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tips and tricks for healthy eating

i talk about natural living a lot here. i've mentioned the 80/20 rule a few times, too. you know, eat really healthy 80% of the time, and then not-so-healthy the other 20%

confession: the holidays completely kicked my butt.

i would say on a good day i was doing 50/50 and on more days i was doing 20/80. yuck. and i was absolutely floored when i stepped on the scale last night and weighed about 10 pounds more than i was expecting. and i had already figured i was about 15 pounds over my healthy weight. i know you're thinking, 10 pounds? what's the big deal? but add that to 15, and you've got 25 pounds. and for all of us normal women, we know how hard it is to get rid of 25 pounds.

enter: #alittletoofluffy

my friend Danielle is awesome. and she and a group of gals were already planning to shed some of their extra fluff this new year, and asked if anyone else wanted to join in. well i did, obviously. the best part? we each put in $10 and the winner [highest percentage of weight lost] gets all the cash. is that not super motivating or what?

so that's what i'm doing when you see #alittletoofluffy on twitter or instagram.

to win the cash, i'll be doing no white sugar and no white flour. more veggies, less meat. essentially, processed food is out, and i have to be really intentional about what i'm doing for every single meal. i'll be doing insanity to work out. now, that isn't saying much, since it's the third time this year that i've started it, but i'm really motivated to finish this time. it's 60 days. i can do that, right?

well, i have zero tips on working out, because i have never been able to get in a routine, but i do know a bit about eating. so here ya go:

1 | PLAN AND PREPARE. i literally cannot stress this one enough, though the bold and all caps might have helped. for those times when i'm hungry, busy, bored, etc, it helps so much to have things already made, or ideas written out where i can see them. that way i'm not grabbing the first thing i see, the easiest thing to prepare, or what i just feel like having [see #2].

i'm in the process of writing out a big list to put on my refrigerator to give me ideas when i'm stumped or just don't feel like using my brain. it reminds me of what i absolutely cannot touch, and then the yummy things i can have. i broke it up into mealtimes and meal ideas to make it even simpler. it's not the prettiest thing but it'll serve its purpose just fine:

then in my refrigerator, i have three portioned-out containers with quinoa, some already-baked sweet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, a container of chopped cucumber and another one with chopped onion. they're just ready to go when i want to throw something together. i'll be making some chili, a veggie soup, and probably a few other things [maybe a bean salad?]

2| eliminate temptation: you guys, go through your pantry/freezer/fridge/secret stash, and THROW IT ALL OUT. seriously. throw it out, give it away, lock it up somewhere and give your husband the key. you will want it back, and you will be mad at yourself that you did this, but at least you'll have to get dressed, get the kids in the car, and go drive somewhere to get your fix. that's a lot of effort, so you'll most likely just go with carrots dipped in hummus, and that's a huge win! the biggest thing will be when you're at the store -- do not buy anything you don't want to be tempted by. just refuse to have it in your house.

3| keep a journal: even if you're not counting calories, which i'm not, it really does help to write down what you eat. it won't be a huge issue for me over the next few months since all that bad stuff up there is thrown out, but as a general idea it helps to know how many chocolate chips you just ate so you don't grab another handful two hours later. you know? i lose track of everything throughout the day and the hours just melt together. this is also a great way to feel good about yourself when the entire day is full of really awesome choices.

4| have some accountability: not to make you feel guilty, not to make you feel ashamed if you do eat a cupcake, but to make it fun! and to motivate you, and to kick your butt into gear when everyone else is getting their work out on and you're still rocking the baby to sleep because you're too lazy to get up. case in point:

5| give yourself grace: if it's going to be a lasting change, you can't make it miserable. by this, i mean: don't beat yourself up over every single mistake or "cheat". it will do you no good to look better in a couple months, but hate yourself for the times you messed up. it's a mindset and heart change, really. self-loathing never helped anyone accomplish anything. be positive and think about all the things you ARE doing.

do you have any other tips? please share! also, any working out tips are very welcome


  1. i love this. great tips too! i find that i need to plan cause i work at a place that sells groceries and i tend to head to the sweets instead of the good. thanks for the reminder.

  2. you are SO not alone. i find myself wondering how long i can consider the extra 10-15lbs "baby weight". i've started working out regularly as of... like... last week. because something's gotta change. i'm doing the chalean extreme program and have an accountability group that i think will be crucial in making this a life-change thing. and i also have big issues with sugar. like i crave it. i may or may not have eaten handfulls of marshmallows just to satisfy the craving only last week. so i'm cutting out processed and added sugar too (and following your advice and pitching the marshmallows and chocolate). i hope that will kick the craving to the curb!

    you got this!

  3. You go girl!! I totally agree with you on meal planning and having a list of good snacks. Number 2 is just SO difficult for me (throwing out the junk food), but I know I really need to do it!
    My other "tips", if you will, would be to still have some kind of healthier sweet to indulge in for when you just have to have that sweet fix. We try to limit ours to once a week. Also, this time around (meaning on this next upward slope of eating healthy--haha!), I'm going to keep track of our meal plans each week so that if I'm ever stumped, I can go back and just pick a meal plan from a week in the past.
    Now, three cheers for being healthy!!! :) :) :)

    1. my go-to "healthy" sweet is a brown rice cake with almond butter & honey. honestly, it's really really good and always satisfies that craving!

  4. this is a brilliant list my friend!! I am always working on planning meals, but school-time gets me. I'm too tired to cook and I drive by a pizza place on the way home... =\

    You've totally inspired me to cook more quinoa though; I have a ton and just do not know what to do with it.

    I am an almond butter fan, and one of my tricks is I will keep a tub of "almond butter with an oomph" handy for sweet cravings: almond butter, flax and sesame seed, honey and a bit of cinnamon. I will dip anything in it and it's amazing.

    and I love kettlebells for working out at home. You can do so many things with them and they require no more space than you'd use to do jumpingjacks :)

    1. LOVE almond butter. before the salmonella recalls, i was buying this kind from trader joes that had the flax in it and honestly i could eat the entire thing in one sitting if you let me! but they haven't sold it for awhile. i think i'll make my own like you described- that sounds sooo good!

  5. I've seen your name on instgram often and saw your blog on a sidebar on another blog so I clicked over. Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you. :)

    Go for it on Insanity!! My husband started 2012 with the Insanity exercise and nutrition program. I lost 30 pounds and I've kept it off. I love and hate Shaun T. Due to life circumstances I'm only supposed to be walking, but I may sneak in the recovery week work-out every so often.

    1. hi Angel! glad you're here :) i'm impressed with your 30lb weight loss! that's about how much i need to lose, although i'm not too fussy about the number. i'm more interested in inches, overall muscle tone, clothes fitting, and just being healthy. so if the number was 20 lbs, i'd be fine with that, if it met all those other criteria. i think insanity is just the ticket!


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