When I first began coaching, I was approached by many friends and new clients to do a Pantry Clean-Out. Brilliant! Let’s get your kitchen ready for your new dietary practice (everything from vegan to paleo as the title suggests) and you will be well on your way to your new, healthy life!
Out goes the boxed cereal, breakfast pastries, drinkable desserts (Sorry, mocha caramel frappicchino.) and egg-mc-grossness. And depending on the Diet du Jour, raw cashew butter, farm eggs with free-range bacon, or steel cut oats are the replacements.
Fast forward to the next morning. Everything goes well. The excitement of being on a new plan gets you past the extra long prep time, completely different tastes and expensive price tag. That excitement might even get you past days three and four. Around day five when life happens and you just want your favorite damn bagel with some coffee, the drive-thru wins. Your steel cut oats begin to gather dust. That cashew butter or even the incredibly expensive bacon sit in the frig, waiting patiently for your excitement to return.
But it doesn’t.
When we take a huge leap into a new way of eating, a simple kitchen clean-out and a list of what we ‘should’ be eating (and sadly what we can no longer even think about), simply does not provide the support we need.
For those who have iron will, and can make a decision to do something and then just Nike right through, I am not talking to you. Bless you. I hope that ability rubs off on everyone around you. The rest of us need a bit more support. And definitely more than someone taking away your favorite foods and swapping them for some of that Jen Miller hippie chick stuff. (Always laugh at yourself! Taking yourself seriously is highly overrated.)
In order to adopt a new way of eating, whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, clean eating, zone, whole30, paleo or primal, we need to ease in. We need to change ONE THING at a time. We need to make small, sustainable changes that we can imagine are possible. I am all for making big goals. Heck, I recommend it! But when it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle with food, those goals need to be small and manageable. I like to call it ‘bumping up’ your food choices.
And that list of things you can’t eat…throw it out! Let’s focus instead on the healthy things that you are already eating and increase those! Still enjoying your drinkable dessert breakfast? IT’S OKAY! Sip it slowly and truly savor it while eating some fruit and quality protein. There is no such thing as perfect and you CAN have the things you enjoy sometimes.
What can you manage today? That is the million-dollar question!
Today might not be the day to make dinner from scratch but I bet you can order a salad instead of fries.
Stressful day? Your body will be craving simple carbs! Choose to have some hummus with those pretzels instead of fake cheese dip.
There is no finish line, my friends. Each and every day is an opportunity to make choices that are good for your body. Some days you won’t make that choice. And that’s okay! No judgment! That’s the neat thing about eating, you get to make another choice in just a few hours. Try to ‘bump up’ that choice in a small way. Small, consistent changes create habits that in time turn into the healthy lifestyle you are craving.
I often use the early morning to organize my thoughts into paragraphs. And sometimes into recipes.