Food For Thought!

January 24, 2014

I consider myself an athlete. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been extremely active. From gymnastics, figure skating, and dance to competitive sports, I was constantly running around and had endless energy! That was until I hit the age of 17…Suddenly, I was getting sick all the time and I started to notice my energy levels were not the same. I knew something in my body was “off.”

I went to various doctors and after some time was able to detect that I had a wheat and gluten allergy. I remember thinking, “what the HECK is gluten?..I definitely have never eaten that before!” I was clueless…Little did I know gluten was in just about every single food that I was eating, on a daily basis. I received an education from my doctor,  did my research, and started to omit certain foods from my diet.

After some time and drastic changes, my energy levels and overall health started to shift for the better (it was like magic)! After this experience, I was aware and focused on the foods I was putting into my body. I understood, at this young age, how crucial proper nutrition was to have the energy to do the things I loved to do and needed to do.

I believe without your health you can’t live life to the fullest. For me, a very difficult time turned out to be a blessing because from then on, I made a commitment to focus on my health and make it a priority. It sparked my interest in nutrition and the human body, and learning just how resilient it is!

You may be doing damage by making poor food choices, smoking or living with an undiagnosed condition but it absolutely can be reversed, today! If you take control of your diet and bring awareness to the foods you are eating, you can achieve healthy weight, boosted mood, improved brain function, a better sex life, lower stress levels, a faster metabolism, lower blood pressure, stronger bones, clear skin, the body of your dreams! Whole, all-natural foods and herbs can heal, purify, and detox your body. There are SO MANY benefits you can achieve just by changing the foods you are eating and by making health a priority!

Fast food, processed foods, and man-made wonders like Oreos may taste amazing but they truly are toxic for you in every way. How can something that lasts on a shelf for a year (or more) possibly be something acceptable for your body? I encourage you to CHANGE YOUR MIND about the foods you are eating! Take charge and recognize every bite you take has a direct impact on your mood, energy, and health. Instead of saying, “this is delicious” you need to instead realize, “this is killing me and my sex drive..the reason I have acne or feel tired...the reason I am not seeing results from the gym!” Once you change your mind and view foods differently, I guarantee you will start to shift the way you are thinking about what you are eating and make a change to treat your body with more respect and care.

I once had a client who was always ‘dolled up.’ She wore expensive designer labels, makeup, hair, and nails always impeccable… but I quickly found out that I was working with someone down, depressed, and was using aesthetics to cover up a broken inside.  She used food as an emotional support when coping with stress and issues in her life.  We discussed healthy strategies, substitutes to make healthier choices but the real change came when SHE CHANGED HER MIND. She looked at herself differently and realized she was harming and disrespecting her body. It clicked with her that she spent hundreds of dollars on Prada, massages, spa and beauty treatments, yet would spend $5.00 on some cheap junk food and soda. Over time, she began to wear less makeup and rocked a new confidence, which came from an improved sense of self. It was amazing to watch her go through this transformation and feel comfortable in her own skin.

QUALITY is everything, especially when it comes to your HEALTH! The foods you eat play a vital role in in your confidence, energy, and mood. It is important to know, 80% of your immune system is actually located in your DIGESTIVE TRACT, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to achieve optimal health!

So how can YOU take action and start becoming more aware? I have a simple solution: Start a FOOD JOURNAL!

I started to food journal over ten years ago when I was first diagnosed with my allergy. Due to holding myself accountable to writing each food item down, I became more aware of what I was putting into my body. The focus made me want to change what I was eating, knowing it had a direct impact on how I felt. In my experience, my sickness and low energy went away, my hair grew long, skin clear, weight balanced and I was healthy and strong to take on anything that came my way. Your body is like a machine and you must fuel it properly for it to work at its maximum, most efficient level! Once you take charge of your health and have this feel-good energy, anything is possible! It will be easy for you to become more productive and feel like there is nothing you can’t do!

Keep a food journal in the style that works best for YOU and YOUR lifestyle. Some ideas:

  • Old fashioned pencil/pen & paper
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Download an App like “My Fitness Pal”
  • Take photos!

…Once I started photographing my food to share with my followers, I realized the most beautiful, bright, vibrant foods were not only the most appetizing but the healthiest choices that had me feeling great long after the photo. Having this visual journal may be a great way for you to track and make the direct correlation between your mind and body.

Regardless of how you track your daily food intake, the food journaling method will keep you accountable and will bring more awareness to your body. It is a simple, actionable way to take charge of your health and CHANGE YOUR MIND about the foods you are eating. Try it today!

Interested in learning more about Gluten-free? 

Check out this great article by Live Science on “What Is Gluten?”

Gluten not only causes a negative immune response for someone who has an allergy but it can also be something you want to avoid if you have arthritis, digestive issues, lift weights, are a runner or looking to lose weight. Gluten, especially in large quantities, can cause inflammation and can be difficult for even someone without an allergy to digest. Avoiding it or eating less of it may help you with your goals!

Below is a comprehensive list of Gluten-free foods to TRY, AVOID, and a great SUBSTITUTION CHART for cooking. This chart will help you make all the same foods you love, only with “Gluten-free-friendly”ingredients!

TRY:

  • Potatoes
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats (*must be labeled gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination)
  • Corn/ maize
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Millet
  • Beans
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Herbs and spices
  • Meats and fish purchased without sauce or seasonings
  • Home-made soups (avoid bouillon cubes, barley malt, and all types of pasta)
  • Juice (all-natural, 100% fruit juice) 

 

AVOID:
  • Wheat
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats are generally avoided because they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten-(Look for the gluten-free section in a supermarket to locate “Gluten-free/approved” oats)
  • Modified food starch
  • Barley enzymes (found in majority of breakfast cereals), soy sauce, and distilled vinegar (malt vinegar)

SUBSTITUTE 1 Cup of Wheat Flour with:


Grain (flour)
Amount
Barley (for wheat-sensitive only)
1-1/4 cups
Cornmeal
1 cup
Oat
1-1/3 cups
Potato
3/4 cup
Rice
3/4 cup
Rye (for wheat-sensitive only)
1-1/3 cups
Soy
1-1/3 cups
Tapioca
1 cup

Hi, Beauty!

Email: Info@TheBalancedBeauty.com to learn how to give the gift of health this season. A Coaching Package is the perfect Holiday gift for someone you love.

Health & Happiness,

Coach Aly

@1BalancedBeauty

Facebook.com/TheBalancedBeauty