Maintaining optimal health is an interesting concept: it is either a fairly simple concept to grasp or an incredibly difficult task to manage. I am always curious about what differentiates the two for my clients. And what makes eating healthy so difficult?
What I have gathered in working with people to help restore their health is that there are three primary reasons why they struggle with maintaining optimal health: looking for the quick-fix, lack of commitment, and unsustainability.
By exploring these areas in more detail we can gain a better understanding of the setbacks many of us encounter. When we identify what is holding us back, we make better decisions towards improvement of diet and health.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that is all about the “quick fix” looking for the magic pill or smoothie that solves all of our problems. We want that one thing that cuts the pounds, cures diabetes, stabilizes blood sugar levels, boosts energy, balances cholesterol, and heals our gut all at the same time.
The thing is, this can generally all be accomplished by changing the way we eat. By supplementing your diet with nutrient dense and nourishing foods, you are providing your body the nutrients it needs to heal. Furthermore, nearly eighty percent of your immune system is located in the gut, which means by eating foods that help support gut health, you are boosting your immunity and increasing your body’s ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients. Diet and nutrition should be foundational in all of our health systems.
It may not be a magic pill, but if I offered simple steps to change your diet, what is standing in the way of making changes? Likely, it is commitment.
I joke with people that I want to have a disclaimer on my website before people enter that says something like: Are you willing to commit to doing the work needed in order to heal and fully restore your health? If you click no, you will be redirected. If you click yes, you can enter and inquire about working together. What once was a joke is now becoming more of a reality as I realize in working with more clients the first step to healing is commitment. I know many practitioners face this everyday and was glad to read Maria Atwood’s wise words: To get up in the morning and look forward to a pain-free, lively day requires the power of consistency. It takes some real commitment—and yes, planning.
Transitioning towards sustainable health starts with making a dedicated effort and adopting minimal changes in order to gain the maximum benefit. Changing your diet is like changing anything, it takes time, usually difficult in the beginning because it is new, but after a while it becomes routine and part of your everyday life.
Eating clean is sustainable, something that will carry over for the rest of your life and you don’t have to worry about dieting again. Weight loss supplements, smoothie diets and counting calories are not a lifestyle and while they may work in the short term, you have to ask yourself if this is truly healing your body and is this something you can maintain? Not to mention is this quick fix solving one issue but creating new ones?
Many diet supplements and shake replacements may cause you to lose weight quickly, but at the expense of what? I have worked with clients who have taken weight loss supplements which caused gall bladder attacks and gut issues because of their ingredients. Plus you have to ask yourself, how sustainable is this? For instance, what happens when you go off your smoothie diet or your weight loss pills? Or you stop counting your calories or meals? Does the weight come back or do you revert to old habits? Usually the answer is yes because those diets and drugs are not a sustainable way to regulate weight or health. And you haven’t committed to making the lifestyle change needed in order to eat healthier.
This is why I have created the 70/30 Plan, my plan for helping people transition into eating healthier while at the same time making it sustainable. The 70/30 Plan starts with a simple goal: eat one meal a day healthy and then work to transition to the other meals. This plan focuses on 70 percent of the time eating healthier while allowing some flexibility with the remaining 30 percent. The plan also emphasizes the importance of meal planning, committing an hour one day a week to preparing a couple proteins in advance and thinking of a few different meals to make with each protein. From there, you prep your“fix-ins” (ingredients) needed to make those meals. This way, when it comes time to make a meal, everything is readily available and all you have to do is assemble!
The only thing the 70/30 Plan requires is to begin a healthy lifestyle is a small commitment: dedicate one hour to meal prepping one day a week and commit to eating healthier, more nourishing foods that will heal your body rather than harm. Over time, the commitment pays off and it becomes sustainable, something you don’t have to worry about anymore, it just becomes a part of life. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? No more yo-yo dieting, digestive issues, swings in energy levels, just simply feeling great without the stress of diets. The only thing standing in your way is whether or not you’re committed and dedicated to changing.
What about you? Do you feel like you can resonate with any of these points or perhaps have had your own struggles? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! xo