One of the things I’ve learned in my journey towards better health is that it’s important to keep things simple. Often, people overwhelm themselves by complicating things beyond their personal levels of comfort. I was definitely one of those people. Then, it dawned on me. My greatest success has been when I’ve taken the challenge I was facing and ran it through my filter and life motto, “Simplicity, with a dash of elegance.™”
As I worked towards finding my ideal “diet”, I decided to break things down to the bare components of what I knew was healthy and good for me, and what wasn’t. These are the components I came up with:
- These would derive from lean meats such as chicken breast, turkey, fish, beans, nuts
- Another source is through protein shakes, but be sure to educate yourself on a type before buying it, because a lot of protein powders have things you may not need in them, or may include fillers
- It’s important to consume carbs from good sources, which as a general rule of thumb would include whole wheat and whole grain foods
- Avoid the white bread, white rice, etc. because those are full of sugars and have been refined to the degree the majority of their nutritional value
- For this, I usually include ground flax seeds (from what I’ve read, our bodies can’t digest the whole seeds, so they must be ground) in sauces, protein shakes, etc.
- I also eat oatmeal, and Metamucil (yes, Metamucil – the orange flavoured stuff tastes AMAZING!)
- There are two types of dietary fibre, soluble and insoluble (I’ll discuss those in a separate post soon)
- There are good fats and there are bad fats
- Most processed foods, and things jam-packed with sugar (a.k.a. junk food) are filled with bad fats
- Good fats come from healthy oils, fish, nuts, and things like that
- These are personal favourites for keeping myself full throughout the day, and helping me not get hungry. If I get hungry, I munch on them
- They are filled with natural sugars, fibre, and loads of vitamins
- I avoid fruit after 7-8 p.m. because of their sugar content
- I drink so much of this, you’d think I was a water well haha. But seriously, water is your best friend. Still, too much of a good thing is bad for you, so make sure that you’re sticking to a healthy amount for your age, height, weight, lifestyle, etc.
- There’s no cookie-cutter amount of water consumptions that fits everyone. For more details on knowing how much you can consume, here’s a short, simple article by Jillian Michaels (How Much Water Should I Drink?)
Now, remember, this is just my own personal guideline. I stick to eating from these different groups, and watch my caloric intake using myFitnessPal. As I’m very indecisive about my meal choices, I don’t bother with making a meal plan, but instead, cook up or grab something using these categories. I’ve tried meal plans before, and every time I go to make something, I get lazy and just end up eating the thing I have quickest access to.
Like I said, every person is different. Finding your own way is part of this journey towards getting into your personal ideal shape. Find what works for you through trial and error, and make an effort to educate yourself, not only because what you eat is 70-80% of your healthy lifestyle and dietary success, but also because this is a lifestyle change. This process will take time, so if you’re seeking a quick fix, know that it will only last as long as it took to reach. The more time you take working towards your goals, educating yourself, and working vigorously towards reaching your ideal, the more permanent the results will be.
I wish you all the best in this journey, and if you have any comments, suggesting, or ideas that you’d like to discuss, include them in the comments below, and maybe we’ll get to learn a thing or two from each other. Remember, this is a positive journey, so let’s stay positive and motivate each other towards success!