A diet is truly a woman’s best friend. May top over diamond, dogs, or chocolate because of its consistency in every girl talk and never ending high interest on the topic. Hahaha.. And even more in the lives of mothers post births. The extra pounds we need to shed (sooner or later) is definitely one of many motherhood goals.
I, myself, is a decade long procrastinator, ever since my first daughter was born over 10 years ago. My past college self and today faced around 15 kgs in between. My excuses was my breastmilk supply drops dramatically whenever I eat less and as a stay at home mom sometimes it is even harder to prepare proper meals for yourself while tending the kids. It is easier to just shove any kind of food available including unhealthy snacks and also gets to be the one who finishes off everybody else’s leftovers. In short, the pounds stayed with me.
Acknowledging the problem is one thing but now, what shall it be?? Which diet is best? The already present mayo diet, the hip happening ketofastosis, or everlasting food combining method, the old school way of low carbs high protein? And those are just the tip of the iceberg in the vast world of diets.
After much consideration, I decide that extreme dieting is not for me. And definitely not a healthy choice for long term lifestyle. If you are seriously overweight I do agree that you should take more drastic measures but at some point, trying to lose weight should put us in the normal body weight range because of our healthy eating pattern.
So, here it is… my (delayed) resolution:
Say YES to CLEAN EATING.
However I would include vegetarian and food combining as recommended diets also.
Recommended read: 2017, Year of Healthy Beginnings
What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating in short is choosing whole, natural, unprocessed food. The concept is relatively simple and not a new phrase to us. For me, it resounds sustainability. Changing your eating pattern should be simple, right? Otherwise, the conditions might come across as too difficult and headed to the exit door sometime soon.
Here are some easy steps to start with.
- Focus on whole foods. Forget processed foods. Find foods which does not come in a can, box, or package. Choose fresh foods. Yeah, it sounds easy peasy but no, it is not. Our lives are surrounded by easy handy food. Stuffs that are ready to eat, just need a quick whip, a quick hop in the pan, or merely some seconds in the microwave. Especially for moms of little children, there processed foods are really our allies. Always there to save the day, calms cranky hungry kids in a jiffy. So, let’s rethink. Be more conscious in buying food is a good start. You know, my favorite miracle food for hurried meals are actually eggs! They are always fresh, ready to cook, versatile in so many recipes catered to just about anyone, and can keep the processed food away for one more day.
- Go for unrefined goods. Oh, how we love refined foods because of their super tastiness. The more refined they are actually the more popular they become. Increase consumption of red, brown, or black rice instead of our usual white rice. The white version is actually very refined that it became stripped of all the goodness it contains. Leaving only an insulin spike in our daily lives. But in Asian families loaded with over 10-20 kgs per family monthly rice consumption, you might be hitting brick wall here. In my case, I try. Simply try. Unrefined grains are more coarse in taste while we turn to white rice for comfort food. However, after several tries, I believe we (yes, you and me) can choose our favorite one. Mine is the brown rice because it is quite soft and closely mimics white rice without foregoing high fiber, vitamins, and minerals it possesses. You should give it a try and decide for yourself. Same thing goes for bread. Some whole wheat bread can be grainy and hard to chew while some other brands are really soft and taste good. After some time of habituation you might even feel that eating plain white refined bread tastes like…nothing at all.
- Cut down on far, salt, and sugar. Note that the main source of salt and sugar are from processed food. So when you cut down on them, you automatically reduce your salt and sugar intake.
- Skip the empty calories in sweet drinks. Oh, how I am so close to tears while typing this :'( This is something I totally haven’t take a a step at all. I personally am a huge fan of milk tea, any kind. Literally my daily regime, I tried to keep a rule of once a day. But this can be hard when going out with family. Yes, I do realize that sweet drinks are the source of extra unneeded calories. And also the additional sugar is bad for your long term health. Quoting Diane Welland MS, RD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean: avoiding coffee and soft drinks can reduce 400-500 calories a day. Serious numbers, right? I will try her suggestion to opt for unsweetened tea instead. Wish me luck! You can also choose low fat milk or fresh unsweetened juice and sparkling water.
Naturally, whole, natural foods are fresh in nature and home cooked to ensure less processing. When in trouble, grab some fruit or salad for a quick solution since they are as wholesome as it could be. If you have time issues, ordering a healthy catering plan might be a good idea.
Keep It Simple
Clean eating is not merely a weight loss diet but also a change in lifestyle. Therefore the results may not be seen instantly.But rest assured that we are on our way to be healthy. Stay away from instant weight loss diet that includes diet pills, medications, or surgical method as they can be dangerous in the long run.
Keeping a simple yet healthy lifestyle definitely will matter to our children as we are their role models. Wouldn’t we want them to someday have an interest in staying healthy and making good life choices? We can make the difference in their lives really (I am talking to myself on this. Seriously motivating myself.)
Take Your Baby Steps Today
The picture is sometimes too big so we need to take baby steps to start. Any steps is important nevertheless.
- read more health articles
- follow fitness and healthy diet accounts on social media
- eat various healthy superfoods like chia seeds or rolled oats. Find new favorites.
- join communities focusing on health and fitness
- talk to your family on the idea for support
Everything starts with KNOWLEDGE before it can be out into action. So my best advice is to keep reading, keep learning.
One day we will take that brave step. The first step. Say hello to a better lifestyle.
Keep reading. Stay fit.
Have questions? Talk to Fiona