Give up?…or Fight Back! Part 2

Give up?…or Fight Back! Part 2

Ok. You’ve read Part 1 and realize your health/weight struggles are NOT all your fault.

What a relief!

You know the crappy, unhealthy foods like pizza, potato chips, baked goods, rich sauces and ice cream are…

-too calorically dense (has too many calories)

-too rich

-too addictive-like

-too artificially concentrated with sugar, fat and/or salt

-everywhere in our environment

You know the odds are stacked against you.

You know things can get tough and sometimes you want to give up. Those of us that keep trying to eat better and lose weight are right beside you. Please know, you are NOT alone!

But…you’ve decided you WILL NOT GIVE UP!

You will NOT let those foods unleash any permanent power over you.

Like me, you want to fight back. You want to fight back against the unhealthy, crappy foods that keep luring you into their body-damaging, fat-cell-producing world.

What are we Fighting?

We need to arm ourselves to fight against the carefully designed, created and marketed food that shows its ugly face everywhere.

We need to arm ourselves to resist the highly prolific world of fat, sugar and salt.

We need to be on guard, especially, for the sneaky ones…the addictive-like, rich combinations of…

fat and salt (potato chips, cheese, rich sauces, deep fried food)

fat and sugar (desserts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, baked goods)

salt and sugar (salted caramel syrups/toppings)

fat and sugar and salt…the triple threat (salted caramel popcorn, ice cream flavours with salted treats)

That’s a lot of food waiting to attack. We need to use mighty weapons to fight back, and willpower is not one of them. Willpower often runs out of steam in the long run.

How do we arm ourselves in this insanely crazy food world that surrounds us?

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Create Rules Decide you will not, under any circumstances, bring crappy food into your house. If you find yourself in a restaurant or at someone’s home, you may or may not be able to resist the power of unhealthy foods, but you can decide you will NOT sabotage yourself by bringing it into your house. You CAN control the environment in your home. A couple of weeks ago, there were potato chips and a super-yummy dip in my kitchen. The kind of dip I can’t stop eating. Mmmmm….The odds of me eating it were high. It was right there, steps away. I held off for about an hour. Then I dove in. What if those chips and dip hadn’t been there? If they weren’t in my kitchen, I wouldn’t have eaten them. I would not have jumped in my car to go buy some. Although it is possible to get in your car and drive to the store to buy what you crave, we are MUCH less likely to eat the crap if it is not in our home.

Keeping crap out of your house is an example of a rule that is one of the easier ones to follow. Why is it easy? If you don’t buy it, it won’t be in your house. If you have a hard time resisting chips, cookies etc. while shopping, ask someone you trust to shop with you, to help keep you on track.

Now, if you don’t do the grocery shopping, that can be trickier. Sit down with the person who does buy the groceries, and other family members, and ask them to keep the unhealthy foods outside of the house. If they give you a hard time, ask for even just a month to help you get going on a healthier path, more consistently.

Even if you do buy the groceries, ask family members to please enjoy the unhealthier foods outside the house, at least until you can get a handle on things. Avoid hosting any parties/dinners in your home for 30 days to help you get on track, as well.

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No Food Before Bed This is an example of another rule. Avoid filling your stomach with any food before bed. Some say you shouldn’t eat 2 hours before bed. Others say 3 hours or 5 hours. Give your body a chance to digest your food, so when you sleep, your body can do what it is supposed to do…repair and maintain. Based on your own schedule, your rule might be: No eating after 6 p.m. Only liquids like tea or water after those times. Is that doable? If you think it might be tough, work on the next tip to help you achieve a light belly before bed.

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Eating Window A similar rule is you eat only during an 8-12 hour window. If you eat breakfast at 9:00 a.m., and you decide on a 10-hour window, then your last meal needs to come at or before 7:00 p.m. Maybe 10 hours is too difficult? Try 12-hour windows for a week, then move down to 11.5 hours, then to 11 and so on. Whatever it is, start with a window that works for you, and ease into making your eating window shorter. I’ve started to track my eating windows, and I notice how much better I feel when I eat at 5:00 p.m. and go to bed at 10:00 p.m. I haven’t mastered this yet, but I see the benefits and want to work on this habit.

