The Perfect Diet For Everyone

Did I catch you attention with that title? Notice that’s what most magazines, articles, programs, and book titles use to suck us into their material. If there was a perfect diet, I’m pretty sure everyone would know by now. Besides, how fun is it to follow rules someone else set of rules for you the rest of your life?

We can all probably agree that society has placed an odd value on the importance of weight loss and weight in general. You can hardly go a day by without the constant nagging of “lose the last five pounds” or “flat abs in just two days”. These claims are both unrealistic and a bit excessive, in my opinion.

It’s safe to say there will never be a shortage of information regarding weight loss and the “next best thing”. Of course, I see the importance in these messages because of the obesity epidemic, and wanting to live a healthy lifestyle in general, but do we really need all this constant pushing, and confusion from different sources on how you need to eat to look a certain why.

If only these messages could be kept straight to the point: Eat real foods, not too much or too little, exercise moderately and limit processed foods. There’s no need to remove entire food groups from your diet. Simple, but people like to make things more complicated and have “rules” to follow.

As someone who has suffered from eating disorders, obsessions, and body image issues; I can certainly see the appeal in these magazines and new books. Weight loss and dieting is such a hot topic. Even though these topics are trending, it seems all this information is borderline obsessive.

There’s so much conflict with how and what to eat. Just because two people eat differently doesn’t mean one lifestyle choice is wrong. Health is personal, everyone is different and has different needs. Sometimes, I struggle between what I want to do and what society wants me to do. It almost feels wrong to live a balanced life with wine and kale, when others tell you the opposite is true.

Although I don’t want to hear all these “new” weight loss tips, they will always be there. I’ve suffered enough time and energy being completely consumed with these tips and tricks, and they did nothing, but make me feel bad about myself in the end. Is there really a perfect diet for everyone?

The perfect diet is the one you feel happiest and healthiest doing. We’re all individuals with different needs. Break the mould on the ideal perfect diet. Find your own perspectives and inspire others with your recipe for healthy living.

I also feel a little sad that there is such focus on outer appearance, instead of who we are on the inside. Real beauty starts on the inside. Having positive energy, compassion, generosity, kindness, and a loving heart is way more important than having a “perfect body or diet” – whatever that may be. Be more positive, generous, respectful, and loving. These are all goals we can achieve.

Always remember your weight and size is not a measure of your self-worth.

I’m one for the importance of a healthy lifestyle overall, but do you ever think society goes overboard?

Does it bug you when you get tips thrown your way? Or that there seems to be an obsession with weight?

Why do you think food and diets are such a controversial and hot topic these days?

Glowing Green Juice

First, I want to thank you all so much for your positive words, tweets, e-mails, and more!

If you’ve been following my blog lately, you probably know I’ve been recovering from surgery the past few days. Just know everything is fine and it went well! Recovery has been a bit more complicated than I thought, but that one was a bit out of my control.

Today I have my go-to green juice recipe. It’s the perfect pick me up after a few too many treats, or just as a great way to start out each day, which is how I like to enjoy it. It keeps you energized, helps in giving your skin a beautiful glow, and is just overall delicious. I swear green juices aren’t scary, they’re tasty.

Glowing Green Juice.

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It’s become an almost daily thing in my life. I heart it so much. Everyday, I enjoy experimenting with new combinations and flavors.

Glowing Green Juice (serves one)

  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 2 cups of mixed spinach and kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1-1.5 inch piece ginger root

Wash your veggies extremely well, peel, juice, and drink right away.

You can’t help but love the vibrant green color, it makes me feel instantly healthier when I drink them; I mean how can you not feel healthier drinking and eating green things.

Hopefully, I’ll check in sometime soon. Otherwise I have some more fabulous guest posts to leave you with…since this left my super tired, which is a tad embarrassing.

What’s your favorite juice combination?

Life Is Too Short

Today I have another fantastic guest blogger to share her beautiful words of wisdom with you all! Sam has been an incredible support in my recovery and she’s always filled with lots of positive energy and truths. I couldn’t be more thankful she’s here today to share some of her wonderful advice with all of you. Take it away Sam!

