How does one define good nutrition? All too often nutrition is not defined, rather it can more accurately be described as confined. If you have been on any form of social media or even in the gym, you have probably heard of or practiced this so-called “confined” nutrition. The truth of the matter is good nutrition is not limited. At the end of the day, you should not feel like you have missed out because of any restriction that you or someone else has placed on you. Getting adequate nutrition should not take up all of your time and energy, nor should it be placed inside of a box. That’s right, I’m calling you out. I am calling out any of you, man/woman/child/teenager/adult who have practiced a restrictive diet that left you feeling guilty at the end of the day or has left you feeling like you need to have a “cheat” day or meal. I often hear the word “cheat” when counseling clients for weight loss or even weight management. What does “cheat” mean? From what I have gathered based on talking to numerous people, “cheat” means having something that you normally do not allow yourself to have. Everyone is different, so for some all of the calories that you did not consume during the week due to restricting- you may add back into your diet on your “cheat” day because you left yourself feeling so deprived that you splurged. For others, you may allow yourself to have a meal that you would not consider to be up to par in your weekly meal plan. Today, I hope with reading this blog you find that you can think outside of the box and allow yourself to have the freedom to fit in some of your favorite items. (See one of my favorite recipes below.)
As simple as it may sound, a good start is making sure that you are not skipping meals. When we skip meals, we tend to not make the best decisions at our next meal and can also feel sluggish. When eating snacks, make sure that you are mindful of how much you are eating by measuring out portions ahead of time- because let’s face it, who wants to deal with that when you are on the verge of starring in your very own Snickers commercial. Another simple sounding, but not necessarily easy change is to aim for 3-4 food groups per meal. Use snacks as not only a way to fight off being hangry, but also as a chance to get in some of those food groups that you may not always include such as: dairy, fruit or vegetables.
In regards to health, one could say it is a multifaceted topic. By this I mean that there are numerous areas to consider when trying to achieve optimum nutrition. This means prioritizing your health. Being a person that thrives off of helping others and someone who truly wants to put others first, I can relate to not always prioritizing myself. As the old adage goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. I question if truer words have ever been spoken. You see, if you really care about helping others, doing a good job at work, and being the best person you can be- you will also realize that you are a priority. This means getting adequate sleep at night (still working on that one), eating an adequate diet, fitting in physical activity, and last but not least- taking care of your mental/emotional health.
Today I challenge you to think outside of the box, enjoy your food, and stake your claim- your independence from letting food control you and feeling limited.
Don’t forget to check out the recipe below and feel free to share one of your favorite popsicle recipes with us! We love to hear from you!
Lauren’s Popsicle Recipe
I know what you are thinking, creative title – I know! This recipe will make 4- 4 oz containers. I personally used Ninja Turtle Tupperware because- why not?
Step 1. Blend the following ingredients until smooth.
½ tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp ground flax and chia seeds
1 ½ cup frozen blueberries
1 cup unsweet vanilla silk
Step 2. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds or container of choice.
Step 3. Freeze for about 1 ½-2 hours.
Step 4. Enjoy and go post your favorite popsicle recipe to share with us!