Getting Real

First, I can not contain my excitement for Jordan and Daniel and their growing family! I am so excited to be able to watch them go through their pregnancy journey into parenthood.  I know Jordan said it in her previous posts but it is seriously a MIRACLE! I don't think I ever really understood the craziness of it all until I became child bearing age.  It will also be pretty sweet that I can use all of Jordan's research when it comes my turn :) Thanks Jordan! ha 

Now for what has been on my mind besides that precious baby.
The blog world has brought so many good things to people---motivation tips, home ideas, photography tips, recipes, fitness and the list goes on and on.
The thing is, the people who put out their information can choose what goes in the blog (the pretty) and what doesn't (usually the ugly). There are a lot of blogs that do try their best at being real and I commend them because that is the kind of information I want to read. I don't want to get rapped up in some fantasy land where the meals are always perfect, hair is fixed everyday, and everything in every facet of life is all together---this is false and we all know it, but for some reason when our eyes see it on the computer screen we start to believe that maybe everyone is doing things better than us.

Jordan and I try and make this blog as real as possible because our hope is that our struggles and successes will be helpful to someone, anyone reading. Blogs have done this for me so I hope I can give back---isn't that the purpose of a blog anyway?

So what I want to get real about today is the health craze spreading through the blog world and society itself. There are so many different methods for nutrition, cleaning, personal hygiene and they are posted everywhere, it's hard to sift through. I believe there is no one right or better way, the important thing for me is to find things that suit my lifestyle that will actually become a part of my daily life instead of a quick fad.

I've recently been researching 'clean eating' due to the way my body is feeling currently--crappy. I'm not even really talking about appearance, although, I could go for some muscle toning all over.  I more so can tell my body doesn't like what I've been feeding it.
Excuses: I get home from work around 6 and if I don't already have a set in stone plan for dinner I'm staring in to my fridge and pantry for a good 10-15 minutes before making something stupid like a sandwich or worse- heading out for take out. 

Fact about Nataley: I am an awful planner! This is one of my greatest weaknesses but I am slowly realizing I want to live a more healthy and fulfilling life in several aspects and that doesn't come without planning.

Another weakness that occurs when I want to make changes to my life is my roller coaster motivation. One day I'm super motivated (usually at night when I'm heading to bed) the next day I'm already done because it's real and it's hard. I've learned a lot about myself over the years and one thing is certainly true for me---any changes I want to make have to be easy, simple and not all at once. I have to make it a part of my daily lifestyle if I'm going to make it work. Once this happens though I kick myself for taking so long because it is so worth it to make a positive lifestyle change.

So back to clean eating, what I've read about it seems very straight forward and simple:

"The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time." - Clean Eating Magazine

The focus is on eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day making sure to not go over 3 hours without eating. These meals and snacks consist of foods that contain only one to two ingredients in them to keep out anything processed, refined sugars, white flour, and breads and pastas that aren't whole grain.

Organic foods are recommended but it's more about cutting out the processed things. I know I can't afford everything organic but I might try starting with meats, eggs, and dairy to be my organic priorities. I am also excited to start visiting the farmer's market to get fresh locally grown fruits and veggies--this will help with the chemicals and the budget.
Some other guidelines include portion size, being prepared, and savoring not rushing.

I think my favorite approach to clean eating is their 80/20 mentality. I know I can not and will not be consistent every single day and that is okay! The recommendation is to be consistent with eating clean 80% of the time and don't freak out when you go out to eat or eat some birthday cake or in my case, ice cream :) I think I can deal with that! If I tell myself I can't have something, it makes me want it more. If I tell myself "I feel great when I eat this" and "not so great when I eat that," I think I'll be a lot more motivated.

One thing I've had success with so far and I'm really proud of myself for it is cutting out diet soda. I probably had at least 12-22 oz everyday, definitely addicted. I have not had a diet soda for about 2 weeks, I know that is not a lot of time but I am confident I won't be going back. I haven't told myself I can't have a soda ever again (I have completely nixed any diet sodas) but the thing is, you don't miss it once you get passed the cravings and break the addiction.

Some other healthy lifestyle things I've been researching and have been testing out include: 
> The 'No-Poo' method. It sounds gross but it means not shampooing or conditioning your hair with standard products. Apparently, shampoo strips your hair of all it's natural oils, resulting in the glands over producing oil, making hair greasy and conditioning is really just a coating. Instead, a baking soda-water mixture is used as shampoo and apple cider vinegar-water mixture is used for conditioning. The ACV has a similar pH to the natural state of your hair and this helps bring everything back to balance.

> Oil Pulling seems to be the new thing to do. Swishing a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day is said to pull toxins from the mouth and body along with help with oral hygiene and teeth whiting. I haven't tried it yet but I'm definitely intrigued. 

There are so many different things out there to research and develop as healthy habits it can really be overwhelming but if you're like me taking everything super slow and finding things that keep me motivated will help to gradually develop positive changes and habits to daily life. 

I think I've probably bored you all by this point but this has been on my mind so I thought I'd share with real people!

-N