Don’t go crazy here…keep the eating window no shorter than 6-8 hours. You still need to get in enough calories for your body each day, and you want this way of monitoring your eating, called intermittent eating, to be sustainable over time. If you shave your eating hours down to 6 hours per day, over a month, and lose a bunch of weight, what happens when you go back to a 12-hour eating window? Take it slow and let the weight come off slowly; you’re more likely to keep it off if you do so. Work towards and establish an eating window you can live with most of the time. Aim to have your eating window 12 hours or less.

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Have a Support System Whether it’s a close friend or a Facebook group, make connections with others who are in the same boat as you. Being able to talk to others who also struggle with food and their weight can be very helpful. It helps to know you ARE NOT the only one! If you don’t have a support system, you need to put on your armor and get out there! Find someone or a group of peeps you can relate to. Don’t ignore this crucial way to fight. This might be scary for you, but it is super important. Feel free to contact me for support.

Move When we move our bodies, we’re less likely to eat rich, unhealthy food. We also feel energized, and even inspired. Begin your day with a walk or make that a priority when you get home from work. A priority means you don’t dismiss it. A priority means you do it, no matter what. Do it BEFORE dinner, if making dinner throws off your plans. Figure out how to do it. Start small. Ten minutes of moving. Who can’t fit that in? If your health is important to you, you WILL fit it in.

Moving our bodies doesn’t have to be at the gym. It doesn’t have to be sprinting. Even simple yoga or stretching is a start. Maybe you can find a buddy to walk with you. If you have stairs in your home, maybe you commit to climbing them 5 times per day. Then 8 times per day, and so on. Find simple ways to move and then build from there. I like to walk and record the distance and the number of minutes it took me. Over time, I can see if I’m moving more quickly and easily. For others, it’s the distance they want to increase. Start with 1km. Then 1.5 and build up to 5 km. It takes me about 50 min. to walk 5 km now (depending on my pace). If I improve my fitness and increase my speed I could jog/run it in about 30 min.

Your goals need to work for you. Remember…baby steps can be your best friend because they allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Jumping in and deciding you’re going to run 10 km may not be best for your body, and you can end up sore and/or injured, making it likely you won’t continue. Keep it simple to start.

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Education Learn how nutrient-poor, rich foods are damaging your body. Even though I veer off track now and again, for days or weeks, I eat well most of the time. Why? Because I know what the crappy food is doing to me based on what I’ve learned from books, documentaries and from how my own body responds to foods I eat. I’ve also earned a Plant-based Nutrition certificate from the ECornell program, which gave me incredible, science-based information. There are so many resources out there. Have a look at the books on my shop page. Also, check out the My Vegucation blog post to get more ideas on books and documentaries.

Once you learn about how fats/oils damage the endothelial lining of your arteries, for example, you start to realize what is actually happening inside your blood vessels minutes after you eat a cheeseburger, a piece of pizza or a piece of cheese. This is INSIDE YOUR body, not in some distant land. Once you discover how so many chronic and autoimmune diseases today are caused by what we put in our mouth, you begin to think about whether you want to eat white bread and white rice, or whole-grain bread or brown rice.

Even though everyone in our society seems to be eating unhealthy food, you start to realize that so many people are getting sick. You see how people’s bodies have seemed to deal with it all until they reach their 50’s or beyond. Then you see how it’s getting worse and people are getting diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases at younger ages than they used to. When you spend time researching the value of nutrient-rich foods and the dangers of nutrient-poor foods, you become empowered and look at your food choices differently.