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Hello Lisa Lately-ers! If you don’t know me, my name is Sam, and I blog about food, fitness and having a balanced lifestyle over at betterwithsprinkles.com. I adore Lisa and her blog, so I’m incredibly honoured and excited that she asked me to fill in for her today. We Canadian lady bloggers have to stick together, right? ;-)

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 In my life, I’ve battled a variety of issues concerning my eating habits and body image. I went from dealing with binge/starvation cycles in high school to developing anorexia in university. Fortunately, I’m at the part of my life right now where I consider my relationship with food to be nothing but healthy. I eat what I enjoy in the moment that I want it, whether that’s a big-ass salad or a big bowl of ice cream (with sprinkles, obviously). I eat enough to satisfy me, keep me happy, and fuel my workouts and daily life.

In recovery, I had a lot of mantras and motivational quotes to keep me going through the hard times (and recovery from an eating disorder is absolutely full of difficult times, as anyone who’s gone through/going through the process can attest to). But one that stuck out to me the most?

“Life’s too short.”

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 For one thing, I knew that if I continued living the way I was (undereating, over-exercising, overly anxious about everything that went into my body) I would cut my life short…really short. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and I would like to stick around for a long time! That in itself served as motivation to break free from my anorexia.

But in looking at the life I was living, I realized how miserable I was and how lousy I was to be around. Because really, who wants to be friends or get close to someone who obsesses over their food intake and the amount of exercise they get? Someone who will go out to dinner and order water and the side salad? Someone who will turn down invitations to fun events because they’re afraid of the food or alcohol being offered? Someone who skips out on nights on the town because they can’t ‘break their routine’? Someone who talks about nothing but food and exercise?

Who wants to be around that? And really, who wants to LIVE like that? I certainly didn’t. So, I decided that life was too short to do that to myself and the people around me. As morbid of a thought as this is, I’m not going to be around forever. And I know it’s not my body that people are going to remember about me, or the control I had around ‘bad’ food. It’s who I am as a person and how I lived my life that people are going to remember.

life is too short to be anything but happy So, life’s too short.

Life’s too short to skip out on birthday cake.

Life’s too short to blow off plans with friends because I want to get to the gym.

Life’s too short to stop myself from trying a new and exciting dish because I’m too afraid to stray from my ‘safe foods’.

Life’s too short to have every thought be consumed by what I’m going to eat and when I’m going to exercise.

Life’s too short to watch the minutes on the clock count down while I wait until I’m ‘allowed’ to eat my next meal. So, I’m not doing any of those things anymore.

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 So I eat ice cream for dinner sometimes. I skip out on the gym once in a while. I stay out with my friends and drink too much late into the night when the situation calls for it. I’m accepting my body at the size it wants to be, rather than forcing it to be unnaturally small. I focus most of energy on my friends, family, school, work, and my adorable pug puppy Atticus.

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 I’ve left my food obsessions and disordered habits behind, truly focusing on living the life that I want to live and be remembered for. Sounds a lot more fun than a lifetime of counting calories, doesn’t it?

I’d love the chance to chat with you guys more! Pop over to the blog or send me an email, mmk? Have a good one!

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Thanks again Sam! Your thoughts and words are always spot on! 

Finish this statement for yourself: Life’s too short to…

Hope you’re all having am amazing week!

Everything Happens for a Reason

Everything happens for a reason. I’m a real sucker for this statement. I use it time and time again.

We go through certain situations in life for a reason. Every hardship we go through, we learn a lesson in the end. Even if it isn’t clear in the beginning, when we are aware and willing to learn, we will find a reason.

Everyone goes through tough times throughout their lives.

Sometimes, the answer is simple like getting under the covers a few hour earlier and get a good night sleep. Other times, the answer is more difficult and we have to struggle to get there.

However, there is no magic eraser that can make the past disappear and make our problems go away. Resenting the fact that we’ve gone through unfortunate things doesn’t help our present situations.

In fact, it leaves us stuck. It can leave us in an unhappy place. The only way to get past these feelings is to simply let them go. Let go of the pain we’ve faced and learn the positives that came from these situations.

