How to Stay Healthy When Your Life Revolves Around Food

Prepare yourselves, my friends. Gabby is the super cute, super talented photographer who’ve I actually met in person! I love reading her blog for recipes, and for fitness motivation (she’s braver than me – she’s into Crossfit!) Buts seriously, when you find out what this girl gets to do in her “spare” time, you’ll be super jealous. Enjoy!

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Hey all! I’m Gabby and I blog over at Gabby’s Gluten-free – I’m a 24 year old gluten-free gal who loves all this food, health, and fitness

Apparently wedding photos are the only time I’m NOT behind the camera

Before getting to the main topic of today’s post, here are six fun random facts about me:

1. I love lifting heavy weights and recently started CrossFit (I’m smitten).
2. I’m a yogi at heart and like Colleen, I once tried to be a runner.
3. I’m originally from Phoenix, Arizona.
4. I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice.
5. I hate terracotta. Seriously, the texture makes me squirm just thinking about it. Weird.
6. I got married in October last year at a vineyard. And it snowed. It was amazing.A

So now that you know a little bit about me and my weird texture aversions, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart: how to stay healthy when your life revolves around food.  You’re probably thinking, “Well, everyone’s life revolves around food – you kind of need it to, you know, LIVE” and you’re absolutely correct but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how to stay on track when your life, literally, is all about food. If you’re like me and just love food (and have been called a “foodie”) then you know what I’m talking about – nights out involve good restaurants and even better drinks, and special occasions are always marked by something decadent and chocolatey.

 Vegan salted Mexican hot chocolate. YES.

Think of life around Christmas and Thanksgiving – everything involves good food, treats, and lots of it.  Now, what is that is your life 75% of the year? That’s my life. 

In my spare time (ha!) I’m a recipe writer, food stylist, and food photographer for an international gluten-free magazine called Delight.

 [photo credit: Jack Looney photography]

 Oh, and my husband is a chef.  So, quite literally, my life is all about food.

These two momentous food-related events have all happened within the past year or so, during a time when I have been actively trying to lose weight and have found myself in the best shape of my life, thus far. I’ve still got a ways to go to reach some of my goals, but I’ve managed to find a balanced between being married to a chef (and a damn good one at that), making decadent and delicious dishes as a job, and staying healthy. Since I’m all about sharing tips and tricks, here are my top tips for staying healthy when your life revolves around food (chef-husband and food-related job not required):

1. Get your head in the game: First and foremost, staying healthy is all about your mind – and I’m not talking about using your brain to muscle through a torturous, unsustainable diet.  If you’re trying to stay/get healthy or get in shape, commit to a goal and keep it in your mind at all times.  Use motivational poster, quotes, or simply a phrase to help yourself stay focused.  Also, realize that willpower is exhaustible. It is not an unlimited resource – you need mental rest days just like you need physical rest days. Remove the “guilt” from those rest days (or “cheat days”) – there is no need to feel bad about nourishing yourself (crème brulee may not be physically nourishing but it sure makes my mind feel nourished).

Banana protein soufflé, anyone?

2. Plan and prep: I’m a total type-A person who thrives off of plans, lists, and organization so planning ahead is essential for my sanity.  Prep healthy, delicious foods that you can eat during the week when you’re busy or to take with you when you travel. Planning and prepping ahead makes your life easier and eliminates worrying about what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to eat, etc. Pick one or two days a week to spend a few hours in your kitchen making snacks and big batches of meals that you can grab and pack – my favorites are kale salad, grain-free muffins and bagels, hardboiled eggs, and protein shakes.

3. Be consistent, not perfect: Aiming for perfection is only going to end in frustration and exhaustion.  Weight loss, staying healthy, and improve fitness aren’t about perfection – they are about consistency. If you know you’ve got a big event, holiday, or just a fun night out in the next few days, don’t stress about restricting yourself and “banking” the calories, instead just keep on track until the event. Then indulge a little, feel good about it, and get back on track with your next meal. One night of wine and ice cream debauchery isn’t going to derail all the hard work you’ve put in over the past month.  Accept it, move on, and get right back on the healthy train.

4. Pick your poison and make it worth it: If you go out a lot or have a job that requires you to cook the equivalent of three Christmas dinners and enough treats to feed an army, it can be difficult to stay on track. Again, we are aiming for consistency not perfection. If you know it’s going to be a long weekend of indulgence, pick your poison at every meal. Pick out something special, that you really want and will really enjoy, and indulge in that.  Is it something you could have any other day of the week? Do you want it because it’s there or because it’s the best thing ever? Make your indulgence worth it so that you can have maximum enjoyment, minimal guilt, and have fun! If you’re out to dinner and want to stay on track – maybe indulge in alcohol but have a healthy dinner or have an indulgent appetizer or dessert but skip the booze. Pick what you want, make it worth it, and enjoy the heck out of it.

 Squat heavy, always.

5. Work it out: It’s no secret that I love a good workout, but my workouts have taken on a whole new meaning now that my life revolves around food.  My workouts aren’t about “burning off” a treat or burning hundreds of calories to create a calorie deficit worthy of a margarita. Now, my workouts focus on making my body better, making my hormones work in my favor, and my metabolism more efficient so that I naturally burn more calories while I sip that margarita. I know Colleen has said it before, but ladies, I recommend getting on the strength training wagon. There is virtually no other type of training that can alter your important fat-burning hormones in such a positive way and make your body work at peak efficiency.

Tell me:
1. What are your best stay-on-track tips?
2. Does your food revolve around life?

Thanks to Colleen for letting me ramble on her blog today! Please stop on by my corner of the blog world, tweet at me (@gabbysgfree), or find me on Facebook! Have a great week everyone! (Thank you, Gabby!!) 

 

Comments

  1. says

    I love the #4 tip! I have a lot of trouble with that, but it’s definitely a great thing to keep in mind. I’m a planner, too. I’m all over making healthy meals ahead of time. It’s such a life-saver sometimes :) Thanks so much for this great post!

  2. says

    Great tips and I agree with pretty much all if them. It is a balancing act and you have to figure out what works for you and what you’re willing to indulge in and whether it’s worth it.

    High five for planning. I’m the same. I prep all my food for the week the weekend prior so I’m not left in a situation where I have nothing to eat and end up with crappy options. It is so worth it.

    Lucky girl – married to a chef!! I’m sure he’s lucky too.

  3. says

    Love this! I’m a teacher which means “Friday treats”, parties, etc. Cupcakes galore. It’s hard to stay on track, but it’s worth it. (That being said, I will eat a cupcake. I ain’t skurred.)

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