Cookies had become my main food group and it was time to do something about it.
Responsible is the new sexy.
Or at least that’s what I think. I created this project for myself (and anyone who wants to join) to have a structure for personal growth and habit modification.
Month 1: Healthy Food Habits
The idea for Responsible is the New Sexy has been banging around in my head for over a year. I came up with the idea because I was frustrated with myself because my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be and I realized one of the biggest culprits was because I would get motivated and then try to change everything at once.
It never worked. I’m sure you’re not surprised.
So, when I came up with the big picture plan to focus on one area a month and not try to do every area at once, it was a big Ah Ha moment.
I decided to start with food for a lot of reasons. But, the biggest reason was that I knew for me it would have significant, measurable results that would enable me to see progress and keep moving. Six months ago, I got married, moved, and had a whole bunch of other significant and wonderful changes. On top of that, my job can be quite stressful and demanding.
I realized that cookies had become the main food group I consumed.
When I did eat real food, it was definitely healthy, mostly from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. I enjoy cooking and definitely consider myself informed about all the recent slow/healthy/sustainable food movements. I don’t drink soda and only eat fast food about once a year on a road trip.
However, surviving off of cookies, coffee, and one healthy meal a day is bad, bad, bad.
And I was feeling the effects. I was going through fairly intensive therapy to work through trauma. Between the terribly unhealthy diet and the therapy, my body was enduring rough times and I could feel it.
I knew I didn’t want to wait years until my body was completely falling apart from stress and lack of nutrition. I wanted to make a change. And I wanted it to be significant enough where there were dramatic results that would inspire me.
I also knew I couldn’t do some type of cleanse that was mostly lemon water and cayenne pepper. First, it wasn’t motivating. And second, I knew I needed real food to get me through long days of parenting, work and community responsibilities.
The other reason I didn’t want to do some type of juice cleanse was because that still seemed like a lot of sugar and I knew that sugar was a big issue for me. Even though juice and smoothies can be effective ways to make healthy changes, I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted for this big shift.
Then, I remembered my friend Tsh had done the whole30 program last year. I remembered seeing her Instagram feed of fresh, filling food and decided to look into it more. I read a bunch of articles and almost every piece of content on the Whole30 website and decided this was absolutely the right step for me.
I was motivated. After everything I had read, I wanted to cut sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes and chocolate from my diet.
That’s how desperate and ready I was for change. And I knew this would be the perfect kick-off for me for the Responsible is the New Sexy project. It would be a fantastic first month of making healthy changes, being aware of habits and compulsions and perhaps most importantly, improving my energy levels, mood and overall well being.
So, that’s the long version about why I made this choice to do the Whole30 for my focus on food.
If you want to join me on the Responsible is the New Sexy project, you absolutely don’t have to do the Whole30.
How to join the Responsible is the New Sexy project:
For month 1, you just need to pick 3-4 things that will help you change your relationship to food and most importantly, improve your health and energy levels so that you can make the other changes you want to make in your life.
If you’re always on a sugar high or low, or drinking so much coffee you’re totally frazzled, how will you slow down and make the changes you want to see?
I have made a list of suggestions below for ways that you can shift, challenge and improve your relationship with food. Choose 3-4 things that you are certain you want to commit to this month. Maybe pick 1 or 2 that seem relatively easy. And then pick 1 or 2 that seem like a huge challenge for you.
What you choose will depend on where you are at in your current relationship with food. Remember this isn’t about being the most extreme, it’s about making a step forward from where you are now to move closer to the healthy life you want for yourself.
Month 1: Healthy Food Habits.
*Pick 3-4 of these to do this month, or create your own set of activities and habit changes related to healthy food habits.
- Select one or more things to remove from your diet for the month: all sugar, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, desserts, chocolate, etc.
- Do not eat out for the entire month. Make all meals from scratch.
- Commit to eating all meals away from screens. Even if you’re eating alone. No smart phone, no TV, no internet, no iPad. Just focus on your experience of eating food.
- Commit to no snacking, except fresh fruit and vegetables. No candy, no chips between meals, no eating just because you’re bored.
- Remove sugar and sugary items from your daily coffee or tea.
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and plan to make one new recipe a week for the month using the fresh, local ingredients from your CSA box.
- Choose a book about health or food habits and read it this month.
- Do the Whole30.
- Try Paleo, Primal or some other food philosophy for one month.
- Have you been wondering if you have some food allergies or intolerances? Read more about them and select a few things to remove from your diet.
- Commit to drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
- Start taking a daily vitamin.
- Make your lunches at home, instead of eating out. Do this for the entire month.
- Learn about how to select different types of produce.
- Learn about seasonal fruits and vegetables and local places you can get them.
- Try 4 new foods (one for each week). Example: goat’s milk, jicima, olives, sauerkraut.