Eat Anything, Not Everything

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A new year is upon us and with that, most of us resign to drastically change our dietary habits.  This year, let’s not.  Let’s chuck elimination diets out the window and eat what we want.  Let’s not limit ourselves, and instead pay close attention to individual portion sizes and the volume of our meals in one sitting.  Let us learn to savor each bite and as for that chow that we can’t control ourselves around, let’s keep it out of our daily lives.

Being a model and actress my appearance is everything, so it is of the upmost importance that my body is always in tip-top condition. After years of experimenting and driving myself crazy with strict elimination diets, I have finally figured out what works for me - I eat anything, just not everything.

I enjoy food too much to not indulge on a regular basis. At some point, I became fed up with my strict rules of “I can’t eat that.” If I couldn’t have it, I craved even more. It was a dirty little mind trick that led to an unnecessary binge followed by feelings of guilt and shame. I wound up feeling like garbage and I would decide to eat healthy again by eliminating the foods that I had just binged on.  It was a vicious cycle. Something had to change and some rules needed to bend.

Here are 5 Provision Principles that I adhere to in order to stay skinny AND sane:

1. Cater To Your Cravings.

Give yourself permission to eat anything you want when you dine out, just stick to the 80/20 rule.  Dine in 80% of the time, and for that other 20%, know that there are no foods that are off limits. It is too painful and no fun to be dining with friends and watch them dig into a big plate of nachos while you order your baked fish and salad with the dressing on the side because you are on a “diet.”  There is no such thing as a diet; there are only balanced lifestyle choices.  So, enjoy some of the nachos, just not all of the nachos.

2. Waste For Your Waist.

The “Clean Plate Club” is for fat kids. The most important idea here is to get comfortable wasting food.  That’s right; do not allow restaurants or our “supersize it and get your money’s worth” society dictate your servings because they are much too generous. Eat a modest amount of your tasty treat and discard the rest.

I am lucky to have a boyfriend who enjoys sharing our meals.  Thankfully, we usually don’t leave a lot to waste. We order an appetizer, one entrée, and sometimes dessert.  I will eat ¼ of the appetizer, 1/3 of the entrée, and no more than four bites of the dessert. If your man won’t share food, then take your leftovers home and have a delicious lunch the next day.  Add your leftover steak to a salad or put that chicken in a soup…get creative.  I love getting all “Iron Chef” with my leftovers if I have feasted with friends who won’t share a meal.

3. Slow Your Jelly Roll.

Here is where true gratification comes in…  slow down!  Savor your bites.  Breathe, masticate, put your fork down in between bites, and allow the joy of eating to become the sensory experience that it’s meant to be! Watch that creamy blue cheese drip down over those kettle chips, breathe in the sweet, spicy smell the of panang curry, listen to the sizzle of the coffee cured steak, feel the crunch of the pistachio encrusted salmon, and really taste the comingling of flavors in that white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.  If you inhale the cheesecake then you won’t get to taste it.  It’s about the quality of our bites, not the quantity.  Slow your roll and you will find that you will not eat as much of your food and enjoy it even more.

4. Don’t Pack Your Paunch.

Do not, under any circumstances, stuff yourself.  Eat until satisfied, not completely full.  Our digestive systems become burdened with a bursting belly.  Stuffing your self only leads to negative things such as bloating, gas, indigestion, weight gain, and sleepiness.  We should feel energized by our noshes! When you feel satisfied, STOP.  Put the fork down and throw in the towel.  You will be able to eat again in a few hours if you get hungry, so there is simply no need to pack it in.  Much like you shouldn’t push your body to serious pain in the gym, you should not push your stomach to the brink either.  Be nice to your gut and it will be nice to you.

5. Contraband Control.

If you bring it home, you will gorge on it.    It’s important to know yourself and your weak spots. I do not bring sodas into the house because if I do, a six-pack will be gone in three days:  I know myself.  So, keep the Ben & Jerry’s out of the freezer if you LOVE it.

I do find it to be a blessing that I truly enjoy healthy foods. When I am eating at home, I keep it very clean.  I eat my meals on salad plates and fill small bowls with snacks; I never bring the bag of pretzels to the couch. I love kale, adore quinoa, and think that apple cider vinegar is the jam. The more you learn to love truly nourishing your body, the easier it will be to keep the crud out.

**These principles are strictly for weight management and should not be followed by someone who has medical issues such as high cholesterol or diabetes.  This advice is for people who have no health related dietary restrictions.