image via skinnytaste.com
No one likes the word “diet”. To a lot of us, it means “to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight”. Who the heck wants to restrict themselves to SMALL amounts of special foods? Just reading that gets you depressed (well, me anyway). We all want to eat what we want, when we want, and not get fat in the process. (Sounds like the perfect world, right?) But this definition of “diet” is the verb. The act of dieting. Limiting what we put in our mouths in hopes of losing all the indulgences gracing our problem areas. But has anyone stopped to think about the noun part of diet?
In it’s noun form, diet is, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. This doesn’t sound so bad, right? It’s just what we eat regularly. If we only ate anchovies and Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese, that would be considered a diet. Why can’t our “diets” just consist of more veggies and protein, and less carbs and sugars? But when we hear the word “veggies” with “diet” we automatically start to think dieting, not diet. It becomes the part of the word everyone hates to hear. The part that makes every person who’s broken down and bought the $99.99 miracle food from the informercial they saw at 3am, that just it swore THIS would be the thing that worked, want to curl up into the fetal position and cry. Veggies and diet combined in a sentence get a really bad rap.
Primal to me is not dieting. It’s a diet; a lifestyle. It’s a choice I’m consciously making, and a way in which I want to lead my life. It is not just what I eat, or how I exercise. It’s a mental shift. It’s a effort I put forth to wholly, and completely, change my life to be healthy in all aspects: mentally, emotionally, physically, and physiologically.
Not everyone is looking for that, though. Some are just looking to diet. While I do believe dieting can work in the short term (when done properly, and not some crazy-fad thing all the celebs are doing), for long term success I feel there has to be an overall & complete change for any sort of weight-loss work to stick.
My opinions on diet versus lifestyle aside, the key to keeping any healthy change in food consumption, I’ve come to realize, is: VARIETY. Becoming bored with the healthy foods you eat (short-term or long-term) will lead you to say, “I don’t want to eat this sh** anymore! I just want a damn (fill in the blank)”. For me, when I get bored with the Primal things I’ve been making I start craving chips and Cheetos. Pizza will usually be consumed once, and there’s always a pasta dish somewhere along the way. All my cravings come screaming for attention when I’ve reached a plateau in food selection.
To combat this recurring issue I’ve taken to collecting Primal, and non-Primal, recipes on Pinterest. You’d be surprised at all of the creative ideas that are out there, especially the recipes copy-cating restaurant food. My personal favorite thing is adapting my favorite “bad” foods into everyday Primal meals (for ideas on how to do this, see my “Dinner Diaries” posts). I’ve created a “This is How I Primal” board on my Pinterest page to help me keep on track, and to organize all the things I eventually want to try. I’ve also made a motivational fitness board to help get me through the ups and downs of working my ass off during all my race training this year.
Y’all may think it’s corny, but this is what works for me. Find what works for you–magazines, cookbooks, tv shows, farmers markets. Whatever it takes to keep your food options interesting. Don’t fall down the routine trap. Put some spice into your life!
P.S. – If you do decide to take a hop, skip and jump over to my Pinterest page, and like what you see, check back to the boards I mentioned regularly because I add recipes and motivation almost daily (I’m kind of a Pinterest addict).
P.P.S. – Have any great recipe ideas? Let me know! I’m always on the look out for new things to try.