Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year's Resolution #3: Healthy Living // TLP Style (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted my New Year's Resolution #3 (Part 1) and today is the day for the final wrap up of my goals (decisions) for 2014. You can read about the first two decisions here and here. As I mentioned, I'm in a season of focusing on the physical area of my life and living in Total Life Pursuit in that area. Yesterday was about working out and today is all about food.
Getting to the next level of physical fitness in my body for me is not just about the burn, but also about the fuel. What goes in my mouth! Okay, in my honest opinion, this is the real reason why people make the diet/workout resolutions every year. Even if you don't work out, this is where your physical health really starts. What we put into our bodies is so important, not just for our weight but for our overall total health, for lack of disease, for vitality, for old age to feel good. Who wants old age to feel bad? Who wants to spend the last good years of their life unable to do the things they love, have energy, or even just get out of bed without pain. Some of that starts with moving and grooving and working out like I said in Part 1. But seriously, food is the complete other half of this! 

Little known secret about me, if I weren't a communications specialist I would totally be some kind of nutritionist. I love food. But recently in life (since being pregnant, growing a human life, and feeding a baby), I've developed a serious passion for learning how to make food healthier for my family. So where does TLP come into this and getting to the next level of healthy eating? 

To start 2014 with a healthy eating bang, as most intend to do, our pastor put us to the TLP challenge. A Healthy Start 7 challenge to be exact.  This healthy start was mainly focused around food, but not just physical food. It also included spiritual food, physical challenges and more to bring your physical life in line with your spirit. Lining up the areas of your life is the TLP way after all. So eating healthy in this challenge wasn't just to look better, feel better or choose better food for our bodies. It was all of these things, but at the core, the focus was to have our eating and the food we chose for our bodies for an entire week be dedicated completely to God. 

The meal plan our pastor and his amazing daughter-in-law (a knowledgeable and experienced nutritionist - you can read her amazing blog Health + Happy for all things health, nutrition, beauty, and amazingness!) put together was based on the Daniel Plan. There are various versions of the plan out there; this one included fasting from all breads, meats, dairy, sugar/junk food, and alcohol. You can see the Healthy Start 7 meal plan here

This meal plan was a true challenge. What would I feed my husband? Would he stick to it with me? Could we really eat that much quinoa?! Forget the living without sweets for a week...big deal, I don't have a huge sweet tooth anyway, although this was still tough. For me the struggles were:  How could I go without my normal proteins, my after-workout whey protein that I love, and salty foods like the occasional potato chip? And would it be enough food? What would we eat?!

It turned out it wasn't hard to get plenty of food (and, yes, my wonderful husband stuck to this with me with flying colors - proud wifey!). This 7 day challenge opened my eyes to a whole new way of eating and nutrition. I learned new ways to combine foods and think about what I should or shouldn't eat at any given meal. I realized you really can have an amazing and filling dinner plate of purely vegetables. I brought more "dinner" foods onto my breakfast plate. I found new, fun ways to utilize leftovers without incorporating a bad carbohydrate in some way. I discovered I don't really miss meat anywhere close to how much I thought I would... wow!

Best of all, I learned a new level of discipline about eating. Eating to live a vital life is so different than eating to merely sustain life. Dedicating my eating to God brought me to a new level of just how amazing and wonderfully he designed our bodies. If you feed your body well, it will function well. No brainer, right? We all know sugar and other unhealthy foods make us lethargic and have countless ailments, yet we think, "Oh, just this once..." or whatever we tell ourselves. Before this fast, I definitely snacked when I knew I shouldn't have and would often eat late in the evening because I didn't get enough good food during the day.  If you struggle with these types of eating habits, I would greatly encourage you to try Healthy Start 7. Fasting from the things we struggle with is an amazing way to give the struggle over to God. He will cleanse it from you and give you a fresh start!

So what is Part 2 of my New Year's Resolution #3?

Resolution #3? (Part deux): I've decided to continue to grow in my journey of learning healthier ingredients, eating habits, and cooking techniques. I am going to eat to live, rather than live to eat. I want to enjoy good food that is good for me. And if I really enjoy a food that isn't good for me I at least want to attempt at finding a healthier alternative (or seriously limit my intake of the not so healthy choice!). I want to feed my family healthy, nutritious yet deliciously homemade foods that nourish their life in more ways than one! 

Annnddd, the fun part for all of you about this final resolution? I plan to blog my healthy discoveries, alternatives and successes with food here on the ahomebeautiful blog. Food is such a core of our home. I feel like I'm always in the kitchen since I make most of our meals and I find myself saying "I should blog that" a lot. So, this year I intend to do just that, starting with all of our adventures with Healthy Start 7 starting tomorrow. Stay tuned and enjoy!

Follow my other healthy recipes found under Good Eats

Check out resolutions #1#2, and #3 (part 1).

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