There are a lot of myths around the healthy life style, a lot of overpriced gyms and food brands trying to fool you into thinking living a healthy life comes with a price tag. There is also an unhealthy relationship with food in our society, food is either good or bad, and often the bad things are used as treats or guilty pleasures. Here are just 3 myths I hear on a regular basis that get me ranting. More may follow.
1, Healthy food is bland, expensive and you need a hundred different ingredients for one dish.
Oh where to start with this one. We shop at Aldi, our food budget per week has shrunk dramatically since I started planning our meals out for the week and cooking healthier. The simple fact is that freshly cooked food with some simple spices can be the tastiest thing you have ever put in your mouth!
My tip would be plan your meals, do one big shop, and make sure you have plenty of herbs and spices in the cupboard. Invest in a few good simple cook books (Madeline Shaw is my current foodie goddess) and be adventurous. Once you get into the swing of it your life becomes easier and healthy eating becomes a habit.
But always remember one unhealthy meal won’t undo all your healthiness, just like one healthy meal won’t undo a lifetime of un-healthiness. So enjoy that take away curry once in a while and don’t stress!
2, Being healthy means going to the gym every day and I can’t afford that!
So my gym costs £20 per month, it has all the equipment I need and is pretty close to my house. I have been to overpriced health clubs and I can safely say I am actually healthier now than when I used them.
You don’t even need a gym if you can’t easily get to one, or that £20 makes all the difference to you. A few cheap kettle bells, a pull up bar and a skipping rope can be just as effective. The key is to get regular high intensity workouts. If that needs to be twice a week for an hour or 4 times a week for half an hour what does it matter. Don’t let people tell you that you HAVE to do this programme or that programme. Just work up a sweat, lift something heavy and get your fat burning cardio by walking as much as you can.
I do the gym 2-3 times a week depending on my schedule, I also yoga every day for varying amounts of time. I walk over 10k steps a day without fail to keep myself active. I wouldn’t call that a rigorous exercise plan and it certainly doesn’t cost me very much.
That said I decided last year to invest in a PT to help me become stronger and develop my abilities in yoga. I haven’t regretted this investment a tiny bit, so if you can afford it I would fully recommend it.
3, There is a diet/exercise to fix that!
You don’t need fixing, you are perfectly wonderful the way you are. Being healthy is about realising that and giving your body the goodness that you deserve. It is about being kind to yourself, mind, body and spirt.
What do I mean? So personally I don’t do CrossFit, I prefer my strength training to be done alone. I like the meditation I can achieve by zoning into myself whilst lifting, for me making it something competitive or team based distracts me from this meditative element that is so rewarding for me. I also do not diet, I don’t believe cutting out any one food or food group will magically give you the body you want. I eat gorgeous food that will fuel me, and I have chocolatey goodies and take aways when I want them.
The key for me is treating yourself with love, understanding and kindness. This isn’t always easy, especially when you are naturally competitive and goal driven like me (it’s the Pitta in me!) It is however essential. Knowing you are good enough and taking care of yourself means doing and eating what is best for you for the short term and long term.
Don’t be fooled into these evangelical exercise or diet preachers, don’t be fanatically about anything because it restricts you to the extent you may not feel able to alter your routine even if your body is crying out for it.