For anyone looking to begin their journey living a healthier and more balanced life, it can be overwhelming. This post is coming from Ariana, RECESS's summer intern and how I approach staying healthy. There’s always a new diet, workout trend, or “rule” that everybody seems to be following. There is no one “right” way to eat. Likewise, there is not a universally effective (or enjoyable) workout. Over the course of discovering how I can become a healthier version of myself, here is what I recommend for someone who feels lost in the oversaturated world of health and fitness.
Focus on adding foods in, not taking them out.
Try to stop labeling foods as “bad”. Sure, there are foods with better nutritional profiles than others, but no food will single-handedly make or break your progress or should be completely off-limits. Instead of thinking about what you need to cut out, (which is all that diets seem to scream at us…) think about foods you can add IN. Once you start focusing on adding more fruits & veggies to your plate, you stop thinking about what you need to get rid of! It is exciting to learn about the benefits of certain foods, like adding a handful of spinach to your smoothie. Remember, everything in moderation is okay.
Eat whole, non-processed foods.
So, what foods should you be adding in? Whole, non-processed foods! The diet industry has 100 different narratives about what to eat (low carb, low fat, no sugar…) when in reality we should really just go back to the basics. If you are looking for a kickstart to healthy eating, start with a food delivery program like Sakara, that delivers right to your door without any prep or cooking required! This week's menu consists of a watermelon-rose salad and superfood sweet potato bowl...yes please! Sakara believes that food is medicine, and I couldn't agree more! If you're looking to improve digestion, increase your energy, reduce bloating - just to name a few benefits, try kick-starting your journey with Sakara!
Get In Touch with your Body
Again, going back to the basics. Pay attention to your body’s cues. Are you hungry? Is it physical hunger, or emotional hunger? What foods make you feel fueled and energized? Which ones make you feel tired and bloated? Begin to take note of your eating habits without any judgment. Sometimes we get wrapped up in trusting diet books and so-called experts on what and when to eat, that we forget to simply honor our own body. Try eating your next meal without any distractions (TV, homework, Tik Tok…). How do you feel? Victoria Garrick's podcast, Real Pod, has some incredible episodes all about intuitive eating. I’d suggest starting with “5 Tips to Start Intuitive Eating”. She is incredibly inspiring and has helped me so much with listening to my body!
Make your workouts simple.
Working out can feel overwhelming. I know the feeling of walking into a gym without a clue what machines to use, and quickly becoming discouraged. Movement can come in many forms - that can mean doing 10 minutes of yoga a day or taking a walk to the grocery store. Feeling lost? Try Megan Roup's Sculpt Society workout videos! These workouts aren’t your typical at-home workouts with squats and burpees. Let’s just say I didn’t realize how much fun “dance cardio” can be. The Sculpt Society has plenty of “quickie” workouts ranging from 5-20 minutes...because working out doesn’t have to be an elaborate 2-hour routine. Just move your body!
Finally, there is no one size fits all diet or workout, or lifestyle that will work for everyone. Just because your roommates are eating Keto and weight lifting every day, does NOT mean that lifestyle will work for you (or that you will enjoy it)! Don’t ever feel like you have to conform your idea of health to someone else’s. Bottom line: do what feels good. Stop focusing on what you are “supposed” to eat, and simply eat foods that make your body feel energized and satiated.