navigating my way to my best self. In today’s guest post on the Showcasing the Success Journey blog, I’m sharing a few concepts that truly made the difference in my experience. I hope that they’ll help you on your way as well.
My first tip is a concept from my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition: to ‘crowd out’ bad foods. Nobody needs to tell us to eat more fruits and vegetables… we are well aware. The challenge is in making small, incremental changes that are realistic and practical in our already busy lives. The concept of ‘crowding out’ encourages adding in fruits, veggies, whole grains and beneficial plant fats instead of focusing on eliminating bad foods. The focus is eating our favourite ‘good’ foods in abundance. By adding whole plant foods into our lives over time, the body begins to crave the goodness that comes with whole plant foods: nourishing vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Second tip. I also truly believe that there’s much more to our wellbeing than our food choices. We must assess our ‘Primary Foods’ (what nourishes and sustains us aside from food). Do you remember playing outside as a child and trying your best to avoid coming in for dinner for just a few minutes more? Or perhaps when you first fell in love, or were working on a project you were truly passionate about and the last thing on your mind was food? These simple examples illustrate that there is more that nourishes us than simply what we ingest. Career fulfilment, positive relationships with others, community, physical contact, exercise and spiritual practice are all considered Primary Foods. What’s out of balance for you?
My next tip is to cook at home. Nothing compares to home-cooked meals made with simple, fresh and whole ingredients. Forming the habit may be a challenge at first, but the benefits of seeing yourself and your loved ones more vibrant and healthful is truly worthwhile. Home-cooked food need not take hours- searching ‘quick, plant based meals’ yields millions of results! Cooking at home will help you avoid added sugars, salts, fats or harmful chemicals found in many processed, restaurant and fast food products.
Finally, listen to your body. For example, if you feel yourself starting to get a cold, give your system what it needs to repair itself (rest, hydration, self-care etc.). Additionally, try hot water over grated ginger root (best to store and grate frozen). Add fresh-squeezed lemon juice plus honey or maple syrup to taste. Remember that our bodies are capable of incredible things if we simply provide the building blocks.
Curious to learn more about my personal weight-loss, wellness and motherhood adventures? Check out my channel at https://www.youtube.com/bombshellhealth
Cheers to becoming our best selves 🙂