Since I’ve promised myself that I will not diet, engage in any intentional cleanses, fasts or detoxes, I’ve definitely battled myself a bit. Each time I eat a bit too much, or I eat something that I feel I shouldn’t be eating, I play around with the idea of juice fasting, cutting out all sugars, becoming a raw vegan, trying out the 80/10/10 diet, among other things.
I realize that this is something in my brain that I really am ready to live without. It doesn’t make me happier, healthier, or wiser. I even suspect that I play with the ideas of dieting/fasting/cleansing to validate overindulging on a regular basis. No bueno.
So what I’m doing is sticking with what works. This is why I assured those who emailed me their disappointment with my first post about undieting that I was NOT in fact abandoning the lifestyle practices that have consistently worked and that I have endorsed over the years.
There are many things that work really well for me. They are not always convenient, glamorous, or fun, but they leave me feeling great in my skin and inspired to be alive. I most likely will not be changing up these pillars. While the motherhood makes many of these things challenging, I’m a happier, more compassionate, and more inspired person when I stick to them.
1. Juicing as my morning meal. Breakfast doesn’t work for me. I have much more energy when I consume water, teas, and juices until the early to mid and even sometimes late afternoon. While I’m not juicing until dinner forever with no exception for the rest of my life, I’m very clear about the fact that I feel the most energized, grounded, and inspired when I don’t eat breakfast. I don’t buy into the idea that eating more frequently makes your metabolism faster and helps you lose weight. This has never been the case for me, although others have told me that it has worked for them.
2. Food combining. When I first got into this work I NEVER thought I’d deviate from food combining. It made such a difference for my super sensitive digestion. Now that my digestion is stronger, I can deviate from it and feel OK, but not my best. And if I miscombine a meal more than one day in a row, I feel exhausted. I don’t eat meat, so my miscombinations are minor in the big picture (starchy vegetables with coconut or avocado with nut or seed butters are a typical miscombo for me), but they still really leave me feeling pretty blegh.
3. Colon cleansing. Gravity colonics are straight up magic for me. As inconvenient and unglamorous as it may be, it’s a must for MY healthy lifestyle. I’m not really fighting it anymore.
4. Salad Nation. Salads are the foundation of every meal. When I crave something super indulgent, I re-create it salad style (See my Burgers and Fries Salad). It’s the lightest and most indulgent way to treat your tastebuds.
5. Exercise. Exercise makes all the difference for me and it has been a great teacher. With a baby, I just can’t depend on having a window to do any one particular form of exercise each day, but I do the best I can each day. I have recently fallen in love with the Tracy Anderson Method, but I’m not pressuring myself to do it every day, or 6 days a week as Tracy recommends. The truth is, I don’t want Tracy’s body, I want MY body, in it’s best health and most radiant form. Right now, placing a specific daily exercise expectation on myself is much more stressful than it’s worth. Some days I’m doing a Tracy Anderson workout, some days I’m taking long walks with the baby and playing at the playground with her, and some days I’m rebounding. I’m being flexible and keeping my eye on my goal: peace within and love for myself, and the greatest health I’ve experienced yet.
I will certainly have difficult days. I have had many since I’ve started this un-diet journey. My main motivation is that I despise dieting. When I first got into raw foods and cleansing, I felt that I was done dieting forever, and then I saw that all of my old tendencies crept into my holistic lifestyle once my pants got a little too snug or the scale was reading a higher number than I wanted it to. Pregnancy really just threw everything out of whack since there is so little you have control over with that process. You really have to let go of the reins when you’re growing a little one inside of you. Now I’m working on getting back to a place where I feel so good in my body that I don’t feel the need to “check out” by obsessing about desserts and food in general. Health is not about obsession. It’s about peace in the heart and love for the self and your fellow man.
I know I’ve had many conversations with so many of you via email about dieting and cleansing and how ugly it can get and painful it can be, especially when you thought you’ve moved beyond your diet demons. For those of you who found yourself engaging in old, ugly diet habits in a holistic- minded lifestyle, what is your biggest challenge to date? For those of you who have left the self destructive behaviors behind you, how do you stay focused and clear on your path to wholeness?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!