I had so much fun sharing part one of my story with you all last week, so here’s part 2! That first post talked about my reasonings for seeing a nutritionist and what I was looking to get out of it. This second post will discuss the tweaks that I’ve made to my diet and lifestyle and what impact that has had on my well-being.
While the changes are certainly not a major overhaul to my diet and daily life, they have made a world of difference for me. You can see the minor changes just from looking at previous WIAW posts from earlier this year and this week’s! Makes me happy just to see how much better I’m taking care of myself.
After my first session with my nutritionist and fitness consultant, there were just a few things that became super clear:
- I was often waiting wayyy too long to eat anything after waking up
- I often would go for too long in between lunch and dinner without any snack, which would affect my energy levels as well as going from super hungry to super full really quickly
- Some days I ate too much and other days I didn’t eat enough. Probably screwed with my metabolism a bunch
- I wasn’t honoring “rest days” and I was likely over-exercising my joints
- I struggled with guilt whenever I enjoyed a “cheat” meal or an indulgence
- I am wayyy too hard on myself when it comes to indulging. And I am also quite carb-phobic
So what did we decide to do?
- If there is a gap between when I work out and when I have breakfast (i.e. I workout in the AM, or I have to commute to the airport) I should eat something small. Like a small handful of trail mix or nuts and a banana
- They encouraged me to have smaller plant-based lunches, since those proteins are excellent for inflammation in joints. That’s why you’ve seen so many recipes like this and this on the blog
- In accordance with the above, I could save space for a larger snack around 3 or 4pm which always had to have protein and fiber. Yay for apples and PB EVERY DAY!
- Aim for veggies with every meal!
- Eat 2 cups of fruit every day. (This has been the most enjoyable to incorporate into my diet! I didn’t realize how carb-phobic I was even of fruit before)
- A plate should always be half veggies, quarter protein, and a quarter starch. But if I don’t want the starch, I don’t have to have it!
- I got a thumbs up for staying dairy free and gluten free due to the joints
- Enjoy 2 indulgent meals a week
- Allow for planned exceptions (i.e. when you KNOW you want to go out and eat pizza with your friends) and unplanned exceptions (when you chow down on some chips and guac at a happy hour). Be OK with both and know that they are both a part of life
- Go from exercising six days a week to taking THREE rest days a week. They can be active rest days with lots of walking, but do not have scheduled exercise on those days
What have I noticed?
- My digestion has improved
- My energy in the afternoon is better
- Inflammation in my joints has been pretty much gone, with the exception of my right wrist
- Taking rest days is super hard. I got a FitBit so I could make sure to hit 10K steps on those days!
- I LOVE having plant-based lighter lunches and a heftier fiber/protein snack in the afternoon. So much yum to look forward to throughout the day when normally I really was never into lunch and just waited it out until dinner
- If I’m not going to have breakfast right away, having that small snack right away in the AM helps with my focus and energy right away and just permeates throughout the day
- Not feeling guilt/shame about indulging is something that we’re still working on
- I am very much a person that likes to have an eating “routine” and when that routine gets shaken up I often indulge and then don’t feel so great about it all
- I don’t hit dinner with a ravenous hunger. There’s also no need to “save my appetite” for dinner – if my stomach is grumbling around 5pm, have a small snack
- Having the “healthy plate” in mind of half veggies, quarter protein, quarter starch is a super easy and applicable way to eat out, eat at friend’s houses, eat at celebrations. I feel so much more confident going into situations where I’m not in charge of the food – I have the strategies that I apply to my daily routine to these meals
- Drinking (even small amounts of wine) is directly correlated with indulging. Well that should have been no surprise!
I am still seeing the nutritionist and fitness consultant, because while I feel like there’s still so much to learn about my body and get ideas/recommendations from them. I’m really enjoying the whole process and journey. If you really care about your health and nutrition (who doesn’t) it’s amazing to review your diet and lifestyle with some professionals.
Note: If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend seeing the professionals at ThriveRD. We’ve actually done all of our sessions virtually, so I’m sure even if you aren’t local to Northern California, you can work with them too. And I had several questions on how I found my nutritionist….which was through Yelp!