If you’ve ever spent any time on the internet, you know that there are about a million different theories on health foods, super foods, healthy diets, etc., etc. Every article proclaims to share some new miracle cure or hidden poison.
Personally, when I try to eat “like a nutritionist should,” I become the most anxious and boring version of myself. I can’t think about anything except avoiding toxins, and I forget that I have a role on this planet besides being the healthiest health nut ever. I also get super rigid and hyper-critical, leading to more anxiety and LESS FUN.
Cleaning up your diet
So here’s what I propose: “cleaning up” your diet can actually be super simple and doesn’t need to involve a metric ton of self-disgust.
Small changes make a big difference! Let’s say you’re the average American: you drink soda and alcohol, eat white bread, and the color green never passes your lips. The simple act of switching soda for seltzer water would radically improve your health. You could try to get outside every day for a short walk, or focus on eating green vegetables once a day. Any of these small changes would let you quickly see a huge improvement in your skin, digestion, and energy.
What I suggest to my clients
Now, let’s say you’re my average client. You’re not a newbie at this whole “healthy” thing; you drink water, eat some veggies, and drink significantly less alcohol than a fish. You could start drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, or sneak something green into every meal. You could switch your coffee for green tea or have a glass of wine instead of a mixed drink. You might start bringing your lunch to work to save money AND eat healthier.
If you’re a total health nut, maybe “getting healthier” is about showing yourself some kindness and compassion. Instead of berating yourself when you “fall off the wagon,” talk to yourself the way you might encourage a toddler learning to walk: “Oh jeez, honey, you really wiped out there! That’s okay, sweetie, you’re doing great. Why don’t you try it again?”
I find that less self-judgement means less self-sabotage; personally, when I speak more kindly to myself, I’m less likely to get what one client calls “the fuck-it’s” and give up before I’ve even started.
The bottom line:
Baby steps can make a big difference. If you’re ready to commit to cleaning up your diet AND treating yourself with compassion, check out Love Yr Body, Love Yr Self, my online group coaching program for young women.