8.21.2013

The 5 Best {Health} Decisions I've Made




1. GIVING UP MEAT:

There are plenty of articles you can read about why eating a plant based lifestyle is beneficial for your health, but I'm not here to push my beliefs on any of you (well maybe a littleeee bit), just to share what makes me feel my personal best. Soon it will be 3 years since I decided to give up meat and become a pescatarian, and I honestly don't see myself ever going back to eating meat. I can count on two hands the occasions where I've "slipped" and had some form of meat whether it be a wing, a slice of pepperoni on a pizza, etc. in the past 3 years. The times that this happens I've found is if I'm at a big bridal shower or birthday party and there aren't many choices of what I can eat other than salad and I'm really really hungry....or if I'm at a happy hour, have had a few brewski's, and want one of my husbands wings (or like when I was in TX and these crazy kids made me try oryx for the first time). I don't hate meat, although ever since I stopped eating meat I can barely even look at chicken or sausage, I've just made a choice to cut it out of my life. Food is your fuel and I feel my best when I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and fish.

If you are interested in eating more plant based or cutting out meat, I highly recommend trying a Meatless Monday (for example) or going one-two days a week without meat and see how it makes you feel. If you don't think you can give up meat entirely, that's OK, just make sure you are eating lean meats and watch your red meat intake. I've honestly never felt better, had more energy, and I fully believe it's because of this and numbers 2-5 that I'm about to share with you!


2. CUTTING BACK ON DAIRY, BREAD, AND PASTA:

SOUND THE ALARMS!

This one might be the biggest change I've made, even more so than giving up meat. I mean this not only because of how long it took me to realize how much dairy (cheese!) I was actually putting in my body, but because of how I've felt cutting back on these certain items. Holy cow! It will blow your mind (and scale!!) how much better you will feel and I promise you that. If not, I give you permission to come pound on my door and tell me how wrong I was and that I need to cut you 5 slices of cheese right away.

My husband and I are obsessed with cheese. We love all kinds, but it does NOT make me feel good when I eat it. The same goes with white flour breads and pasta. These do nothing for my body and I feel so weighed down after I eat them. That's why I had to say goodbye to them, for the most part. Do I still have white bread on occasion? Sure, but it's very rare. If I eat bread (which I would say is maybe once every two weeks), it will be 100% whole wheat with a lot of fiber in it, or a wrap that is similar. Pasta hasn't been very hard for me to give up, so I can't give much advice here for that. Do I still eat dairy? Yes, sometimes I will have a greek yogurt if I want one or put a small amount of cheese on my tacos, but this isn't very often and I make sure it's in moderation. Do I still indulge in ice cream or fro yo? Heck yes, I'm not saying I plan to give these up (#lezbehonest) anytime soon, but I just make sure it's not too often. There comes a time when a girl just needs her fro yo, mmkay? ;)

Once the shock of cutting back on these items subsides from your mind, you will realize how much you were eating in the first place and you won't want to go back. You will feel too good to do that! :) 

"It's not about restrictions, it's about creating new habits"



3. NO POP:

There is no reason you (yes, you) should be drinking pop/soda/whatever you feel like calling it anymore. JUST STOP. No more of this "I just have one diet coke a day" business. Just put them down all together.

In high school, I thought my Dad was going to have an intervention with me because I would order 3 Mountain Dew's BEFORE our dinner even came to the table. It was bad. Since I feared he would take away my car keys or AOL (not AOL!), I decided one day to just give it up. Best decision EVER.

Water is your best friend, people.

4. JUICING:

Ahh, the phenomenon that is juicing. You can read here why I love juicing so much, but I just want to say that ever since I bought my Breville juicer, I've had so much fun coming up with new combinations for juices and I look forward to making them. It's like your body craves it. Not even kidding.

My favorite combination right now: 1 green apple, 3 celery stalks, 1/2 a cucumber, 1/2 a lemon, 2 handfuls of spinach.


5. FALL IN LOVE WITH EXERCISING (OR YOUR GYM!):

Find one form of exercise you love doing. If you are sitting there reading this right now and thinking to yourself that you don't have one form of exercise that you love, it's time you branch out and find one! NO EXCUSES. There is something out there for everyone. For me, I've always enjoyed running (mainly the runners high that comes after it) but spinning is what I truly love doing. It's my favorite type of workout my gym offers because it's high intensity, doesn't make me bored, burns so many calories, pumps me up, and it never fails that I'm in the BEST mood when I walk out of that class (even if my legs feel like they might fall off). I love endorphins more than I love shopping for fall clothes which says a heck of a lot.

