Next year is going to be different...right?
I relish the opportunity for positive momentum that comes in a new year. So many of us say to ourselves, 'next year.' Next year I am going to take better care of myself. I am going to lose weight. Get more sleep. Have more fun. Get on the right path. Next year. New year is going to be the best year of my life.
We hope that things are going to be different.
We hope that courage is going to show up and knock on our door. Courage to do things differently. In preparation for the new year maybe we even summon the energy to sign up for a fitness class. And while we are walking up and down the aisles at the grocery store curiosity starts to nudge a little and we wonder if we should look at the labels on the back of the food we are buying.
And then the new year arrives—and we stall or get stuck.
We get excited about the possibilities but we don't get specific. We don't think through HOW we are going to take on our goals. We don't set up our actions for sustainability, for success.
ELIMINATION DIET, ANYONE?
One route some of you will traverse is taking on an elimination diet of some sort. You have thought about it, talked about it and your friends have done it. But you aren't sure how to go about it. And you're kind of scared about doing it. Scared you won't have the willpower to follow it through, scared that you will fail.
Taking on transformative change feels like almost too big of a commitment. The happy hour margaritas, the delicious desserts your coworkers bring into the office, those are still going to be there. So how are you going to take those on?
WILLPOWER IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT.
Success is about skillPOWER. It is about getting yourself mentally, emotionally and physically ready. It is about creating an actionable and realistic plan. It is a shift in mindset. You have your your vision and the desire, with the right plan you will succeed.
Want simple steps that will set you up for success?
Read on for 10 ideas on how to make your commitment to the Elimination Diet experience a true success.
1. Deep clean the kitchen
Start the elimination diet with a sparkling kitchen. Make it a place you want to be in. Scrub the countertops and floors. Organize and clean the fridge and cabinets. The food you are about to make in this room will be fit for royalty. Make the space beautiful.
2. Dust off your equipment
And keep it accessible. Tools you may want to use multiple times a week: a crock pot, a Vitamix, an immersion blender, a food processor, a large cutting board, a really good knife, a spiralizer and storage containers.
3. Choose two stores
And create two lists. The first list is bulk food you can find at a warehouse store like Costco or Thrive Market. Go there first. Whatever you can't find organic, buy at a Vitamin Cottage/Sprouts. The increase in the amount of quality foods (like protein, vegetables and fat) you will need can be surprising and enlightening.
4. Display a white board
Be proud and show it. Visibly track your meals. Challenge yourself. In addition to the basics choose 2 new meals a week. What's for dinner Monday? Write it down. And if it is a new recipe, write the cookbook name and respective page number next to the meal. You don't want to waste time looking for it later.
5. Stick to the list
Don't go rogue. Have a plan for everything you are going to purchase. Stay away from temptation by shopping the perimeter. And if you embrace the idea of leftovers—double or triple your recipes and shop accordingly.
6. Load up on essentials
Fill the pantry with Coconut Aminos, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut milk, EVOO, Nutbutters and Tomatos/Tomato Paste (if you are eating nightshades). Fill the freezer with quick-thaw protein and vegetables.
7. Cook on the weekends
And "make dinner" during the week. Making dinner is all about speed and efficiency. Cooking is creativity and relaxation. You don't want to be rushed.
8. Set the timer
And see what you can get done in 90 minutes. You'll be surprised. Multitask. Use the crock pot, stove top and oven all at the same time. Chop your vegetables. Make chia pudding. Organize the fridge.
Be open to a new mindset. Dinner can be breakfast and breakfast can be dinner. If you are craving a crunch, put some nut butter on celery. Dip jicama sticks into guacamole. If you miss spaghetti, have some spaghetti squash. It's about curiosity and accessibility.
10. Bon appetit! Now you may eat.
Sit at a table. Take a few deep breaths, mentally slow down and feel gratitude. Take a bite. Savor. Smile. This food is worthy of you. Eat until you are 80% full. Don't count calories. What does count? The nutrient-dense and delicious foods you have intentionally placed on your fork. Congratulations, you are well on your way toward greater vitality and health!