Three square meals a day diet

The unglamorous, three square meals a day ‘diet’

Weight loss regimes and all things diet-related are a multi-billion dollar industry, companies market their products to us from dawn ‘till dusk.

Detox fads percolate through society and before long ‘detoxing’ and eating kale are suddenly the ‘in’ thing.

You can’t package a balanced diet and good night’s sleep in a glossy box so sawdust-like, green stuff in a box keeps flying off the shelves.

To be clear I am not a nutritionist, I merely write about the way I see modern life, please do not confuse this article as a substitute for sound, personalised advice from your medical professional!

For years fad-diets have made headline news; more recently celebrities’ detox diets are taken as gospel but I’ve given up paying much attention to the latest celebrity diets, detoxes and trends as each one appears to contradict the other; resulting in confusions and, I can only imagine, feeling rather hungry.

 

The Three Quare meals a day diet: www.Actualorganics.com

Variety of foods

 

I simply prefer a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet; boring I know.  We eat hearty, home-made stock-based stews and soups, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, a little meat, some cheese, and the occasional brownie – which lasts us for at least three days!

Perhaps one reason many diets fail is boredom. I enjoy my food.

Enjoying food is part of life; cultures the world over celebrate with preparing, sharing and enjoying a variety of foods within their community. There is joy in eating and rightly so, just thinking of your favourite food causes your mouth to produce saliva which aids digestion. Sticking only to ‘healthy’ (according to whom?) food or certain food groups is boring, and potentially detrimental.

The trendiest diet - love your body. ActualOrganics.com

Just eat food, don’t label it!

 

 

I’m not a vegan, nor a raw-foodie – well other than fruit and some salad I suppose.

Some days I feel like eating a big baked potato for lunch, another day a little bowl of soup appeals or perhaps a cheese sandwich, breakfast might be fruit and yoghurt, maybe porridge or occasionally bacon and eggs, they all have their place just not the same thing each and every day.

 

 

I eat smaller portions than most places serve and I also eat slowly, some say that is the key to good digestion.

A healthy body has it’s own detox system which includes the liver, kidneys, lungs, gut and skin. We just need to drink adequate liquid, eat a variety of fresh, wholesome foods, get sound sleep and take some exercise to help our body do it’s job.

 

The Mayo Clinic say that stress affects our digestion by suppressing it,[1]  we need sound digestion to process the food and benefit from it.  So reducing stress seems like a wise idea for all aspects of our life.

 

If your current way of eating causes you stress perhaps it is time to simplify things?

I’ll stick with my unglamorous ‘three square meals’ a day diet.

 

Further Reading:

5 reasons to embrace nature

Don’t skip your lunch hour, here’s why.

The Guardian: You can’t detox your body, so how do you get healthy? Read more.

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

5 reasons why you need to embrace nature

De-stress.

Stress is commonplace and it is even affecting our empathy and ability to show compassion to others, we need more compassion not less (read more).

 

Can you reduce stress in your life? Learn more. www.ActualOrganics.com

Exercise:

Lack of exercise and inactivity (as it is now known) is thought to kill more people than obesity (learn more).

Just 20 minutes brisk walking a day is enough to keep us on the right path to health but factoring it into your day is key, there’s no point sitting at a desk for eight hours and then flogging the gym. Learn more here.

 

Space and silence:

Time in solitude and silence is really important for our well being, it balances out the hectic ‘go go go’ lifestyle that many of us live; pulled in all directions by job commitments, pings on a smart phone (learn how to detox technology here), and our personal life.

Spending time in nature and walking, no head phones just peace and quiet helps to reduce the stress we feel.

In your lunch hour, take your lunch and walk to a park bench or walk around the block before you eat your lunch?

We actually recall memories better when we stop and close our eyes (learn more here).  I am a fan of palming the eyes and taking a break for five minutes, you can just blink a few times too and look out of the window give your eyes a different perspective to look at. Change is as good as a rest, so ‘they’ say!  I talk more about this in my book.

