Hi, my name's Rebecca and I have a sugar addiction. And I don't mean I like the odd piece of cake or two. It's more accurate to say I would choose to have a box of jellybeans for dinner over anything else and I crave sweets more than any other food group. Whilst I don't think I'll ever say goodbye to sweets and refined sugar for good. I certainly want to cut back on it. And a couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to adopt a healthier lifestyle and tackle my addiction to sugar.
I think it goes without saying that we all know a huge amount of refined sugar isn't great for us. And the amount I was eating wasn't making me feel good. Yes of course when I was consuming them it felt wonderful but the way they were making my body and mind feel wasn't desirable in the long run. As I've got older I've truly realised the importance of fueling your body with nutritious food that makes you feel awesome. And this decision wasn't based on the physical benefits of eating a better diet as that's not something that's at the forefront of my mind. Because in reality my BMI is underweight and when people hear that they instantly say something like 'oh eat what you want and enjoy it because you don't need to worry'. But stuffing my body full of rubbish in order to gain weight in an unhealthy way isn't something I want to do. I want to nourish my body in any way I can and do the best by it. Because like everyone else I only have one body and there are certain elements of it that I cannot control. But the aspects that I can control I need to take advantage of in order to help my body work to it's best ability.
Apart from my love affair with sweets my diet for a long time has been pretty good. But there is room for improvement and now I feel like I'm really ready to make the changes. And embrace a slightly 'healthier' lifestyle that suits not only my tastes, body but also my budget because I find that is a huge issue when it comes to eating a better diet.
WHAT 'HEALTHY' MEANS TO ME
The phrase clean eating is something I feel pretty strongly against. I don't like that people now think food is either clean or dirty. Because there is no such thing and I think that it turns food into something that it's not and as silly as it sounds food it to simply to fuel your body, nothing more, nothing less. It doesn't need to have this badge of honour whether society says it's clean or dirty and I think those words can promote an unhealthy relationship with food. A healthy diet to me means to eat food that can nourish my body and eat food in it's purest form. I don't pay any attention to calories but I do like to read ingredients and if I can't pronounce or recognise them then I don't think it's something that I should be putting inside of my body. And it's as simple as that, I want to eat food in it's purest form and eat as nutritionally well as I can. Diet is something that's incredibly personal to the individual and I think it's so important not push our choices onto other people. Because we're all different and what works for one will never work the same way for someone else.
WHAT I'M CHANGING
- Cutting out meat. I don't eat it a lot anyway and when I do my body doesn't react well.
- Keeping dairy to a minimum.
- Eating 5 different fruits a day.
- Upping my veg intake and making sure I have some sort of vegetable at least once a day.
- Having a smoothie/fruit ice cream bowl once a day.
- Eating more whole based plant foods and keeping packed and highly processed foods to a minimum.
- Cooking from scratch.
THE EXPENSE OF IT
When people say that healthy eating is more expensive I can totally relate to those feelings. And when you start to substitute things for dairy free alternatives then the price really starts to wrack up. I don't have a huge budget to spend on food so I have to shop within my means and I simply cannot afford all those for the most part overhyped superfoods and other current popular items. So learning to shop a different way whilst still sticking to a budget has been a big learning curve and here are things I've found to work well.
- Don't buy packs of salad, they don't last long at all and it's cheaper to buy the items separately.
- Frozen fruit for smoothies is much more cost effective.
- Aldi & Lidl are the greatest places on earth for basic items, fruit and vegetables.
- Taking your diet back to the basic food groups [see here].
- Go to markets.