Eating Healthy, For Real

Though I can’t pinpoint any exact reasons, I recently decided to make big changes to my health and well being. A little over a month ago I agreed with my personal trainer/boyfriend, Gary, that I would visit the gym three times a week, with the incentive of one new piece of workout clothing at the end of each month. My goal is to finally get a new pair of pretty gym shoes, which I will be rewarded with only if I consistently exercise for 3 whole months.

Going to the gym was great! Something changed in my mind and I really became dedicated to working hard rather than going through the motions just to barely endure the 1 hour session. A month into my new exercise regimen I decided to really take my diet more seriously. As of right now, I have cut out sugar (except for fruit), reduced my carbohydrate intake to before and after work outs only, and have dramatically increased the amount of vegetables and protein I consume. According to my trainer, this is a very effective way of gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time (in conjunction with exercise, of course). I’ve dedicated myself to strictly adhere to this new lifestyle until June 17, which will be three months since embarking on this lifestyle change.

(Top two photos and bottom left were my healthy meals before my diet change.)

It’s been two weeks since I’ve altered my diet. Too soon to see any changes, but I can’t help but think, “What am I going to do after these 3 months are up?” While this diet might be most effective for gaining muscle and lowering my body fat percentage, it is not environmentally sustainable nor do I want to keep up with it. It’s got me thinking about all sorts of other diets (vegetarianism, locavorism, adding vegan options), wondering what’s best for our bodies’ health and not just our appearance, and has me questioning if our perception of healthy foods has been skewed over time.

At the end of the day, the question I keep asking is, “What is the best diet for my body and the environment?”

What do you think? Have you ever drastically changed your diet for the better?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Arielle April 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I’ve worked out with a trainer before and always got the spiel about large amounts of animal protein. It’s definitely possible to get enough protein in your diet in a sustainable, environmentally sound (and dare I say it–healthier) fashion even while eliminating animal proteins.

Check out Kimberly Snyder (http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/). I recently changed my diet using her principles and have never felt better or had more energy!

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ami April 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I think this is awesome, and I’m really interested in knowing what your takeaways are at the end of the three months. I stopped eating sugar for two months (maybe had it three times total the entire time, which was down from having dessert after every meal before!). This month I’ve slowly incorporated it again, but not sure that I’m liking it.

My takeaways from removing sugar, lowering my wheat intake, cutting out most eating out, eating organic as much as possible, upping protein and vegetables and exercise were: losing weight, having more energy, noticeably clear and vibrant skin, and the flattest stomach I’ve had probably ever. I’ve also had terrible water retention in the past, which has virtually gone away. Overall, I really like the lifestyle, and definitely think it’s changed me for the better. But I do still have the concerns that you mentioned, particularly about consuming so much protein, and what ultimately is best for my body and the environment, too. I also love desserts, so I still like to indulge, just much more consciously (which, of course, is easier said than done). It’s a journey, that’s for sure!

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ami April 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Beautiful photos as always, btw :)

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katie April 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Oh goodness, I’m in the same boat. I’m trying to eat really healthy– but I think there’s a big difference between eating to lose weight, and eating whole foods/healthy fats, etc. I wish they went hand in hand!! I’m hoping to slim down a bit, but then focus on maintaining through eating whole foods–and a mostly vegetarian diet.

But girl, HOW do you avoid sugar with your job?! I’d die.

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Jenny @ BAKE April 25, 2013 at 10:17 am

I love your incentives! this sounds like a great training diet for 3 months I might have to give it a go!

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la domestique May 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

When I feel my diet has gone out of balance (usually too many sweets) I like to make an effort to eat more vegetables. By bringing more of something healthy onto my plate, there’s less room for the unhealthy stuff. That seems to help me get back on track. Sometimes a radical shift is needed to break the carb addiction (like when I did that cleanse). Good luck with your healthy eating and exercise!

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