I love to be loved. I enjoy the positive attention, outpouring of notes and thoughtful acts of kindness dedicated to me especially on my birthday. In my 20’s, I started a new tradition: I’d be calorie conscious most days of the year, but my birthday marked the one day to eat gluttonously without guilt. Now that I’m super focused on overall wellness, I’d rather not go that route, so I’ve found substitutions. Since I’m a sweet tooth, here are my five new favorite go-to-dessert-like treats. Syrups, agave, coconut sugar, honey, stevia, white flours and all the other various sugar words are still a “sometimes food,” as we say in our house.
I’ve always loved eating out. I have such fond memories devouring meatballs and spaghetti off the children’s menu at east coast diners. As I grew older, my family celebrated honorable report cards, choir concerts, dance recitals and mini-milestones at what I thought were fine-dining establishments: Mandarin Yen or Shakey’s Pizza. Even in high school, after football games, we congregated at Davanni’s, Carbonni’s, Perkins or my all-time favorite, Taco Bell. Whatever happy (often made up) non-traditional holiday we celebrated was at a restaurant. Truth be told, my mom was a fine cook, we just enjoyed the hassle free, family or friend focused meal. My mother also cooked healthy dinners, so dining out included gorging on cheesy pizzas, fried rice dishes and creamy pastas. I know better now that eating out doesn’t mean I have to let go of all inhibitions and start “my diet tomorrow.” While it’s tempting to overdo it, I’ve learned a few tips to keep my diet clean while enjoying a night out for travel, on business or just for fun.
Do you use the New Year as an annual health seminar with yourself? In the past, I would host my own personal white board session, brainstorming all the ways I wanted to better myself in the coming year. These included exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more high-brow literature, analyzing business trade publications weekly and drinking less soda. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. According to Forbes, Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I clearly was in the 92%. So now, after a year of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, powerwalking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 18 simple wellness tips. Hopefully, these will make it easy for you to pick an easily-attainable goal so you can take small steps toward better health and overall wellness.
We all have vices. Mine used to be sugar…and cheese…and diet soda…and creamy alcoholic drinks and the list continued on and on. However, when I first started researching healing and disease prevention modalities, I quit eating ALL this crud and haven’t looked back. I also prioritized fitness or simply being active and played with mindfulness techniques. The one area, call it my vice, that I have not given up has been drinking wine.
Can you imagine eliminating your morning “pretty coffee” filled with sugar and creamed toppings? What about cheese, desserts or fried everything? So many times people tell me they can’t stop their favorite foods, so they don’t even think about committing to a newish lifestyle. I get it. That was me. I obsessed over cheese plates, craved creamy frostings and longed for bulky pastas. I had been drinking tons of diet soda for almost two decades, so only remembered life being bloated. But that all changed when I started eating clean. And trust me, you can take small steps and get there, too.