If you are changing your lifestyle diet, it can be quite intimidating. Once you start researching about clean food, it’s like you are opening the floodgates to a wide spectrum of information and a lot of it is contradicting. I find the best way to go about it is to really just have fun with it. I make lists of healthy food & things I feel I shouldn’t eat and really just experiment and test my body. A part of it is realizing that what works for others may not work for you & your body and its needs.
A elimination diet is something I’m still experimenting with. The point of an elimination diet is to eliminate one thing, such as dairy or gluten, to see how your body reacts to living without it. The problem with that is, although some say they only go a week without a specific ingredient, it’s hard to say if that really gives your body enough time to detox and be ingredient-free. I went dairy free last week & definitely noticed some major changes with my body. My skin was better, I had no bloating, and no indigestion or acid-reflux, and felt cleaner. So although cheese in particular is something that I know I can’t live without, I realized I was eating an absorbent amount of cheese in a week and putting too much dairy into my body. I’ve decided to eliminate cheese snacking, and using small amounts of grass-fed cheese in my meals. You may not notice any differences when on an elimination diet, which probably means either it hasn’t been enough time for it to detox from your system, or it doesn’t noticeably affect you physically or mentally. A huge part of this is becoming in tune with what your body needs, and this is when things can become sort of muddled.
When your body needs something, it will create a craving. It’s a way to tell you mentally that you need something specific — water, iron, calcium, etc. The problem is we also get cravings for other reasons…hormones, stress, nervousness, etc. So it can be hard to differentiate between these cravings. The way I go about it is to take notes on my cravings. What is it that I’m craving? When did it start? What was going on with me emotionally? Am I on my period or about to get my period? The other way is to talk to your doctor.
When browsing blogs or looking at instagram, you will see trends with products. It seems everyone & their mother is using them and in your mind you make this to be “well they must be amazing because everyone is raving about it”, but this might not be exactly true and it could potentially be harmful to you. Let’s talk about natural vitamins & potential meal replacements. These things have a lot of hype and I will be the first one to admit that the concept of it is something I’ve considered enough — but these vitamins are costly and there is no actual scientific proof that they do anything and they are not regulated, which should cause some concern. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will harm you, but it’s an important factor to consider before taking anything. I think the most important thing is to first talk to your doctor about the product & also consider the placebo effect. You might feel better when taking a product, but it may just be because you think it will, not because it actually has any healing properties.
The best advice I have in changing your lifestyle diet, is to start by getting rid of all the nasty products in your home & starting from scratch, but start small. You can spend a thousand dollars trying to buy all natural & organic food to restock your kitchen, but you don’t need to do that all at once. The best way I save money is to give myself a weekly grocery budget & sticking to it. I make a meal plan for the week. I make a list of 5 healthy snacks I can eat during the week & then find that I already own most of the ingredients, but make a grocery list off the meal plan I made & stick to it while at the store. I don’t randomly browse and pick things out while shopping, usually. I go to my local grocery outlet, because you can actually find a ton of local & organic products and it will save you a ton of money later. I then head to my main grocery store – your Freddie’s, Safeway, Publix, Jewel Osco type store and get more of my pantry based items. I then will purchase my produce & dairy at the market, Green Zebra, New Seasons, or Whole Foods. It’s easier to shop at natural product stores like Whole Foods, because you are under the impression that everything in that store is good for you, but understand that these stores still sell products with ingredients that can be harmful to you or the environment. We should always read the ingredients and never be fooled.
Be smart & be safe. Do your research into things before buying into a trend. Literally.