It’s crazy how much we can change over time, isn’t it?
When I think about it, most of the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the last several years didn’t happen overnight. Instead, they happened gradually… often with quite a few bumps along the way.
It’s a good reminder that change isn’t always linear. We may take two steps forward and one step back, but it’s still progress!
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share a few ways I’ve changed over the past few years.
1. I stopped drinking milk. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would even consider giving up milk, I’d have thought you were crazy. I was raised thinking that skim milk was the “perfect food”–> a good balance of carbs and protein, with no fat. (At the time I also thought fat was bad for me!) I would easily go through a gallon of skim milk every 3 days by myself, gulping it down by the glassful.
It wasn’t until I started dating Austin– soon after our college graduation– that I even considered giving up milk. He followed a vegan diet at the time, and was totally grossed out by my milk consumption. (I believe he used the words “cow puss” at one point… ewwwww!) After reading books like Skinny Bitch, UltraMetabolism and The Raw Food Detox Diet, my opinion on dairy changed and, thanks to the sudden abundance of soy milk products at the time, it wasn’t too hard to make the transition to non-dairy options.
Which brings me to my next change…
2. I stopped eating processed soy products. For much of my college career, I was a vegetarian. I lived off of convenience foods, like bagels spread with peanut butter, cheese pizza and breadsticks, and my “healthy” favorite–> soy burger patties! I would often microwave two soy burgers or “chik” patties, skip the bun, and consider it a healthy, high-protein meal. These types of meals didn’t help me lose my “Freshmen 15,” nor did they make me feel that great.
(Up until recently, Tofurky was an exception to the rule–> we loved it!)
Again, it wasn’t until I read The Raw Food Detox Diet that my opinion on processed soy products changed, and I gradually stopped drinking soy milk (in favor of almond milk) and stopped purchasing the processed meat-substitutes.
Eventually, Austin and I also dropped our “vegetarian” labels… right before we got married!
3. I used to not care about eating organic. This was simply a matter of not being very informed. I didn’t think it mattered if I ate organic or not, so why spend more money on it?
I don’t even remember exactly how this change came about, but now I feel very differently. I believe there’s a huge difference between organic and conventional produce, and try to choose organic whenever possible. Not only does organic produce taste better, it also packs more nutrition per bite!
Of course, sometimes I’ll refer to the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list when choosing non-organic items, but for the most part, all of my leafy greens are organic, as well as any produce with edible skin (like berries, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc).
4. I no longer think of whole grains as a “staple” in a healthy diet. When I was a vegetarian, grains probably made up the majority of my diet. Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, rice, and quinoa were all staples in my daily life. I gradually reduced my consumption when I started drinking vegetable juice each morning, but it wasn’t until last year, when I attempted my first Candida cleanse, that I even considered giving them up on a regular basis.
And to my surprise, I felt a lot better without them.
That’s not to say that I’m done with grains forever, but I do think of them differently–> more as a special treat, rather than a daily staple.
5. I use olive oil to wash my face. Even six months ago I would have thought this was crazy.
I still remember the first time I tried it. I felt a pimple coming on, so I figured, why not try this ridiculous idea while I’m breaking out anyway? To my surprise, I woke up to a clear complexion! The oil managed to prevent my oncoming breakout! Since then, I’ve never looked back.
Nor, have I spent another dime on expensive facial creams or lotions.
It’s an inexpensive makeup-remover, facial cleanser and moisturizer all in one!
For more on cleansing with olive oil, check out The Oil-Cleansing Method. (Note: I don’t mix oils as this author recommends–> I only use olive oil!)
That’s all for now! I can’t wait to see what changes are in store for the future.
Reader Feedback: What changes have you made in the last several years that surprised you? Any changes you’re currently working on?