“Clean” Your Plate
Earlier this month I published a blog post titled, Just Move—a short piece sharing how I wanted to lose a few pounds and ride the wild zip lines of St. Maarten, Virgin Islands. I had been reminded by my buddy Jay to “just move” more often and more naturally; his advice made a world of difference.
This week, I received an email from one of my readers. Here is an excerpt:
“You just made my day…. Just Move is so believable and true. My problem is that throughout my journey lately, I have been almost moving constantly… up and down and spinning around. Yet through all these 6 months, I have lost only 10 pounds. It is like ‘What is wrong with my body to fight me?’ I don’t overeat. At least I don’t believe I do. My sisters are so slender. I used to be.”
As soon as I read her note, I had an instant nudge: It’s the food she’s eating. If you do a bit of research, the secret to finding a healthy body balance actually includes two main attributes: diet and exercise. If you start moving more during the day, you will have half the formula, but it’s equally important to start paying attention to what you eat.
Back to my blog post: I didn’t only move to lose the weight—I also altered my eating patterns by putting down my fork more often and paying close attention to the types of foods I ate and how they were processed. This makes a big difference. Since so many of the foods in our stores are processed and refined, the nutritional value is diminished and the extra chemicals and preservatives are wreaking havoc on our bodies. One of my favorite snacks is the KIND protein snack bars. Why? Because the claim is, “…delicious, all natural foods made from ingredients you can see & pronounce.” Works for me!
I thought about what my reader had said and decided to reply to her. Here is an excerpt:
“Thank you so much for your message! As I read it, I had some thoughts for you. Besides moving, I also altered my eating patterns… and not so much the types of foods (besides eating more fruits and veggies), but the ingredients and the ways in which the foods were prepared. I am still following this new eating perspective and it’s really changing my whole body balance. You will need to choose what works for you, but here’s what is helping me keep the weight off (besides regular exercise):
- Less sodium: Frozen foods and snack foods are the worst violators of this!
- Fewer simple carbohydrates: Anything white: bread, sugar, pastries, flour, etc.
- Less fast food: Hardly ever, and only on what I call Fast Food Fridays 🙂
- Less artificial ANYTHING: Artificial sweeteners—aspartame and sucralose are the biggest dangers. Instead, look for items sweetened with stevia root or agave. No trans fats; no high fructose corn syrup; no “fat-free” anything. No sodas, not even diet unless they’re organic and made with real sugar or stevia/agave.
- More water: I add a bit of organic fruit juice to make it tasty!
- More fruits and vegetables: Organic, especially apples or anything that you peel to eat, and I usually cut them into small pieces to make them last longer.
- More whole grains: Very little bread, but if I do, mostly whole grain tortillas/wraps for sandwiches; no crackers or chips except on occasion (and in those little portion-sized bags); more quinoa and spelt flour.
- More green leafy stuff: I love the organic lettuce in the clear boxes, not the bags (due to BPA)—just be sure to eat it fresh as it lasts only a few days.
These are the main foods that are currently working for me. I know buying organic costs a bit more, but it’s starting to be more affordable and I believe it’s worth it. I value my health and my body enough to care about what I put in it. I believe that we are what we eat and drink, feel and think!”
Coach’s Challenge: This week, pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. And the next time you reach for that store-bought packaged food or drink, think twice. Read the label. Try and pronounce the ingredients. Know what you are eating or drinking because it will become part of you. Then ask yourself how you can “clean your plate”—not necessarily by eating everything on it, but by eating cleaner, more nutritious foods one bite at a time. You will feel better and your body will thank you for it.
To Our Better Balance!
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg is a professional speaker, best-selling author, and life transition coach. His passion is to help people reclaim their power of choice and find better balance in their work, relationships, and life. You can follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter, or find out more at michaelsunnarborg.com
Need some inspiration? Pick up a copy of 21 Days Steps & Keys or one of the other books in the balance series, and start finding better balance in your career, relationships, and life. Want this blog sent to your inbox? Then subscribe to Balance Bits by visiting my Contact page.
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Picture courtesy of The Creative Workshop, North