How to Eat Healthy When You Hate Eating Healthy
Chicken nuggets, pizza, wings, tacos, burritos, ice cream, cake, double fudge chocolate brownies, YOU NAME IT! I love eating crap. I love eating food that slowly kills my body and I don't care. Before writing this post I literally ate five donuts within a 24 hour time span. I like to tell myself, "Life is too short to not eat delicious food." It wasn't until I was diagnosed with my autoimmune disease (Ankylosing Spondylitis - AS) at the end of my freshman year of college that I was forced to make a change. A lot of the foods I was eating were causing all the joints in my body to inflame. I was devastated. I had to go on a full cave man diet. Gluten free, dairy free, sugar fee, all things fun free. I knew though, if I wanted to stop the flare ups and get my life back I needed to make a HUGE change in my diet. I honestly believed that eating healthy would entail unseasoned bland meats, soggy vegetables, and brown rice without butter though. I cried a bit, not gonna lie. Yet, I quickly learned that healthy food can actually taste amazing!
My mom is a huge supporter of my health and she has been my rock throughout my entire AS journey. She was the one who did endless research on the disease and found natural ways to battle it. Mainly, a change in my diet. She cooked for me while I was on bedrest (my AS got so bad that I couldn't walk) and was able to create amazing, tasty meals that were compatible with my new diet. That's when I learned that just because something is healthy doesn't mean your taste buds will cry in pain. That cooking healthy meals, isn't that difficult to do. Finally, that eating healthy can make you feel 100x better (mentally, physically, emotionally). So eating healthy can CHANGE your life like it changed mine... if you do it correctly. By "correctly", I mean eating not only healthy meals but yummy ones! That way you won't dread your next meal or you won't be constantly thinking about food because you are starving. "But how do I get started?" you might ask. Well I have outlined ten simple rules to help with your new healthy attitude:
- Make a meal plan. This is one of the most important things if you want to eat healthy. This helps you have structure and a schedule to stick to. Without one, it is easy to fly of the rails. Subscribe at the bottom of this post to get my Reveal and Revel Healthy Meal Plan Template.
- Meal prep. I hate meal prepping but it is so nice to have my food all ready to go during the week. All I have to do is take my tupperware out of the refrigerator and eat it. Just take Sunday afternoon to get all your meals ready for the week and that's it! Also, I recommend buying some multiple compartment tupperware (link below).
- Find a grocery delivery service. I absolutely love these services!!! I personally use Instacart and it has been extremely helpful. I can just go into the app, select my items, and then they will be delivered to me that day. I highly recommend one of these services for anyone who is on a tight schedule and doesn't have a whole lot of time to get to the store. Super helpful!
- Invest in an awesome cookbook. Whole30, Paleo, Keto - all are filled not only with delicious recipes but also information on the meal plan and why our bodies need to be eating only certain foods. Or make a new Pinterest board and pin some great recipes. There are many places to find awesome recipes that are also healthy so don't use the "I don't know how to make that" or "I don't know where to look" excuse. There are more than enough resources. Book links below.
- Partner up! Find a friend or family member to join you on this journey! You will be able to keep each other accountable and support each other on your adventures of clean eating.
- If you decide to eat out at a restaurant, look at the menu ahead of time. You will be able to determine which areas of the menu are off limits so you can make a more informed selection. I know this sounds ridiculous, but once you get to the restaurant, sit down, and see everyone else's food passing by to other tables, you are more likely to choose the cheeseburger over the grilled chicken.
- If you end up eating irresponsibly and cheating on your "healthy eating plan" don't stress. Just make sure you only have a cheat meal and NOT an entire cheat day. Stop right there and get back on the healthy food train. TOOT TOOT!
- This one is fairly obvious, but drink water!!! Drink an entire gallon of water a day. It will keep you full in between meals and it has so many health benefits. If you have trouble remembering to drink enough water, get a reusable water bottle and set a goal that you will finish one bottle every hour. Now if you don't like drinking water at all, then add some fruit or cucumber slices or something to jazz it up a bit. See water bottle links below.
- Another obvious way to stay eating healthy is to get enough sleep. When we get enough sleep we are more likely to make better decisions. Thus, we will eat some egg whites on avocado toast rather than a stack of pancakes with syrup.
- Finally, just get through the first seven to ten days. Those are the roughest days. On day 10 you might feel sluggish and icky, but then something amazing happens. You suddenly feel full of energy and great! Your body finishes adjusting to your new diet and you feel all those "good for you" nutrients kick in.