Baby Steps Choose one type of food that’s an issue with you. Soft drinks or ice cream, for instance. Give it up for 2-4 weeks. Don’t worry about the other stuff. After 2-4 weeks, if you’ve ditched the soda pop or ice cream, look for something else you can get out of your diet, like cream in your coffee, or cookies.

Give up the bad things, one by one, over time. This can work for many people. And yes, I said “bad” things. Some people don’t want to call any foods “bad” and say they can have them once in a while. Beware: “all things in moderation” usually doesn’t work. If it did, we wouldn’t have a huge weight-loss industry. If people could moderate their intake of pizza, ice cream, donuts, potato chips etc. obesity wouldn’t exist.

If instead of moderation, you face the music and recognize what your food weaknesses are, you can make a decision to get them out of your life. You can work at giving up the food-like products that are really toxic to your body, and over time, you won’t want/crave them. If you eventually achieve your ideal weight, and then you want to dabble in those danger foods a bit, well, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk of getting “hooked” again.

Cold Turkey On the other hand, baby steps won’t work for everyone. Some people need to go cold turkey. Make a big change, all at once. Eat clean and that’s it. Get the fat and sugar-laden foods out of your house and get the good stuff in. Prepare foods in advance and be ready to eat only healthy foods. Chop veggies ahead of time, so you can grab them and throw them in a pan to sauté and serve with rice and your favourite sauce. Even if the sauce isn’t perfectly healthy, if it helps you eat a bowl of healthy food, go for it. You can always transition away from the sauce later if it has too much fat or sugar.

Almost always, I have the following in my fridge: cooked grains (more than one type is ideal: rice, quinoa, cous cous, barley, oatmeal), cooked potatoes and/or yams (baked), cooked beans (from a can: black beans, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas), fruit, and raw veggies ready to eat (snap peas, mini cucumbers, grape/cherry tomatoes).  When I make dinner, I usually make enough so there are leftovers for someone’s lunch the next day, or for dinner the next day. This works especially well with chilis and soups. Make lots, so you have leftovers to eat or freeze. Try the cold turkey method and have ONLY healthy, ready-to go, clean foods in your fridge.

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Snacks on the Go You’ve got to have healthy food at work or when you’re on the go. If you don’t, you’re really setting yourself up to surrender to one of the powerful foods like pizza or cookies. One of my favorite snacks is snap peas and grape/cherry tomatoes. So fresh and tasty. Another is a baked potato. I microwave it, cut it in half, add salt/pepper and wrap it in foil. Even if it’s only room temperature later, it satisfies me and prevents me from eating something I’d rather not. You can bake a bunch of potatoes at the beginning of the week and cut and wrap them in advance. Then, you just need to quickly unwrap one, microwave it and you’re ready to go.

When you leave the house, be prepared with a snack or two. Even if you think you’ll be out for an hour doing errands, sometimes that can turn into 2-3 hours. Be prepared. Apples and Mandarin oranges are quick and easy to grab and provide a juicy, refreshing snack. Prep your snacks in advance, or prepare for a growing waistline.

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Be Kind to Yourself Avoid beating yourself up. The food’s doing that to you already! When you decide to indulge, do it. Choose indulgence only if you can do it without feeling guilty later. Eat the pizza and enjoy it. Roll around in bed with it, if you want. Eat the pizza and then get back on track as soon as you can. Don’t let the pizza rule you. YOU rule YOU. You are strong and can accomplish anything. This struggle with food and your weight doesn’t have to be forever. It’s just the way it is right now.

The above ideas are more than “tips”. They are specific weapons we can use to fight back against the lure of the crappy food and can help us take in more of the healthy food.

For me, I’m still struggling. I have about 40 lbs to lose.

I’d like to lose the weight to decrease my odds of getting a chronic disease.

I want to lose the weight to feel energetic and to be healthy.

I WILL accomplish my goal.

Even though I continue to have my ups and downs, I will NOT give up.

Please do not give up!

Say, “HELL NO!”, when you start to doubt yourself and when you start to speak horribly to yourself in the mirror.

