Updated: May 4, 2021
During this pandemic, it has been hard for many folks around the world to be emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy especially now with the holidays ringing around our ears the idea of eating clean does not seem appealing. Every so often I get the following questions. How do I eat clean? or how can I get abs? and every single time I say, “focus more on committing emotionally and mentally first”. The idea that if we eat a certain way and commit to working out we will see results seems wonderful, but the reality is indeed different. God made us different for a purpose so we will never all look the same and we should never want to fit a ‘norm’. We must consider health conditions that may delay the process such as the environment we are in, our age believe it or not, our sleep patterns, and our triggers. Most medical experts will have you follow the BMI guidelines which I am not a fan of. These body data metrics are set to be a parameter not an indicator of one shoe fits all. Some of us are curvy, taller and/or proportion differently.
Health conditions such as hypothyroidism, PCOS, Fluid retention, Diabetes, Asthma, mental illness, etc. can slow down the process and make some folks give up because they are not getting the results others say they should have. Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones which in return causes a slower metabolism. This causes your body to absorb and digest slower. Having an easier digestible food intake can help with results but take your time. PCOS is an ovarian hormonal issue that can also cause you to gain weight vs losing weight and can discourage many women. Imagine the stress you feel when your menstrual is irregular, you are been told having babies might be difficult, you are retaining body fluid because of your menstrual period, you can’t sleep and now you are trying to lose weight and eat healthily – uhhhhh that’s a lot !! BREATH! Certain medications for type 1 diabetes and asthma have also been linked to weight gain just to add another tool wrench in to this conversation. Different from type 2 diabetes, type 1 is when your body does not produce enough insulin. I do believe you can treat type 2 diabetes in some cases with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
Our surroundings, age, and mental health are equally as important when you start this life-changing journey. Our surroundings can influence our level of commitment especially when someone is not pouring positivity into you and can get you to give up when you are constantly reminded of the difficult journey you are taking on. Just to continue to add more fuel to the fire as we get older, we lose muscle if we are not proactive in life, and this why I say work/life balance is extremely crucial especially now that we are home more. Adapt your mind to the new situation but shift your body to move more vs less. Mental health is a huge factor of healthy living; a lot of teenagers and young adults are going for extreme results by leaning towards bulimia to satisfy the human eye while they are dying within. I am constantly forced to remind my teenager celebrities are touched up prior to appearing on TV or online.
A lot of what relates to weight issues can at times be linked to hormonal imbalance and this why I went the vegan route. For those starting or even for those who have years in this journey please go slow and savior the process; You know your body and it is ok to take some time to re-energize every so often while taking this on. Work inward not outward; what I mean by this is emotional eating is a thing and when you start working on what the root trigger is your mind shifts so that you do not need to hide in what physically feels good at that moment. Eating clean can start with removing a certain food or drink every month until most of what you eat reflects a clean lifestyle. Keep in mind this looks different for people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes be careful with insulin withdrawals or ketones. Once you commit mentally and emotionally the physical starts to slowly reflect on how your body is meant to be not what society tells you it should be.
Below is a grocery list I use and what I do when I detox for 2 weeks (feel free to do less time) with this I also want to add for anyone doing this take a multivitamin at least twice a day and you MUST drink at least 64oz of water per day. Please keep in mind the first three days are brutal and you will want to give up. I promise the results will be amazing. If anyone is truly struggling after 4-5 days add almond or soy milk instead of water. Also, keep in mind this is a cleanse and will give your digestive system a break so once you start re - introducing solids you will need to start slowing. I also do hot lemon/ginger tea every morning as well as cinnamon apple tea at night– I do not do any sweetness enhancers such as honey or stevia.
Granny Smith Apples – Green apples
Example of what I might do:
BREAKFAST x 2
LUNCH x 2
DINNER x 2
These Vegan items are what are considered vegan and gluten-free options for meal prepping:
Sweet Potatoes (Patata)
Rice cake – Not salted
Fruits and Veggie – I would stay away from Tomatoes
Treatments I use for my hair:
*I still eat chocolate – Sorry not sorry haha 😊 Disclaimer: I am not a dietician, doctor, or fitness expert.*