28 March 2013

How to Avoid Ugly [on the Inside]

The spring heralds several necessary evils – spring cleaning, landscaping, allergies and PANTRY MAKEOVERS! Be prepared, I’m adding a little bit of a twist.  With bikini season creeping around the corner it’s time to banish the 190,298,678,971,938 layers of clothing and feel comfortable in your own teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini skin.

The first step in improving your health is to make a conscious decision to improve your nutrition.  Notice I'm not saying, "cut out carbs or eat only grapefruit,” but rather to build a better food foundation.

Here's the problem: you may already be undermining your efforts.  Bummer, right? The dangers are lurking in your freezer, pantry or cabinets. Uber processed foods.  Let's be real here....any food that can exist for 4 years without refrigeration can’t be doing wonderful things for your body. Think of your body as a car (a super sexy sports car!). Your car only operates at its most efficient level if you use unleaded gas (and change the oil)...so you wouldn't put something else in the tank right? I hope not at $3.50+/gallon! So why would you put processed foods in your body as fuel if all it does is make you sluggish, overweight and at risk for serious health problems? Yep, it's an issue.

Ever wonder why on weight loss shows they have the over-zealous trainer or coach that goes through the person's kitchen with a black trash bag? Wrong approach, but right idea. Processed foods contain mutated ingredients; they've been changed so that they can sit on a shelf longer.  That also means that they sit in your arteries too.  Salt, hydrogenated oils and other preservatives are GREAT for keeping food on shelves for long periods of time, but they are also ridiculously efficient at keeping plaque on the walls of your arteries & vessels.  Not so hot.  If you seriously want to give yourself a fresh start, a true chance at improving your nutrition, get rid of the processed stuff!  I'm not saying that you can never eat cereal or canned veggies/fruit or other snacks, but really, processed foods should NOT be the bulk of your diet.  Choose whole-grain cereals, low-sodium canned vegetables and fruits that are canned in water, not syrup.

Go to your pantry. Seriously, you can probably read this on your cellphone, walk over to your pantry. Take stock of everything that you see in there.  Processed foods like potato chips, fruit snacks, canned fruit, dips, etc. etc. etc.  Now go to your freezer, how many frozen dinners do you have shoved in there? This isn't Jinga people!!  These foods are going to undermine your efforts.  It's not by accident that food manufacturers have skinny, famous people selling their products.  They don't eat it, but chances are YOU will buy it.

When it comes to frozen meals...just don't.  They have a week's worth of salt in one meal...bear this in mind: too much salt can make you retain water, and retaining water makes you look bloated.  In the time that you sat on the couch and did nothing you could have made healthy homemade meals and portioned them out in gladware and frozen it. Voila! A frozen dinner that you didn't have to microwave with a plastic sheet over it.

It’s not going to be something that changes overnight, it’s a lifestyle change.  I know that’s a scary word – but it’s a lot easier to do something about it, than to look in the mirror and hate what you see every day. 

Xoxo, Kate

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