How I Eat

Not really sure where to start here because my eating habits have morphed a lot since last May.  Two semesters ago while studying abroad in Australia, I put on some weight (let's get serious, who didn't while abroad?) so i began a strict diet regime (i'll definitely post about that in the near future) this regime worked extremely well for me.  I'm still trying to lose weight but my desire to lose weight transformed into a desire to be healthy.  After reading countless food blogs, the books Skinny Bitch and Bethenny Frankel's Naturally Thin, I've used all of this info and developed my own eating lifestyle which has kept the weight i've lost off and enhanced my lifestyle not only nutritionally but emotionally.  My decision to become a vegan has nothing to do with losing weight, this decision is because of factory farming, but let's forget about labels for now and focus on what's important:

  • I strive to eat natural, whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible- fruits, vegetables, things that do not have an ingredients list and are in their natural form
  • If i do eat a processed/packaged food, the first thing i do is READ THE INGREDIENTS.  I steer clear of artificial flavoring/ingredients (like aspartame and splenda) as these are chemicals- YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT people
  • Healthy fats: hummus, nut butters (all natural, no added salt/oil/anything- almond, peanut, cashew), avocados, raw nuts.  All of these are healthy AND tasteful, but I strongly believe must be eaten in moderation (actually everything really should be eaten in moderation) I stick to the serving size or less, and try not to have more than 2 tablespoons of nut butter a day since it is hard to have will power with (at least for me)
  • I get protein from beans, nuts, tofu, Amy's Texas Veggie Burgers (i eat this probably at least 4 times a week).  However, lately i've been trying to cut down on soy protein (found in tofu, veggie burgers, soy milk) because it is heavily processed
  • For those of you who eat meat- stick with lean meats (extra lean ground turkey, skinless meats, deli slices meat that isn't fried/breaded/fatty) 
  • I usually do not eat dairy products (factory farming reasons) but lately I've been having Greek yogurt for calcium for my fractured bone.  Nonfat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are extremely healthy though and if you do not wish to follow a vegan lifestyle these are loaded with protein! but be careful with the flavored Greek yogurts- they tend to have a lot of sugar
  • Like I said earlier, read the ingredients, that is the most important thing i learned from the book Skinny Bitch.  People are putting so much shit into their bodies just because things are coined "fat free" and "sugar free" but most of these products aren't filling and cause you to eat more in the long run.  A filling snack with simple ingredients may have 10g of fat and 200 calories, but is so much more satisfying and HEALTHY than a tiny pack of 100 calorie oreos which leave you starving for more
  • I don't eat anything that's white except for Greek yogurt.  These nutrition-less items are your white bread, white rice aka all of the nutrients have been stripped from these carbs.  SMART CARBS = 100% whole wheat breads, and even better, Ezekiel sprouted wraps, tortillas, pitas, etc (brand= food for life) are AMAZING and found in the frozen organic bread section of Wegmans, Weis, Kings, Whole Foods) But seriously, whole wheat (and brown rice) is the healthiest and if you're a carb-lover like I am, you can eat this moderation, of course
  • 5 servings of fruits, 5 servings of veggies per day is a great way to start (i think i definitely have more than 5 servings of veggies a day though haha) and 8oz of water, if you're not fond of water, add fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice to it, a strawberry, a cucumber, anything to jazz it up.  Carrying around a big bottle of water (like a Sigg one) is a great way to hit 8 oz while saving the environment and $$
  • I recently stopped drinking caffeine because it is extremely acidic and tough on the digestive system, for tips on how to get yourself off coffee email me 
  • Soda is HORRIBLE for you, even if it's Diet.  Don't drink the stuff, it's made of pure chemicals, there are more natural alternatives out there- i don't know the names off the top of my head because i've never been a soda-drinker, but i'll get on that asap
  • Stevia is a wonder drug.  Personally, I'm not huge on sweeteners because i enjoy food's natural taste, and encourage people to try to also,  but if you are used to adding sweeteners like sugar, splenda, and equal, you should really consider Stevia which is the NATURAL form of these chemicals- give it a try if you care about your body 
For a comprehensive eating plan to get started, Gina aka The Fitnessista has a GREAT comprehensive one here, along with a work out plan! Her blog has been my inspiration for almost a year now, so if you're just getting into all this stuff, definitely check her out.

Wonderful products that can be purchased almost anywhere:
  • Larabars (the ingredients are unbeatable)
  • Amy's frozen meals (veggie burgers, etc) are all natural and delicious, just watch out for high sodium levels
  • Kashi products
  • Maranatha Raw Almond Butter (always check the ingredients though, make sure the only ingredient is raw almonds/whatever nut butter you're getting)
  • Ezekiel Sprouted Grain wraps, tortillas, anything (Food For Life brand)
I'll consistently update this page, but just wanted to fill everyone in on my food philosophies a bit