Now I know exercising is hard, but if you belong to a gym that you really like it's much easier to get yourself there. I belong to Lifetime Fitness and have been a member ever since I got out of college and if I had to switch I might shed some tears. I love what my gym has to offer, I feel comfortable going there, and it motivates me. Don't bother going to a gym that you hate! Well, I take that back, a gym is better than no gym, but try and find one that you don't mind going to, if possible. Find one that works for you.

 Because doing a Jillian Michaels DVD while on vacation in FL (with my hair down no less) is normal? Just go with it...


Last but not least, this should be #6 but since I prefer odd numbers today, let's just go with it-drink as much water as possible-lemon water, water infused with fruit, ANY water! Your skin and body will thank you.

Any questions? Feel free to leave in the comments below or email me.

At the end of the day, if you feel tired/sluggish/unmotivated you are the only one to blame and it's time to look at your eating habits. I mean, unless you prefer feeling like crap day in and day out. Evaluate what you're putting in your body. Are you exercising enough?

This is really cliche but you only have one body, so treat it right!

What are the best decisions you've made for your health?




 
 

29 comments :

  1. Awesome post and definitely the motivation I need! Jared and I are on the path to creating much better eating habits, but it's a struggle still. We haven't cut out meat completely, but really only buy chicken and lean turkey, etc. I drink TONS of water every day, but I cannot give up my Mountain Dew. Seriously- help me, Katie!!! I know it's terrible for you and I really want to cut it out completely!

    Thanks for sharing and for being so motivational :)

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  2. This post came at the perfect time! I tried the pescatarian lifestyle for 9 months when I first when away to college and it did make me feel great. That was over 4 years ago and just recently I decided I wanted to it again. As well as cutting out meat, I want to cut out soda and fast food. I try not to eat/drink much of either but sometimes I slip and feel horrible afterwards. Reading your tips and your blog overall definitely helps a lot when it comes to finding great meat-less recipes as well as motivation to go to the gym or try out a new exercise. Thanks so much!

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  3. I jumped back on the meat train last fall but have now adopted a meatless work week and then weekends are up in the air. I am like you, if I am somewhere and the veggie options are lacking I might get a meat menu item. But I do feel my best eating a clean meatless diet. And the life changing secret I just discovered for my pasta addiction? I realized I really like pasta for the sauce. So i just sautee some veg, tofurky sausage and add the pasta sauce and it is a completely satisfying meal.

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  4. Loved the post today and it certainly hits home for me as I use to be one of those "tired/sluggish/unmotivated" people. It's ahhhmazing how much better you can feel after some lifestyle changes.

    I just might have to soon try a meatless monday!

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  5. i love this!! i have found it so hard recently to get back into the swing of healthy things so this is so inspirational for me!! thanks for sharing ;)

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  6. This is exactly what I needed to read! I have been eating much "cleaner" recently and I can tell a HUGE difference! I originally started doing it to look good in my wedding dress, but I can definitely see how this is a lifestyle change that needed to be made! Great post!

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  7. I always love your health and wellness posts, and they always come at the best times! I've been somewhat sick, sluggish and tired for almost all my life, even though my gluten-free diet has me eating really healthy. Lately, my docs are suspecting fructose intolerance (or fructose malabsorption) to be the cause of my problems, and I've been getting soo discouraged as I read about all of the things I can't have (aka wine, and pretty much every food on the planet)! Food is supposed to be fun, not the enemy! This post encouraged me to focus on how amazing I will feel once I find the right diet, and that energy is more important than any guilty pleasure food. Thank you so much for being a healthy inspiration, as always!

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    Replies
    1. Robin, check out realsustenance.com - she has the most horrific health story - and most encouraging turnaround - that I have ever read. As someone who also is living with multiple complex health/diet affected issued, I hear your frustration and I get it. This woman is a chef and recipe developer. Check her out and be encouraged that there are THOUSANDS of others like you here in the U.S. alone!

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  8. In general I eat pretty healthy, but recently I had to give up all forms of dairy because I'm nursing and my daughter might have a slight allergy... and holy crap! My last 7lbs of pregnancy weight?? Gone in 10 days! It's unreal. Limits my options for sure because I'm obsessed with cheese, but I definitely don't miss looking/feeling bloated so that makes it easier to stick with it! :)

    And I'll definitely be trying your juice recipe suggestion... always looking for new ones!

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  9. I am breastfeeding and had to cut out dairy when my little guy became lactose intolerant. I have NEVER FELT BETTER! I cannot believe how much better I feel since cutting it out. And bread, once I cut out bread my headaches (seems crazy, I know) vanished.

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  10. Love this! I've been pulling back on gluten and dairy and I think it definitely makes a difference. Not to mention there are SO many alternative products on the market now, so it's much easier!

