How to Stay Motivated
“you cannot ‘find’ motivation, you must create it!” - yoga-body
Take it One Day at a Time
Don’t worry about tomorrow, focus on today. Focus on eating right for today, make it your goal for the day, and repeat it tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
“Change your thoughts, and you change your world”, it’s really true. Think you can, and you can do anything. Think positive, breathe positive, live positive, be positive as much as possible. Focus on the solution, rather than the problem. Surround yourself with good people, good food (food that’s good for you), and good thoughts.
Create a Dream Board
Bring your dreams to life. Look at them every day. Never lose sight of what you want. Fill it with your favourite quotes and pictures to inspire you.
Visualize Accomplishing your Goals
If your goal is to lose weight, create a mental picture of yourself having already achieved it. What will you look like, feel like, and move like when you have accomplished that goal? Living as if you are already there makes realizing your vision something you focus on daily.
Make Realistic Goals
Ask yourself what you want. What do you want from life? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be? And make realistic goals. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream body, it just means realizing that it won’t happened overnight. Make S.M.A.R.T goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Time-bound goals.
Reward Yourself, Be Kind to Yourself & Recognize your Progress
When you know you have been good to your body, treat yourself! Find a reward that inspires you- a new pair of sneakers or workout outfit, a new music CD for your walk or pamper your feet with a pedicure for all of your efforts. Give yourself a hug once in awhile! Train hard, eat right, sleep well, but once a week, allow yourself an indulgence. Enjoy your favorite dessert, get a massage, or simply take some time for yourself to relax.
It’s Okay to Cheat!
Once in a while, cheating will keep you on track! Planning a cheat, whether it’s a snack, a meal, a weekend or a week vacation, can make all the difference in the world. Allowing yourself a little “controlled” wiggle room, you can avoid falling off the wagon. And once your “cheat” is done, go right back to your plan.
Forget about the Scale
Focus on how you’re life is changing, on how you feel. Focus on how you’ve changed. Focus on the inches lost, the muscle gained. Focus on how much better you’re becoming and how much you’re gaining. Alternatively, weigh yourself once a week, or even once a month. Measure your entire body monthly as well. Take one picture of yourself daily in the same outfit for the duration of your journey.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Focus on yourself, on creating the best you possible. Remember that everyone is different, everyone has their own experiences, and their own unique imperfections. Different people are at different stages at different times. Comparing yourself to others can lead to bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy and even unhealthy competition.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
Learning to Live: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Urbancaseymariee’s Top 13 Nutrition Tips:
- Have fruit every breakfast. Breakfast is the best time to load up on vitamin rich fruits, such as bananas, kiwi, mango, apple, peaches and plums. I like 1/4 of 2-3 of these fruits on a nice bed of raw steel cut oats with almond milk and cinnamon. While fruit is technically high in sugar, don’t be scared of it— it is one of the healthiest things you can fuel your body with for a long day. All the antioxidants and vitamins will ensure you have an amazingly healthy kick-start.
- Think of food as vitamins and minerals more than anything. When I pair fruits and vegetables together, I think of it as unlocking different minerals and vitamins. For example, I always put citrus in my spinach salad because vitamin C helps absorb iron. And while it is proven that you do not have to match up foods to unlock their nutritional value, it does help greatly with absorption. It is KEY that you ensure you have a VARIETY of fruits and veggies, so that you are consuming a plethora of different benefits. So instead of eating 3 apples a day, try having a kiwi or orange (vitamin C), Banana (K), and Mangoes (K and Vitamin A). The more variety, the more benefit!
- Eat every 2-3 hours to boost metabolism. If you eat proper portions every 2-3 hours, your body will be less likely to go into starvation mode and more likely to feel fueled. You want to ensure your body feels as though you are in an environment where food is surplus— it will therefore be less tempted to store fat by means of having a palpable energy supply.
- Limit animal products and by-products. I can not STRESS this point enough. Casein is your enemy, and heme iron as well. You do not have to agree with me— many don’t— but I vouch for a vegan diet when possible. My reasons can be summed up in this video.
