Sunday, November 6, 2016

Getting Back on Track (yes, you can!)

-When I eat sugar, I crave sugar 
-When I eat veggies, I crave veggies

In nutrition class, my instructor started class with one question, "How do we get back on track?" She said on a trip she just returned from, she ate poorly, she drank martinis and changed from gluten free to gluten-full. "It's near impossible to eat gluten free in some parts of the east coast." she said. It actually was a relief to hear from my food guru that she gets off track with her eating too. 

Lack of healthy options leads to sub-par food choices, and traveling amplifies that. 
The answer for 'how to get back on track from class varied. One person said he goes straight from the airport to the grocery store, no matter the time, and buys his groceries. You have to find what works for your body. My mental and physical self works best using baby steps. So here's my go-to:

Getting Back On Track:
For me, my eating habits work in a circular pattern, they work on a system where I am propelled in the direction in which I was eating the prior day. So vacations really tend to put me in the hole, where I am eating poorly but I have to pull myself out because I feel so yucky. Bloated, fat, overfed, lacking self control. You know. like this guy

Down the Hatch! Smothered in butter
Kale chips and Brussels sprouts!
So for my quick fix, post-vacation or post Holidays - I start with a big plate full of one veggie that I really like which is usually steamed broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts- something green. Honestly, it doesn't look or sound delicious after coming off a bad-eating cycle. Disrespectfully, I look at the food and kinda roll my eyes at it. The transition can be difficult on everyone/thing including the food.  Also, I pull out the big guns, and use butter as bait! If I need to get my veggies in, I will smother them in grass-fed butter + Himalayan salt OR coconut oil + salt. Butter and salt make everything better, use them as your kick start. 

However, once I eat the plate of healthy, magic happens. After consuming the plate of greens,  my mood brightens and I know I can live a healthy life again. I feel so much better and I have established the tone for the next meal. I also would advise to prep your next meal's veggies ahead of time. That means the next meal is partly prepared and you have less excuses keeping you from getting those vitamins inside. So while one veggie cooks, chop up the ones for your next meal. See, baby steps. I personally am not a week-long food prepping type. But I will prep for the following meal if I am thinking clearly.

You Crave What You Eat
Here's the deal. Whatever you eat, your body will crave more of. Our gut microbiome (gut bacteria) changes in 3 days of a new diet. So our gut will easily adapt to new food choices, good or bad. Why are you craving junk food? Because you're eating junk food. Why is the vegetarian craving a big salad, it's because she eats a big salad regularly. It's not a lack of self control. Kids, don't read this next sentence, processed food has a "double fuck you" effect on hunger, because the ingredients are chemically processed to be addictive plus, you crave what you eat. 

Honestly, I think this happens as a protection mechanism. Back in the way back of old days, we didn't know what was safe to eat from the wild. I think if we tried a food once and it didn't kill us, then we would keep eating it. Plus it gives our gut bacteria time to adapt for proper digestion. 

But it shows also that a lasting change in your eating habits, starts with your prior meal. It is as easy to start eating well as steaming some broccoli and smothering it in butter. Go get your greens people. Make a change now that lights the path for how you want to eat forever. Baby steps.