In my last blog post, I introduced the seven aspects of wellness… a well-balanced person will care for their physical, emotional. spiritual, social, occupational, environmental, and intellectual needs. This week, I’m going to begin to tackle physical wellness.
What constitutes physical well-being? If we are able to create healthy habits that allow us to have a healthy diet, quality sleep, and regular exercise, and avoid unhealthy amounts of things like sugar and alcohol, chances are pretty good we achieve physical wellness, and can function without feeling fatigued or experiencing a high level of physical stress in our activities.
But how do you get there? It can be daunting, trying to change habits. That is why I always suggest to folks to chance one thing at a time. Let’s talk about healthy eating.
I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life. I grew up in a meat-eating household, and at the tender age of 14, decided I was done eating red meat. I had to learn how to cook, because as my mother said”I’m not a short-order cook. If you don;t want to eat what I cook, you’re going to have to learn how to cook for yourself.” I bought a couple of cookbooks, made some really bad meals at the beginning, but over time, I started making better meals that my dad even wanted to try.
By the time I was 21, all meat, including fish, was gone from my diet. I now go in and out of veganism…which means no dairy or eggs, either. I do this because dairy is my gateway drug…if I start eating cheese, then along with it comes crackers, chips, a lot of eggs (think omelets for breakfast every morning), and all of a sudden I’m 20 pounds heavier. And so, I do my best to eat dairy in moderation, and if it gets out of control, it’s not in my refrigerator.
A lot of my clients ask me about my diet on a regular basis. I’ve had clients say they wished they could see into my kitchen, to find out what I cook. Newsflash: While I like salad, I eat so much more than that, which is what many folks used to think when they heard I was a vegetarian. When I do salads, they generally have beans or nuts in them to add protein. I will chop veggies to make enough salad to get me through several days, and bring it to work for lunch.
When I prepare meals, I try to make enough to give me leftovers for a few other meals, That way, when I get home from work and feel too tired to cook, I’m not eating tortilla chips and dip for dinner. Instead, I have something yummy, like a tasty vegetable and bean soup, curried tofu and vegetables, or beans, rice, and greens.
If I have a super busy week, on Sunday, I will do massive food prep….chop lots of veggies, cook a few meals, package up stuff for lunches and snacks at work, so I can just grab something out of the fridge in the morning, pop it in my bag, and head out the door. My lunches and snacks usually consist of fresh veggie salads, a rice salad like the one pictured below, apple slices and nut butter, veggie sticks and hummus, and other things that can easily be eaten between clients.
What about breakfast? In the winters, I like a hot breakfast. While some mornings I like to eat oatmeal with fruit and nuts, I tend to make something on Sunday that I can heat up a few mornings a week. As a huge fan of vegetables, these breakfasts tend to be veg-heavy.
Eating a lot of vegetables fills me up, so that I tend to not want to eat as much junk.
I’d like to encourage you to consider doing some meal prep on Sunday for the week’s lunches that incorporated lots of vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins.