When people ask me how I am so healthy, the first thing I say is that I am not strictly healthy 100% of the time. Yes, I do eat a lot of good food, but 20% of the time I don’t. I eat chocolate almost every day. I drink socially. I eat dessert at dinner parties. But I do all of this in moderation. I only have a couple of squares of (very dark) chocolate. I don’t drink to excess and I try to stick to less sugary drinks. I treat myself when people make an effort to cook for me. I love eating, it’s such a great part of life. The moment you start to deny yourself foods you love is the second you start to crave those exact foods and sooner or later you will get sick of using willpower to stop yourself. It’s exhausting, trust me I’ve tried it. Let yourself off the hook, but learn to treat yourself in moderation.
This one is sooooo important. You know the feeling, you get home from a 12 hour work day and the last thing you want to do is spend 10 minutes cutting up vegetables, then wait 45 minutes until they are cooked. So my hot tip is – twice a week spend an hour or so preparing food for the next 3 days. Every sunday I try to visit the local market, I cut up a ridiculous amount of vegetables and I bake them. Then I use these in frittatas, salads, soups, wraps, etc, for the next few days. For protein, I make up a big batch of hummus, or cook extra chicken or whatever I am making for that sunday meal. Another great thing to pre-prepare is snacks, such as bliss balls or raw brownies to stop myself snacking on processed sugar during the week. Make it a habit you enjoy, put on some music, do it in your underwear, whatever floats your boat.
3. Befriend your freezer
This one is linked to preparation, but every time you make a meal, make extra and freeze it for a time when you haven’t got anything prepared and you can’t be bothered to make something. Trust me, these times always creep up and it’s so nice to be able to reheat something you have home made.
Substitute your favourite processed, refined sugar-filled foods with home made alternatives with natural sugars. For example, swap your chocolate bar for home made dark chocolate like this one on our website, swap battered and fried fish and chips for our marinated trout recipe or swap store bought chocolate milk for this chocolate and hazelnut version! There are always better alternatives and often they are even tastier!
5. Figure out your triggers
Most people when trying to get healthy have people, places or situations that trigger them to eat unhealthy. Whether it’s overeating with friends, or eating sugar when you’re alone, try to figure out where/when/whom are your triggers and just for the first few months, try to avoid them as much as possible. After a couple of months, you’ll be so used to eating healthier, it shouldn’t be such an issue.
6. Stop, breath and leave
When you do get the urge to eat something naughty (and you think you’re over your 20% leeway), the best advice I can give you is to stop, think about your goa, take 3 deep breaths with your eyes closed and leave the scene. Do something else. Have a glass of water instead, go for a walk, call a friend. Do something that takes you away from whatever is triggering you.
7. Forgive and forget
This one can be difficult, but I think it is the most important. If you slip up and you eat more crap than you would have liked, then please don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t let yourself sink into feeling guilty or like you have failed in some way. This is a dangerous road, trust me. The best advice I have been given is to use your sense of humour instead. Notice your thoughts and actions and try to laugh at how ridiculous it is instead. How silly are we?! Humans have such an enormous intellectual capacity, yet we can’t even stop ourselves from putting something in our mouth! Whatttt?!!
Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie
- ½ cup hazelnut milk (see previous post or substitute almond milk, coconut milk, cows milk or any milk your heart desires)
- 2 tablespoons cacao
- 1 frozen banana
- 3 dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 raw eggs (protein/fat source to balance the sugars)
Vegan alternative to egg: chuck in the flesh of a coconut (1 whole young or 1/4 of a mature coconut) or a handful of nuts (preferably soaked overnight)
- Put all ingredients into blender and…blend! :)