When you wake up in the morning, you have two choices.

You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed, in a bad mood hating the world. Or, you can wake up on the other side, and smile because you are blessed and alive to live this day any way you want.

Be positive because you have that option. Choose to look at the good in life; all the happiness around you, because I guarantee it’s there. When bad things happen, it can be tough to appreciate them, but something good comes from those events.

I suffered from an eating disorder, and while the disorder wasn’t a positive experience itself, good things have happened because of it. It has made me appreciate every opportunity. I’m more confident, aware, and happy than I’ve ever been before.

Each day, I choose to be grateful, appreciate life, and choose happiness so that I don’t have to live stuck in the past but can look forward to future things to come.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

What are you appreciative of today?

clean eating

Have you ever had that internal debate over quality versus quantity in terms of our health?

In society, it seems that many of us hold onto the belief that the only way to be successful in weight loss or dieting is that calculations (calories in vs. calories out, burning x amount of calories per day) will lead us to get results and quality of food gets put on the back burner.

In my opinion, the quality of food we consume should be more important than the quantity.

When I first started losing weight, I was a slave to the 100 calorie packages.

Maybe I could eat more of these, but I’d never feel satisfied. Not surprising, as these items are filled with chemicals and preservatives.

It’s easy to stick to those really low calorie foods, but in the end you’re so devoid of any nutrition that you end up hungrier than before.

Why have one egg when you could have 5 egg whites for the same amount of calories? Discounting the fact that whole eggs contain the most nutrition and benefits when we are eating these foods WHOLE.

This also leads to the “eat clean” movement.

Yes, I consider eggs clean, full fat yogurt is more clean compared to the 0% processed variety.

However, everyone has there own definition of ‘”clean eats”.

Eating clean is seen as a good thing, but when clean eats become too restrictive is that really considered a good thing?  If we view eating clean as fuel, quality, nutrients, and ingredients instead of focusing on calories, I think that’s better for overall health.

It’s also necessary we don’t become too obsessed with eating clean. If we are only eating these healthy foods with no leeway, food consuming all our thoughts, planning and scheduling meals; well that just gets in the way of living life and eventually becomes emotionally and mentally draining.

Being restrictive, obsessive, and isolating isn’t healthy. Eating clean can be part of our daily lives, but we can’t live to eat clean.

Eating foods we like shouldn’t leave us feeling guilty, we have to be able to indulge some of the time.

Obviously, I’m not perfect in this way of viewing food. I still hold onto beliefs that I must “eat clean”, now I’m trying to “unlearn” my clean eating obsession.

There are still foods I won’t eat, as I view them as unclean, and still label food as “good and bad”.

It’s a struggle to change these thoughts, even if they are disordered.

I’m slowly coming to terms with what works for me, instead of looking to others for the next new thing. I know I’ll get there eventually.

How do you define clean eating?

What’s your favorite food to indulge in?

Have you ever been too obsessed when it comes to food?

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Happy Where You Are

Let’s chat the future today.

We all make plans of what we’d like our future to look like.

Even when meeting friends, we’re constantly bombarded with questions from people. “What do you want to do with your future? How do you see yourself in the future?”

When people ask me my desires, dreams and plans, I’m often left puzzled.

I know that I have certain goals regarding the future, but if I were to all of a sudden rich and famous or working my dream job, it still wouldn’t give me true happiness if I’m not happy in the present. Even if my financial, physical or educational situation changes, I’m still the same person on the inside.

A lot of people have a mindset that if “x changes I’ll finally be happy”.

Meanwhile, we are unhappy in that moment and life passes by us, as we wait for that “moment” when we’ll be happy.

The truth is, there isn’t a better place to be happy than right now! If you’re not happy now, when will you be?

Our happiness ultimately lies in how we perceive our lives.

Life isn’t one specific path; we have to face many changes and challenges. Happiness comes with us through all these challenges, changes and hard times we ultimately face.

I feel like there is so much focus on the future that we don’t enjoy the present moments.

