Over the last years the fast food industry, the meat industry and the amount of processed foods literally exploded. We are overloaded with varieties and different tastes and new foods to try every day. Not even mentioning the amount of advertising we consume on a daily basis. But at the same time the number of people having cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and heart attack grew the same way. And somehow not all of us see the connection between these two developments.
What you consume, consumes you.
The vegan community is growing fast and more and more people understand the connection and change the way they eat and live. But stop eating meat, eggs, milk, dairy or any other kind of animal based and processed food is for most of us not easy. Why? Because of our environment. You probably have a family, friends, job where people would judge you or comment on your diet change. Going out and eat with them becomes a challenge. This is probably the reason why many fail to do a change in their diet or life in general. But remember, this is your body, your health, your life and nobody can decide over that for you.
There is the thing, you don’t have to do a 360 degrees change from one to the other day and you don’t have to become 100% vegan. There is not only black and white: there is a big grey zone in between.
Start and do small changes nobody would even notice. If during the week you eat at work or prepare your food, start to make these meals more healthy. If you don’t tell others that you changed something, they will probably not even notice it! If you are a big meat eater try to reduce your consume slowly, maybe only 3 times/ week. If your habit is sweets and you get cravings in the afternoon bring yourself something instead of buying the next chocolate bar. Try whatever works for you (banana, healthy cracker, dark chocolate,..).
Be prepared for your cravings! Notice what you snack and figure out why: many people are eating because they are bored or stressed or are emotional eaters. Personally I eat when I am bored and what I do in this situation is an easy answer: make myself busy. And if there is nothing to do at that moment I go for a walk through the offices at work.
Long term changes happen slowly.
How to eat more healthy when your are going out? This might be the biggest challenge especially if your environment is not supporting and I understand that we cannot change our environment from one to the next day. But if you are not going to a fast food chain then there is definitely something healthy on the menu as well! Every restaurant has vegetables in their kitchen and if there is nothing on the menu then just ask for what you like. Unfortunately not every restaurant has vegan options yet. In this case, call the restaurant in advance to prepare something for you or again, go with a salad/ vegetable option. Not only vegans require a special dish but also if you are gluten or lactose intolerant or have allergies so please don’t feel shy to ask.
Now you know what you can do but you struggle with changing your habits?
- Give yourself time. As per the studies, it takes 21-30 days until we get used to a new habit. I recently challenged my day with not eating sugar for 30 days and the first week was a bit hard because it was a habit to have something sweet every day but after I showed myself that I am perfectly fine without, I stoped thinking about it and it became a new habit to have an apple/ banana instead for what I don’t have to feel guilty also.
- Expect that there will be days where you fall back to your old habits. But if you really want to change, then you will continue the next day.
- Get inspired: maybe you don’t have the support from your environment and you don’t know anybody who is living the lifestyle you are aiming for, then go online and get inspired by others. There are millions of great pictures/ videos/ athletes etc who you can learn from and who keeps reminding you about the purpose of your change.
If you would like to connect with me or share your struggle, please write me an email or comment below.