creating healthy habits with sam of healthy on you
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is directly related to how you feel every single day! Why feel bloated and sluggish by eating sugary cereals or oily empty carbs, when you can feel energized and light by fueling your body with nutritious fruits, veggies, lean meats and healthy fats? I think eating healthy got a reputation along the way of being boring and full of flavorless steamed vegetables and dry pieces of chicken. None of that sounds appetizing, so it’s natural to gravitate towards the things that do. But what if you were able to make those veggies or chicken appetizing and enjoyable to consume? To me, that is a balanced and healthy diet and it can be done! Not sacrificing flavor for health, but finding creative ways to incorporate flavor and fun into wholesome meals has become my passion. My goal is to help it become a passion for others as well. No one should go through life thinking healthy means boring! You deserve to feel full of life and energy, and that can be achieved by making good food choices. It happens to almost all of us-- a few chips as a snack turns into an empty chip bag being thrown into the trash. This is usually followed by feelings of anger and frustration with ourselves and thoughts of having fallen off the wagon again. Then for some (and I’ve definitely been here before) the negative spiral begins of “Well, I’ve already messed up today so I might as well just count this day as a loss and throw in a few cookies”. I’m here to tell you, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Stop blaming yourself, it doesn’t do you any good. Products like chips, brownies, candies, or whatever indulgent treats we consume that throw us off our hypothetical wagon, are created to make it difficult to have only one! And guess what. This also includes all those snacks and treats that say things like “vegan”, “non-gmo”, “low carb”, etc.. So what can you do to combat this? Try not to buy them and have whole food snacks on hand that you find delicious and enticing. I like to add some flavor to boring nuts and seeds by baking them in my spice blends, or whipping up a batch of homemade granola that allows me to control the type and amount of sweeteners used. By having these readily available, it’s become a habit to reach for these items rather than head over to my treats. If you do want a treat now and then, I recommend buying a single serving of whatever it is you’re craving. For example potato chips. Just buy the snack bag size and save yourself the negativity and feelings of having to “hop back on the wagon tomorrow”. It’s all about doing what is in your control and enabling yourself to stay positive! Recently this phrase has become popular, but I truly try to live by it: mindful eating. Getting in touch with your body and feeding it when it’s truly hungry and fueling it with nourishing foods. Mindfulness also encompasses being aware of what you’re eating. Echoing what I said above, incorporating more whole foods into your daily diet will leave you feeling satisfied longer and energized for your day! However, this does not mean muddying up these whole foods with fatty sauces, oils and dressings. By incorporating spice blends into your meals, you can still achieve flavor without adding unhealthy and high-caloric ingredients. What are a few reflective questions readers can use to check in on their current health and diet? Asking yourself probing questions is actually another component of mindful eating. I find I ask myself two questions daily to enable myself to make healthy food choices: Do I feel full of life and energy throughout my day or am I crawling to bed at night? This question allows me to check in and see if I’m fueling my body with complete, balanced meals filled with protein and healthy carbs and fats. Of course, drinking plenty of water also fits into the equation. When I eat, what am I eating and why? This is a great question to ask yourself if you feel you’re overeating or eating when you’re not really hungry. I’ve found when I get into positions where I’m overeating or just eating to eat, I’m typically bored. So by asking myself this question, I can get in touch with whether or not I need fuel or if I’m just bored. Now, when I know I’m just bored, I try to swap out eating for other activities, such as walking or just making myself a cup of tea. Sam Binkley is a Certified Health Coach and founder of Healthy On You, who was introduced to flavorful, fresh food at a young age. She was born in Jamaica, where her Indian/Jamaican mother would grind her own spices to create bold, delicious meals. With the bold and fun combination of flavors associated with Jamaican and Indian food, came loud music. Music would always be playing in the background while Sam ground spices and cooked with her mother. This influence of music can be seen in the names of her spice blends. Additionally, it was important to Sam to maintain the unique aspect of blending her own spices, which she continues to do today. Sam continues to teach in many ways, whether it be through recipes on her blog or virtual cooking classes, where she connects with her customers and provides inspiration for how to cook with her products. Whether you love spending time in the kitchen or don't want to sacrifice flavor for quick and easy meals, Healthy On You organic spice & salt blends will become a staple. For more information about Sam and Healthy on You, visit healthyonyou.com.