 

do you take a lunch break to eat and get fresh air?

Time out

When was the last time you had a cell phone ‘free’ day? Or is it the first thing you look at when you wake? Taking time out and changing our routine is no bad thing, it gives us an opportunity to assess if we are really doing what is best for our health and well being or simply ‘going through the motions’ of life.

Taking a lunch hour is really important, here’s why.

Ways you can take time out today, learn more.

 

Fresh air

Our homes in winter are an area where many chemicals – toxic and other wise – are found not least as we tend to open our windows a lot less in winter. Here are ways to detox your home by using non-toxic household cleaners and opting for simple, unrefined skin care.

 

Enjoy nature, get out into the countryside for your own wellbeing. www.ActualOrganics.com

Further reading:

Benefits of silence, learn more

Find time to do nothing today, learn more.

Are you wishing away time? Learn more

Buy The Radiant Woman’s Handbook here

 

 

Reset your life with simplicity

Reset your life with simplicity does it sound appealing?

It’s possible and will change your life. It takes commitment but here are some simple ways to get started and ensure that you stick with it.

No one is suggesting you do it all at once, starting slowly may suit you but also doing it in one go may suit you. We are all different.

I have found that it builds so starting to de-clutter a drawer inspires me to look at my clothes and get rid of (to a consignment store or charity shop) sweaters I do not use any more, for example.

That leads to me thinking: “Ooh I’ll tidy a kitchen drawer” and that looks ends up looking fantastic that I then tidy a bookshelf the next day or weekend. I don’t do it all day everyday (obviously) but I am de-cluttering more often than not these days. The result?

I get joy when I look about the house, I feel at peace that I am not surrounded by things I do not use or want. I have books I refer to and enjoy reading, and clothes I enjoy wearing. I also realise I do not, repeat NOT, need to go shopping!

 

How you can start…

Download my free decluttering-plan

Decide you’ll do it, that is half the battle committing to starting, or at least it was for me!

 

 

Simplify your life, de-clutter, budget and reset with these simple tricks. www.ActualOrganics.com

Choice

There is too much choice, and that overwhelms us and can prevent us from making decisions. Cutting back on choice through limiting the amount of media we consume is one way to start.

Think about the choices you make everyday, can you simplify them?

 

Can choice be too much? Simplify things! www.ActualOrganics.com

 

Consumerism and comparisons

Consumerism is everywhere, television, mobile phones, internet and magazines, the radio all vying for our attention and hard-earnt money.  Learn how to avoid getting caught up in consumerism.

Consumerism,  as I say in my book, is designed to make us feel inadequate so that we buy something.  Learn more.

Shops are sneaky and manipulate how their structure their prices and offers, this is a must-read article it will change how you look at a restaurant menu and pricing in stores and online!

Comparisons can be healthy and drive us to make changes but when they are constant and result in negative self-talk that is when it is wise to quit the comparisons.

 

Could you have a day where you 'buy nothing'? www.ActualOrganics.com

 

Buy Nothing Month

This is one way to reset your life, literally buying nothing for a month, only essential fresh food is allowed! It helps to get us out of the habit of buying, which is a money-saving tip too!

Learn more about a Buy Nothing Month.

Learn to simplify your bedroom

How to simplify your email inbox

 

Further reading:

FREE DOWNLOAD  Actual-Organics-decluttering-plan

Meal planning guide download, download it here.

How to create a healthy habit

3 ways consumerism ruins us, learn more.
Follow us: @actualorganics on Twitter | actualorganics on Facebook
©Actual OrganicsTM -2015 This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved – ActualOrganics

 

Choice enemy of happiness

 

As I was deciding what to watch on television while I did the ironing today, I realized there’s too much choice.

I recently joined Netflix Canada and WOW there is a huge amount of choice, fortunately including all the great British TV dramas.

