How to stick to your diet…For real this time!

When I first transitioned into this plant-based lifestyle for some reason I was always hungry, or so I thought.  When really I was just so used to eating whenever I wanted, whatever I wanted, and however I wanted. Basically, I had no control over my eating schedule or intake and once I tried something new my digestive system was very confusing. I felt like I was starving myself but I decided to stay strong through the process. As the days went by I realized that by putting myself on a schedule, implementing more nutritious meals/snacks, and a lot more water that it was all in my mind. It wasn’t hunger I was feeling, it was my body detoxing itself from the previous damage I’d allowed for so long. I was going through I guess what you can describe as “withdraws”; my body was craving the sugar, the excessive salt, and all the other crap I was eating non-stop. Each time I wanted to give up or have a cheat day I had to remind myself that eating healthier is a reward to my body, essentially just another form of self-care. Like anything new, it will take some time to become fully adjusted and there are going to be uncomfortable moments, but this is where your mental strength will shine through. I’ll admit that it isn’t easy but that’s only in the beginning, it will be more than worth it once you make it past the first couple of months. You’ll notice the change in both your mental and physical states, you’ll find yourself spending less money, you’ll have more positive energy, and who knows you may even motivate someone else to make a change in their habits as well! Below you will find that I’ve put together 5 tips on how to stick to your diet. I hope these help some of you, remember that it’s mind over matter and that eating healthier is not a punishment but a reward. Tune in next week for more recipes!

5 tips for sticking to your diet

  1. Make an eating schedule, try sticking to it the best that you can. Eat your last meal of the day before 9/10pm.  (9/10pm is being generous, that’s still pretty late. Eating late is not the best idea…for me personally, that’s when all the cravings kick in so save yourself from temptation.)
  2. Implement snacks in between meals (Don’t go overboard with this one, eat light snacks like fruit, nuts, or raw veggies with dip.)
  3. Drink MORE water (Can’t stress this one enough, liquid fills you up and “tricks” your stomach into feeling full.)
  4. Eat every meal sitting down, and eat slower. Take time to really chew and enjoy your food. Eating fast just makes you feel hungry again within 10-15 minutes. (Also remove distractions when eating! Watching a movie, scrolling through social media, reading a book, etc. while eating tends to make you eat faster, just simply enjoy your meal.)
  5. Keep yourself inspired and motivated by trying new recipes, getting into the kitchen more, partnering up with a friend/spouse/family member, and keeping a log/record of your meals. (Mix it up, don’t keep eating the same boring salad over and over there are millions of recipes to take advantage of.)

The Neglect You’ll Regret

I don’t think many people realize how important it is to take care of your knees. In the past I’ve been one of those who took my knees for granted and overlooked how much I need them. After high school I noticed that my knees started to pop and I didn’t know why but still I pretty much ignored it, allowing the damage to get worse. I wasn’t aware that I’d allowed my knees to become weak due to lack of exercise and stretching. Now that I think about it I didn’t even give it much thought that you have to do more than walk to keep your knees healthy, strengthened and stable. They were getting me from point A to B without any major issues so I assumed that they were just fine. I’d become so wrapped up in my studies and working a full-time job that I completely neglected my physical health at one point. But as the popping of my knees became more frequent and now accompanied by pain I decided that enough was enough. I knew I had to start taking better care of my knees and regaining the strength in them if I wanted to continue using them without further issues. During my research I was surprised to find out that our knees are the largest joint in our bodies, and that they are surrounded by some of the most powerful muscles in your entire body.  By not working your knees out you are exposing them to the likelihood of injury and a long road of recovery. Our knees carry the weight of your upper body and have direct connects to the spine and hip bone, giving us an overall greater sense of balance. So the knees are definitely important and play a major part in our day to day lives, and I know that mean seem like common sense, and if we’re being completely honest it is. But the knees are often overlooked as muscles, making it easy to neglect them especially if no immediate issues or pain occurs. Our knees deserve the same attention, if not more as our stomachs, arms, calves, etc. when working out. With that being said here are 4 simple knee focused exercises to keep them healthy and strong. Be sure to do these exercises at least 2-4 times per week, and stretch before you proceed. Take care of your knees because the only time weak knees are okay is on your wedding day 😉

1. Heel Raises- perfect for strengthening the muscles that will typically absorb shock before going to your knee joints, great for building resistance for future bending activities (do in sets of 10-20, fully stretch legs before engaging)

2. Wall Squats – builds knee strength, helps to stabilize surrounding muscles, back is supported by wall creating a greater focus to the directed area (position back against wall, hold for 25-45 seconds, repeat 7-10 times)

3. Glute Bridges- amazing for relieving knees of pressure, increases knee stability, strengthens glutes, hamstrings, and core (lift butt 4-6 inches from the ground, hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times)

4. Straight Leg Raises- strengthens the front muscles surrounding the knee joints, raises support from the bottom up, aides in mobility, lessens strain and reduces friction (start with leg higher and gradually bring down to where leg is just above ground, hold for 5-10 seconds, lower and repeat, repeat 10-20 times)

Sevananda: Atlanta’s Best Natural Market

If you live in Atlanta and the surrounding areas I’m sure you’ve heard about this wonderful store, Sevananda! But if you haven’t then I am more than honored to introduce you. This amazing gift of a market is located right in the heart of Atlanta in a neighborhood locally known as Little Five Points. Sevananda is not only black owned but it is also community owned which makes the shopping experience even more personal and fulfilling! You just never know who you may meet or run into when entering this lovely establishment. From the moment you enter the doors you are welcomed by beautiful smiles, lovely scents, and gravitating vibes that you won’t find anywhere else. This natural foods market offers a variety of natural and organic groceries (dry, fresh, and frozen), alternative dairy products, pre-packaged to go meals, a delicious hot vegan bar (the best vegan food I’ve ever had in my life), a wide variety of alkaline, spring, and mineral water, and a self-serve nut, seed, granola, and candy area. They also have an entire natural product section where you can find natural options for skin care, hair, oral health, vitamins and supplements, laundry and home cleansers, and so much more! I can easily go in this store and get lost for a few hours and although the store isn’t that big, they have so much to offer. From exclusive locally made products to knowledgeable down to earth employees with a passion for educating, making it very easy to get caught up in the remarkable ambiance. This place alone brings me so much peace and since my first experience I haven’t been able to stop telling everyone I know about Sevananda. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the store’s administrator Ms. Carolyn Morris once and the marketing and outreach assistant Ms. Ifini Sheppard on several occasions and I can honestly say that they both are beautiful, inspiring, educated women. They are always looking for volunteers for different events around the city and are always hiring for full-time and part-time employees! If you are in or near Atlanta or if you ever decide to visit please make your way to this extraordinary market for an incredible and unforgettable experience! “Own Your Health” today , tomorrow, and forever, what are you waiting for?

Contact:

Ms. Ifini or any other lovely employee at the customer service desk

Phone: 1-404-681-2831

Address: 467 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA (8:00AM-10:00PM Daily)

Website: http://www.sevananda.coop/

Your Favorite Brands: Exposed!

Prepare to be disappointed by the information you will read during this post unless you make your own skin-care products, or have done the proper research before using someone else’s. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but someone has to be, from shampoo to toothpaste to makeup, several products that are used on a daily basis from well known brands are being knowingly sold with cancerous/toxic ingredients. Brace yourself, brands that are loved and trusted by many such as Palmer’s, Luster’s Pink Brand, Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno, Dove, Covergirl, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble (Crest, Oral-b, Tide, Gain, etc), and the list literally goes on forever, voluntarily sell toxic products to the public without an ounce of guilt. I was sooo upset to find out that Dove (my ex-favorite soap and deodorant) was among many brands to advertise and sell deceiving products. It’s pretty sad and disgusting that our health isn’t important to them, seeing as we’re the reason they are still in business. But nope, just as long as they can make their money they are perfectly fine with slapping fancy marketing words and slogans on bottles and cases of their products to lure us in to buying them. Ingredients like oxybenzone, toluene, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone (MIT), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), parabens, resorcinol, and hydroquinone just to name a few are found is almost every skin-care product on the shelf. These ingredients have all been linked to cancer and of course the more exposure to them increases your chances of developing all types of cancer. And the argument most of these companies have the nerve to continue using these toxic ingredients is that they are only using a small amount. Hmmm ok but how does that make it acceptable? Let’s think about that for a second….Over time that “small amount” adds up, especially if you’re how I used to be and use the products every day for years at a time. I could care less if a products is 20 % or 2% carcinogenic, I would rather not use products that have ingredients that have been linked to cancer please and thanks. Several of these companies have been petitioned against and some even had lawsuits filed against them yet their ingredients remain the same. Henceforward we need to stop buying products for the name and start purchasing them based on the ingredients and morality of the company. My advice to you all is to become more cautious! Please google the ingredients and side effects of your favorite products before you go out and re-purchase them. There are better, more reputable, natural products out there that you should be using, or you could cut the middle man out and make your own products.

FYI: I post D.I.Y. skin-care products very often. Take a look at previous post for detailed instructions and lists of ingredients!