Fight back!

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Give up?…or Fight Back!

Give up?…or Fight Back!

You just ate the crap you swore you’d stop eating.

You overate something you were just going to have a bit of.

You ate one bad thing, which turned into days of crappy food. Maybe even weeks.

Been there? I have.

Does that mean you should beat yourself up?

No.

Does that mean there’s something wrong with you?

No!

Does that mean you should give up?

Hell no!

When we get off track from eating healthy foods, we feel like failures.

We wonder…

Why is it we just can’t eat the healthy food we know we want? Why can’t we stop eating fried food, potato chips, ice cream, or whatever our trigger/fix is? Why can’t we stop overeating pizza and ice cream?

Well, guess what? It’s NOT all your fault.

So many reasons contribute to our detour into the artery clogging, fat cell-filling and weight gaining foods.

Before we have a closer look at what draws us to the crappy food and why it’s not all our fault for eating it, let’s think about real food. You know, the real stuff that pretty much everyone says we should eat more of.

We don’t overeat veggies, do we? Usually not. Unless we add butter, oil or some other fatty topping like sour cream. We’re generally not eating plate after plate of steamed asparagus or cucumber.

We don’t overeat fruit. Unless it’s mixed with sugar and/or cream or some other naughtiness (like cream and sugar in ice cream or sorbet). We usually aren’t chowing down on bowl after bowl of apple slices or blueberries. Ok…blueberries are really good for you, so if you want to overeat those, go for it!

We don’t overeat whole grains and legumes. Doesn’t happen normally, unless we lace them with the things we crave: butter, oil, rich and/or sweet sauces, salt etc.

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It’s not nature’s whole foods like vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes that we overeat. It’s the OTHER stuff. The “stuff” that’s not really food, but part of what humans have decided to call food.

Some of the “stuff” has been created from using animals. Humans decided to take cow’s milk and drink it or turn it into cheese or ice cream and eat it. It’s not growing on trees or being pulled from the ground, naturally.

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Most of the “stuff” is highly processed food-like products that are filled with things that our bodies were not designed to eat and use for energy. White bread is NOT a food! Soft drinks are NOT a food.

Look at the list of common foods that call my name, and maybe yours too.

-pizza

-cheese (grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, nachos)

-ice cream

-potato chips

-fried foods like French fries

-bread, cakes, cookies and other desserts

-toppings that make you eat more: sour cream, butter, rich sauces, chip dip etc.

Ring a bell?

If you have a weight and/or health issue, the list probably comes as no surprise. We’re all too familiar with how good these foods can taste and how much we want to keep eating them when they hit our taste buds.

But, don’t give up because of these foods and their power over you. Let’s look at their power, and then we’ll see how we can fight back.

Why do we overeat these foods?

They are…

-too calorically dense

-too rich

-too addictive-like

-too artificially concentrated with sugar, fat and/or salt

-everywhere in our environment

It’s no wonder many of us struggle with eating right and losing or maintaining weight.

We’re up and down on the scale.

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We try to eat right and do ok for a while; we crash and burn, eat a pile of crap and then feel physically and emotionally crappy after.

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Most of us, especially women, can be REALLY hard on ourselves . Our self-talk is destructive and mean. We say things we would NEVER, EVER say to someone else.

Things like:

“You are disgusting.”

“Look how fat you are.”

“You are a huge cow.”

“Get it together, piggy.”

“How can you let yourself get to this point? How can you live with yourself?”

Look at those words. It’s not okay for us to beat ourselves up with these words. Especially when it’s not all our fault.

After we beat ourselves up, we usually try again. We try to get back on the “good eating” bandwagon. We try, fail, and try again. It’s exhausting.

Does that mean we should give in to the power of pizza and ice cream?

No!

Should we just decide we’re not worth it and give up?

Hell no!

We need to fight back!

We need to fight for our health.

I will not give up on me or my goals. I will keep fighting back.

