Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Keeping It all In Perspective
I preach that if you want to be thin, the absolute first step you have to take is eat healthy. After that you have to cut calories and exercise. There just isn't any other way to do it.
However, there is the point of taking "eating healthy" too far. Believe it or not, there's even a medical term for it called orhorexia nervosa.
Eating healthy means cleaning your own house up and getting the worst of the processed foods out of your diet. It means making better choices as to where you eat and what you choose to eat when you're not eating at home.
But, letting it take over your life to the point that some shrink thinks you qualify as having a mental illness on par with anorexia is probably taking it a bit too far.
You have to find balance.
Home is of course the perfect place to re-balance after a binge (and we all deserve a binge from time to time). It's easy to keep to a healthy eating regime at home if no other food options are available.
You won't eat potato chips or ice cream as a mid-night snack if there are none in the house to begin with. If you're truly hungry, and there's only fruit and nuts to snack on, then guess what? You'll eat fruit and nuts.
You also have more control over what goes into your meals if you stock a healthy pantry. If salad ingredients and a home made salad dressing are all available in your refrigerator, you're likely to eat a salad. If you have the ingredients to make smoothies for breakfast, you'll make smoothies.
I mention all this because I'm in the process of once again, cleaning up my diet and eating more raw foods. I go through this every summer as part of what's now become my annual eating regime.
As the days lengthen and fresh, local produce becomes available I start increasing the percentage of raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables that make up my diet over the course of the week. I'm probably eating 70-75% raw this week, by next week I may even push that up to 80-85% raw.
I'm also trying to reduce overall calories I'm eating daily to lose the "Winter weight" I inevitably seem to put on every year (and this year a little more so). I've been gradually replacing some meals with juices and smoothies, and will probably launch into a couple juice until dinner days by next week. That will likely lead to trying to fit an entire day of juice fasting at some point and then maybe a two day juice fast if I'm lucky.
I may even try a week of eating entirely raw to both detox and lose weight.
Now I've read about and know people who keep completely raw all year long. From my experience, I have to say that I see the benefits of eating raw both to my weight and to my overall well-being.
But, I prefer the more balanced approach. Eating as raw as I can all year round, with occasional all raw periods works best for me.
It also keeps me sane.
BTW, if you're interested in learning more about eating raw I recommend The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose.
You can read about this book and order it here.
I don't agree with the "completely" raw philosophy (I also don't agree with the eating of processed "raw" food products or not combining fruits and vegetables), but I think Rose does an excellent job explaining the health benefits of eating raw as well as providing a sensible way to detox and go raw. Rose, like me, believes you have to make the changes gradually for them to stick.