I’m always amazed at the crazy things I hear about or witness seeing people eating. Like tonight my husband and I watched the TV show “Man vs. Food”. Have you ever watched that show? It’s quite something. Sure it might be entertaining, for some, but I find it disturbing to see food depicted as a sporting event.
Whether it’s the Super Bowl or Super-size-me – there should be nothing super about our meals except that they are healthy and taste exceptional. I hope you agree?
So if you’ve been “super” at avoiding a healthy diet and feel like you’re still on a roller-coaster from the holidays (ie. craving carbs) – don’t worry on this Chinese New Year – the Year of the Horse – it’s a good time to get the new year started right.
Here are 5 tips to help you get back on track this Year of the Horse:
1. Clean up Your Gut. In order to have the qualities the Horse embodies such as strength, grace and power you need to have a digestive system that works well. The best way I know how to accomplis this is by taking a good probiotic daily. It will help you get your digestive micro-flora (bacteria) back into balance. Sugar and excess starches usually cause an imbalance in our finely tuned digestive tract. Symptoms like gas, bloating, and indigestion are a good sign that something is awry. Getting onto a good probiotic will be the first place to start in clearing these annoying symptoms.
2. Become an Authority. The Year of the Horse is about leadership. I encourage you to become an authority of yourself. Learn who you are – what makes you tick. It’s also a year of meditation so go inside and ask yourself what you need – what you truly need. This type of understanding takes time – so be patient with yourself. Also, it’s hard to get to know yourself in isolation – so no need to go to a mountain top. Make sure you engage in life – in your life. Balance your quiet time with your social time. Learn to create the life you truly feel comfortable with – inside and out.
3. Put yourself out & take a risk. No I don’t mean gambling – I mean trying something new. Expanding your food list, expanding what you deem as exercise or even taking on a new project could constitute something new.
Don’t limit yourself this year – as Captain Kirk said: “go where no man or woman has gone before”. It can be as simple as trying new ethnic dishes, eliminating gluten, dairy or sugar for a month – and then see how you feel. I bet you will feel much, much better than you did before you started your “experiment”. Try it. Don’t tell yourself you’re going on a diet or that you’ll never eat bread again. Rather commit to 30 days – that’s it – just 30 days. Then report back to me – I really do want to know how you fared.
4. Avoid Over-doing. The Year of the Horse is noted for impulsiveness so make sure you think ahead before you jump in. When it comes to over-eating – take a break, count to 30 or go for a walk before you devour more than your tummy can bear. Okay, so occasional over-eating can be forgiven but chronic over-eating is a very slippery slope. Pace yourself, plan your meals and choose foods that give you the most bang for your buck. Sure a big bowl of pasta or 4 slices from the bread basket may “feel” like it fills you up – but you and I know that’s all that it does because it’s a filler food, nothing more. Choose quality proteins like fish, chicken or eggs and vegetables like broccoli, asparagus or eggplant and you’re sure to be not just filled up but nutritionally satisfied as well.
5. Don’t Deny something’s wrong. The horse year also brings with it denial – thinking there’s nothing wrong when deep down inside you feel something’s off. You don’t think your weight or eating is really that bad so you continue with the daily waffles for breakfast, the cheese and cracker snacks at 2 pm and finishing off the day with your evening popcorn nosh.
Day in and day out, you put on your “larger but still flattering” clothes until finally you must – you just must step on the scale. It requires courage to do so and will definitely help you get out of denial. Use your scale and your jeans as guides for a reality check – they usually don’t lie.
And always remember Healthy is the New Skinny.