In Part 2, I’ll post some ways we can arm ourselves to fight for our health.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Images on this post from Pexels. “…all photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.”

Quinoa + Water = Bread!

I’m so excited by my most recent discovery!

Quinoa bread. 

One of the issues I have with most breads today is that they’re filled with a bunch of things our body doesn’t need. Bad things too.

Here’s a sampling of less-than-ideal ingredients from the Country Harvest-Ancient Grains brand, which I would say appears to be one of the better brands of bread out there as it has whole grains (with the germ intact):

-refined flour

-sugar in one or more forms

-wheat/gluten

-oil in one form or another

calcium propionate (a preservative).

diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides (emulsifier to strengthen the dough): I’m not clear on the safety of this. It may be natural and come from fatty acids (that may be animal or plant-based). Either way, not sure I want to eat it on a regular basis in bread.

sodium stearoyl-2- lactylate (another emulsifier)

-vegetable monoglycerides (may contain transfats)

sorbic acid (preservative)

I am NOT a chemist or an expert in the area of food additives etc., but I am a human being who wants to eat whole, natural food as much as possible. I’m not perfect in this regard either, as I knowingly choose to consume food with unhealthy ingredients.

It is the food I eat on a regular basis, in my home, that I want more control over. I don’t want to be eating all those unpronounceable ingredients in my bread or other products I eat more regularly.

Ezekiel bread is a much better option. Its ingredients steer away from added chemicals/preservatives.

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Organic sprouted grains and lentils/soybeans, water, yeast, gluten and sea salt.

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The Ezekiel brand of bread is a great option, if you are looking for the healthiest, store-bought bread. You will find it in the freezer section.

If you think you don’t have the time to make your own bread, you’re like me. I toyed with the idea over the years. I even took a course on making ancient grain bread, and I also made bread in a bread maker. Those two options are healthy because you make them at home, but….they’re way too time consuming for me.

You CAN make your own bread (fast and simple) if you know the secret. Get ready, because this could blow your mind.

Quinoa + Water = Bread

First… two things up front.

  1. This bread is more like a flat bread-great for a pizza crust, or used like pita bread. You can make a sandwich with it, but it’s not as thick or light as bread used in a sandwich. I cut it into squares and use it with hummus etc.
  2. This is NOT my recipe. I stumbled on it through Facebook. The creator is Savy Menke. A link to her video and website is below the recipe and pictures.

Quinoa Bread (water + quinoa)

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You can cut the bread into whatever shape you like.

Ingredients

-equal parts quinoa and water (that’s it!)

Optional: add flavors of choice, to taste (herbs, spices, sea salt)

Instructions

-blend together (I use a vitamix, high-speed blender, but the recipe creator used a magic bullet)

-pour onto parchment paper-line pan

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-spread out evenly in the desired shape (I did one in a circle and another in a rectangle):  the thicker you leave it, the more of a soft, bread-like texture you’ll have; the thinner you spread it, the more like a cracker it will be.

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-bake at 430 degrees (recipe creator uses 425) for 15 min.

-flip over

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-bake for another 10 min.

The first time I made this, I used tri-colored quinoa, so the bread was a nice dark brown color. You can experiment with different colors to get the look you want (if you care)

I tried it a second time, with regular quinoa and added Mrs. Dash and nutritional yeast (as the recipe creator does).

My family enjoys this bread, and I recently took it to a family event and served it with hummus…I guess that’s a good sign. I love the fact that I can make this bread at home, and it is so healthy!

I’m looking forward to experimenting with this recipe. I might try adding a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweeter version. I’d also like to try a basil and sun-dried tomato bread.

Thanks for the awesome recipe, Savy!

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Get the Goodness In

I love avocado. REALLY love it!

It seems to be pretty popular, whether sliced on a sandwich, mashed and spread onto toast or mixed into a fine guacamole. It’s tasty, especially with a touch of lime juice and sea salt, but its most prevalent feature is its creamy, dreamy texture.

