I make no pretence about the way I live and eat. Whilst I juice pretty much everyday and I also enjoy a few less healthy things.
I see many healthy bloggers who only show the ‘perfect’ side of their lives. I prefer to show reality as I believe perfectionism leads to problems.
Many people worry about what they eat over the Christmas period or when away on holiday and can feel guilt and shame about they way they allow themselves to indulge.
My experience is that these feelings of shame can become the trigger for destructive behaviours such as addiction and eating disorders.
It all starts with perfectionism. Don’t try to be perfect. It is OK to have a little of whatever you fancy and there is no need to feel ashamed.
Don’t deprive yourself or have too many rules.
The key thing is to focus on adding a wide variety of fresh ingredients to your diet, and consuming lots of plant-based whole foods.
Instead of focusing on what you eat between Christmas and New Year, focus on what you eat between New Year and Christmas. In other words, it is not what you do occasionally that matters, but what you do most of the time.
I try to live my life using an 80:20 ratio. That is, I focus on at least 80% of what I consume being foods that support my health and 20% of my diet is about entertainment. Note: I deliberately use the word ‘try’ as this is not about beating yourself up if you occasionally go out of balance.
There are 31 days in most months. Using the 80:20 approach this means there are 6 days each month to eat for entertainment without ever having to be concerned about it.
Another way to look at this is, if the average person eats 3 meals a day, then there are 18 meals a month that can be for entertainment, approximately 1 meal every other day. Even those with the busiest social calendars should be able to work with this approach.
The reality is you probably won’t want to use all of your ‘entertainment’ meals.
I’ve found that the healthier I have become, the healthier I want to be. It is a cycle.
I have learned how to be in tune with my body and able to tell how different foods impact my wellbeing. My tastes have changed over time and I no longer enjoy the majority of the processed foods I used to crave. Many of my coaching clients have found the same to be true for them too.
There is an abundance of delicious foods that also promote wellness and I’ve also discovered many new foods that I previously ignored.
The key thing with the 80:20 approach is recognising that you always have freedom of choice.
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