30 days of healthy eating!
I recently received an email from one of my lovely readers who told me that instead of doing 30 days of no shopping, she decided to do 30 days of healthy eating. A couple of Sundays ago, my dad made gnocchi for dinner and afterwards my sisters and I calculated our portion sizes based on the amount of potatoes we cooked. It was absolutely absurd, I think we were close to 10 times the recommended portion size each!
I’d been thinking about my eating habits even before the gnocchi incident, but it was an area that I just couldn’t tackle. After all, I was using up all of my willpower not spending money and doing exercise, right? But I’d been noticing that my results had slowed down and I wasn’t making the progress I wanted to and I knew that my food choices were influencing that.
So I decided to rip off the band-aid, so to speak, and started making better choices. I wrote down my goals and ideas in my bullet journal and I started on my new plan the next day. I wanted to try and do 30 days of healthy eating, but I know that with food it’s a lot harder to go cold turkey! So instead I decided to make a healthy meal plan at the beginning of the week and include one ‘cheat meal’, where I could have fried food or dessert. I’ve been doing this for three weeks now and Marco and I are finding that the system is working very well for us.
When I told a friend about my plan, she laughed and said that everyone does it like this, but for me it’s definitely new. In the past, when I tried to do a weekly shop, I’d always buy way too much and end up wasting a lot of food. Or struggling with expiry dates of meat and fish. So following a well-structured plan has been really helpful. Seeing as I’m not creative at all in the kitchen, I’ve been using a meal plan in the Sweat app that I use for my exercise. It’s done really well and there’s even a shopping list which has saved me so much time! Having meal ideas (and recipes) ready every week is so helpful and saves me the work of having to come up with ideas. I’ve actually found that because the recipes and meals are there for me, I haven’t minded cooking at all. It’s more the mental energy involved in the shop and coming up with recipes than the cooking itself that I don’t like.
We’ve been eating things like tacos on wholewheat wraps, wholewheat pasta with grilled tomatoes, tuna sandwiches, and curries with cous cous or quinoa and I’ve actually been feeling a lot better and a lot fuller. I haven’t felt deprived at all, which was one of my main concerns when I started. I’ve also noticed that evening cravings for dessert and sweet things have almost completely gone away which is beyond miraculous for me! I was also concerned about the cost of health foods like quinoa, but our local supermarket has everything and because we’re doing one major shop a week rather than lots of little ones (or big ones on an empty stomach!) we’ve saved loads.
I definitely haven’t been able to follow it 100% and I did have a slice of cake and a scone outside of my cheat meals once in a while, but because I’d been eating well and I wasn’t doing it to reward myself, I was eating it because I felt like it, I noticed there was no guilt attached.
I’m really happy because it was an area that was becoming a bit problematic for me and often after exercise I’d crave fried food, which was probably because I needed quick energy seeing as I wasn’t eating properly during the day. I wrote in a previous post that I wanted to face any area of my life that needed work head-on, and eating was definitely one of those. It all has to do with self-control and making sure that I’m not looking for emotional support in food or shopping or anything else. It can be so hard to admit that these are problem areas, but it’s definitely a rewarding process. I had buried my head in the sand regarding my food choices for over six months, so facing it was tough, but I’m so happy I did.
It’s been a really tough process and in the first week I had a little breakdown and tearily told Marco that if I couldn’t shop and I couldn’t eat what I wanted, what joy was left in my life? (I’ve always had a flare for the dramatic, can you tell??) But it hasn’t been bad at all. I haven’t cut out carbohydrates AT ALL and I think that has helped hugely in the happiness factor. I’ve just been eating better carbs that release energy more slowly! I also haven’t been trying to create a huge calorie deficit either so that also helps.
I’m also almost done my second month of no shopping and I have a few thoughts on that too so I’ll be sharing in the next few days.
I hope that this journey that I’ve started will help challenge you too. Please let me know if you do try it and how you find it! I always love feedback!
p.s. The image is of fish tacos I made on the first night! It was so yum and so easy to make!!