Beat the Bulge Fast – Holiday Recovery
If you missed Part 1 of this you can see it HERE.
- We ate all the holiday junk food (or threw it to the chickens)
- We purged our pantries and homes from temptation
- We went to the store and purchased a shopping cart filled with vegetables and other good things
By the way my grocery trip this week was a record setter. I have a family of 6, so I know that’s a bunch of groceries, but I grow most of what we eat, so my grocery bill is usually around $100. Most of that $100 is spent on paper products (toilet paper), plastic bags (garbage or storage), cat food, maple syrup, dairy (because my cow is dry right now), razors, toothpaste, conditioner (I don’t use shampoo), laundry supplies, and other things that make life easier.
I don’t buy meat. I can my own food. I purchase fruits sparingly and buy vegetables to supplement what we grow. I do buy several baking supplies (baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, seasonings, etc) and other things I can’t grow (like coffee).
When you grow food, you will definitely see a reduction in the grocery bill…. usually.
My grocery bill this week was over $200! I know this is a normal-sized bill for many families, but I’m not used to it.
I blame juicing.
5 Components to a Healthy Lifestyle
Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Low Stress & Fun
We need more than nutrition to stay healthy. There are 5 components to a healthy lifestyle: We need to be sure we are (1) getting regular exercise, (2) plenty of sleep, (3) avoiding stress, (4) enjoying life, and (5) consuming a healthy diet.
Arguably most impactful factor to enjoying good health is our DIET.
There is a lot more to eating than most people realize.
Because it tastes good or it’s convenient are not necessarily good reasons to eat something
Some questions we should be pondering when we decide what to eat:
- Is this good for me?
- WIll this nourish me?
- How was this grown?
- Where was this grown?
- When was this picked?
I really try to eat healthily, but I don’t sacrifice on taste.
You can EAT your fill of something fabulous and not feeling like you need to go on a diet tomorrow.
As long as your food choices are real, clean, whole foods – there is no reason to feel dinner remorse.
Real butter, raw cream, freshly milled flour, pastured meat, fresh vegetables… these are all foods that are perfectly healthy and you should feel good about eating them.
If you want to shed the extra padding. Detox from the sugar. Cleanse from the junk. And start fresh – there are some SUPER SIMPLE STEPS to success.
SIMPLE STEPS TO SUCCESS
FIRST: Store Bought Flour Must Go
It’s time to cut out the store-bought flour (every last grain of it).
SECOND: No More Sugar
It’s time to ditch the sugar – like completely – no sugar.
THIRD: Fast Every day
I’m not talking about fasting in the biblical sense, this is a digestive break that will help you burn fat, lower blood pressure, control sugar and lose weight. Keep reading for the details.
FOURTH: Eat Superfoods
There are “superfoods” all around us that are packed with nutrition beyond belief. Make sure you eat at least one of these nutritional powerhouses each day.
WIN EVERY DAY PLAN
Now let’s get a Daily Plan to eat well so we are a smaller version of ourselves this time next month. AND eating this way is not a “one month plan”, I’ve been eating like this for years. It is sustainable.
ONE – START OFF RIGHT
Begin your day right by chugging a glass of water or a fresh juice to rehydrate your organs.
Next have coffee, tea or whatever is your favorite morning joe. Enjoy any real, whole foods for breakfast (eggs, ham, sausage, vegetables, avocado, etc).
TWO – HAVE A PLAN
Be sure you have a plan for lunch and dinner or you’ll end up shoving something in your mouth you shouldn’t. Lunch is usually leftovers for me.
Be intentional about eating vegetables.
Increasing veggies is a great way to reduce calories and fill your body with nutrients. Veggies make great snacks, lunches (think salad) and are the perfect side dish to dinner. Add some pastured meat for a fantastic, healthy meal. This is my favorite way to cook: a Main and a Side. If you haven’t yet learned this basic, simple way to get dinner done you should read this.
An easy way to get more veggies into your body is juicing. You don’t have to start juicing, but I think you should. It is an easy way to consume 11 or more fruits and vegetables each day. It is a great way to power your immune system during cold and flu season. It is a HUGE source of energy. And it’s really easy.
More on Juicing:
- Juicing – Drink Your Veggies
- Juicing v/s Smoothies
- 6 Reasons to Start Juicing (This is part of a great series, that includes a juice feast I went on last year and lost 4 pounds in 10 days).
If you are an avid juicer – keep up the great work. If your juicer has been collecting dust on your counter (or in a pantry) it’s time to get it masticating again (masticating is a type of juicer).
Start dinner early.
The sooner I have dinner going, the happier I am. I often get all the veggies prepped and in their designated cooking vessels by 4:00 so I can finish them in time for dinner. I love cooking the main dish (meat, Y’all) in a dutch oven, crock pot, or instapot.
THREE – STOP EATING AFTER DINNER
There is a new diet trend on the rise called “Intermittent Fasting.” It is basically restricting calories to certain hours of the day. It is proving to be quite successful and many folks are feeling better in general and losing weight just by imploring this method.
A popular (simple) way many folks are implementing this is to eat only during daylight hours and fast when the sun goes down. I think this system’s success depends on the time of year (in summer it is sometimes light until 10 pm).
In our home, we fast from dinner until breakfast the next morning. This is usually from 6:30pm until 9:00am.
Benefits to Intermittent Fasting-
- Fasting gives your digestive system a break.
- Improves your metabolic health (can help control blood sugar) (Source)
- Lowers blood pressure (Source)
- Increases fat burning (Source)
I personally have noticed that I sleep better on an empty stomach. If I eat a late meal I am often tossing and turning at night.
We have been intermittent fasting in this house for years but it had nothing to do with weight or health.
I was tired of waking up to a messy house and DH decided to take matters into his own hands. He announced to our 4 (messy, dirty dish making)
slobs children that there would be no food after dinner. Once the kitchen was clean in the evening- no more food. This was straight from heaven itself because it changed our lives. Not only was Mama (that’s me) waking up happy to a sparkly, clean home (no dishes in the sink, pots on the stove, dishes and glasses all over the living room, or bowls of snacks). Our kids began to eat more at dinner (vegetables, man). We felt better. We slept better. Our tummies were flatter.
Was it easy?
No. It is hard to break the late night snack habit. Luckily I had DH to lay down the law. But I won’t say it’s easy.
If you are struggling to get from dinner to breakfast (14-16 hours) without snacking there are some tricks to winning.
Here’s what you can do in the evenings to curb cravings for food-
- Brush your teeth (this always works for me)
- Drink a big glass of water
- Take a bath
- Make a glass of hot tea (make sure it is decaf)
FOUR – CHOOSE WISELY
We all get to choose. Even if we are eating at a fast food joint, we can choose a grilled chicken breast with lettuce as a bun.
If you find yourself at a gathering or restaurant that seems far from healthy, you can probably find a way to stick close to whole foods:
- If everyone is eating pizza – skip the crust (no commercial flour allowed) and just eat the top.
- If everyone is eating Chinese – get a dish that is veggies & meat. Pass on the rice.
- If you’re at a Mexican restaurant – eat the tacos in lettuce wraps instead or order the carnitas (no tortillas) with lots of refried beans (no rice).
- If you’re having burgers – pass on the bun.
FIVE (and last) – ENJOY SUPERFOODS EACH DAY
In addition to making sure my food choices are whole, real foods, I also make sure to include some superfoods in my daily diet.
I don’t eat all of these every day. I try to include at least ONE each day.
My Favorite Superfoods:
- Fresh milled flour. Yes – Bread is healthy if you grind your flour and make your own bread. Freshly milled wheat has over 40 vitamins and minerals and even contains protein and tons of fiber. We want all of this. The Fiber fills us and sweeps out our intestines as it moves through (great for cleansing and removing toxins). The protein balances the carbs so we don’t get a sugar high. More on milling your own flour here.
- Bone Broth. Not stock, not soup, not Campbells. I make my own broth in a giant stock pot on the stovetop. When this sort of broth is made with free-range chicken (I raise mine) it is not just healthy – it is medicine. Most of the nutrition is found in the bones. By simmering a chicken on the stove top (or crockpot) for 8 hours or more the vitamins, minerals and health are extracted from inside the bones and into the broth itself. Chicken broth doesn’t just make you feel better, it actually heals the gut. Bone Broth contains calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus , and more trace minerals. It helps with arthritis, joint pain, and aids digestion. Consuming bone-broth frequently is an excellent choice. It can heal you. It can prevent you from getting sick. It can flush out toxins. More on bone broth here. How to make bone broth here.
- Fresh Juice. And I’m not talking about juice from a super market. This is a vegetable-based juice you make in your home. Juicing is an easy way to consume more fruits and vegetables. It powers your immune system and is a HUGE source for energy. More on jucing –
- Free-Range Egg. Eggs from chickens that roam free are one of the most complete foods in the world. A person can practically survive (and be healthy) on an egg a day. I don’t think this sort of egg is an easy find. The chickens must be free (no cages, fences or boundaries). They must be able to forrage a balanced diet in their surroundings (lush environment). And not be fed bagged feed. Eggs from chickens who live in runs or fenced in areas and are fed commercial feeds are not the same as free-range eggs.
Here’s the plan for success and healthy eating for life in a nutshell:
- No (commercial) flour or baked goods
- No sugar
- Eat Whole Foods
- Eat at least one superfood each day (farm egg, fresh juice, fresh flour, or bone broth)
- Have a plan for Lunch & Dinner (start dinner early if possible)
- Fast – No eating after dinner
Time to win and shrink our waistlines!
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