For a lot of people, the hardest part of conquering ANY goal is just starting! So, in this case with the finish line being that of one that says “HAPPY, HEALTHY ME” – how should you prepare for this marathon you’ve decided to take on? First of all, I want to say CONGRATS for making the decision to do this for yourself because I guarantee that it will all be well worth the time and effort you are about to put into your dreams. Second of all, let’s get down to the nitty gritty: you have all this junk in your pantry; you might even have little monsters (kids) that you’ve bought junky snacks for; you have a husband (or a wife) that is unwilling to change with you and refuses to try a plant based – or even just healthy – meal; you’re too busy, you don’t have time, you couldn’t possibly grocery shop during the week…etc. I have heard ALL the excuses, and all I have to say to that IS… bullshit.
If you reeeeally want to change, well then guess what? You WILL. If you don’t truly want this then you might as well stop reading this blog post because losing weight, getting healthy, and creating a new you does NOT come easy and definitely does NOT happen over night. It takes a vision, patience, time, effort, and endurance. If you have read this far and you are still ready for the challenge, then let’s get to it!
So, you’ve decided now that you are going to make a change for YOU. Who cares if anyone wants to join you? You’re doing this for yourself. Now what??? Where do you start? Take a look in your pantry. I mean it. Go ahead! Get up right now and go take a look! What do you see? More than likely, you have more processed foods than unprocessed. That, or you have foods that are “healthy”…based on what society says is “healthy”. Look around: how many fruits and veggies do you see? (Albeit, we don’t all keep all of our produce in the pantry, but you get what I mean. Take a nice browse through your fridge for this part, too). How many potatoes, whole grains, beans, legumes, greens, and seeds do you see? By the time I am done with you, I want you to be able to look around your kitchen and think you’re in a freakin farmer’s market, OKERRRRR?! (channeling my inner Cardi B.)
First step: RID the JUNK! I understand some might not be able to do this step because of family members in your household. That is OKAY, but please don’t give up yet. Skip this step and steer clear of the foods that tempt you. For others, get rid of it when you can! If the ingredients list is longer than five ingredients, I say to go ahead and TOSS IT (for now, anyway…we can get into the exceptions later on).
Second step: GROCERY SHOPPING! If you live somewhere that you can find a Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Trader Joe’s nearby, then that makes this whole process just that much simpler on you! I do realize that some of us live in more remote places where a farmer’s market isn’t just down the road, but if you’re serious about making this lifestyle true to you, then you just might have to bite the bullet and drive that extra 20 minutes or so. If this is the case, then I commend you! That takes even more dedication and you will feel SO good about going that extra mile (no pun intended;) for yourself once you start feeling AND seeing the results! Now get your butt over to one of these healthy markets p-r-o-n-t-o! Sprouts is my FAVORITE. It’s also my go-to choice because they have all of the greatest prices and you can buy in BULK. That’s right, baby. Okay, so now you’re inside the grocery store/farmers market/healthy place of your choice. Look around you. Where should your first stop be? That’s right – PRODUCE. These foods are what the majority of your grocery budget should be spent on. LOAD UP on those veggies! I tend to gravitate to the greens, avacados, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, lemons, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green onion…there ya go – all of my favorite foods. Once you have all of the veggies and fruit your heart desires [and NEEDS – helloooo!], go over to the bulk section and load up on rice (brown or white,) oats, legumes, lentils, etc. Then, last but not least, find the aisle that has healthy pasta made from brown rice or quinoa. Healthy pasta? Yes, it exists. Be sure to prepare your favorite dish of it with OIL FREE pasta sauce (or just plain sauce if you insist) and diced tomatoes. And as far as butter goes…find the NUT butters (check out the ingredients to make sure these have few ingredients).
Now, mosey on over to the lovely cashier and take out that wallet of yours. If you tell me that you’re spending too much money here, listen closely. You are DOING IT WRONG. I spend no more than $120 for two people and that is a LOT for us. These groceries should last you about a week and a half to two weeks. If you think about it that way, then let’s do a little math. $120 divided by two = $60/person. That is for 10-14 days. $60 divided by two is THIRTY DOLLARS A WEEK(ish)! So, if you ever take the time to calculate how much you actually spend in going out, stopping through drive thrus and buying junk food, I just about guarantee that you’ll notice this healthy lifestyle is more affordable. And the shopping might not be easy for you at first! It could take some time knowing how much to stock up on certain foods and realizing how much you do or don’t go through certain foods. But I do promise that you will get better at it – everything great takes practice. So, don’t fret; it all comes with time! I remember when I first started this whole lifestyle, I was spending easily 200 dollars just walking around tossing things in my cart that said Vegan on them.
Step Three: Unload at home, and get to cookin!! It is so easy to cut up potato fries, toss ‘em in your favorite seasonings, and bake them with NO OIL! Oil is unnecessary fat and does more harm than good. Add a side salad with avocado and lemon and BOOM – HEALTH. Good job! You’re already rockin’ it if you’ve followed along this far.
We make health so much harder than it needs to be. You CAN do this and when you do, people will start to want to join you when they see the variety it has to offer! If they don’t, carry on with your badass self because you just ran the first few miles of this health marathon and I am SO PROUD of you for coming this far for yourself already.
If you are interested in a grocery list with a few recipes to try out, go to the top of my blog on the home page and click “Get free approved foods list.” I will email you a foods list (free of charge) so that your grocery store rendezvous can be tear-free. Enjoy, and remember that you CAN do this! One day at a time…that’s all it takes.