We're constantly bombarded with unhealthy foods everyday. Cupcakes tempt us in the lunch line; cookies are always available with coffee; and co-workers consistantly bring in junk food to share.
Because we're constantly assaulted with disease promoting foods, it's essential you learn how to set yourself up for success in these situations... how to increase your chances of choosing the healthiest foods in your house, your office etc.
And trust me, I know this can be difficult. In my studio apartment, I literally sleep in my kitchen. My bed is 5ft from the fridge!
If I want any chance of eating a healthy, plant-based diet on a daily basis, I have to set my environment up in a way that promotes eating optimally... I have to sanitize it!
When you sanitize your environment, or clean it up, you no longer have to rely on will-power to try and eat healthy. Which is awesome because will-power doesn't work!
It's only a matter of time until the free cookies in the break room start calling your name, or the ice-cream in the fridge. Our bodies are specifically designed to seek out these foods. We naturally desire calorie dense foods like cookies, ice-cream and fatty foods.
When we were gatherers and hunters, our existence was dependent upon eating foods high in calories. If we didn't, we could die. The problem now is that we're no longer struggling to find food and get enough calories. However, that mechanism still exists within us.
In order to beat will-power, you have to set-up your environment in a way that you don't have to worry about it.
Warning! You aren't going to want to do this! These steps can be difficult -- especially cleaning out your kitchen -- but they are essential if you really want to start to make a change to your diet. It makes eating well so much easier!
Here's 3 Essential Steps for Sanitizing Your Environment
1. Get troublesome foods out of your kitchen, and stocked with delicious, plant foods instead.
Get the foods you shouldn't be eating on a daily basis out of your daily living environments. This means treats as well as the other foods I suggest you don't eat: refined foods (sugar, oil and white flour products) and dairy. (Click here to watch the Take Control Tuesday episode 'Food Guidelines: What to Eat, What to Avoid').
At the same time, you need to make sure your kitchen (and office!) is stocked with delicious plant-based meals and foods. An abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, pre-made salad dressing, hummus, boxed soups, frozen dinners, sweet potatoes and the list goes on!
This way when you're hungry, the only option you have is to eat something delicious and nutritious! If you get hungry and healthy options aren't available, you're going to eat something you shouldn't!
2. Save treats for special occasions, outside the house.
Eating a healthy plant-based diet doesn't mean you can't ever eat dessert or a treat again. However, it's essential you decipher between a treat and daily fare. Cookies, potato chips, cake, chocolate etc. are not foods to be eaten daily or even weekly.
Treats are foods to be eaten only for special occasions... your birthday or traveling abroad for example, outside the house. Otherwise, they're no longer treats because you're eating them regularly.
To piggy back on rule #1, if there's left-over treats from a birthday cake for example, don't bring them into your house! Kindly decline or give it someone else. If you bring it home, you will eat it!
3. Buy foods you aren't tempted by, when serving/buying foods for others.
Although you may be striving towards eating a plant-based diet, your spouse, children, parents etc. may not be on the same page. You'll probably have to prepare food for them that isn't ideal for you.
When this is the case, buy foods you won't be tempted by. This way, even if something isn't good for you, you're less likely to eat it. Don't buy them your favorite dessert for example. You'll drool over it and are more likely to cave in and eat it. Instead, whip up something that doesn't appeal to you at all.
Although these changes may be difficult for some, they really go a long way. Forget will power and change your environment instead. You can do it! Please let me know how it goes!
Take Control Now
What's one food you can't (and shouldn't) keep in your kitchen because you'll always eat it? Are you ready to kick that food out of your kitchen for good?
Answer in the comments section below.