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Contrary to common belief, a healthy lifestyle isn’t about rules and restrictions.  It just requires the commitment from you to live well, respect your body, embrace healthy and natural foods, and overall, to take care of yourself and enjoy life.

However, the change to natural and healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, healthy alternative ingredients, organic or raw, lean proteins, high fiber, etc.) can be very difficult for some people.  After leaving behind the stigmas about healthy food being “boring” or “disgusting,” beliefs that Fit Soul and Spice defies, it’s all about creating healthy habits that you can easily maintain.

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Below, I’ve provided you all with just a few of my personal tips for lifelong, consistent healthy eating habits.  Please check them out – they will help in your journey as you allow yourself to love being healthy.

Fit Soul and Spice’s “Do’s and Don’ts of Healthy Eating”

DO:

Prep your healthy snacks and meals.  Healthy food requires more care and preparation, so choose one day (mine is Sunday) to prep your food for the entire week.  That way, when hunger or cravings strike, you’ll have healthy treats and meals on the go.

Think before you eat.  Listen to your body.  Before giving into a sweet or savory craving, ask yourself what your body is really craving.  There is a chance you may be dehydrated, and your body may simply be craving fluids.  Try my water infused with lemon, oranges, and strawberries.  If not, make your cravings fun with healthy alternativesSatisfy a sweet tooth by cutting up some fresh fruit with a variety of textures (ex: banana, strawberries, blueberries) and mixing it into a big bowl with some of my homemade granola for crunch.  Satisfy your savory cravings with some raw nuts, or try out my recipe for seasalty, crunchy kale chips.

Allow yourself a cheat day.  Read this tip closely – a cheat DAY – meaning a meal or some snacks you wouldn’t normally eat.  NOT cheat days, weeks, or months – that would be just be an unhealthy lifestyle with a different name.  You practiced healthy eating habits all week, you worked out and moved your body this week, you were conscious of your health and your healthy food intake this week?  Well, good for you!  You should indulge, and you should enjoy it, because you’ve earned it and you deserve it!   Changing your lifestyle or habits to be lean and healthy isn’t always easy.  It can be really hard for some.  But trust me when I tell you that if you allot one day each week to treat yourself (make it the same day so you can look forward to it), you’ll satisfy cravings and put your mentality at ease without giving yourself a case of the “forbidden fruits” – or in this case, “forbidden snacks.”  Without occasional indulgences, you’re dieting, plain and simple– dieting is a big FSS no-no!  (See “Don’t’s” list below).  Another good thing about one cheat day per week? It can shock your body, boosting your metabolism and fixing hormone levels, meaning when you resume your routine lifestyle the next day, you may be burning just a little bit faster.  Treat your body nicely and your body will treat you well in return. 🙂

DON’T:

Let unhealthy or processed foods enter your home.  Your home and body are your temples, and they deserve respect and love.  Keep healthy food in your home, and you will eat healthy food.  Simply put: out of sight, out of mind.  Foster healthy habits.

Eat when you’re not hungry.  I know our society follows the idea that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that it “gets the metabolism moving and our bodies burning.”  This may be true if your body NEEDS fuel.  But if you’re not hungry – for example, maybe you’re still full from a later hardy dinner the night before, it means your body has fuel, and it’s still burning off its prior caloric and nutrient intake.  Forcing a meal just because it’s a new day or morning can cause bloating, constipation, and an overall sluggish feeling for the entire day.  You don’t want to be overly full.  That is unhealthy and in reverse, can slow the metabolism.  Don’t worry, your body will tell you when it’s hungry.  Learn to listen to it – you know yourself better than any “diet master.”

Diet.  I don’t believe in diets.  Believe me, this wasn’t always the case. I used to swear by, love, and cherish ALL things “sugar free, fat free, no sugar added, lite, reduced fat, carb free, etc.”  I mean, if this was the case, I would be the healthiest, skinniest, most fit ever, right?!  Um, SO wrong, my friends!!  As soon as I decided to STOP obsessing over dieting every second and just LIVE my life by practicing a healthy lifestyle full of fresh fruits and vegetables, very little dairy, minimal refined sugars and white carbs, healthy alternative ingredients, and a daily fitness regimen, guess what happened?  I lost about 25 lbs, and it didn’t take long!  All signs of bloating disappeared, my skin renewed and revitalized itself, my energy increased, my hair was shinier – I mean the list of natural improvements that took place goes on and on.  Dieting made me obsessed with glamorized labels and calorie counting, and it left me forgetting that all of these “diet” foods are processed, sodium packed, and full of chemicals, refined sugars, and bad carbs that cause bloating, weight gain, and much bigger problems later on in life.  Dieting causes stress, which can also lead to weight gain, bingeing, and wrinkles or puffy eyes.  Don’t diet, just be well and eat healthy, natural foods (LOTS of fruits and vegetables) that are equally delicious and TRULY low cal, low sugar, low carb, and low fat.

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Be well. Be healthy.  You are naturally beautiful.  Much love. 🙂

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