One of the biggest problems people face when making life changes, is the simple act of getting started.
Often the beginning of any new diet, exercise program, meditation or other habitual change can be a daunting task.
Most of us have said to ourselves, I’ll start on Monday, the first of the month, or of course, after New Years.
It really doesn’t matter when you start, just start. And if you say Monday, and you don’t get started until Wednesday, then be kind to yourself and just congratulate yourself when you do get started.
The other big problem for most people is how to get started. You don’t want to be so drastic that your new program is unattainable. In my experience, it’s always easier to smart small and build upon your initial success.
How we eat is probably the most important overall factor in our health and longevity. We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” There is a lot of truth in this statement and in fact, if you can find a diet and lifestyle that gives you more energy and focus while providing the right levels of micro and macro nutrients then the overall benefits are remarkable.
Today, there are a lot of different types of dietary lifestyles with people embracing intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets, and vegan or plant based diets.
Whatever diet you want to try – start and see what works.
Personally, during my current journey I am going to combine intermittent fasting with a vegetarian based diet. My vegetarian diet will be mostly vegan with the elimination of dairy and animal protein from 4 legged animals and birds, however I will still be eating fish. (And for those of you who have been following Greensbury, don’t worry, I will still be cooking delicious organic meats and sustainable seafood for my wife and kids).
I am targeting about 80% green leafy vegetables and 20% legumes, seeds, fruits, and fish. Additionally, I am following an Ayurvedic programs that incorporates fasting by targeting 1-2 meals a day. The first meal window is 9-10am and the second meal window is 12-2pm with no food after 6pm. In fact, I will try not to eat after the lunch meal which is the primary meal of the day.
To start my transition, I am actually using a program called Prolon. The Prolon program is a fasting mimicking diet that is vegan based. It comes in a box with all five days of the meals included in individual packaging with a simple guide of what to eat when. It’s super easy and the food is pretty tasty consisting of nut bars, soups, kale crackers and olives. I’ve only used it once before but I felt amazing and lost about 12 lbs in the first week. I am on day 2 and I have already shed 4 lbs.
This transitional program allows me to not have to think about what to eat when I get started. Then as I transition back to regular food, my system is already primed for the new lifestyle.
Another easy way to get started is an elimination diet. Make a list of things that you need to cut back on and then simply start eliminating them from what you eat. You can do this with gluten, dairy, red meat, etc.
I know that a lot of people think about eliminating carbohydrates is the key to weight loss and healthy living, but that is simply not the case. I think a lot of people confuse gluten with carbohydrates. Gluten in general is a very inflammatory food, whereas carbohydrates can be very beneficial. The consumption of sweet potatoes, legumes, seeds, quinoa, millet, long grain rice and fruits actually provide critical nutrients that our bodies need for energy. While you might think that protein is what your body and brain need the most, it is in fact carbohydrates. And when you eat protein your body simply converts the protein into carbohydrates.
Whatever diet you do pursue – please cut out sugar. Sugar is the most destructive additive to our systems. Did you know that cancer feeds off of sugar. Refined sugar is bad – plain and simply. This doesn’t mean that all fruit is bad because it has sugar. In fact, small servings of fruit can be very beneficial due to the nutrients and the energy your body gets from the fruit. I’d recommended lots of berries, red grapes, cherries, apples, kiwi, guava, mango, papaya and pineapple. However, according to Ayurvedic guidelines you should not mix fruit with the rest of your meal. In fact, have your fruit 90 minutes before or 2 hours after your other food. The only exceptions are avocados, olives and coconut. For me, this means that fruit will be the primary food at the breakfast meal without any other vegetables or protein. You can mix the fruit with coconut yogurt and you can chop in some cilantro to help detox. Cilantro is one of the best naturally chelation foods and can help remove heavy metals and other toxins.
That’s a lot for today, so think about it and then lets do the work today.