 

Can choice be too much? Simplify things! www.ActualOrganics.com

Choice: enemy of happiness.

We have the illusion that choice is a good thing. I am not sure that too much choice is a good thing. We are hugely fortunate, living in British Columbia, where we have an inordinate number of choices about everything in all areas of our life.

So many places throughout the world are struggling to breaking point; either through war, ripping the very fabric of society apart, creating refugees and immense suffering, or horrific illness taking hold, bringing fear, division and crippling grief.

 

Immense material choice can be toxic and create unhappiness when really there is no real reason for it.  (tweet that!) 

If there were only two kinds of coffee beans in the shop, we’d buy one or other and likely be grateful for having them. Having a choice of organic, fair trade, shade-grown and 40 different brands means we stand wondering, “Did I buy the right one?”

Yes, we’ve all been there! On matters larger than our bag of coffee such as phones, clothes, cars and other “necessities” the stress or anxiety can be proportionally greater.

I’m not suggesting we get all “Pollyanna,” but simplifying life and having less stuff means we have to make less choices. This can bring a deep sense of gratitude and peace when vast choice becomes less appealing.

Acceptance of “enough” is just that, enough. (Brene Brown writes more about this).

 

Why choice is the enemy of happiness

As I say in more depth in my book: “advertising gives the impression that you are not good enough, young enough, clever enough or healthy enough or whatever the advert is selling.”

Such choice creates a sense of inadequacy, which is largely unfounded.

You are you, not perfect, likely a bit of a mess (we all are, aren’t we?) and perhaps need a bit more sleep, but you’re you. Unique. As it says in Ephesians 2:10 “I am God’s workmanship.” Pretty cool to know, or at least I think so!

 

This January, I am taking my own advice and adopting simplicity, being organized and doing less. I’m also doing a Buy Nothing January.

 

You read that right, I am doing less. Less is more. I am not overloading my schedule; I am accepting I can’t do it all.

 

I am savouring the simple things: a walk with a friend, a letter from family, a home-cooked meal and leaving the washing up until morning!

I am meal planning (download a free planner) which takes away the choice of “what’s for dinner” at 5 p.m. I already know at 9 a.m. and the day feels easier, somehow, having planned meals for the day and week.

Happiness is not my circumstances, happiness is a conscious personal decision to seek peace through simplicity each day rather than putting immense pressure on myself and feeling bad.

You have a choice today. Will you grab the fun, crazy, messy thing that is called life? Yes? Good, the world needs you to be you.

– See more at: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/columnists/non-toxic-living-why-choice-is-the-enemy-of-happiness-1.1728684#sthash.Yc1pGxMB.dpuf

What Buy Nothing January means

I have (perhaps rather rashly) decided to do a Buy Nothing January

That is that you buy nothing which is not absolutely essential in the month of January, which is a good month to do it as many people have maxed out their credit cards in the run up to the holidays. What actually appealed for me is a sort of full house detox.

Clearing everything out. Using what we have. Tidying things up. Taking stock and most important of all simplifying my life.

I must confess I got the idea from having read a blog on Living Well and Spending Zero (read it here) I thought I would modify it to suit my life, my readers and actually make it easier to do.

 

Can you create simplicity in your life? www.ActualOrganics.com

 

What Buy Nothing January means

The concept behind my Buy Nothing January is partly to prove that I can do it and as the name suggests buy nothing January means buy nothing!  But buy nothing I do not mean ‘buy absolutely nothing’ but more just buy nothing wasteful, superfluous or on a whim (so the January sales emails are being deleted!) I must not buy things out of laziness when I have food at home and yes that requires planning but is perfectly good.

Maybe you don’t buy anything on a whim already, well done you. I however do! I like the wait 24 hours rule before buying anything to beat consumerism (learn more here).

