Hi friends! Hannah asked me to guest post for her while she’s away resting from the blog world and I was flattered and happy to do so! Thank you Hannah for letting me share my passion for eating more, not less and nourishing our bodies well.
Our minds can be our best friend or our worst enemy. They can manipulate us into thinking we’re not enough or that we’re on top of the world.
It’s far easier to believe lies than truth. We can get so entangled in debilitating, irrational thoughts that it’s impossible to see reality. And before we know it we’re trapped in a mental tornado that crushes our spirit and sucks every ounce of our energy.
Our minds can take hold of many aspects of our lives. Singleness, the corporate ladder, athletic ability, social status and most commonly…body image and weight.
We live in a culture obsessed with dieting and “getting fit” and eating clean and pushing harder, sweating more, and perfection perfection perfection. You’re eating carbs past 7pm…uh oh. You’re not watching portions meticulously, that must be to blame. Maybe you’re working out at the wrong time, not eating grains at the right time of day, mismeasuring your peanut butter in the morning, eating too much fruit….maybe it’s the bananas?
Or maybe you’re so consumed on what you must be doing wrong and what you should do instead that you’re missing what’s actually holding you back.
Simply letting go.
Letting go of fighting your hunger.
Letting go of depriving yourself of food groups.
Letting go of exercising when you’re exhausted.
Letting go of always doing more and just doing less.
When it comes to weight loss or heck, weight maintenance we’ve got to start letting go.
And eating more.
Eating when we’re hungry and as much as our body wants.
Letting go of how much we should eat and start eating what our bodies need.
Far too often, people come to me looking for answers, and after a quick recall of what they’re eating, it becomes very clear they’re eating 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day and exercising in an effort to lose weight and they’re frustrated because the scale isn’t budging. Or they are killing themselves to simply maintain their weight and any deviation from their eating and exercise routine results in weight gain. They’re hungry, and therefore irritable, and just plain unhappy.
This is because the body is in, what I call, metabolic hibernation. Meaning the cells have turned into warehouses instead of batteries. and storing any and every food that is eaten instead of burning it. The body thinks there is a shortage of food because it’s not getting fed. Think of it like this. If you’re broke or living paycheck to paycheck, you’re sure as heck not going to spend your money carelessly because you’re worried you might not have enough money to pay the bills.
It’s a downward spiral of analyzing every little thing that you could be doing wrong or that you should be doing to lose the last five pounds. And all that does is increase stress, therefore increasing cortisol, and further putting our bodies into a chronic state of fat storing. Our metabolisms come to screeching halt. You can restrict your food and sweat till the cows come home and you won’t lose a pound….you’ll probably gain some.
It’s when we simply surrender to all the coulda-woulda-shouldas and just start embracing food as fuel, rest as necessary, and sweating as an option, that our bodies begin to heal. Over time, hormones become balanced, cortisol decreases, and they can start burning energy efficiently. And that is when true food freedom occurs. When we stop analyzing everything we eat and every calorie we burn and start doing what our bodies need and what feels good. And that is when weight loss and weight maintenance become relatively effortless instead of a life sucking endeavor.
Food is nourishment, not something to be policed. Food is a gift from God, enabling us to thrive and be well. And food is just one part of our lives, not our entire lives.
If I’ve learned one thing about nutrition and true health, it’s that eating enough, eating nutrient rich food, and just letting go is the golden ticket to a lifetime of happiness and well being.
And one of my favorite things to snack on when hunger strikes are these chocolate chip cookie dough bites. Full of satiating healthy fats from the cashews, coconut, and sunbutter!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls [vegan + GF]
makes 10 balls
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 medjool dates, pitted
2 to 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
1 to 2 teaspoons almond milk
pinch of sea salt
Combine all the ingredients, except chocolate chips in a food processor or high speed blender [I used my Vitamix] and blend until everything is combined and a dough begins to form.
Then pulse in the chocolate chips a few times. Roll into balls and freeze or refrigerate for a quick and yummy snack anytime.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
A HUGE thank you goes out to Robyn for writing up a fantastic guest post for all of you! If you have followed my blog for very long, you are no stranger to the awesomeness that is Robyn and her blog. She writes some of the BEST posts when it comes to focusing on following a healthy, mostly plant-based diet (something I always strive to do), while also finding balance and ensuring that we are fueling our bodies with plenty of nutrient-rich food. I have learned many things from Robyn’s posts, but one of my favorites is that Food = Fuel. Robyn has done a lot to help so many blog readers (myself included) when it comes to getting rid of some of the food guilt and simply eating (and yes, more than 1,600 calories, too!). I have not counted calories in many months now, but I would guess that I am somewhere up around 2,000 per day on average- laregely due to Robyn’s posts- and I feel great about that! Please head over to her blog for a wealth of information (she is a Registered Dietician, after all!) and for some tasty recipes. Robyn’s recipes appear in my Friday Foodie Favorites posts rather frequently and there is a reason why: they are GOOD! I cannot wait to make these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls soon. They sound like the perfect afternoon or evening snack!