Crowding Out: Focusing on What Nourishes You and Allowing the Rest Fall Away By Kristy S. Rodriguez
The New Year often brings with it the desire to make positive changes in one’s life. It represents new beginnings and is a time to free oneself of past mistakes. It is a time of resolution and incentive, when we can reflect and create changes in our lives to attempt to live a fuller, happier and healthier life. For many people this often includes taking proactive steps towards implementing a healthier diet, and adopting a more active lifestyle.
People often set out on the path to creating a more healthy lifestyle by choosing a diet solution to get things started, but with an dizzying array of diets on the market and so much information out there, it’s hard to know which particular diet to pick. How do you determine which method is the right one for you? Counting calories? Points? Fat grams? No dairy? No sugar? No salt? With so many conflicting rules and regiments available in the diet industry, one might end up feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused. For a lot of people it’s a struggle to keep all of this information straight, and out of frustration they end up giving up before they even begin to see any results.
As a Holistic Health Coach, I often ask my clients, ‘do you like to idea of counting calories or carbs for rest of your life?’ As expected, most people are less than thrilled with the prospect of partaking in a strict diet regiment as a life long health goal. These types of regiments are typically considered short-term solutions to getting one’s weight and diet under control, and are not particularly realistic as a long-term solution. Especially when the majority of us have so many different things pulling us in different directions throughout our weekly routines from work, to family and other responsibilities. At the end of the day there is only so much time and energy left over to dedicate to strict diet and nutrition practices. This is why I often encourage my clients to put away the calorie counter and focus their precious energy on the things in life that they love and that bring them joy.
Rest assured, there is another way to achieve your nutrition and diet goals without having to feel so strictly regimented. Rather than focusing on what they shouldn’t be eating or perfecting their mathematical addition skills daily, I teach my clients about a concept called “crowding out”. ‘Crowding Out’ literally means crowding out the foods and aspects of our lives that don’t serve us well. By focusing on the areas of your life that nourish you, invigorate you, heal and support you, it becomes easier to push out all of the things that drain you and put a burden on your system. Over time you’ll see that these things will begin to naturally fall away and believe me, they won’t be missed.
If you have a specific nutrition or diet oriented goal for the New Year, like kicking the coffee habit, rather than telling yourself you can’t have coffee, try changing your focus to the range of healthy alternatives to coffee that are available to you. For example, there is a wide variety of different types of delicious and healing teas on the market to choose from. Green tea is listed as one of the top ten cancer fighting foods (lifescript.com) and would make an excellent substitution for coffee.
If your goal for this next year is getting active, for example by limiting television time and spending more time during your day getting your body moving, try to find an class or activity that you’ve always wanted to try. If nothing comes to mind, think back to when you were a kid. What after school activities did you enjoy the most? This might give you some inspiration to find an adult version of something you enjoyed when you were young, like a dance class or recreational sports team. Give it a try and you might wind up rekindling an old passion, or finding a whole new one.
In essence, ‘Crowding Out’ will give you the freedom to ditch the hard and fast rules and focus on the aspects of life that promote health and joy. “Crowd out” all the things that no longer serve you. Instead make a conscious effort to fill your days with all the things that make you feel light and alive. Don’t spend your precious time and energy focusing on the strict rules and regiments that will only bring you temporary solutions to long-term goals. Release yourselves of these burdens and allow yourself to let go of those ‘go to’ habits that no longer fulfill you and do nothing to help promote the active and healthy lifestyle you are hoping to attain in this New Year.
Kristy Rodriguez, certified health coach, M.Ed., CHHC, RYT
Looking for some inspiration to get motivated towards your nutrition goals this year? Here is a list of five health promoting and cancer fighting foods. Rather than counting up calories, try including some of these nutrient and antioxidant rich super foods.
- Berries (raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry)
- Cruciferous veggies (kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts)
- Green Tea
*Whenever possible, organic is always the better choice.
Crowd out your afternoon vending machine snack with this Big “C” fighting power food smoothie recipe:
1-2 cups of water or coconut water or cooled unsweetened green tea
1-2 kale leaves (de-stemmed)
1-2 cups frozen (organic) mixed berries
½- 1 whole banana
1-cup seedless (organic) red grapes
½ rolled or steel cut oats (cooked and cooled) (optional)
Place all ingredients in blender in order listed and blend until smooth. Play with the total amount of ingredients to satisfy your taste and desired consistency. Make it in the morning and take it with you in a thermos, store in the fridge until you’re ready for a nutrient dense power packed pick-me-up.
For more delicious inspiration, please check out kriscarr.com and alegrewellness.com. If you have any specific questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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