This time of year it can be hard to avoid all those foods that our bodies don't really like. Parties and picnics are the times to eat hot dogs & hamburgers ON A BUN, chips, pies etc.
So how do you keep a good balance of being healthy and also enjoying life?
I used to be so strict and avoid certain foods to the point I wasn't enjoying myself. I have learned to plan ahead and allow myself more free eating! We call them "dirty days".
I think of the upcoming days and plan out when we are going to be eating out. Those are the dirty days. Then 2 days prior and 2 days after we eat extremely clean. Meaning NO processed foods. Meat, vegetables and fruit only. There are times when you may have 2 dirty days in a row. (like Sat & Sun parties) Try to limit the dirty foods on each day. Eat a salad before you go to the party so you know you have eaten something really healthy before.
You can also opt to fast for 15-18 hours between the dirty foods. That may sound hard but a lot of that is while you're sleeping.
Example: go to a party Saturday afternoon. Eat a salad before you go. Then enjoy whatever foods you want while you're there. Stop eating at 8pm then don't eat again until after 11am the next day. (adjust time as needed) The longer you wait the better. Drink lots of water. You can add lemon to the water to help your digestion.
Most importantly, take a good digestive enzyme. I have 2 different enzymes I take every day. One is called Digest and the other is ZGLUTN. I take the Digest 2-4 times a day. You can take it on an empty stomach or with your food. Then I take the ZGLUTN every night before bed and if I eat a gluten or dairy based meal I take it with that. (I don't get paid for this recommendation)
Eating healthy isn't always easy but it can be simple. There is no need to be stressed out over your foods. I don't believe we have to give up our favorite foods completely in order to be healthy. I do HIGHLY recommend going gluten free 100% for at least 30 days then limit gluten to once a week giving yourself a minimum of 5 days between. This becomes easier and easier the longer you do it. Once you live without gluten and the discomforts of it you won't want to feel like that again. I love pizza and sandwiches (if done right). Neither of them are something I like to do gluten free. So when I know I have a gluten day I usually have one of those 2 things. I make sure I eat clean 2 days before and 2 days after. Recently I did eat gluten 2 days in a row and I was miserable by the 4th day. It usually takes 2-3 days after eating "bad" for me to really feel the effects. Same thing happens with popcorn which is why I didn't realize how bad it was effecting me. I only eat popcorn about once a month and I am prepared to be uncomfortable for a couple days. I can't go to the movies without eating popcorn!
The easiest way to reduce eating bad foods is to not have them in your home. I have had a lot of people say to me, "but I have to buy them for my kids". So you know you shouldn't be eating them because of what they do to your body yet you feed them to your kids? Start teaching your kids healthy food habits. Teach them the 2 clean 1 dirty rule. Teaching kids they can never have junk foods makes them binge once they have the freedom. Teaching them they have full access all the time is not healthy for them and often causes digestive issues and weight problems (the things you are wanting to heal). Teaching them to control their eating sets them up for a healthy life.
Another mistake I see a lot of people make is they eat all natural/organic but still don't limit the truly bad foods. For example, you eat all natural/organic/gluten free but still eat a lot of breads, pastas, chips, etc. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's healthy. Processed foods are very hard on the body. Even if the bread is organic!
That's why the 2 clean 1 dirty rule works so well. For 2 days you eat zero processed foods. Then your dirty day you eat pizza, as much as you want. The next 2 days you eat zero processed foods. Your digestive system has the time and energy to break down the pizza. You are able to enjoy the foods you love without the negative effects. This works even better if you allow more clean days between dirty days.
I always have a huge salad prepared (minus the tomatoes and cucumbers so it doesn't get soggy). This way when we get hungry it is very easy to grab a healthy food option. You can also have grilled chicken prepared, fruits, and cut up veggies for easy healthy snacking. We usually don't eat until about noon or later and we have a salad that holds us off until dinner.
Salads don't have to be boring.
Use mixed greens and lots of different veggies. Our salads include cabbage, carrots, celery, colored peppers, broccoli, red onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sometimes avocado, beets and cauliflower.
Then we put olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar with sea salt, garlic powder and dried oregano. You can also add feta cheese and olives but try to limit these since they are processed. The more veggies you add the better it will taste. People literally go nuts over our salads. Even people who claim to not like salads.
Our salads are so good even our dog loves them! Yes, he really eats salad with that dressing!