I will not buy a new packet of pasta when there are three nearly finished packets in the cupboard, I will simply have a spaghetti Bolognese with different shaped pasta! Use it up, that’s the theme here, resist sales and temptations. I know I do not need them to make me happy, I’m happy already so why do I get tempted to buy a new jumper (sweater) or notebook – I have lots of notebooks!

How to take part in Buy Nothing January:

 

Take stock of what food you have in your home before buying more! www.ActualOrganics.com

 

 

Inventory.

Yes, an inventory sounds arduous and BORING, it isn’t. It is money-saving and liberating. Honest.

Get a notebook (as I mentioned I have a few!) and go through your cupboards, you’ll be surprised what you have lurking there.

I had three different types of rice, and gluten free and normal pasta! I now can plan to use these up. I will have more space in my cupboards and find things easily. I’ll also make sure that nothing goes out of date, which when there is more in a cupboard I risk doing. I hate food waste.

I have done a full inventory of my larder, which has rice and beans, tins, jars of marmalade which I’ve made and I have a well-stocked freezer. But am I using it effectively? No, but I will be now as I have a full list of what is in there and I cross it off (check today I used sweet corn ✔︎ rice noodles ✔︎ and chicken stock✔︎ ) when I use it.

So I now know that I have mint sauce in the cupboard, I also know having done the inventory of the deep freeze (freezer) that I have a leg of lamb. I’m going to marry them up, we have friends coming over, and have a roast leg of lamb that will last us for a many meals.

 

Planning

Get my meal planner download here.

With your new list of items that you have in the freezer and cupboard you can now plan what meals to cook.  This takes planning and if you don’t have many cook books a trip to the library for ideas. I find meal planning is a habit but one in the month of January you can master. Learn more about forming habits here.

Simple stews and slow-cooked meals are handy if you have a busy job or family to care for. I love this slow cooker roast chicken recipe, if you find a chicken in the freezer!  What about using the remaining chicken to make rissoles, they are cheap and easy to make.

 

Resist temptation.

I have been sent (and we are only on January 2nd) eight emails from companies trying to make me part with my money, some are clothes companies, others are bloggers selling their ‘must-have’ courses, and a natural deodorant company telling me that I need 50% off the deodorant. Whilst 50% off is nice that isn’t much good if I already have a good non-toxic deodorant on the go which will last me until at least March!

Un-subscribe to tempting emails in January, a 70% off clothing sale is only good if you actually want the clothes! It is not a bargain if you don’t want it really and can’t afford it.

Buying things does not make you happy, in fact not buying things, or stuff, often gives rise to feeling happier in general.

Actually experiences top the happiness ratings as we can re-live them in our mind. I can’t but wonder if a fun day out isn’t more fun as there is no clutter to show for it but great memories!  Lavishing gifts on a person is not really a substitute for lavishing your time and attention, and to a certain extent that is free.

So this January, will you join me in “Buy Nothing January” I did just buy some fresh vegetables but they don’t count, well in my version of the buy nothing January they don’t, they are essential as far as I am concerned.

You’ll may well save money as simply buying food is unusual for many of us, over the month we do buy the odd little thing here and there but not in January! Here’s to a simplified 2015.

Be sure to share how you are going on Twitter or Facebook.

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When you subscribe to regular updates, you will receive a free sneak peek copy of my first book The Radiant Woman’s Handbook
 

How to lose weight in 2015

Weight, a heavy burden but I am not talking physical weight or how your jeans fit, more the weight of ‘stuff’, societal clutter, financial and household pressures on your life that weigh you down and rob you of your happiness or sleep.

Sure what you eat matters but I also think we are too quick to opt for lettuce and smoothies (which often adds more stress) without looking at whether we have excessive clothes in our wardrobe, are taking on too much or have piles of papers that ‘weigh’ us down.  Food isn’t the cause of all our issues!

 

How to lose weight in 2015

Have a clear set of rules about how you wish to live your life.