We plan our futures too much, that we miss moments of joy in our journey to the future.

I don’t believe we’ll truly find our path in life until we can let go of all those plans and put more focus into being grateful and happy for the person we are today.

Yes, I’ll always wonder what my future looks like, I’m a planner at heart. However, I know that I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be.

Most importantly, I won’t continue to think that things need to change for happiness to occur because I love who I am now.

Today, I choose to be happy with who and where I am.

What’s one thing making you happy today?

To eat or not to eat…

Minds are funny things aren’t they?

My body may be begging me for rest, relaxation or food but that doesn’t stop my mind for trying to tell me that I’m in fact not hungry. In an argument of my mind versus my body, it’s rare that my mind will actually win in the end.

Even though time and time again my body proves to be smarter than my mind, it doesn’t stop trying.

It’s full of untruthful thoughts and beliefs to try and overcome my bodies cues.

My mind can very well try and pose as an impostar, convince me it’s my body telling me I need less food when in reality, it’s the reverse. As clever as we believe the mind to be, our bodies always know what’s best for us.

I know how these games go. Being worried what my body is telling me because I’m far too concerned with how I look, when really my image is all in my head.

There’s constantly a conflict going on between my mind and body, when they are meant to be connected to each other.

The belief begins in the mind and the body follows through with actions to make us believe those thoughts are true.

My mind has come up with some pretty interesting ideas, some have been destructive to my well-being.

Bad thought: Always make time for fitness, you can sleep when you’re dead.

“Forget about that extra hour sleep, exercise must be completed everyday”.

When I ignore the exhaustion my body is facing, I’m left feeling unmotivated, fatigued, anxious, and ill. My workouts end up being pretty crummy in return. It’s amazing what adequate amount of sleep leave you with; energy, happiness and motivation to complete workouts.

Bad thought: When hunger appears, ignore it or eat vegetables.

When I had hunger pangs, I did everything to not be hungry. Coffee, water, celery, broccoli and carrots. I was a volume eater. Basically, eating a huge amount of vegetables in order to feel “full”, thus avoiding eating.

Not only did this usually leave me in horrible pain, I was also plagued with even more fatigue and constant thoughts of food. It seemed logical at the time.

“Why would I eat a few almonds when I could eat 3 cups of vegetables instead.”

Eating only vegetables and fruits is NOT healthy. You miss out on so many other nutrients. A body can’t live on vegetables and fruits alone.

We need an adequate amount of healthy fats, clean carbohydrates, high quality protein, and of course, room for indulgence. It’s safe to say my mind could learn a lot from my body.

With each day that I allow myself to be in tune with my body, and allow my body and mind to truly connect, the negative thoughts diminish. Maybe my mind is finally catching up with my body, realizing it won’t come out victorious.

Our bodies will tell us when they are hungry or full, they want us to listen. Learn to listen and trust these cues, not resist them.

*Don’t get me wrong, I still love vegetables and eat them daily, but I dont worry if I consume other food groups and I don’t stress if I’m not eating mass amount of vegetables everyday.

Have you ever had trouble listening to your body?

Do you ever have a hard time knowing if you are truly hungry or not?

Should and Shouldn’t Mindset

“Should and Shouldn’t” are such small, but powerful words. We can get consumed with putting too much focus into what we “should and shouldn’t” be doing, rather than what we choose to do. This way can become consuming, especially when it comes to “health”.

We can allow ourselves to get stuck in the mindset of “don’t eat this, don’t eat that”. This way of thinking can become rigid and easier to follow than listening to our bodies cues and knowing what our bodies are craving in the moment. Instead of listening to our bodies wisdom, we begin to follow a rigid set of rules, the “should and shouldn’t rules.”

We can hold onto behaviours and beliefs that we have adopted from magazines, fitness trainers, the media, our parents, or friends. We may hold onto these beliefs out of fear, anxiety, personal or social pressures, and as a way to cope with emotions, problems, and self-image, etc.

The problem is when we try and overcome these “should and shouldn’t rules” and make a mistake or backtrack (which we inevitably will), we can then use it as an excuse to hold onto these old patterns and ways of thinking.

