I was traveling for much of the month of April, first to Miami for Hispanicize ’13 social media conference and second, a week long trip on the Pacific Ocean with Kathy Cano-Murillo on the Crafty Chica cruise. I had the time of my life, of course, but along the way I indulged in way too many cocktails (an open bar everywhere you turn will do that to you) and goodies, all high in sugar and sodium.
It definitely caught up to me because I can clearly see that I’m retaining a lot of water, my sciatica is flaring up, my jeans are snug and I’m exhausted. Uh-oh.
My first inclination was to do a cleanse. A juice cleanse. A fasting cleanse. A no-salt cleanse. A white flour cleanse—you name it and I wanted to do a cleanse with it. Anything to get rid of the buildup of fat and other toxins I loaded up on during my travels.
Should I declare that—heaven forbid—I’m “on a diet”?
The word diet just makes me feel like I’m twelve years old again and I’m being fed steamed cabbage and driven to Jazzercise class by my mother. And yes, she made me wear leotards and leg-warmers. I know she did it out of love, wanting to see her chubby daughter healthy and slim.
So it’s with that same attitude that I now try to make myself healthy by declaring a “No Diet” day. Since the word has such a negative connotation, I’d much rather just say: I want to make healthy choices. That is so much more palatable than the dreaded D-I-E-T word. But in all honesty, it took me some time to put on the excess poundage, and it’s going to take some time to take it off. I can’t accomplish this on a diet.
Read Related: Chakra Diet: Eat Your Way to Inner Peace
HOW TO SIDESTEP A DIET & STILL LOSE WEIGHT
Drink lots of water. I’m a huge juice fiend—cranberry juice and grape juice are my favorites. So is iced tea. Oh, and lemonade. And I can’t forget my beloved iced coffees. I never stopped to ponder the fact that these are all filled with azucar. Hello, empty calories! I’m going to stick with water and I may just add slices of cucumber, lime and mint to a pitcher because I’m fancy like that.
Eat colorful foods. I’m a big fan of colorful veggies. Maybe it’s the artist in me, but I love to go to the local Farmer’s Market and buy bright red cherry tomatoes, deep purple cabbage, yellow and orange sweet peppers, bright green jalapeños and leaves of lettuce for salads. I try to stay away from foods that are white—except for coconut. I love coconut! I naturally love to eat these foods, which is a huge sigh of relief.
Watch the salt. Did you know salt is in practically everything? In canned goods, packaged goods, frozen foods—salt is always lurking in the background. So in addition to avoiding the saltshaker and the salty food, I make it a point to check the labels for any additional salt. I also eat foods that are natural diuretics, such as celery, onion, watermelon and parsley.
Eat lots of small meals. I hate the feeling of an energy crash and burn after a big meal. I’m somewhat of a grazer—I like to munch on little things throughout the day because it keeps my energy level steady and I don’t get the urge to ravage the fridge throughout the day. Simple foods like fruit, salad, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, hummus and pita and hard-boiled eggs are my favorites.
Get moving. This is probably the hardest point for me. I don’t like to sweat. And I don’t always look very coordinated and put together when I’m sweating, red-faced and breathing heavily. But I know exercise is so, so good for me. It’s the initial But I don’t want to! that makes it difficult to get moving but I know that if I make it past that point, I’m golden.
So, all in all, I plan to take care of myself and perhaps even shed some pounds without going on a diet. Because in the end, it’s not so much about losing weight as it is about getting and staying healthy! So let’s hear it for No Diet Day!