- Ditch counting calories. Nothing was more detrimental than counting calories for me. Sure, I lost weight faster. Sure, I learned about the nutritional content of certain foods and learned how to manage my portion sizes— But past that, I got obsessive. Here’s my deal: If you feel like you need to learn what I mentioned above, then count calories (on myfitnesspal, where you can look at your micronutrient values and LEARN about what you consume) ONLY UNTIL you ‘get it’. You know what’s a portion size, you know how many calories a banana is, etc. Once you ‘get it’, just stop. Once I kicked calorie counting to the curb, I stopped bingeing, got more energy, and more confident, and only gained 6 lbs back. And wow— that may seem scary— but eating disorders are much scarier to me than being healthy.
- Drink water between meals. Doing this (instead of drinking water only with meals) will allow the body to properly use it’s digestive juices when your finished with your meals instead of being diluted by water. By skipping water at meal times, you will therefore have better absorption of essential nutrients, and digest your food better. That being said, drink tons of water between meals to boost metabolism and more benefits!
- Find your staple go-to health foods. Whether it be steal cut oats, a tofu scramble, a special spinach stirfry, soup, or fruit salad, find your favorite staple healthy meals AND ingredients (some of mine are oats, cinnamon, almond milk, tofu, and raspberries) and wa-la, healthy meals come easier!
- Refueling is key. EAT after you workout— preferably a vegan protein shake with almond milk (Warrior blend is amazing). If that’s not your thing, try whey. It is essential that the muscles are rebuilt after your workout, it is non-negotiable.
- Fiber is your new best friend. Keeps your fuller, longer— helps clear the colon— is amazing for the intestines, extremely high in non heme iron and 0g of sugar. I take rolled or steel cut oats, raw, in almond milk. Pile high with any ingredients of your choice!
- Fat is not the enemy, sugar is. Specifically, cane sugar. FAT does not make you fat, sugar is the addictive source of all fat-logging problems. The less sugar you consume, the less you will crave it. Avoid ARTIFICIAL sugars at all cost (this does not include fruits!
- Keep your body guessing. Eat different meals every single day, whether it be a new combo on your oats or a new type of veggie. It will ensure your body gets plenty of nutrients and a variety of what it needs— and will be more likely to shed fat because it won’t be in a completely steady state. (Be sure to get vitamin B12 through fortified foods or a vitamin pill, and some selenium through seaweed salad or brazil nuts each week!)
- Eat alkaline foods more often. This is key. The more alkaline foods you eat, the better your body will function. There have been many studies done on this— to find a chart of most-alkaline (awesome) foods and most acidic (bad, ie cane sugar) check this out HERE (includes a description of why to eat alkaline). Fyi, lemon and lemon juice have an alkalizing affect on the body— weird, huh? :)
- Eat Plant Based >80% time. I think one of the best books you can ready is “Healthy Eating, Healthy World” to promote a plant-based diet at least 80% of the time. When doing so, you’re not only helping the environment, world hunger, and the economy, but you are helping YOUR BODY. When eating plant-based, you expose your body to so many more vitamins and minerals you would otherwise miss when consuming dairy and meat products. Not only that, but the fiber found in fruits and vegetables is incredibly good for your body. It is said that eating 2 handful of nuts is equivalent to running 4 hours a week (via video from #4) and that even 5,000 hours in the gym can not equate to the health benefits of eating vegan for one week. And while plant-based does not mean being completely vegan, making the jump to eating almost entirely plant-based is one of the best things you can do for your body, ever.
Let me know if you have any questions!! <3
The Cheap Vegan Pantry: What You Need and What Must Go
So you decided to start eating healthy and maybe even vegan but you’re worried about staying on track. One way to guarantee you won’t slip up is to clean out those temptation items and restock the pantry.
So first determine a goal
The Cheap Vegan Goal: The goal of this blog is to provide ways for people to eat healthy and vegan on a low budget. The posts I write tend to be focused on eating whole (non processed) foods affordably while getting the daily recommended nutrients. This pantry guide will reflect that.
What Can Stay
When you’re going through your pantry look at each item and ask yourself these questions:
- Are all ingredients vegan? (list of non-vegan ingredients here)
- Do I know what each of these ingredients are?
- Could I find all of these ingredients in nature?
- Are there less than 10g of sugar in a suggested serving of this food?
- Is this an unprocessed whole food?
- Is this caffeine free?
- Can I cook normally without this food?*
If your answer to all these questions is “yes” then it’s 100% good to go.
