One of the complaints I constantly hear from clients is that there is so much information out there regarding what foods are healthy, what is the best diet trend you should be following, what you should eat if you want to lose weight, and so much more!
With all this information available at your fingertips, it is really difficult to figure out what is really going to work. You may end up buying the latest book on the Paleo diet, then switch to the Mediterranean diet, then you may go gluten-free, but after all the efforts, you end up like a yo-yo with ups and downs not only for your weight but also your health.
What can we do?
Take a deep breath and embrace the journey. It has taken me almost 15 years to finally figure out what works for me. But don’t panic, it really doesn’t need to take you that long.
In order to take control over your health, your weight, and your overall well-being, you have to embrace your uniqueness and the journey you have been walking through. Learn from the past, but don’t linger there.
This wellness journey is about awareness – you have to train your brain to listen and nurture your body. Trust me, one day you will notice the transformation and it will feel like the most amazing accomplishment you’ve ever had.
How do I know this?
At 19 I was suffering from high cholesterol. By 20, I was diagnosed with H. Pylori – a bacteria that infects your stomach and is known for causing stomach ulcers. For the next 10 years after my diagnosis, I was trying to eat healthy but will often fall off the wagon. I saw a registered dietitian after I was diagnosed with H. Pylori and being prescribed 3 different types of really strong antibiotics. Let’s just say my college years weren’t as fun as they could have been.
Maybe my choice of career impacted my health. I had chosen engineering, which meant high stress, long hours of work to get homework done, and being challenged all the time (well, that last one I did enjoy a bit), but my health was always getting in my way to truly enjoy that time in my life. I was told not to drink alcohol, to avoid foods that irritated my stomach and caused constant heartburn. Instead, I had to eat this bland, boring diet, with steamed vegetables and high fiber foods. I had to go from cooking lasagna, making empanadas, and eating fried plantains to figuring out how to cook eggplant and zucchini. I remember the first vegetable that I ever cooked with was zucchini. I squeezed a whole lime and added salt to it and over-cooked it.
It was my early days of experimenting with vegetables, please don’t judge. The eggplant would sit in my fridge until it got all brown and I had to throw it away. I can’t count all the eggplants I tossed in the trash. After a few weeks of eating what the registered dietitian had recommended I would start feeling better, then I would go back to my old cooking habits. There goes the cheese and bagels, and cream cheese, oh and did I mention I loved cheese! I used to bring cheese from Venezuela every time I went there – yup, I was cheese obsessed. I would eat cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack. No wonder why my cholesterol was off the roof!
I’ve now completely revamped my food habits. Gone are the days when I eat that much cheese, or when I’m afraid of cooking different vegetables. Now, I focus on enjoying food and how it makes me feel. I’ve changed my relationship with food. I enjoy cooking, I taste new foods, I try new cuisines, and I listen to my body.
How can you succeed on your wellness journey?
- Create awareness. You know the saying “you are what you eat” if you are constantly eating unhealthy foods, you will feel the same way.
- Learn how to read food labels. Labels are super confusing, and the messages on the packaging can be so misleading. Knowledge is power! If you want all details about nutrition labels, check out this article.
- Understand your family health history. Some people have a genetic pre-disposition to certain chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. If this runs in your family, then there are certain foods you should add and others you need to avoid.
- Find the joy in cooking. When you cook at home, you get to control what you eat. This will help you succeed. You can also learn how to create an inviting space to cook more at home on this post.
- Practice mindfulness and change your negative messages. When you change your negative food and body messages you will create new ideas and transform your eating and self-worth habits.
- Find easy and quick substitutions for foods that are unhealthy. Download your kick-starter guide here.
You know all of this, but you still struggle to actually achieve your wellness goals? I’ve been there, I understand how you feel and I would love to help.
If you are interested in working with me and being part of an amazing food & wellness community, leave me a comment below or visit here to sign-up.