I’m beginning to hear another phrase, along with my title, “if I had a dollar every time someone says ‘It’s not a diet, It’s a lifestyle’ I’d be a rich lady”.
“Diet” seems to be a dirty word, it’s attached to suffering, sacrifice, overall unpleasantness, maybe discomfort. “Lifestyle” sounds fun, right? It’s a life with style, something most people would readily agree to.
The fact is 80%* of healthy lifestyle changes revolve around diet, or let’s say the food you are putting into your body. If you’ve been pursuing healthy choices for any period of time, you know enough to stay away from fad diet schemes or to get pulled into the latest media darling of healthy eating – Gluten free cup cakes, anyone? But at the same time, with the world shouting in your face about obesity epidemics and toxic foods you may be itching to change your life this spring and totally unsure where to begin.
In my personal research of reading books, spending loads of time online, listening to all kinds of doctors, perusing loads of “diets” (Vegan, Mediterranean, Paleo, Plant-based, Clean, The Kind Diet, The Detox Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet, The Body Ecology Diet, Weston Price, Kimberly Snyder, Dr. Frank Limpan, Dr. Weil…..the list goes on and on), here’s the basic skeletal structure of what a healthy lifestyle looks like:
EAT: Non-modern foods – think as close to nature as possible (Apple vs. Apple Jacks), cook at home as often as possible. Think in groups like: protein, fat and carbohydrate, these are the things your body needs and can really use, not Doritos (which falls into the “franken-food” category).
MOVE: Exercise, six days a week. Walk, dance, run, garden, vacuum, jump rope – don’t worry about a set time or pushing yourself till you drop, just get your body moving and build on as you are ready.
DRINK: Water, water and more water
REST: You must sleep, all kinds of repair and cleaning goes on in your lovely body (much of which we still don’t completely understand) while you are getting your shut eye.
If you are in the midst of making changes, I’d also encourage you to BE KIND to yourself. Many of the less than healthy habits we’ve picked up have been in our lives for awhile, it takes time to let them go as well.
* This “80%” is a totally made number on my part, pulled from my own guess-timation while doing research. I assigned such a large percentage because it plays a very large part in getting healthy.