Healthy Eating Mini Course: lesson 01, Getting ready

Hello friends. A while ago I shared a mini lesson for creating better, healthier eating habits among my mail subscribers, but many of you lost them. So here they are, also in the blog! Would you like to jump along?

Healthy Eating Mini Course: lesson 01, Getting ready | by In Whirl of inspiration

A little introduction

Let me introduce myself: I am Despina (heeeey!), a 1,66 gal that weights most of time around 47-49kg. All my life I was in the lowest edge of the optimal weight spectrum, but I am not anorexic. I know that for some people it is a struggle to eat healthy, but never for me. My parents introduced to me “always salad on table”, “eat your fruits”, ”fish and lentils 2 times a week” very early in my life, so now this eating routine is a second nature for me. I am also, a “salt before sugar” person; I prefer to have popcorns over chocolate.

I, often, hear from people how lucky I am for being slim like a stick, but stick life has so many side effects. If I don’t eat well one day (enough carbs) I feel super exhausted, I blame the lack of fat on mefor being so easily cold (and I live in Amsterdam, damn it!), the trousers fall from my butt without a belt etc. However, what is fascinating is that my metabolism is trained for my eating habits and works very efficiently. Everything is matter of conditioning (and some good genes). But hey! Don’t frown, I know you can’t change your genes, but you can definitely change your environment and build new healthier habits. And that’s exactly what we are going to do in this course in the most fun and easy way. Boom!

Illustrations by: moosekleenex

Illustrations by: moosekleenex

Illustrations by: moosekleenex

But let’s clear something once and for all. Your body is fine, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it. It might fel less familiar during some periods, and you will try to make it feel "yours" again. You shouldn't feel embarrassed or peer pressured to do so, every change regarding your body should have one and only goal; the best for yourself! Basically being skinny, curvy, or in the middle, is wonderful, if you feel good in your skin! I would, only, advise you to lose some lose weight, because having extra kilos, isn’t translated in eating all the healthy stuff in bigger quantities. Very often having extra kilos can be associated with severe malnutrition.

I am making this long intro to make clear, that having extra kilos because of carvings next to a healthy diet, is different from eating unhealthily and having those extra kilos. We are going to embrace the first situation and address the second one. Period.

 

The goal

So in the next 14 days we will create together healthier eating habits. We will do so by celebrating quality food and balanced meals! There are some easy tips that will help you make healthy food choices consistently. My goal is making these tips so easy for you to use, so they pop in your mind every timeyou go for shopping in the fleamarket/supermarket, instead of sitting in there as nonapplicable theoretical knowledge.

My experience taught me that people get lazy with adopting a healthier diet, because they don’t have the willpower or the patience to wait for months, till they see the first results. But, hey listen to me, this is a wrong mindset! Eating healthy affects first and foremost your brain, your most vital organ! Change your eating habits and you will observe an immediate, positive effect in your mood, productivity creativity, energy levels and general well-being. In this course I will show you the route in between the mountains, and if you keep up with all the tips I will teach you, you will definitely reach the valley of“seeing a change in your body image too”. (Please bear with my comparisons, there are gonna be a lot like that. 😃 )
 
To sum all my chattiness I can only advice you to: Eat real food, not junk food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


And to summarize the myths that we dispelled here:

  • Restrictive diets don’t work, because you have to count calories one way or another and reduce the amount of food you eat. So, let’s keep in mind that deprivation is unhealthy, and stress your body. Plus, exercising your willpower in every meal will exhaust you. That’s another reason diets fail, you get tired trying to reach something you feel it’s beyond you.
  • Thaaaaat’s why you have to see food as a celebration of the senses! *drum roll* Oh yeah! Indulge in a variety of food groups, in fresh fruits and vegetables, see cooking as time to forget about daily stresses and renew your energy with good food and company. Think of food as a cultural need, not only as a physical need.
Healthy Eating Mini Course: lesson 01, Getting ready | by In Whirl of inspiration

1st lesson: Getting ready

So after being very babbly, let’s go to the first big lesson; do a clean sweep of your brain andyour kitchen. Let’s kick start the initiation of building healthier eating habits, by creating a ritual.

  1. Go through all the food shelves and storage and remove all sugary drinks, cookies, candies and processed cereals. Gone, bye, we won’t miss you!
  2. After you do so, take your partner/family/friends for dinner in a healthy restaurant; make a toast in your new healthy commitment that you made. It’s always good to have a support group, these close friends and family will help you stay in track if they know your choice in food from now on.
  3. The next day, go to the supermarket and replace the tossed food with real food; fresh, natural food, not highly processed food.

 
And now I said supermarket:
Supermarkets are not your mum’s loving hug, they are enterprises, whose only goal is scoring higher profits. With that in mind think; will mainstream, conventional SMs support your healthy-food buying choices, and care about your long-term health? The answer is no.

So next time you go to the supermarket, try to look through the marketing tricks, colors and fancy packages, and focus on the product itself. Look for real food. But how can you distinguish processed food from real food? Look at the list of ingredients darling! If there are more than five ingredients (the real food ones excluded), you can be sure that this food is highly processed and unhealthy. Processed food has ingredients that prolong the shelf life, so these types of foods can be kept for a longer time without going bad. These foods are really profitable, compared to the onesWhy would this matter? Well, long living “food” is more profitable for manufacturers and supermarkets, as the food waste is eliminated. So they have an extra reason, to produce this shit, oops excusez-moi.

So let’s remember this rule of the thumb: the quicker a type of food spoils, the healthier, unprocessed, packed with only natural ingredients it is.


Homework for home:

That’s all, we are done. Well almost;  here is your challenges and HWs for the next days:

  • Start a healthy eating ritual:
    • Clean the cupboards of processed food
    • Take your loved ones out, commit in your new eating ritual
    • Next time you go to the supermarket: buy food with 5 ingredients or less
       
  • When you go to the supermarket focus on buying vegetables and fruits:
    • Try to incorporate one serving of vegetables and fruits every day (in breakfast, lunch or dinner.
    • Tip: the greater the variety/colorsof the vegetables (this variety ensures more groups of nutrients), the better. BUT we are gonna talk about that later, too.

 
So, that’s it for today. I hope you are as excited as I am.  See you in the next little lesson my little cherries!

 

Credits | Text & Photography: Despoina Kortesidou, Illustrations: moosekleenex

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Despina Kortesidou

Despina Kortesidou, a master student (hello neuroscience!) and a born adventurer, founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student. She loves sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring you to cover yourself with plants, color and confetti. She started teaching , recently, online courses for those loving food, plants and everything in between, and she has the time of her life. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people and overanalyzation.