The high fat content gives us what we crave, that creamy feel in our mouth.

When you’re watching your weight or monitoring your fat intake, sometimes we feel guilty eating the almighty avocado….until now!

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years is to add healthy greens or vegetables to dishes where I normally wouldn’t. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get in that extra nutrition once you know this trick.

For instance, like many people, I could LIVE on mashed avocado (with some lime juice and sea salt) on toast. When I crave the big, green fatty-but-awesome fruit, I mash in some extra nutrition by finely chopping whatever greens I have on hand. I use kale, spinach or arugula usually. Greens like romaine would probably be a bit too moist, but they might work.

The trick is to finely chop the greens so they blend in smoothly with the avocado. I just use the old-fashioned knife and cutting board to chop the greens, but I suppose the greens and the avocado together could be put in a food processor? Haven’t tried that.

If not on toast, I might spread my green goodness on some healthy corn chips (made with no oil!). Sometimes I’ll have both (toast and chips). Like I said, I just LOVE avocado.

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If I’m in a hurry, and I just don’t have time to chop up my greens, I might throw those greens right on top of my avocado spread. Works on the run.

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When making my fave toast, I sometimes don’t stop at the extra greens; I might throw on a few tomato or cucumber slices or some onion.

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There are tons of other ways to add in greens or veggies to your snacks or meals. When you do this for yourself, you’re adding oodles of extra phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. I say, “Why not get those nutrients in my body while I’m getting this other stuff in?”

Here are some tried and true ways to get more nutrients into your body:

Guacamole or Dips: add those greens! Finely chop greens into guac or hummus or your own unique bean spread.

Mashed potatoes: can add in finely chopped greens, green onions, or mashed cauliflower. Try one of these and play around with how much you add to the potatoes until you find the right balance that works for your taste buds.

Pasta: add your favourite veggies to your pasta to get in some more of the good stuff. I buy frozen, chopped kale, which is perfect for a last-minute add-in to any pasta dish. Any veggie will do. Sometimes, I just chop up whatever leftovers are hanging around in the fridge and throw them into the pasta. Have little nuggets of goodness around to add, such as capers or sun-dried tomatoes. Add them in. If you get good at this, you can start trying to make your meals more veggie-heavy and less pasta-heavy.

Soups: add almost anything goes here: fresh or frozen veggies, rice or other whole grains, greens etc. If you’re making a nice squash soup, add in some chopped red peppers or even some greens. If you’re making a broth-based soup, try adding barely; it really makes a soup hearty (and healthy too!).

Smoothies: it’s really easy to sneak in goodness in a smoothie. Many people focus on the fruit part of a smoothie. Some parents worry their kids won’t eat a healthier green smoothie. Give it a try, you sneaky cook. Add greens into your smoothies; chances are no one will even notice. You can start with a few spinach leaves, for example, and build up over time. Other things I slip into smoothies that don’t change the taste: turmeric, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.

Oatmeal: don’t just have plain old oatmeal; load it up with fresh or thawed, frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, ginger etc.

So, before you serve or chow down on your next snack or meal, look around and ask yourself, “What healthy bits can I add to this?”

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Let’s have a Look Inside…

We know more about a myriad of topics that we do about how our own bodies work. Sure, we know some basics, but there is so much we just take for granted and don’t really KNOW, you know?

It’s absolutely amazing to think about how our bodies function because the parts seem to run in the background without us even noticing. Heart beating, lungs expanding, blood flowing, nerves connecting etc.

One of the coolest body systems, to me, is the digestion of food. I think it’s the most interesting system. It nourishes us and gives us energy.

Have you ever seen up-close footage of food digesting? Well, it’s super cool.

Check out this video (5 min.) that shows actual food being digested inside the body. Warning for the squeamish: some ooey, gooey moments in this video, but worth watching to really see what is happening.

