Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Cleaning

You hear the term, "Detox", a lot these days.  As we get more and more information about what is sold to us in the market place we can begin to wonder how we have survived as long as we have.  It seems that pretty much everything we have been eating and drinking has been processed to the point that it's no longer safe to consume. 

When I went through a period of gaining weight, because I had stopped exercising, I got really good at not seeing my body for the condition it was in.  The same goes with the food we eat.  We want our comfort stuff so we tune out the fact that it might not be good for us, even though the facts are right on the label to read.  Or we go to the restaurant, fully intending to get salmon and steamed veggies and order the chicken tenders and fries instead.

It's human nature to do that and we shouldn't beat our selves up over it.  But as in a good marriage, you and yourself need to communicate.  Will power is not magic it's making conscious decisions instead of blindly following your desires.  As in the example of the restaurant meal, you and yourself need to make a decision:  You desire the chicken tenders and fries but you know that is going to trash your calorie intake for the day, have grilled chicken and a baked potato if your not in the mood for the salmon, you came for.  Have your chicken  blackened or with a glaze for some extra flavor.  The main point here is that you identify your feelings and negotiate a decision that acknowledges your desires and your healthier eating plans.

Now back to the "Detox", or the spring cleaning.  There are all sorts of radical 'cleansing' methods and diets on the market, but the more radical and strict they are, the harder they are to follow and also the more potentially dangerous they are.  The vast majority of us need to eat better, but that becomes easier if we keep it simple and take it one step at a time.  Obviously the best course of action is to throw out everything in your cabinets and just buy organically grown meat and veggies, but that's not a step most of us are willing to take.

When we shop we need to once again communicate with ourselves.  We want a certain meal for supper so we can look at options.  Can we have it using the least processing possible?  Read the labels and look for the option with the least ingredients, the more ingredients the more chemicals that have been added.  Go for fresh or frozen vegetables over canned or that come dried and in a mix.  Buy meat fresh and cook it as opposed to precooked and packaged.  It's a little more trouble but way better for you.  Look at all the ingredients in a package of precooked chicken or beef.  Also when you do cook a meat like hamburger, drain off all the grease before you add it to the dish your cooking, that grease is pure fat and calories.

Drinking is easier to make healthier choices with than eating.  Keep it as close to natural as possible.  Choose water first, that also saves money when you eat out and ordering ice water, with lemon, soon becomes something you really enjoy.  Stop drinking soft drinks and juice substitutes period NOW!  I promise that if you go without a soft drink for 3 months you will not like the taste, if you try to drink one after that.  It's like smoking if you stop, after a while the smell of someone smoking bothers you a lot, just like it does everyone else that doesn't smoke, where once you enjoyed that comforting smell.

It's a good time, with winter coming to an end, to think about making some changes.  Spring Cleaning, get your personal communication channels open and become partners with that person that looks back at you from the mirror.  Make conscious choices instead of being slaved to your desires.  Will power is really not all that difficult to practice if you remember to recognize your desires and then make better decisions that will satisfy your needs but still fall within the boundaries of living a healthier lifestyle.

Thanks for reading.


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