To close off my posts on UnDiet, after reading the book here are some tips I’ve taken away and adapted into my own life:
1. Drink water. Lots of it. To spice things up I drink it with a fancy glass straw, add slices of lemon, cucumber, apple, lime, etc. or chunks of frozen fruit (who needs ice cubes).
Check out Strawesome for glass straws!
2. Make my meals from scratch using real, whole ingredients. I rarely eat out anymore (I’m also on a grad student budget) but I do love cooking my meals at home. You know exactly what’s going into your food and you get to choose the ingredients, tastes, and what you make! Since I’ve begun cooking so much more I’ve also tried some really different ingredients (i.e. teff, millet, dulse, miso, various spices, purple cabbage, carob, maca, chia…)
3. Eat vegetables. A few of my favourite ways to get my vegetables in daily: veggie-filled soups and stews, green smoothies, and big salads for lunch or dinner.
Big green spinach salad with roasted chicken, walnuts, vegetables, and orange miso dressing
4. Move daily. Since the end of Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp I’ve scaled it back a bit on the exercise and try to keep daily workouts to under 40 minutes (I’ve been loving Amanda Russell’s YouTube videos). It’s given me a lot more energy, is more fun, and I don’t get bored. I also love going to yoga classes a few times a week and long walks on the seawall and in Stanley Park. We’ve had beautiful weather in Vancouver lately, so it’s made going for a walk all the more inviting.
This is one of my favourites. Don’t be deceived by the short amount of time! It is tough.
5. Meal plan and prep. At the end of every week I’ll go through my cookbooks and all the recipes I’ve bookmarked over the past week and decide what to make for the following week. I generally make 2 main dishes (often a 1 pot meal, soup or stew), 2 dips (hummus is a great option), roast a whole chicken, cut up raw vegetables for the week, bake some sweet potatoes, bake a healthy baked good, cook up some grains (usually quinoa), hard boil some eggs and make 1-2 salad dressings. It is the nicest feeling to come home to food ready to eat at the end of the day! A few hours of meal prep on Sunday also gives me chance to catch up on the Real Housewives…
Zucchini hummus and vegetable sticks ready to go
Baked sweet potato and sweet cinnamon hummus underneath
Sliced brussel sprouts, onion, and garlic ready to roast
6. Go au naturel. Meghan has some great tips for natural beauty products! In the spirit of spring cleaning I have a post coming up on DIY cleaning products. They were a lot of fun to make and use and make me feel way better about the products I’m using to clean with.
7. Trust my intuition and let go. I’ve learned from reading UnDiet that it’s not only about what we eat. It also comes down to how we’ve feel. I’m sure you’ve heard before: stress can undo any good diet or nutrition! And it is true. You can eat all the ‘right’ foods and still not feel your best – as frustrating at that may sound – I’ve experienced it first hand. Despite all the changes this past year (i.e. moving to Vancouver, starting grad school, no longer working 9-5, etc.) I’ve been trying to keep calm, relax, let things go, and enjoy the beautiful city I’m in.
8. Take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt. When you make a change in your life regardless of what it is often people will have a comment about it. It is tough totally changing the way you eat, the decisions you make, or the amount of exercise you get, without at times feeling judged. After reading a lot of blogs, fitness magazines, ‘healthy lifestyle’ and food blogs, I’ve come to realize that I need to do what makes me feel my best (… which I think also constantly changes)!
9. Laugh every day and enjoy what you do. Despite my kitchen disasters (and other adventures) it’s easier in the end to laugh about it! And despite the trials and tribulations of grad school I am happy to be here and am doing my best to enjoy life as a student and soak up all the opportunities and experiences coming my way.