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  11. I loved this post! I've been doing crossfit for almost 3 months now and LOVE it. I'm naturally small, but as I get older (30), things need help staying put. :-)

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  12. Great article! I've got to agree with you on most everything except the meatless part. As a crossfit athlete and runner, I eat a lot of lean meat and have red meat 1-2 times a week in addition to protein supplements. Cutting out soda has been one of the best decisions I made, I cannot recommend it enough! I really need to invest in a juicer for more veggies!

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  13. I love the picture at the top, it's so true that if you just change your habits & eat healthy it's better & easier then dieting, & eventually you even start to like eating healthy.

    Kristin
    crumbsandcurls.blogspot.com

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  14. Love this! I have cut bread/pasta and dairy out of my diet (basically) and i love it! - whole wheat is my saving grace!
    I love my gym too - I think if I had to go somewhere else I would cry.
    And spin? It's the BEST! I am a sucker for power yoga - it is so challenging but in the best way!

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  15. Love this Katie and honestly these 5 things aren't THAT hard to conquer. I have thought about going pescetarian SO many times but it's always been hard because seafood is expensive in Colorado, I think I will do it soon though at least to try it out. 2, 3, and 5 I've got down so check those off the list :) As for 4 I've been thinking about asking for a juicer for my birthday! Love these posts lady!

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  16. Love this post! I really want to do a meatless Monday in our home and I can't tell you how hard it was to make this a NO SODA home. We went from the fiance needing a 12pk here all the time to now having only bottled water and decaf tea with splenda-- now I can't keep track of what he does while he's at work but I nag him enough about working in the sun and I make his lunch with frozen bottles of water to keep it cool, so I'm doing my part. Really good info here.. now, my only request.. move to Florida and be my workout pal?

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  17. great post - i've cut out gluten also and seen a world of a difference. Also done a few juice cleanses... they're amazing. Love the tips

    The Casual Classic

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  18. Ugh! Thank you for kicking me right in the gut! HAHA! Hearing/seeing you talk about loving the gym that you're going to hits home for me! Ever since we moved in April, we're away from the gym that I've been going to for the last 3 years! I wouldn't say that I LOVE it there but, I do feel comfortable there & I did enjoy going & being there. There's another branch close to my new house but, it's older & the last time I was there the equipment was old & it was super cramped in the gym! Excuse or not, it's all kept me from going. Maybe I should just stop by there today & do a workout. Worst thing that could happen is I drive across town to my old gym! HAHA!

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  19. I absolutely love to work out. I get to antsy and mean if it has been too long between workouts. I also love to drink water, I have water bottles EVERYWHERE. I need to get into juicing... What do these juices taste like? The thought of drinking cucumber or beets makes me gag a little, but I have got to do something to up my veggie intake.

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  20. love this post katie girl

    i still am freaked about jumping on the juice train and i cant figure out why

    ALSO...no soda. YES YES YES. It helps so much!!!

    I've been bringing snacks to work otherwise i eat all the crapola thats here! no bueno! Like for example right now I am eating a red bell pepper like an apple because i cant find our knife. Sure I look like a crack head but it tastes better than the doritos staring me in the face. Actually no because they are chipotle doritos but STILLL. My booty is thankful

    xoxoox

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  21. you used to drink 3 mountain dews a day? haha you were that girl, love it!!!!

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  22. LOVE this post! I agree with everything except the no meat thing. My body doesn't do well when I don't have animal protein. I have tried before. I think that's what is important though, really listening to your body and how it responds to certain things. Figure out what makes you feel your best and put that shiz on repeat!

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  23. I've struggled with my weight all my life. I lost 30 pounds in college through healthy eating and exercise. I still drank and had sweets but in moderation! I balanced it out with exercise and it worked for me.

    Now I work full time and am a wife and mommy and just can't get myself in gear.

    I've been toying with the idea of giving up meat but really am taking baby steps with it. A few meals a week will be vegetarian but it's still tough. The hardest for me? giving up dairy and bread. I know I should but I really need to focus more and just do it.

    Thanks for the inspiring post!

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  24. Dairy and meat are my vices.
    Great list and I am buying a juicer this weekend!

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  25. I really need to work on the no pop thing for sure. I have to be so care with what I eat because of my stupid migraines and anemia. It flares up with some sort of meet and I just am sickly and in bed. I am also so picky. But you are right. You can't just work out and expect a "ta-da" result. The eating is so very important. One of these days I will get better at it. I did cut out fast food so that helps.... :)

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  26. I am SO glad you didn't say "give up wine" :)) Though maybe cut back is a good idea!

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  27. I don't hate meat, although ever since I stopped eating meat I can barely even look at chicken or sausage, I've just made a choice to cut it out of my life. Food is your fuel and I feel my best when I eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and fish. best smoothie blender

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