I think most people are severely disconnected from what they eat and from what happens to the food in their bodies. We almost forget about what we do to ourselves when we eat. Let’s think about this for a minute.

Imagine, you’re eating a salad with spinach, tomato, onions, black beans and a light dressing, preferably with no oil. You know your body is designed to eat that. You know your body knows what to do with it and that it will pull out all the nutrients, help the body function well and discard the parts it doesn’t need.

You feel good right? You feel light and energized after.

Let’s imagine a different meal. This one is deep fried mozzarella sticks with French fries.

Whoa! I think your body has its work cut out for it.

Even if you don’t think that kind of food is really bad for the body, you instinctively know the first meal is designed for our bodies and the second meal isn’t.

The cheese and fries meal does eventually get digested, but our poor bodies have to work very hard to do so. The high fat content, along with the lack of nutrients, makes it less likely we’ll be nourished or that our bodies will function optimally. Never mind the fact that there are all kinds of negative effects from eating that food (bloating, gas, etc.).

And the reward, after? We feel sluggish, tired and have little energy.

So, if we instinctively know certain foods aren’t good for us, why do we keep assaulting our bodies with them?

Taste, texture, pleasure, addiction, and a food high for some of us. It’s these things, I believe, that create a struggle for me and for many other people. We want to do the right thing, but…

Lately, I’ve really been trying to think of my gorgeous, made-by-nature insides, and how much they will appreciate a good whole foods meal, preferably consisting of mostly plants.

I picture that food going down my esophagus, into my stomach and then, later, moving through my intestines and colon. I think what the colon leaves us is also highly important, in terms of our health, but that’s for another post. 🙂

I want to treat my body with respect and nourish it, so the days I have on this earth are healthy ones. I continue to work towards this goal each day.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Back to Reality

I’m back from Mexico, sunned and relaxed.

We stayed in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle; it was my first time in Mexico not at an all inclusive. Our condo was about 5 min. from the beach and the marina in this quaint fishing village.

Although we prepared a few meals in the condo, most of our meals were from restaurants or markets. My daughter is vegetarian, and I am mostlyplant-based, so we focused on meals without meat or seafood.

For breakfasts, our favorite place was Don Simon Café, a small café with delicious food and friendly service.

There’s no better way to start the day than with a nice hot cappuccino. They provide a nice large serving in a comforting cup, and is topped with cinnamon.

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Sitting outside, watching the locals going about their day is a treat.

In the picture below, my daughter and hubby walked across the street while we waited for our breakfast. The man who owned the white truck and dogs used to have nine dogs. He had five in the truck. It turns out that the other four were killed at some point during one or more burglaries of the pharmacy next to his home. So sad.

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In addition to our cappuccino infatuation, we also looked forward to the fresh juice. The café had three different choices, but our favorite was the green juice. I can’t recall all the ingredients, but the focus was spinach, pineapple and parsley. So fresh and tasty.

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For breakfasts we had egg dishes such as omelettes. Often, breakfasts were served with fruit or potato as well as toast.  Sometimes they were served with refried beans, but I wasn’t a big fan (usually made with lard). We also found fresh fruit with yogurt and granola as a tasty breakfast item. Overall, I was satisfied with the choices. If I’d been eating 100% plant-based, I would have asked for sautéed or grilled veggies instead of eggs and had them with fruit and toast.

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Other meals in Mexico were veggie tacos, burritos and fajitas. Corn tortillas were abundant, so with some fresh guacamole, I was in heaven.

I came back from our trip the sameweight, which is a bonus. We walked a lot most days, and I didn’t have much alcohol. Some wine here and there and a few margaritas.

Overall, I feel like I had not only a relaxing time away, but I feel revived from the sun and from the healthy and fresh food options.

Now that I’m back to reality in cold Canada, I am ready to  focus on the next part of myhealth journey-continuing with my goal of eating mostly plant-based, with little alcohol and moving my body regularly. Stay tuned.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli