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by Patty Morell Bilhartz, M.D., M.P.H.


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No More Dieting! 10 Ideas for Fabulous Food

Start diet today

“Our body is the house our spirit lives in.” Marianne Williamson.

Many years ago, I realized that diets don’t work. Yes, maybe you can temporarily lose a few pounds on a diet. But, starving and punishing yourself isn’t the loving way to go. It rarely produces lasting results. You just feel deprived and cranky. And then, you binge after the diet is over (or even during the diet!), and put back on the weight you lost and often even more.

Feeling happy about your weight and your health starts from within. From loving yourself enough to say, “I’m truly worth taking care of myself.”

One of the purposes of our Wellness Community is to love ourselves into wellness. Not criticize, shame, guilt, or judge ourselves into wellness. Because that doesn’t work.

But loving yourself into wellness does. Every time. Without exception.

Let’s forget about weight loss for a minute and just concentrate on how special we are. Each of us is unique. Each of us is enough. Step in front of the mirror right now and just smile at yourself. Engage in a little “Mirror Work.” Say, looking deep into your eyes, “I am perfect just as I am.”

You may not really feel that way at first. But, give yourself 7 days of doing this exercise. Better yet, make a commitment to do this every day, from now on. The more you practice loving yourself, the more that you will find that you do! And, as you begin to love yourself unconditionally, you then can begin to make loving, lasting changes. Changes that will last a lifetime.

(For more information on “Mirror Work,” see my blog of May 21, 2015, “Four Ways to Love Yourself More.” http://pattybilhartz.com/2015/05/21/4-ways-to-love-yourself-more)

While you are practicing “Mirror Work,” consider that you can eat all you want and never have to worry about being overweight. You can eat all you want and never have to be hungry again. You can say goodbye to punitive diets forever. What a freeing and revolutionary idea!

Sounds too good to be true?

But, it’s not.

The key is to not punish or criticize yourself. The key is to not think about what you can’t eat.

The better choice is to think about all of the luscious, beautiful plant-based foods that you can eat. As you want. Whenever you want.

Now, plant-based eating begins to make more sense. Raw fruits and veggies fill you up without high or empty calories. They provide needed fiber and amazing nutrients. You will find that you feel better and have more energy. Your body will thank you for your plant-based food choices.

No more diets!  Just beautiful, loving, healthy lifestyle choices. That’s the way to go to improve your health and ultimately the way you look and feel. Wellness starting from the inside out.

We will talk more about plant-based eating in future blogs. I also will be offering Medical Coaching in the near future for those of you who want to learn more about this topic.

In the meantime, try these 10 Ideas for Fabulous Food:

1) Experiment with dividing your dinner plate into 2 parts. The larger part, or ¾ of your plate, devote to fruits and veggies. Start with ones that you like.

Make it an adventure to gradually add new fruits and veggies to your food choices. It takes about 30 days for your taste buds to change. You can learn to like new foods and actually love their taste. Just give yourself a little time.

The other ¼ of your plate (about the size of your palm) can be from another food group. Remember, you don’t have to eat meat at every meal or even at all in order to get enough protein. You can get plenty of protein from nuts, beans, grains, and even your fruits and veggies.

2) Pack a lunch from home as often as possible to take to work. Fill it with lots of raw fruits and veggies.

3) Eat an apple a day. Better yet, on Mondays, take apples, oranges, grapes, pears, carrots, and/or celery to work. Keep your fruits and veggies in a refrigerator at work so that you will have a healthy snack any time you want. This will keep you from binging on all the less healthy food choices that always lurk in the office setting.

4) Drink sparkling flavored water or water with lemon instead of diet soda, soda, or juice.

5) Choose one day each week of meatless eating. Many people have found that “Meatless Mondays” are a great way to start.

6) Substitute one healthy ingredient for a less healthy ingredient when cooking:

  • Smart Balance non-dairy butter or olive oil instead of butter or margarine;
  • non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond milk instead of regular milk;
  • oatmeal instead of sugared cereal;
  • whole wheat flour instead of white flour;
  • sourdough or rye bread instead of white bread.

7) Share a meal when you eat out, or eat half your meal and take the other half home. Better yet, cook a little extra over the weekends or whenever you are off work. Freeze the extra and you will have several home-cooked meals ready to eat at a moment’s notice. This will make it easier for you to eat at home more often. You likely will make better food choices and eat healthier portions at home than you will at a restaurant.

8) Enjoy sorbet or fruit instead of a heavy dessert.

9) Drink a glass of water, then eat. You will feel fuller sooner and likely eat less when you do eat.

10) Learn new ways to eat more mindfully. Instead of eating while you are watching TV, sit together with family or even just yourself to eat. Use a smaller spoon and plate. Try eating with your non-dominant hand. Chew each bite several times. Truly think about what you are eating. How does the food smell? How does each bite taste? Be thankful for your food as you eat it more slowly and mindfully.

Hopefully, these ideas will get you started thinking about Loving Your Body to Wellness. First, with loving-kindness for yourself, and then with Fabulous Food choices.

We’ll discuss this more in future blogs and in soon-to-come Medical Coaching classes.

Have these suggestions been helpful to you? Please share with us your food journey in the comments below.

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