Healthy eating is one of my current goals. In this light, I try to prepare healthy meals for my family – most of the time, I do manage to stick to the healthy diet menu and only occasionally do I live like a food sinner.
Yeah, sure, in the weekends we practice “sweet-tooth” routines whereby we are allowed to indulge in some candies, snacks and chips but overall, I believe that we are on a good track to accomplish this healthy eating goal and we pretty much manage to stick to a proper nutrition family plan.
As a part of our healthy eating routine I am introducing as many as possible healthy foods and preparing fresh, vegetable-based healthy meals. I even use a weekly, tailor-made healthy diet menu. Following a healthy diet plan might even assist me in my goal of losing weight in the future.
Usually, stews and salads are a part of our weekly nutrition program. Meats are an occasional treat – this is where my hubby Alex and I do not see eye to eye; he believes that meat is necessary for preparing healthy meals while I personally truly believe that too much meat is not good for humans – especially not if you are into proper nutrition and re-building up healthy eating habits.
I cannot say that I am a vegetarian either but I did notice that eating more balanced and healthy meals that are light and prepared with fresh vegetables do make me feel better, and definitely less bloated. Creating balance between plant- based and meat-based nutrients is, I believe, a key to creating and keeping good family eating regime. Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet will not only lead to an improved health for all of us in the family but will surely help me with my weight loss battle in the long run.
Actually, the reason why I started this personal quest of healthy eating and balanced nutrition is connected to something that happened to me approximately 3 years back – I need to digress a bit before I tell you the actual event that triggered my change towards a healthy diet!
While I was a kid, I was always doing sports and was very active. In my late 30s, I still felt good and did some weight loss management over the years.
Then the stress of a married life gradually sneaked in, without me even realizing that I was getting overworked and subsequently overstressed too.
Having a job, taking care of my family and the combination of working from home and partly being a stay-home mom, increased the stress levels. My weight was increasing and I urgently needed a weight loss diet plan but still somehow didn’t want to face it all!
Evenings were the only time to distress and finally relax at the end of the day – eating chips and sweets became a part of my relaxation routine. In a way, that gave me some type of comfort. Healthy eating that I was used to while being a sportswoman or when being single, went out of the window. They say that we all become more relaxed when married, so I guess this is how my healthy eating gradually went down the drain. I have to add that I am not blaming my marriage for the lack of weight loss management or the will and effort on my part to lose weight – I was simply overwhelmed by the new order of things and I guess needed some time to realize what came over me!
What Is a True Healthy Eating – Diets vs. Healthy Meals?!
Many times did I think that it was the time for a big change! My struggle was within – I was torn between my internal beliefs on what real beauty is and the external factors that the society imposed on us as beauty standards, that will say staying slim and living a diet-to-diet life!
I honestly believe that a woman needs to be appreciated based on her inner beauty and not based on her looks and therefore I resisted the thought of starting any type of a diet.
After having a baby, several years have passed and a weight loss diet was not even an option; simply based on my true belief that my partner needed to appreciate me for who I am as a person and not for being a Barbie doll that needs to fit into certain standards that society expects from us.
Losing weight and creating a healthy diet plan for weight loss actually became a huge issue only at the moment when my health was jeopardized! And jeopardized to the point that I was at times even afraid that I was going to die and leave my family behind!
This is where we return to my story from 3 years back – one time while getting ready for work, I started feeling an extremely sharp pain in my chest area, I couldn’t breathe!!!! Every breath that I took was like a knife being stabbed into my chest! I could hardly put my clothes on!
I got scared to the point that instead of going to work, I ended up visiting an emergency room to see what is wrong with me. The doctor did a health checkup and said that my blood pressure was too high! I did additional tests and it turned out that I was at a risk of having a heart attack and of becoming a pre-diabetic! My life turned upside down! Suddenly, I was prescribed high blood pressure pills – I felt it was not the time to lead such a limited and fearful life, especially being a former sportswoman who once knew what it meant to have discipline for healthy eating and exercise!
I was warned that I needed to make a change in my diet – the doctor advised me to start working urgently on creating a healthy diet plan and said I needed to lose weight in order to become healthy again.
