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What's On Your Plate? Learning To Enjoy What You Eat

What is the key to nutrition? I used to think nutrition was a dirty word. One article states eat broccoli while another article states broccoli creates bloating. One article states stay away from chocolate while another article states that dark chocolate is good for your health. With all these competing options, how does one know what to eat to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle?

Remember, everyone is unique. If we were all the same; that would be a boring world wouldn't it? Since we are all unique in our own ways, so are our bodies and what is needed in order to fuel our bodies. With each body, why would we all want to eat the same things? What works for one person may not work for another. It's finding the food balance that fits your body and your lifestyle.

For the longest time, I feared food. I always said that just looking at food made me gain weight. It wasn't until I started meeting with a qualified personal trainer that I learned it wasn't rocket science, it's all about Balance. Our bodies aren't designed to be rollercoasters where we decide to remove a bunch of food to lose weight immediately just to put it back on (DIET) or taking that magic pill that will "POOF" make us into supermodels overnight. At the end of the day, a great trainer once taught me that "We need to want to make a change, not for a quick fix but for a lifetime." It's about creating a lifestyle change not so we can lose weight instantly for one reason or another, but that we make healthy daily decisions that we can stick with for a lifetime.

Easier said than done, how do we do that? For me, it was bringing me back to the basics of a balanced meal plan and creating portions for myself. I allowed myself to enjoy ALL foods. WHAT?!? I don't have to stick to proteins and greens and limit myself to just fruits and vegetables to lose weight? I can have those PMM's (my acronym for Peanut M&Ms) and a slice of pizza without worrying about weight gain? The answer was "Yes" in moderation. I'm not suggesting that you go out and get a large double pepperoni, extra cheese pizza and eat the whole thing, but can you have a couple of slices? Absolutely. I'm not suggesting that you go out and purchase a large tub of PMMs and eat the whole thing in a day, but like I say, "a handful a day keeps Tanya at bay." Should you give up proteins, fruits and vegetables? Absolutely not, feel free to eat plenty of these. It's all about balance and moderation. That's It!!!

Tips on Building a Healthy Lifestyle Filled with Foods You Love

  • Listen to your body - explore options that work for you based on your health needs.

  • Watch your reactions as you eat foods ie how do you feel?

  • Get tested to check on any potential allergies you might have to certain foods.

  • If diabetic, seek a diabetic educator who can assist with your dietary needs.

  • Reduce the amounts of simple carbohydrates and replace with complex carbohydrates.

  • Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and proteins in your daily intake.

  • Reduce the amount of fats or salty foods that might increase your water retention.

  • Drink plenty of water to flush your system and keep the body hydrated. This will also assist in reduced cramping.

This article is an example of how I changed my eating behaviors; however, I am not a certified nutritionist. If you want to understand more of what works for you based on your lifestyle, I would recommend researching and finding a good certified nutritionist or a personal trainer that has education on a balanced fitness routine that will personalize a plan that FITS you and your needs.

I will leave you with this saying EAT TO FUEL YOUR BODY NOT FEED YOUR EMOTIONS. Choose the foods that provide you more energy to perform the functions of your day. Bon Appetit!

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