I take a lot of resolutions when it comes to health. Yup. A lot. So you get the picture right? It is like quitting smoking a lot of times. And no. I am not proud of it. But honestly I am kind to myself about that irresolute behaviour of me. Who will be kind to yourself if not you ! So though i regret not posting any update on my earlier post of 365daysofhealthychoices as promised, I don’t feel to hide myself from the promise I didn’t keep. So here I am starting the series afresh with more wisdom and better reasons to hang on to the health realm.
So straight away the point is things are worse and I know it completely. But still it is in my hands. Of course at least the half part. And it is the case with anyone of you who is beginning to make a change in your messed up life. There is always a chance to start again. And that applies to anything around us -health, habits, relationships, career, dreams or anything. If you feel the opposite, maybe you need to put some effort into looking for the possibilities and have the patience to wait for the results. You didn’t reach where you are overnight. Don’t expect to reach anywhere else in a day as well. Perseverance is the key.
So here is the first step I took for a healthier life.
I switched on to clean eating.
Yes,I have tried it many times before only to fall off the bandwagon every other day. But alhamdulilllah (all praises to lord), I have kept this promise to myself for two months . Two months is no much time , True. But what is more noteworthy is the positive attitude I had developed these days.
If any of you is struggling with keeping up with the clean eating habits here are some tips that might help. These worked for me. Hope they benefit you as well.
- Clean eating shouldn’t mean restrictive diets .
If you are a foodie and someone who enjoy the act of eating ,you would know what I mean. Instead see it as a chance a to include healthier options. Clean eating is a happy practice of adding more veggies or fruits and healthy fats and proteins to your daily platter so that we live longer and better on this beautiful earth. The only things you have to limit is those that harm your body which is still a good deal.
- Follow 80/20 rule.
It is fine if you do elimination diets in case of food substances which are totally harmful to your body. Like if you have gluten allergy or seafood or peanut allergy, the only choice is to cut them from your diet. But Hey! No worries. Focus on the million other things you can savour and enjoy.
But unless in such emergency scenarios , its better you follow the 80/20 rules. Just if your food is 80% clean and nourishing, just keep a 20% part for minor swaps. And don’t cheat yourself about that “minor”. Just keeping that cup of joe or sauting veggies in a lil bit oil and savoring a small piece of your favorite piece of pastry once in a while is okay if you follow cleaner options other times of the day.
- Keep portion control.
I must say this is the key to healthy eating. It is not just about what you eat, but how much you eat counts. Learn to eat till you satisfy your hunger and not more than that. Whatever food that be, indulgences or the regular healthy foods, keep the portion size. If you find it difficult to stop like that, drink a glass of water before any meal. And use smaller dessert plates for your meal. It works.
- The art of mindful eating
Enjoy the time you take for eating. It’s a long forgotten etiquette for us to start eating with Bismillah (In the name of Lord) and to say Alhamdulillah (All praises to Lord) upon finishing a meal. In our hurry, we often say it as a ritual without giving heads to what is being said. Eating mindfully and slowly while enjoying whatever is on plate gives you a sense of gratitude about the blessing of food. You would seem to begin and end the meal in the name of Lord with a feel of mental and physical satiety.
- Include more veggies and fruits.
This is a healthy swap that will improve much of your diet and life. Remember to fill the half of the plate with veggies at every meal. Or include a fruit when possible.This will help you feel fuller quickly and help you better the skin, hair and immunity aspects of the body.
- Try variety of foods and recipes.
Yes. This is the best part of my life about healthy eating. It made me look out of the box for recipes that include more veggies and fruits in the meals. And we will find tons of recipes in various cuisines. Google them and see what works for your taste buds. This will also help you keep inclined to clean food by nature later.
- Drink lots of water.
Water is the purest thing you can feed your body with. Drinking about 8 glasses of water a day will keep us hydrated and alert throughout the day. Replace those sugary juices and sodas with water so that you benefit your body and the wallet.
- Keep readily available healthy snacks.
Fruits and nuts are great snacks. Agree.But if you are someone who can’t digest the idea of calling them a snack like myself, dress them up to truffles and bars which you might enjoy. Or you can opt steamed traditional recipes as well. Whatever it is make sure that you have some healthy option to munch on when you are hungry or feeling a bit low or craving something post meals.
- Early to sleep and early to rise and early to eat.
Finally this was a great step that helped me in this make over. Sleeping early and getting up early gives you the chance to eat early. Early breakfast and early dinner. Both are essential to keep you feel nourished with the food you eat throughout the day.
In brief clean eating is not about dieting or weight loss though we tend to think of food that way only when we fall sick or start panting while walking a few blocks away. Clean eating should be practised in our family like a lifestyle and should pass over through our generations. So that our children and family enjoys every bit of the life they are blessed with. It is a matter of perspective about our food habits. Like anything else we can train our taste buds to like good food as well. Only if we put that effort to do it. I especially wish the parents took care of their kids food habits nowadays. That plain paper of their taste memory. Don’t mess it up with those artificial unhealthy choices we make in our hurry.
Holy Quran teaches us to have food that is halal (lawful) and twayyib (good/wholesome/pure). Often we focus on the lawful and concentrates on that only and overlook the word twayyib aka good wholesome food. Why don’t we practise our meticulous inspection to know if something is halal to ensure something is wholesome and good as well? Are we not just obeying what we feel like and discarding what we don’t feel like? And isn’t that a hated thing for our Lord? Well we need to take care of our food seriously guys.
Live better. Do better.