Instead, we could (and I intend to) use these mistakes as motivation to keep trying. Unfortunately, it’s easier for to play it safe, which gives our minds a sense of relief and peace (in the moment).

It’s a lot harder to be proactive and overcome these thoughts and behaviours when we don’t know what the outcome will be. It is scary to give up the “control” we feel we have and instead pursue our goals.

Too many people view health as a rigid set of rules, what we “should and shouldn’t” eat. And this places negative connotations on certain lifestyle choices.

“You should/shouldn’t eat x because…”

“You should/shouldn’t do this exercise because…”

These “should and shouldn’t rules” are often contradictory and can be used as a way to judge others. Instead of getting caught up on what type of exercise we should or shouldn’t be doing or , we can learn to recognize what we need to be happy and healthy and avoid getting consumed in what everyone else is doing.

We are all unique individuals, we all have different qualities that make us special and beautiful. Instead of allowing these “should and shouldn’t” beliefs to take over your life and thoughts. You can choose to take a blind leap of faith toward the anxiety and fear that will ultimately allow us to have a better quality of life.

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By believing that we “should or shouldn’t” do something, we keep our minds in a negative energy. Why not learn to believe in yourself and trust your body, to have a positive attitude, and to act on the changes you wish to happen in life, no matter how scary it feels.

Next time, be aware of the use of “should and shouldn’t” rules, and how it can effect yourself and others. It can feel easier to live by a set of other peoples rules, instead of trusting your inner voice. Learn to listen to yourself, and your body will choose the best option for you.

Do you ever fall victim to other’s beliefs on what you “shouldn’t” be eating or doing?

Where do you think these beliefs come from?

Power of Positive Thinking

There are many days in life where I struggle with stressors, especially recently. Realizing my body is not healthy is a sad fact to face, especially when I try and nourish my body to the best of its ability with healthy foods and fitness.

It’s not fun to face the cold hard truth that despite my efforts to appear healthy, I am not. The eating disorder has placed a lot of mental struggles in my life, but I won’t let these things effect my outlook of positive thinking.

The body and mind are more connected than we can begin to understand. When we place negative beliefs, and angry thoughts into our minds, our bodies will feel these negative emotions and simply won’t feel as good.

I truly believe that a positive mind and thoughts will make a happier and healthier body. And that our thoughts have a lot of power over how our bodies act and respond.

When I focus on the bad things happening, my thoughts worsen, and I struggle more. I also will notice that “bad things” keep happening. It’s because I am focusing more on the negative things in life. When I switch it around to all the positive things happening around me, I feel like beautiful things are occurring and that there is so much good out there.

I have so much  to be thankful for; loving parents, food in my frige, a roof over my head, and many more.  I chose to not focus on the negative because it means I struggle more mentally and physically. I put a smile on my face and know that there are better days out there.

I know that know everyday is not going to be perfect, and I won’t pretend that these negative days don’t exist. For every struggle you overcome you become a stronger person out of it. You live and you learn from your experiences. I believe everything will get better if you believe in the possibility that things will get better.

It is possible for things to turn around and your situation will get better. I take out negative words from my vocabulary, like “I can’t” or “I’ll never be able to…”. Sometimes I slip and these thoughts happen, but the beauty of positive thinking is that we have the power to change these thoughts for the better.

Start seeing the beauty in everyday life. Change a negative thought into a positive one. Shifting these thoughts relax the body (less stress) and change our moods. Your energy increases by imagining and choosing what life would be like healthy, instead of basing that choice on your fear of being unhealthy.

Even the smallest changes you make equal a big step in the future and the successes you will have. The way you perceive yourself is everything.

Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

Name one positive thing about your life.

Are You Eating Enough?

Recently, I’ve come to a decision that it is essential for me to increase my intake of calories. I think this is something that is really hard for my head to wrap around, as my mind gets filled with a lot of insecurities as I think of this process. However, I know the signs that I am eating too little, and the cold hard truth is that I suffer from a lot of the signs I’ve experienced in the past.

