• Ashley Hart

Why I don't believe in "DIETS."

As women, we start at an early age with the pressure to have these certain body types or to dress or look a certain way in order to feel accepted by society. But for me this never made me feel secure with myself, and that should be the only acceptance you need as a young woman.


I have tried so many diets, cleanses, different exercises with the mindset of "if I do this I will be “beautiful" and that will make me happy"—This is tough to admit because looking back I just want to hug that girl and say “oh hunny, this is not the way”.


The month before I found out I was Pregnant with Linc, I was in the best shape I have ever been in my life. I worked out 6 days a week, weighed my food, and tracked all of my calories in an app. This works for some people don’t get me wrong, structure is sometimes needed in someone’s life and that’s just what works best for them to stay on track. But for me personally, it becomes mentally toxic and unhealthy and it consumes me to a point where if I would ever have a slip up, the guilt would destroy me.


This continued after I had Lincoln, losing my pregnancy weight consumed me and I let losing weight and getting back to my pre baby weight become more important than enjoying my days with my new little boy. (This is hard to think about). I lost the weight quickly, but did I feel better? No. Because that is within yourself, with how you love yourself, see yourself, and believe that you are the best version of yourself.


I woke up one morning and realized I was ready to put my mental health first, I fell in love with cooking again and started my food blog on Instagram, and somewhere along the way I realized what was important and what was sustainable.


My focus now is to eat intuitively, realistically and if I am craving something that I really want…I eat it. I typically pick a day on the weekend that I can get together with my friends or spend time with Matt and indulge on a yummy meal. 1 meal, not an entire weekend because this is how you get off track and make bad decisions. But typically I try and focus on REAL whole foods, foods without artificial flavors or ingredients and food that I can understand what ingredients are on the label.

I am not a big "snacker" because I find it boosts my hunger more, I stick to 3 good size full meals a day within my eating window (I do Intermittent fasting.)


I have learned what works best for my body and what foods make me feel fueled and full, and what foods make me feel sluggish and boost cravings. For me personally I enjoy a low carb diet, my body reacts well, and I am focused and energized. The key is to find alternatives that keep you satisfied to stay on track.


-Eat as much REAL Whole foods as you can.

-Protein is super important- you need amino acids ie: grass fed beef, chicken, wild salmon, eggs.

-Healthy fats-fatty acids, ie: avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, grass fed butter.

-Fibre—is so good for gut health: chia seeds, salads, flax seeds, greens.

-Fruit: fruit is sugar, yes its natural sugar but it’s still sugar, which then turns into carbs and stores as fat in your body—I tend to stick with dark berries that have a lot of fibre if I do have fruit- Smoothies I stick to ¼ cup max and fill the rest with micro greens and healthy fats to keep me full until my next meal.


Tips:

-Fruit free smoothies for breakfast

-Try Fasted workouts (this burns your stored fat)

-Swap your ingredients out for healthier alternatives ie: yogurt dressings, corn tortillas, gluten free/low carb options.

-Really read your labels- not so much your nutrition facts but what ingredients are in your food that can spike your insulin levels.


Depriving or cutting out foods that you love is a very easy way to set yourself up for binging, or a bad relationship with food which has been my main struggle and still work on this every week. I am a huge fan of swaps, I find healthier options or ingredients that I can substitute into my recipes to still enjoy a delicious meal or craving but in a healthier way for not only mental health but physical as well.


I lost count at many times I had a slip up which turned into a week of “oh I had that donut” so my day is ruined and I think okay now lets get sushi or lets get burgers tonight and well start fresh tomorrow, then it turned into “lets start Monday” or next week, or next month. Sound familiar?? There is nothing wrong with a treat meal here and there but its what you’re putting into your body that you need to be mindful and aware of what happens once that hits your blood stream and system.


I could go on about this stuff for hours, wellness and nutrition and the science behind it is truly my passion.


Which is why I am currently in the process of getting my Certification for Holistic Health and Nutrition so I can officially start taking clients soon for Coaching and Meal planning sessions.


SURPRISE.--So stay tuned for meal plans, health coaching, and more wellness posts. :)


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