This week I am starting a new series called the “Get Healthy and Happy Project”. The aim behind the series is to demonstrate that there are many and varied approaches to “healthy” eating and lifestyle. There’s no one-size fits all way to live – food choices included! The most important thing is just to do something to move towards finding a healthier and happier you.
So What’s it About?
Each week I will feature interviews from people I follow (and love!) in the “health & wellness” field. As you will see, each has a different take on diet but all are healthy and happy!
I also have a few lovely followers who have put their hand up to try and change some of their eating habits…with me as their “support crew”. So I’ll publish some of the things they think and feel as we go.
So to start, I thought maybe I should answer the questions I have set for everyone else! You will see they are slightly different for each participant, depending on their “area of expertise”.
As I have said a lot of this before…I won’t rant…but I’ve included links if you want to read more!
What was it that made you decide you needed to change your diet and toxin exposure?
I’ve had various points in my life where I have thought I need to make changes. And I’ve made a few. But nothing really ever “stuck”. I’ve done gluten free before now, I’ve done low fat, counted calories, been a gym junkie, followed a high protein diet, drank shakes and so on. It wasn’t really until after I had my first baby that I started to really think about my diet properly. As in what we are really putting in our mouths. And that’s when I quit sugar…and have never gone back (18 months or so later)! I wrote a huge post about that so if you would like to know more check it out (I won’t bore you again!).
I also started thinking about our exposure to chemicals in everyday products (cleaning and cosmetics). This is something I haven’t gone into too deeply yet on the blog but we will get there I promise! But in brief since having babies I’ve been paying much more attention to what chemicals I surround us with. It freaks me out how many chemicals are in everything we use and because it’s not food we don’t necessarily question it. I think we need to return to a simpler approach to living – do we really need a hundred products to keep a house clean? Probably not. But that’s another post.
How would you summarise your view on food now (i.e. how do you decide what to eat etc.)?
I focus on eating real, nourishing food, food that will help me be heathy and happy and therefore the best mum I can be for my girls. I don’t like labels, but if I had to describe it I follow a low fructose diet and am now also trying to reduce my gluten intake. I guess you could say I “JERF”. But I don’t obsess about it and I really enjoy eating good food now. For anyone wondering, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything and I don’t feel bad when I walk into a café and don’t eat the cake. It’s all good.
What about chemicals?
This is an area I’m still working on (and I have a lot coming up for you all!) but I try to keep everything very simple. To clean the house I mostly use Enjo, bi-carb and white vinegar. I make my own laundry powder and don’t use fabric softeners or stain removers.
As far as beauty products go, I’m still working on this as I haven’t been happy with a lot of the more organic based make-ups I‘ve tried. But with everything else I keep it very simple – I use coconut oil as a moisturiser, I make my own masques, I have an Enjo glove I use to remove make-up and I ‘m trying a few different organic face washes (I won’t mention them as I’m not 100% happy yet).
For the girls I’m very selective about what creams, bath washes and lotions I use (I avoid products with parabens and fragrances, that kind of thing) but….yes they wear disposable nappies and I use baby wipes.
How do you feel now you have made your diet and lifestyle changes?
Excellent. Healthy. Happy. Easy! Ok I’ll add a bit more to that. My IBS has disappeared, I rarely get headaches anymore (ok some of that might be from not working in my stressful accounting job!) and generally I feel good.
Everyone is scared that going “sugar free” means you are somehow missing out things because you can’t eat yummy food. But the opposite is true! I have the best relationship with food that I’ve ever had and I eat the yummiest things. I don’t see food as something I have just to fit into a certain amount of kilojoules per day. I see it as something to sustain me – which sounds odd but it is a much easier state to be in!
What do you do now that makes you feel really “happy”? Did you always know this made you happy? If not, how did you work that out?
Being a serial worrier, over thinker and perfectionist this is something I have always struggled with. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy and I’ve always had a generally positive outlook on life – but when you have an overactive imagination you can really get caught up on stupid stuff!
So to be really happy – I have to make sure I give myself a chance to switch my mind off.
So for me it took me awhile to work out what I need to incorporate into my daily routine to make this happen. For me, the biggest thing is exercise. I just need to get outside sometimes and walk. Fresh air in the lungs does wonders! Getting out in the sun and forgetting about my to-do lists really, truly makes me happy!
I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised some of the simplest things really are the best (corny I know).
For someone who is looking to change their diet, how do you recommend they start?
Read labels! Try and understand what is in the food you are buying and eating. Focus on trying to eat more fresh food. Basically you can assume a large amount of the food your purchase has something in it you shouldn’t be eating! So try and eat more fruit and vegetables.
Start slowly and don’t beat yourself up if you make a slip up. Don’t try and completely change everything in one go – it will probably overwhelm you!
So would you like to know who will be featured? Ok here goes!
- Rachael from rachaelallanah.com
- Emma and Carla from The Merrymaker Sisters
- Jenine from Foodness for Goodness
- Sarah from The Raw Food Mum
- Caryn from A Little Bag of Sunshine (new site coming soon!)
- Jenine from Mums with Bubs Fitness
So each week I will publish the questions each has answered (and possibly share some great recipes!). I would love for you to not only read their post, but visit their site and check out what they have to offer!
For those of you playing along on Instagram (sorry I keep mentioning it but I have just fallen in love with yet another social media platform), feel free to add #healthierhappier to your pictures that show how you live “healthy and happy”!
I hope this series introduces you to some different people to follow, alternative ways to approach your diet and inspires you to make some changes! We need to forget trying to fit into a “label” and just do what works for us.
What do you think? Is there anyone else you would like to hear from that I’ve missed?