This was a wake-up call for me! From that point on I was reading daily about heart diseases and diabetes – the initial stages of learning about my poor health condition were filled with fear and additional stress. With the time passing by, I started following healthy eating, weight loss tips, and finding information on super healthy foods. Eventually, I began realizing that it is not only stress but also indulging in various types of snacks (instead of finding joy in fresh healthy foods packed with nutrients) had brought me to the point of having to face my poor health results.
Obviously, losing weight was something that I rejected for years and now was becoming an urgent necessity!!!! In order to reduce my high blood pressure and sugar levels, I needed to start re-educating myself about healthy eating, healthy foods and proper nutrition.
Ironically enough, I knew in my mind what was and what wasn’t healthy for me but I didn’t comprehend that our body is like a machine – if it doesn’t get the proper nutrients, it will simply stop running one day!
I was left with a dilemma – “Is it better to start any weight loss diet or is it better to introduce healthy meals plan whereby healthy foods and high value nutrients will be beneficial for my health and will eventually lead me to losing weight too?!
Healthy Diet for Weight Loss – How to Start?
So, after so many years of lack of exercise and body image neglect, I wondered where to find the motivation to start re-programming myself to losing weight?!
My brother and my parents were of course worried about my health and therefore were trying to support me in their own ways – usually we would have conversations about how I needed to lose weight in order to get healthy again. They suggested I that cut out all the sweets and snacks and introduce a simple, solid nutrition program and lots of fresh, healthy foods. When we would see each other during holidays and various festivities and the food was a huge temptation for me, they would even get critical of my diet and urged me to eat only healthy meals.
My hubby also tries to help me through my weak moments, when I am inclined to stray aside and get tempted into bad eating habits, so I am getting all the support that I need. My most important motivation, however, is my little son with whom I want to be able to run and sport with, instead of standing aside, when together in a kids’ park. He is my light motive in times of my inner struggle for losing weight…. but the biggest support and the mental switch need to come within!
How I lost 16 Pounds in No Time – My Diet Plan!
In my quest, I rely on my own creativity in preparing healthy meals and making sure to take in all the nutrients that my body needs.
I try to make a selection of organic, healthy foods that can be found during each season – some call this “eating within the seasons” (a bit similar to the Mediterranean diet, based on healthy foods of local origin predominantly). In this way you are making sure that the ingredients are fresh and high in sun-induced vitamins and minerals, as opposed to those that are artificially grown.
In order to experiment with healthy foods, I made my tailor-made healthy meals regime. It was actually a very simple program consisting of daily exercise and making sure that I ate fresh healthy foods every day.
I ate minimum 4 types of favorite fruit, had salads obligatory twice a day (in the morning and in the evening, as much as I could eat, with a slice of whole grain bread per meal); for lunches I always had a cup of soup with 2 sandwiches.
The secret to my healthy weight loss diet was the combination of the following factors:
- I selected only my favorite healthy foods (fruit and veggies)
- I made sure to have only salads for breakfasts and dinners (and could eat as much as I wanted)
- I made sure that I had a variety of exercises during the week (pilates, fitness, spinning, latino aerobic, body combat, abs workout, thaibo workout) as this targets and engages different muscles and slims down your body
- I made sure that I had consistency in my exercise regime (I never missed a workout within the given period)
With my tailor-made, healthy foods program I managed to lose almost 16 pounds within 1,5 months! If I could do it, so can YOU!
In retrospective, and going back to my own dilemma of “Is it better to start any weight loss diet or is it better to introduce healthy meals plan whereby healthy foods and high value nutrients will be beneficial for my health and will eventually lead me to losing weight too?!
For some, this might seem the same but for me it isn’t – selecting any popular diet would be a short term weight loss while introducing healthy foods and preparing healthy meals as a part of a family healthy eating regime is a long-term effect that will have a huge positive impact on the wellbeing of the whole family!
Still, opting for a quick popular diet or going for a long-term healthy balanced diet, it is a personal choice, so I salute anyone who has the motivation to start making positive changes in own life whether having diet short-cuts or whether being prepared to make new healthy life style choices introducing healthy foods, combined with exercise and sports.