After the post 'My Epic Turnaround' went live the other day, I had a surprising number of emails flood into my inbox from you all asking about my 80:20 rule to healthy living and also how I dropped a dress size without doing any dieting, restricting what I eat or punishing my body 3 hours a day.
We'll talk about exercise and the latter next week, but today I just wanna focus on food.
For starters, the 80:20 rule is not really a rule, it's more like a guideline. It's 80% healthy nutritious scrumptious foods (that you already like eating) and 20% delicious naughty foods (that are the highest quality). There's no restriction or deprivation, you don't have to eliminate any foods but you do have to start becoming more aware of your eating patterns. That does sound boring, but there's no food diary or calorie counting crap you have to do (thank god). You just naturally monitor yourself throughout the day.
1) Think 'daily 80:20'
To begin it would have been impossible for me to apply the 80:20 rule to an entire week, so instead I broke it down into daily slots. I'd eat healthy for all of my meals and snacks bar one (usually in the afternoon because that's usually when I crave something sweet) and I'd have a lindt chocolate bar or a croissant from the local bakery or sushi for lunch. This made me feel really taken care of because I still felt good cause I had eaten revitalizing live foods most of the day and I got my sweetie.
When you start, be easy on yourself for the first few weeks. It's about adjusting slowly because it's not a diet, it's changing your habits in a natural way without putting too much stress on yourself.
2) Eat foods you like already
It's not like we don't eat healthy food, we just don't eat as much as we probably should. I am totally guilty of that. I used to think in order to start living healthy and trimming down I'd have to start eating kale, quinoa and chia seeds because they're the new "super food" and you can only really lose weight if you eat them. So I'd put off starting the next new diet because I didn't wanna eat them. This is all bullshit. Eat what you know, what's doable for you right now. If that's your regular ol' lettuce, tomato, onion and carrot salad, you go for it girl. That is SUPER healthy and just as good as chia seeds or whatever.
If you wanna try new foods, approach them like you're dipping your toes in the water or wine tasting at a vineyard. But don't restrict yourself to only "super foods" you can eat whatever healthy foods you want.
3) Eat only when you're hungry
How many times have you heard this little sweetheart? How many times have you put it off or avoided doing it altogether? (Uh.. me!) The great thing about when you consciously decide to go 80/20, you naturally start monitoring how you're eating. Not to the point of obsession but enough to notice how much you're consuming and how much you used to consume.
The reason we eat so much isn't because we're addicted to food, it's because our lives are lacking a huge dose of fun and pleasure. Therefore the reason we eat a lot of sweet foods is because we're trying to get our pleasure fix for the day since it's not coming from anywhere else. When I started working on the fun, adventure and pleasure in my life that's when the weight started shifting. Because when you're full on life, you don't need to get that pleasure fix anymore. Get Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts to learn exactly how to bring more pleasure into your life.
What I do here is I ask myself before I'm meant to eat (morning tea, lunch, coffee breaks etc..) if I am actually hungry. Your body will immediately tell you if you are and you'll also be able to feel whether you are or not. If you are hungry, eat one thing on your plate or in your lunchbox and then take a mini break afterwards to gauge how you feel. If you have trouble knowing the signs of being truly hungry, check out my friend Rosie's Anti Diet guide.
4) Have an affair with your food
Right now I'm having an affair with strawberries. The season is short for strawberries in New Zealand and so I'm making the most of it. What I do is I pull one big juicy ripe strawberry out of it's little punnet and I just oogle it, I watch it's plump red surface glisten in the sun. It's strong delicious aroma floats through the air to my nostrils. It literally begs me to eat it, and when I take that first bite it's like fireworks in my mouth. Juicy sweet nectar.
Yes this sounds bat shit cray cray. And it is. But it freakin' works! My skin has become so smooth and I've gotten so many compliments about how I seem to be 'glowing' all the time. Remember way waaaaay back when I told you about my Mum and how she talks to her plants and they grew enormous? Well it's the same thing, not that you'll grow enormous, but adding love turns what's negative into a bright sparkly positive. Or in other words if you savor and sensualize your food, it assimilates in your body perfectly and your body responds by taking in the nutrients in perfect balance which then helps your body return to it's natural state A.K.A your ideal weight. Did I just mind boggle you? Check out The Slow Down Diet, it will blow your mind and make you realize how easy and effortless it actually is to lose weight, get healthy and feel great in your skin.
5) Hydrate constantly
Scott taught me this little gem. Whenever we feel foggy, headachey or lethargic it's actually because we're dehydrated. I don't know how many times I've felt like that and Scott's made me guzzle back a liter of water, and just a couple of minutes later I feel great again.
I've also taken on the habit of drinking a glass of water before I eat a meal. I learned this trick from French Women Don't Get Fat and what it does is helps the food digest better as well as makes you feel fuller.
When it comes to cleanses I'm a bit of a novice, I don't really like doing them. I tried Mireille Guiliano's Magical Leek Soup, took one sip, felt like I was drinking onion sweat and tipped the whole pot out. So I'm probably not the best to ask about cleanses. Lol.
6) But what about cravings?
I've found that allowing myself to have a sweet once a day has completely eliminated cravings because I haven't restricted myself from anything. But sometimes cravings pop up again and that's all good! I have them come up every now and then, usually more around the time of the month and I just allow myself to have it. So my advice for you? Just have the damn thing! Don't you dare deprive yourself, because if you do that's when you'll fall off the wagon and binge.
I love my sweets so giving them up has never been an option for me. I wanted a way for me to be able to have my sweet treat but for it to also be healthy as well. That's when I discovered vegan desserts! 100% raw live food that's good for you and you can count it as part of the 80% that's healthy - sneaky right! I found This Rawsome Vegan Life and fell in love instantly. Raw dairy free chocolate ice cream? OMG yes!!
I want to note: the only thing you must do when you give in to your cravings is you gotta savor the crap out of it. That means zero distractions. No tv, computer or books. Just you and this glorious treat. Taste it, savor it, have an affair with it - enjoy it!
7) Eat high quality sweets & treats
I only really have one rule when it comes to my 20% naughtiness and that's whatever treat I choose has to be high quality. So I highly encourage you to treat your 20% like a treasure and choose only the highest quality of treats be it a freshly baked croissant or a prestigious chocolate. Because you deserve the best there is out there, not some crappy cheap impostor food.
So that's how I do it, that's how I changed my lifestyle, cleared up my skin and lost a dress size but it's not even that. I just feel good again, and that's worth all the effort alone. In my upcoming course I teach you how you can easily adjust to the 80/20 rule as well as lose weight or live healthier, have an amazing relationship (with your man & yourself) and get your sparkle back. If you want more information on how you can do the course yourself, sign up here.
So how you feeling? Think you wanna try the 80/20 rule out?