If you had to answer “no” to 1 or more of these questions, you need to evaluate if that item is worth keeping. Being truly conscious of what your eating is the first step to eating healthier. Knowing that you don’t know the last 20 items in the oreo’s ingredients list might help you think twice before eating one again.
**If you answered “no” to 3/6 of the questions and you answered “yes” to number 7, chuck it. It’s not like you can never eat those foods again, but keeping them out of your house will help you cut down.
Also Note: Some items such as sugar for baking are a little different. You might want to get rid of white sugar and switch to raw sugar or agave, but you might not find it necessary to eliminate all sugar from your life.
That brings us to alterations. Taking our favorite staples and upgrading them.
- White pasta -> Whole Wheat Pasta or Ezekiel Pasta
- White Flour -> Whole Wheat Flour or Buckwheat Flour
- White Sugar -> Agave Nectar, Raw Sugar, Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- White Rice/Cous Cous -> Brown Rice, Quinoa Seeds
- Vegetable Oil -> Extra Virgin Olive Oil (salad) Virgin Olive Oil (sautee) Canola Oil (high heat)
- Table Salt -> Sea Salt
I’m not going to mislead you, some of these ingredients are slightly more expensive than their less-healthy counterparts, but the extra $1 is worth your health. These are the basic building blocks of all of your meals, save money on the perishable stuff you have to buy weekly.
Now that you’ve tossed and exchanged, here are some cheap vegan basics:
Must Have Shopping List!
- Nutritional Yeast - A great source of vitamin B12, a great unique flavor, great for satisfying those cheesy cravings.
- Cashews and Walnuts - Nuts are a great source of protein and cashews are in a lot of vegan recipes, especially raw vegans. Walnuts are a vegan source of Omega 3s and are great in salads and stir fry. Having some nuts to throw in to a meal is always a good choice, not to mention a quick fix when you want a snack.
- Brown Rice
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Quinoa - Learn more about quinoa here.
- Beans - Beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron. Stock up on a variety of beans/legumes so you can see what works for you and keep what you like. If you’re not a big fan of beans learn to like them by using some Cheap Vegan tricks found here.
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Herbs and Spices - Here are the basic must haves: Basil*, Cilantro*, Oregano*, Thyme*, Cumin, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper/Crushed Red Pepper, Chilli Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder (**spices are expensive, growing an herb garden with these plants will definitely save you money and add class your meals)
- (Extra) Virgin Olive Oil - Oil is expensive. Buy a giant bottle of Olive Oil at BJs or Costco and then refill an olive oil drizzler to cut down on waste and save money.
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce - Use as a sweetener or an egg replacer in baking.
- Granola - Can be used as a snack, breakfast, or even dessert. Granola is a great staple to keeping you full and is a nice replacement for a sweet treat.
- Vegetable Bouillon Cubes - Great flavor booster.
- Ener-G Egg Replacer - Great for baking, pancakes, and an emergency thickener.
- Corn Starch - A must have thickener for all types of sauces and soups.
- B-12 Vegetarian Supplement - B12 is very important for vegans to keep track of since you can only find it in animal food sources. Many cereals and drinks are fortified with B-12 but it’s good to take a vegan daily vitamin to be sure you’re getting enough.
- Onions and Garlic
- Oat Meal - Use in baking or for breakfast.
- Potatoes - Preferably small red, purple, or other colorful potatoes.
- Sea Salt
- Hot Sauce - If all else fails during your kitchen experiments, it’s always nice to have some Cholula on hand to spice up a meal.
Next Step: Buying Food to Match Your New Basics
While you’re at the grocery store keep the same questions in mind. If you would have thrown it out when you renovated your pantry, don’t buy it now! Eventually you’ll learn what works for you. And always…
- Buy store brands to save money.
- Try to buy unprocessed whole foods. You’ll find that cooking with only whole foods is surprisingly cheaper than buying processed or pre-made food.
- If you’re budget is truly tight, don’t waste money on fake meats and other processed vegan foods. They’re usually more expensive. Try making your own home made.
- Shop often to ensure you are getting fresh foods and not throwing away your wasted food and money! Always remember, it’s worth your time to eat well.
Easy to do at home.
Put one dollar in the jar everytime you work out. When you reach a goal, treat yourself with a new outfit! LOVE THIS IDEA!!