Monday, February 15, 2016

Lifestyle Changes: Step 1

Step 1: Do your research.
There are TONS of diets and "lifestyle change" diets out there. How do you know which is right for you? If you hate meat, Paleo is probably not going to cut it for you. If you are a meat lover, you may not want to go the vegetarian route. It also may depend on what you are looking for in a "diet"- short term- you may be looking to juice, long term- clean eating may be the way to go. 
I am NOT an expert by any means, but I have done my research and I do have research to share to help YOU make your decision. Below are the 4 plans I researched to make my decision. With a couple links for each and my thoughts on them.
For lent this year I chose to take a lifestyle diet challenge. I decided to start a few days late as I had friends in town for Valentine's weekend and I didn't want to fail on my lent project before it began. First, why do we deprive ourselves of goodness for lent? Here is one short answer here is another. There were a few reasons that this was my choice for lent this year: 
1. Lent is supposed to be a spiritual practice to refocus your mind and your heart. I use this as a time not only to refocus my heart and mind, but also as a time to do a "spring cleaning" of my body and life. 
2. Lent is meant to be challenging, you didn't choose the correct option if it is not.
3. As much as I thoroughly enjoy every tiny taste of wine, cheese, and chocolate and as much as I'd like to live off of only those foods forever, that is not the best choice and I probably need to eat some vegetables. 
Clean Eating? - this is a lifestyle change diet I have actually tried before. I did it for 8 months and LOVED it. I felt great and looked great. I used the plan written in Jackie Warner's book This is Why You're Fat. This is the only resource I needed, I googled for recipes whenever I needed them, but this book was a HUGE help.
Favorite things: 
*You add good foods in before you start taking bad foods out.
* Really informative and interesting book.
*You get cheat days! 
Not-so-favorite things: 
* Very expensive for one person, a lot of times my food went bad before I could eat it.
*I was always hungry, but it was difficult for me to eat everything you were supposed to eat in a day.
The ONLY reason I stopped this lifestyle diet was because I could not afford to eat that much food in a day.
Why I did not choose it this time: I know I can do it, and while I may switch back to it after my challenge, it was not quite what I was looking for this time.
Vegetarian diet?- I had a friend growing up who ate a vegetarian diet. I didn't understand it and refused to try her tofu. Growing up in a meat loving, fishing, hunting and grilling on the weekends type of family, I was not interested in whatever that stuff was she had on her plate. My thoughts have changed A LOT since then. I actually think I would do pretty well on a vegetarian diet these days... I am a meat-eater but I am NOT a meat-craver. I have to force feed myself protein. I have never tried a fully vegetarian diet, so I thought it might be fun to do some research on it- 
The Vegetarian Times
The Vegetarian Resource Group
Vegetarian Myths Debunked
6 Staples of a Vegetarian Diet
Mayo Clinic details on a Vegetarian Diet
There are also a few very delicious Vegetarian Restaurants in the Charlotte area.
Why I did not choose it this time: Grains and Dairy are major staples in this diet and they are major addictions for me. I would definitely use both as an excuse to not eat the correct amount of fruits and veggies.
Paleo?- aka the "caveman" diet. This is the favorite diet these days. and is built on the same premise as Clean Eating- STOP eating processed foods! What is Paleo? Want to try it, but not entirely sure? try a 7 day challenge! What can you eat? Click here to find out!
Why I did not choose it this time: I think that the Whole30 will be a good plan to teach me how to eat Paleo properly. Which would you choose?
Whole30?- I'm calling this Paleo Xtremeeeee. You can read the rules here. This is a short term elimination plan (30 days!) Which is meant to help you identify any food allergies/ sensitivities you may have and help you eat properly! I have high hopes for this plan! The number one hope is that sugar and cheese will no longer be the lead (sometimes only) choice in my diet. Always read the book. :)
I've found some really cool sources for food for both Paleo and Whole30: Barefoot ProvisionsThrive Market, and Naked Bacon because you can eat BACON!!!!
Why I chose this: I am eliminating ALL of my "food addictions" all at one time- no cheese, chocolate, wine or bread for 30 days!
*Do you have any awesome resources to share on these plans??? 
*Have you tried any? 
*Do you have a favorite?
Next week: my choice, how I prepped and how my first week went!

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