It may not be as significant as the warning signs were when I was seriously ill, but they are still there and there are still changes needed to me dealt with if I want to recover from certain problems I’m still suffering with.

A lot of the time people may not even be aware of the fact that they need to increase calories, our bodies want to preverse themselves and hold onto every calorie we feed them. There are many signs we need to be aware of if calorie restriction is a problem.

You may even be at a normal weight and not realize your body is suffering. Calorie restriction can be a problem for any person, and can certainly happen to people even if they aren’t extremely thin. And that is a confusing thing for people to see and accept.

I don’t believe in low calorie diets. I believe in eating what you are craving, consuming whole, unprocessed foods (for the most part), with some daily indulgences. Moderation is key in our lifestyle, if we want to stay sane;)

There are many consequences of eating too few calories and the one’s that stand out the most for me include:

Unclear thinking. When I’m not listening to my body, and don’t give it the right amount of food, it starts to fight back.

I may wake up in a “mental fog” and not be able to quite shake it for days, I also suffer from headaches and concentrating on daily tasks. Its more difficult to focus on things happening in my life and don’t have the motivation to do things I normally love doing.

Food obsession. As much as I love creating recipes, and planning my meals. There comes a point when that is too much. If your thinking about food all day, everyday than I believe that is a problem.

If I find myself thinking about my next meal as soon as I’ve just finished one, its time for me to step back and reevaluate my eating habits, and realize I am clearly not nourishing myself because I am obsessing about food.

If you can only concentrate on food and fitness, there may be a problem with this thinking. You begin to become so interested in food, yet can’t get yourself to eat what your body craves. And you lose interest in things you enjoyed before.

Workout progress declines. When I switch fitness routines, especially increasing strength training I first may notice I’m improving a lot and gaining more strength. When my workouts start to suffer, from not being able to lift as much weight, complete cardio how I’m used to, or start dreading workouts then usually this is a sign I am restricting calories more than usual.

My body can’t keep up with the things I’m demanding it to keep up with, so I will start to lose motivation to even want to workout, or I become more obsessed that I need to workout every single day, no matter how I am feeling. And those things make me feel more anxious.

Becoming anxious, moody, or emotional. This can be a red flag to me, since I’m normally pretty positive and upbeat. When I’m not eating enough, I can become extremely emotional, crying at almost anything, or I get anxious over very small things.

When I deny myself food, there is a noticeable change in the way I normally act. If you are feeling shaky, emotional, or more anxious these are clear signs that you need more fuel!

Not sleeping. It is almost impossible for me to have a good nights rest if my body is asking for more food. I may not feel hungry, but I won’t be able to sleep well. I will toss and turn all night, won’t be able to fall asleep, or wake up continuously throughout the night.

This is why I chose to eat a large snack before bed, sometimes my night snacks are bigger than my breakfasts. Seriously.

Losing hunger signals. The weird thing about eating a low amount of calories, is that our bodies will adapt to this and not allow us to feel hunger. When I was at my lowest weight, hardly eating anything I never felt hungry, and felt that I could live that way forever.

This is simply our bodies signs its shutting down. Its not a normal thing to never feel hunger, because we need food for energy and to thrive. Extreme hunger may result in nausea or even stomach bloating.

When your body is functioning normally, it will ask for food. Unfortunately there are more serious effects of lowering calories too far. Such as osteopenia, bone loss in general, anemia, and thyroid problems. In return, your metabolism slows to maintain needed energy, because it is stuck in “survival mode” and will only trust you when you simply eat more food.

Other problems like only eating “safe foods”, constant mirror checking, food rituals, becoming influenced in “fad diets”, and obsessively measuring or weighing food and yourself are huge red flags.

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Everyone’s calorie intake differs, some people function on a lot of calories, other people don’t. If someone is eating a lower calorie diet, don’t feel the need to follow it. Eat what is right for your body, not anyone else’s. Your body will tell you when it is suffering and when it needs more energy.

Have you ever suffered from any of these signs from calorie restriction? Any more you can add to the list.

Do you tend to push you body too far?

Are you able to eat intuitively without relying on these unfortunate side effects?