 

 

Unless you invest the time to find out what you really think, believe, and hold as a core value it is too easy to be heavily influenced by the ever-changing whims of society that often doesn’t have your best interests at heart, merely wanting you to buy a ‘new’ bright shiny expensive item rather than evaluate that the lastest fashion top (gadget or item) looks only-mildly different to last years one which you didn’t wear, or use, anyway.

 

 

find out what you believe, and what your values are. www.ActualOrganics.com

 

What is important to you?

It will be different for everyone but honour yourself and spend 30 minutes before New Year and find out what really is a priority for you in 2015.

 

It might be to lose the weight of debt, I hear Dave Ramsey writes good things, it might be to have more time for yourself, or it may be to de-clutter your home.

Ask yourself what are you doing that you can let go of in 2015?

Perhaps you want more time with your children? Ask, how can you make that happen?  Set goals, start habits (learn more here).

Often it is not until illness or a crisis hits that we evaluate life, these ‘testing’ times allow us to actually S L O W down long enough to realise that the things we were doing were not the best for us, perhaps.

These are by no means exhaustive but some ideas to get you started. Be sure to share your ideas on Twitter or the Facebook page.

 

Lose the negative self-talk

This is a great weight for many women I know. “My fat thighs” they say or “my wrinkly skin” we are all ageing but we don’t have to be unkind about our body. We all do it to a greater or lesser extent though but as I mention in Chapter Two of my book (buy it here) “Words Have Power, Lots of It” learn why the words we say about  yourself are very important.

Opt in 2015 to speak kind words, words that build you up, even if you don’t believe them at first but start small. Start being kind about yourself, I found that I had to just start even though I did not believe I was ‘clever’ or ‘beautiful’ but over the years I believe far more positive words about myself rather than the barrage of negative that I used to believe.

 

Get daily outside time

The weight of to-do lists often can seem more important than a brisk walk or exercise but I would argue that the kitchen floor can be grubby but daily outside time is crucial.

I love walking, as you likely know from reading my blog, I aim for half an hour a day at least outside, come rain or shine but it is significantly easier when it is cold and sunny than raining or snowing heavily!  I aim for 10,000 steps a day.  That keeps me fit and I sleep well as a result.

When I am busy as I am at the moment, with a family member ill, I have to set an alarm and make myself go out and accept that the ironing stays in the basket or the house looks messy! Yes I have simplified but I also celebrate mess in the house, it shows that it is welcoming and inviting – or at least that is my theory and I’m sticking to it!

Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and save time aside for it.  Running is not my thing, I run to catch the bus, that’s it. I prefer walking or Nia something gentle but fun. I don’t enjoy the gym or stressing my body. Find what works for you. Seek balance.

Is your posture affected by your phone? Learn more.

 

Get sleep

Scientists increasingly are stating that sleep is very important as is what we eat when it comes to obesity.  Read more about it here.

Think about it, in the last twenty years we have changed a lot of things in our lives; we now have 24 hour news, gadgets that can connect to the internet all day, no more dial up and quick check of emails, bear with me as this is important. By having all these distractions, no longer are we sitting in a coffee shop contemplating the world without distraction, now it is our smart phone or tablet sending messages, updates and stress. We go to bed having watched television (or at least many people do) and perhaps read an ebook on a tablet (learn why that isn’t a good idea!) and we work longer hours.

Sleep has been pushed to the sidelines and that needs to stop. We must reclaim our sleep. Sleep is so important I have a whole chapter on it in my book The Radiant Woman’s Handbook. Sleep is affected by bright tablet or phone screens, learn more in my book.

In my book you will learn why we must prioritise sleep (buy it here) how to make your sleep good and what to do to avoid the common mistakes in getting enough sleep.  Think of puppies and dogs they know when to sleep, we could learn from them!

 

Oh and if you want my diet secrets, read them here.

Perhaps a manifesto for 2015 will inspire you, here’s mine.

 

©Actual OrganicsTM -2014 This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved – ActualOrganics