Magic Markers. That fresh paint smell. Perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes. The first warm day after a rough winter that signals summer is around the bend. We all have those “simple little things” that make us beam from ear-to-ear, often times centered on or around our childhoods or personalities. We tend to feel elated and even settled when such little things relate to us as people, and enhance or incorporate our talents, passions or strengths. Not ironically, food and dieting should be no exception, and should follow the same rule: healthy foods and smart food choices should be individualistic and should always make us as happy as the last day of school. We as society have to ‘train our brain’ to do the work, and thus, as easily as summer comes after spring, healthy choices can help us abandon dieting for customized and around-the-clock healthy lifestyles, those that come naturally, instinctually and make us both proud and fit.
My “very New York high school” sold the most incredible bagels and french fries. And I really mean what I just said: the french fries are, TO THIS DAY, some of the best I’ve ever had, if not the best. The bagels, oh, the bagels! Well, the bagels were perfectly soft New York style bagels served alongside a paper cup of melted cream cheese or butter. Just describing it and I have to wipe off some drool from my keyboard. In High School, as mentioned, I believe several times, I was anything-but-popular and in just a few years, I went from every day bagel and french fry overeating to “throw my small green apple in the garbage” anorexia. Regardless of the fact that over time, as I got older, and trained myself to live a fully-healthy lifestyle, I still have feelings for bagels and french fries because, lets face it, I too am a human being and am attracted to the ‘every now and again’ splurge or treat. But, if asked what I plan to order in a restaurant, my instinct and preference will always tend towards healthy, as my brain understands that what you put in is what you get out. But that same philosophy MUST be for YOUR in, and the results have to be realistic for YOUR out.
Healthy is a tricky word, though. A smattering of pictures on the Instagram search page feature Acai bowls, Avocado toasts, beet smoothies and lentils as a side dish, to name a few. People will most likely be inspired, and yes, these pictures definitely look pretty and make us immediately peer down at our mid-sections, but the endless question remains: are these particular dishes suitable for our food lifestyles as individuals? For me, personally, I am allergic to beets and every time I eat an Acai Bowl or a lentil anything I end up gaining more weight than I intended to lose in the first place! What a waste of not-so-tasty meals!
Thus, I figured it smart to drum-up a few basic steps that may just help set you on the right path to achieve that pre-summer body you so crave– I have listed a few steps to follow that can help ‘retrain the brain’ and shake-up any existing routine that renders itself ineffective. Therefore, you may just find that which gives your body only, as an individual, the closest results to Alexis Ren shaking her teeny tiny bum all over social media!
- Check your blood type: I am a huge proponent of the “eat according to your blood type” philosophy, and adhering to it as closely as you can, within financial or taste limits. I, for example am type A blood and have been told many times to STAY AWAY from lentils, corn, sweet potatoes and any yogurt that isn’t Greek—just some of the main ingredients hash-tagged under the “healthiest dishes on social media right now”! Learn the basics of what you as an individual must avoid and construct your healthy lifestyle leaving them out of the equation. But consider your tastes and likes/dislikes when planning your menu.
The key to health is balancing proteins and vegetables, but choose those that work for you!
- Be fair to your wallet: it’s easy for very wildly successful Instagrammers to post pictures at restaurants, or eat perfectly laid out veggie or tofu sushi rolls on the regular. If your financial situation doesn’t match that of theirs, or even come close, try and prepare what you can at home, and purchase only that which you are planning to eat for the week. Plan a few of your weekly meals days in advance so you spend financially exactly what you need to. Additionally, another great tip, try and research some alternatives (those with the same health benefits) that work for you, and seem as tasty as the maybe-too-expensive healthy treats you see all over the big cities… and all over social media!
- Don’t yell at yourself, please: if you too get a watery mouth from french fries or bagels, as described above (or anything unhealthy for that matter) then pick the ONE you can’t live without, and let yourself have it as your monthly treat! It’s healthier to let the body have exactly that which it craves one-time than wait for something else better, and end up overeating or splurging on something you really don’t want, and certainly don’t need….
I hope these tips were helpful and I hope everyone is preparing for a healthy, fit and sunshiney summer!
Stay tuned for a recipe-less concoction compilation… coming in the next few weeks!