Good Morning Lovelies!
Can you all do me a solid before you read on? Throw out everything you know about “dieting” for just a little bit. Forget all the rules & open yourself up to the possibilities of changing your relationship with food. What do you have to lose? I’m guessing not a lot since more than likely what you are currently doing (or are trying to get away from) is not bringing sexy back. Let’s rethink our food rituals & practices over the course of the day starting with rising…
We have been taught for like…forever, that this is the most important meal of the day & many of us eat as soon as we wake up just because that’s what we’re supposed to do. The first “un-rule” will be to eat only when you’re hungry. If your body isn’t telling you that you’re hungry you probably aren’t. The morning is so important to our goals. When we wake up it’s a new day. We are starting with a clean slate. All night our body has been cleansing our system without the interruption of digesting new foods. Bad breath, odor & eye boogers are a result of our body cleansing itself. It is okay to wait until you are hungry to eat because it allows your body to continue its cleanse. As soon as we start putting food back into our bodies, we halt the cleansing process & all our energy has been diverted to digestion. If we are not eliminating (yes, pooping!) we are accumulating toxins, the weight will begin to pile on, & we start to feel sluggish & unpretty.
It is also important to eat light to heavy. Many celebrity nutritionists such as Natalia Rose and Kimberly Snyder would agree. Fruits & veggies only take about 20 minutes to digest whereas meat & starches like oatmeal & bread take over 2 hours. If we start our day with heavy starches or proteins like bacon & sausage we are 1) forcing our bodies to exert more energy, leaving us tired 2) making it impossible for the fruits & vegetables that digest quickly to pass by the heavier meats that take much longer. What ends up happening is the fruits & veggies get trapped causing fermentation & gas. Those heavy foods aren’t even giving us energy until hours later because we can’t get energy from foods until the nutrients have been absorbed in the small intestine. So we think we are fueling our bodies when in fact, we are using energy to break down & digest. Have you ever been at work or trying to get something done & looked up at the clock to see it’s only 10am then wondered, “How in the world am I going to make it 8 more hours?” So how do we fix this? We eat a lighter breakfast. A-ha! Insert green drink here ______. A green juice or smoothie is the perfect breakfast meal. Having a light breakfast keeps us more alert, allows our bodies to continue the cleansing process longer & sets us up to make healthy choices al day long. Starting off, eating lighter in the morning might leave you feeling a like you need something more substantial but it’s because our bodies have gotten used to certain foods at certain times of the day. Kind of like how it take a few days for your stomach to shrink when you begin a new diet because the portions are reduced. Over time you will have so much energy & feel so great you won’t miss the toast or oatmeal. It has become my ritual to start with a mug of warm lemon cayenne water and follow it a little while later with a green smoothie or juice. It’s like a Redbull…within minutes I just wanna dance! All that green goodness will reward you with glowing skin, healthy hair & strong nails. Give it 3 or 4 weeks & see how you feel. This doesn’t mean you have to eat like this every day of your life forever but the more you do starting off, the quicker you will find your natural weight & reap the beauty benefits. Take it from a sister whose food mantra is, “I do brunch.” If I can do it, you can too.
So since we are eating breakfast a little later in the morning, lunch can be eaten later as well. Listen to your body & it will let you know when you need to eat. Lunch is another opportunity to extend the cleansing & increase our energy. You think you got the Itis at 10am from that heavy breakfast? That ain’t nothin‘ compared to the nap you crave after a heavy lunch. I can’t tell you how many times when I was working for The Man, I would sit strategically at my desk with my back to the door, pretending to be reading something “important” on my computer while my eyes were closed, trying to steal 20 winks as co-workers passed by my office. I kind of pride myself on my sleeping-in-public skills. I used to be a pro at catching some Z’s incognito while Hubs was driving if my sunglasses were dark enough & he couldn’t see my eyes…until he got hip. And it always caught me right between 3 & 4pm. That is no coincidence. So for this reason, if you decide to continue eating meat, save it for dinner (this also helps with achieving our 75/25 plant-based goal). This is another un-rule. We are told to eat lots of lean proteins. Interestingly, proteins are the most difficult food to digest. So if we cause a 5 car-pile up in the middle of the day, the lightest dinner cannot redeem us. That light meal will just be sitting in LA-like traffic.
Another rule to unlearn is that we need to eat smalls meals all day. I know, I know. Just stay with me. I agree this is a really hard one to unlearn. But let me try & break it down. We think we need to graze throughout the day to keep our metabolism in check & stabilize our blood sugar. Grazing can actually make us age faster. Let’s talk about enzymes for a minute. Live enzyme are the catalyst for every human function including achieving & securing beauty. There are lots of different types of enzymes (over 5,000!) used & produced in our bodies. They serve different functions such as helping to digest & metabolize our food, rebuild collagen in our skin, repair & prevent wrinkles, speed up weight loss & detoxification (as they free up more metobolic energy). They even repair our DNA. The depletion of enzymes play a role in the aging process. Every time we eat, we are using enzymes to process the food. Constant grazing depletes them even faster. It also means food on top of food on top of food that hasn’t been completely digested. This causes fermentation, putrefaction & GAS and that’s no bueno. It’s toxic & toxicity causes aging. Eating natural fiber throughout the day keeps our blood sugars in check without needing to mangè all day long. There are enzymes in a lot of foods like papaya, pineapple & leafy greens. It is important to eat raw foods often because enzymes are heat sensitive & become damaged at temps above 118 degrees. This is not to say you need to eat everything raw because cooked foods have their place as well but we can all benefit from upping our raw fruits & veggies intake. So what’s an easy way to up our intake? Ding, ding, ding! Yes, green smoothie & juices. Y’all are just so smart!
So dinner… Try to keep about 4 hours between lunch & dinner. We have made all the right choices eating light the rest of the day so this is your opportunity to eat a little heavier. This doesn’t mean go H.A.M. (Hard as a Mother if you’re not down with Kanye). As long as you have eaten a fiber-filled, satiating lunch this shouldn’t be an issue. If you find yourself hungry between lunch & dinner eat something like veggie sticks & salsa or guacamole, or pureed/veggie broth based soups. Miso soup is one of my favorite mid-afternoon snacks. I throw sliced mushrooms, wakame (seaweed) & green onions in it & it’s perfect when I need something warm & savory & it only takes minutes to make.
Always start dinner with a green salad and remember to try & keep your plate 75% plant-based. If you need a refresher look back at Keeping it 75 one more ‘gain. Then depending on your chosen level (I will talk about the phases tomorrow) you have a huge variety of foods from which to choose. This is where you get to eat meat. The day is winding down & our bellies have the whole night to digest & cleanse. This is the time to allow yourself some of your 25% leeway because your body has an extended period of time to digest & eliminate. Also try and give yourself 3 or more hours between dinner and sleep because food digests quicker when we are awake. Another reason to eat a heavier meal at dinner is to slow the detoxification process a bit & avoid detoxing too fast.
Whew! Sistergirl is spent. I know that was a lot & most of you are like WTF?! There are books dedicated solely to the concept of enzymes. So to think it could all be covered in a post or two or three is unrealistic. I’m planting the seeds, now you water them. (That means get to commenting & let’s start a dialogue). I’ll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the different levels of plant-based eating. These levels give everyone (meat eaters to vegan raw foodist alike) realistic & accessible options to taking your diet plant-based. Green juices play a role at every level & give you the flexibility of turning it up or down a notch depending on your personal goals. I hope y’all are ready! Until then…
love & light,