Lately I’ve been feeling a little out of control. In last week’s post, I talked about how quarantine has led to a completely lack of motivation in all areas of my life. My diet, my sleep and my routine have all been affected by my new “oh well” principle.
In terms of diet, this means eating late at night, consuming a lot of processed foods and more “junk” foods than I usually do. I keep complaining to friends that I need to “get it under control before I start to feel uncomfortable.” There’s nothing wrong with being 5-10 pounds heavier, but I also don’t want the quarantine to be an excuse for letting my values slide.
Letting this happen has left me feeling less like myself, which has put me in a weird head space. So getting my diet back on track is just one step towards making me feel happier and more myself. And not because of any potential weight loss, but I find that when I make a plan and stick to it—whatever it is—that sense of accomplishment fuels motivation in other areas of my life, too.
So this past week I made the decision to drastically change what I’ve been eating in order to kickstart the healthy habits I always loved into overdrive. Cue ‘The Rainbow Diet. If you’re not familiar with this style of eating, the basic premise is to minimize beige foods (which are usually processed—things like bread, chips, etc) and instead incorporate a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables into every meal. This could look like a big salad or even a colorful soup. But the goal is to jam pack your diet with nutrients and high-fiber plant foods.
I chose this style of eating because it’s completely opposite to what I’ve been doing for the past two months. Giving up my baguettes dipped in vegan butter (yes, I went there) was going to be hard I thought, which was all the more reason I know I needed to switch things up. So here is a breakdown of how the past week went.
Days 1-2: Day 1 was perhaps the most fun day because I got to go grocery shopping, which—despite the 30 minute line to get into the store—is still one of my favorite activities. I’m not a meal planner, so I usually grab whatever looks good to me and today that meant a plethora of raw foods, nuts, and brown rice (beige, but I figured this one was okay).
What I loved most about these days was my change in mood. Because I had made up my mind that I was going to do this, I woke up the first morning with a sense of purpose and determination. I had a fantastic workout both days and really felt good about myself. And the funny thing about this is that I had barely just begun. It just proves to me how powerful the mind is. You can convince yourself you are miserable, just the same as you can convince yourself you are happy, it depends on where you put the emphasis.
Days 3–4: My brain feels at ease. There’s something about adhering to a plan that just makes me feel good. According to this article, following and meeting short term goals leads to “positive emotions…and a sense of well-being.”
For lunch on both days I made a gigantic salad (and this is hard to admit, but I hadn’t had an actual salad in ages) which actually filled me up. I noticed an increase in energy and an uplift in my mood.
Days 5–6: I’m normally a 5-minute meal kinda girl. Microwave rice, frozen peas, vegan butter, salt. That’s my-go to meal. But this week, taking the time to prep and cook foods has been an enjoyable experience. I have the time, I don’t know why I haven’t been cooking properly more these past three months.
Day 7: Better digestion. I wont go into details here, but my stomach is definitely flatter. In general, I feel better about my body, more enthusiastic about food and excited to eat healthy again.
This has been the kickstart that I needed to get my values back on track and return to feeling like my old self again. We have no idea when the lock down will end here in Toronto, so this past week has been important to me in terms of getting my head in the right space.
Photo: Alhumaydy, Suresh, Primeau, Casben, Branco; Unsplash.