Get in my belly

While we waited on our house Mark and I took a class on nutrition and weight loss. Yes. I took a class on nutrition. The girl that could quite literally eat McDonald’s everyday for the rest of her life decided to find out why that wasn’t such a good idea. And, guys, my eyes have been opened.

laurel the nutrition ladyLaurel is the owner of Life Body Balance and she has changed our life with her group program for weight loss. I have never been so aware of what I eat or how it affects my overall well-being (more than just how tight my jeans are that day). I am especially excited that we took this class right before moving into our new house and that we get to make eating healthy and REAL foods a part of our lives.

I had quinoa for breakfast today. I didn’t even know what quinoa was 2 months ago.

Laurel was sweet enough to drop by and answer a few questions for me and I loved her answers.

Exactly how bad is McDonald’s?

Well, let’s just say it’s not good. In our modern society, we like to choose foods that are fast, convenient and easy without paying attention to what it actually does for our bodies. The key is to realize that real food was designed by nature to give us all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, health, energy, and life that our bodies need to be fit, healthy and happy. At McDonald’s, their “food” has none of these healthy properties. It’s been processed, packaged and stripped of all nutrients. What used to be a real potato is now a cardboard-like, trans fat-soaked French fry. What used to be a real chicken is now, well, a nugget (enough said). When you eat McDonald’s or other fast food, not only are you consuming excess calories, salt, fat, sugar and artificial preservatives and fillers, you’re also not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function, so it’s a double whammy against your health.

Marie’s note: I’m not getting nutrients. This was honestly mind boggling to me at first. I mean, it’s food. How can it not have nutrients? I had never considered fast food to be fake food, but I get it now. 

Sometimes I’m really dramatic for no reason according to my husband. Could my food have anything to do with that?
Food and mood are definitely related. For instance, if you skip a meal, you’re more likely to be tired and cranky. Or if you aren’t getting the right nutrients in your diet, this can lead to all types of mood issues such as fatigue, irritability, or even depression. In my life, I noticed a major difference in my mood when I changed my diet years ago. I used to eat lots of junk food, fast food and processed food and my mood reflected it. I felt sluggish, irritable and pessimistic much of the time and just thought it was normal! As I started to eat more whole and nutritious foods, these moods started to subside. It’s completely amazing the effect that food has on your whole mind and body.

Marie’s note: So far the biggest area that I have changed my diet has been lunch. I immediately noticed a difference in how productive and alert I was compared to the days that I’d get lazy and decide to go through a drive-thru (it’s a process, people… don’t judge).

I suck at cooking. Like really suck. Do you have any recipe suggestions for those that are culinarily-impaired?
The best way to lose weight and take charge of your health is to cook your own meals, so you want to get out of the mindset that cooking is difficult or time-consuming. You don’t have to love it or be great at it to do it. We’re not trying to be master chefs here. We all just want to get healthy food on the table in a reasonable amount of time, right?

Of course, if you haven’t spent much time in the kitchen historically, cooking can initially feel a little daunting. But cooking wholesome foods doesn’t have to be a long or complicated process. I always try to post recipes on my blog and in my newsletter that anyone can master, whether they’re culinary-impaired or not. Foods like dark leafy greens, whole grains and vegetables can be easily made in less than 5-10 minutes. One of my favorite things to make it kale chips. All I do is toss torn up kale leaves with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast in a 425 degree oven for 4-6 minutes. Easy, simple and delicious!

Marie’s note: I love Laurel’s insistence that it’s more about changing your mind than anything else. I think I hate cooking or being in the kitchen, but maybe I don’t really. Maybe I just need to change my attitude. Or add a little music.

Changing my eating habits feels really overwhelming. How does Life Body Balance break this whole thing down?
It’s important to realize that you don’t have to change all your eating and lifestyle habits over night. That’s what standard diet plans tell you to do, but it’s not realistic and won’t lead to lasting results. It took you a long time to reach where you are now and it will take some time to make healthy changes. At Life Body Balance, I help my clients through a step-by-step process to cultivate and practice new healthy habits one at a time. Instead of instructing people take everything “bad” out of their diet, I work with them to add in good foods so that these foods eventually crowd out the other junk. When you make a series of simple changes over a period of time, they are more likely to stick, and that’s what it’s all about!

Marie’s note: This. Each week I would add or try something new that helped me crowd out the junk. Laurel’s process is simple but so powerful.

Are you positive McDonald’s is that bad?
I wouldn’t risk it. 🙂

Marie’s note: I don’t even like chicken nuggets anymore. That’s huge.
life body balance logo
If you’re interested in getting your nutritional health back on track go check out some of the services Life Body Balance provides:

Laurel is hosting a free workshop on July 15th 

The group program like we took

An individual session that would probably change your life with a quickness

The Skinny: A free teleclass series (I’m signing up for this, too!)

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4 thoughts on “Get in my belly

  1. Awesome, Marie! Way to go on taking some first steps to healthier eating! In regards to the food-mood connection she talks about, I have totally found it to be true. Since transitioning to a real-food diet, I don’t struggle with the gloominess and fatigue I always thought were just a part of my personality. Looking forward to hearing more!

  2. adrian says:

    Laurel is a wonderful person and I’m so glad you loved her class. Great interview!

  3. Secret Agent "CT" says:

    Who are you and what did you do with Marie???? lol j/k Her plan sounds very do-able! Thanks for the insight!

  4. […] they had actually read my blog because we eat lots of McDonald’s (examples: here, here, and here) and I didn’t know if I was actually a great choice for branding because french […]

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