I have been studying Natural Health and Nutrition for about 7 months now (UPDATE: 18 months now…Im almost done, woohoo!!), and there is one thing I have noticed in the world of ‘being healthy’. There are a lot of judgmental people!! When I say ‘people’ I am pointing the finger at YOU! There are far too many people really trying to change their lifestyle by eating better, cleaner, getting more exercise, who then eat a block of chocolate and end up cursing themselves for it. Why give yourself this added stress? Why judge yourself? Give yourself a little bit of slack!
This way of thinking can actually be detrimental to your health. By saying to yourself ‘You shouldn’t have done that!’ or “You cant have that!” you are setting yourself up for thinking negatively and ultimately this will begin to stress you out. One thing I can tell you for sure, when you get stressed about food, it distracts your body from proper digestion – now isn’t that silly!?! I am not making this up, any sign of stress and the body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. It sends blood and oxygen to other muscles, taking attention away from digestion. So there is really no point in getting yourself all upset that you ‘cheated’ from being healthy…it really does make it worse.
To avoid ALL of this complicated mess I like to live a 80/20 lifestyle, which I would recommend to most people I talk to who are trying to change their habits. This means aiming to live healthy, clean and active 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time enjoying a night on the couch with a glass of vino and a bar of chocolate (or whatever your guilty pleasure is)!!! So an 80/20 split…What this would look like?
If we were to look at this literally 80% would be 5.5 days a week or 19.2 hours a day. Its not wise to look at it this way as this encourages us to binge once we get to the 20%, I really don’t recommend drinking solidly for the remaining 1.5 days haha! I like to think of 80% as a guideline and just ‘being good’ for the majority of the time. When relating this to food, it would be spending a large proportion of your time eating a balanced diet with fresh veggies and fresh fruit, lots of yummy whole grains and lean meats. For the remaining 20% of the time indulge yourself with a giant piece of chocolate cake, a night out with your friends eating whatever you feel like, or just having a night in with your partner on the couch with a packet of chips and a few beers. By giving yourself the 20% to indulge, there is more of an incentive to maintain the 80% portion – everyone loves having something to look forward to right?! One other factor to note: It is important to always remember to give your liver a break every now and again, it works 24 hours a day removing toxins from our bodies, by taking in less toxins you are giving your liver a chance to catch up and reboot 🙂
In a nutshell, don’t ‘cut’ anything out completely, and stop beating yourself up everytime you eat a chip or piece of chocolate. Your body releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which is the reason you feel happy and content throughout life. Giving yourself a treat every now and again releases these chemicals making you happy – you shouldn’t deprive yourself of that!!!!
Stay healthy and happy ❤
Lots of Love Natalie xoxo
Ps For more tips on being healthy and happy check out “Simple Steps to Getting Your Health On“