Day 1: Eat A Rainbow- A self-love pep talk and a new, healthy habit

I had a reality check this week. And last week. Well I guess it’s been a month of self-realization!

1st realization: I’m 21 and I get out of breath walking uphill. Memory loss runs in my family and….wait, what was I saying? I have dropped out of PE for 2 semesters running. Hmm….

2nd realization: My arms are still messed up from when I worked in the bakery and got repetitive stress injuries. I drop stuff and get fatigued really easily.  (Frosting cupcakes is not something to take lightly, people.)

3rd realization: I want to go back to culinary school after I graduate.

The combination of all these thoughts led me to attempt what has previously been only the practice of a few days here and there throughout my life: being healthy.

To me, being healthy isn’t about weighing myself or fitting into that trendy bikini (I’ve had the same bikini since highschool, so I’m not really into being fashionable…). But oftentimes we say “being healthy” when what we really mean is “making myself thinner”, myself included.

I could benefit by losing 15 lbs. I probably will once I start eating right and exercizing. But one of the things I realized after talking to other people, whether it was my therapist, my friends, my family, or on Gala’s blog, self-loathing and hating your body doesn’t make you look better. You may get through a diet, but then you go back to your old habits. You may even lose the weight or live healthier, but your crummy self-image will always come back to bite you.

So start with self-love and start with self-esteem.

Yeah, easier said than done, right?

I LOVE FOOD

Why else would I be a food blogger? When people say “comfort food” I’m like, “….you mean ‘food’?” Eating has always been a consoling, comforting activity for me. And being in deep, profound love with dessert, pastries, chocolates…you can imagine how easy it is to justify eating a box of doughnuts when you look at it as “culinary research”.

But life is short. And bodies develop problems when you put only chocolate truffles and French macarons into you.

So how do you love yourself while taking care of your body? How do you keep up positive body image while trying to change your physique? How do you eat healthily without making it an excerise in self-punishment?

I don’t know, this is an experiment! Part of this process, however, is giving as much of my love for food as I can into being healthy. My passion for becoming a chef in the future and the improvements I need to make to my health to do that are my inspiration.

If you want to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself, ask yourself these questions:

What do you love? What do you want to be fit for? And most importantly, what do you love LOVE LOVE about yourself already?

 

Alright, that’s enough of that!

EAT A RAINBOW

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You know you want to. You probably remember those charts on the walls of your middle school with all the generic vegetables and fruits arranged in a color wheel, with the command to eat all of the colors of the rainbow every day. This helps you get the diverse nutrients you need and makes healthy eating fun. But how to make this theory an enjoyable reality?

Here’s my rainbow-eating process:

Wake up in the morning and look in the fridge. What colors do you already have? I had red grapes and tomatoes, a banana, asparagus and cucumber. Red, yellow and green taken care of. Doing this saves you money and odds are the things in your fridge are things you’ll like.

Go to the grocery store. I walked, to get my exercise in. Get the rest of your colors as well as any protein or grain compliments you’d like. The trick to eating a rainbow is not making yourself eat them all raw, but making them into delicious meals for yourself. Having the other ingredients, such as a protein or fresh pasta already in the fridge will help keep you on track. (Just try to avoid frying them or adding a ton of salt.)

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These are some of my favorite compliments to vegetables. Buckwheat soba takes moments to cook. Flax tempeh has added healthy oils. Hummus is just good on everything (I often spread it on sandwiches instead of the usual condiments). And I just like coconut water. It is also very hydrating and naturally sweet.

A serving is 1/2 cup of fruits or vegetables. 1 cup for leafy greens.

Make up your meals before you leave the house if you can. If you plan on needing dinner, bring it with you in a tupperware.  Don’t limit yourself to no snacking. When you’re hungry, eat one of your colors! Bring water with you if you can.

Shopping every day for a few items helps me keep #1 from getting overwhelmed and not knowing what to make and #2 from eating everything all at once. All honesty here: if I get stressed and there’s something in the fridge, it’s nothing but collateral damage.

This process works for me because I love cooking. Making myself a special meal and experimenting with new ingredients is holding my interest so far! Try it and see what you think, but if it doesn’t work for you, I’ll be posting a lot more ideas!

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