Do you also look at queens like Chrissy Teigen and Nigella Lawson and wonder how the heck they manage to stay looking so babe while eating so much cream and carbs? It’s obviously possible to enjoy the delicious things in life while still having a healthy body and not dying from high cholesterol/choking from trying to eat a cupcake with a doughnut on top of it, but how?!
I’ve often browse through the outrageously decadent (and beautifully curated) Instagram feed of artist and baker Alice Toich and have been curious as to how she has all of her own teeth and doesn’t weigh 300kgs after always being around all of that sugar and cake. We are so not about diet culture, and the good news is it *is* possible to treat yourself and have a healthy body. I asked Alice to share her tips on how to achieve the balance between eating what makes you happy and being a healthy human being:
Don’t deny yourself anything
I have something I consider to be pretty treat-worthy every day! I have both a sweet tooth and a ‘salty’ tooth, so often after having something sweet I really enjoy something more savoury or salty. I satisfy the craving by simply having what I am craving— at least a little bit of it. Because I don’t deny myself a small amount of it I’m less likely to binge on it.
Exercise is crucial (soz) and needs to be regular, so best you find something you love to do ASAP
Nothing beats getting your heart pumping a bit and I try exercise every second day. I also love walking and being outdoors as much as possible, so even if it’s just around town I’ll get outside and walk. It’s important to keep active so if I haven’t been able to walk a lot or have spent most of my day sitting down I will do some aerobic exercises, kind of like bootcamp stuff!
My favourite exercise to do is hot yoga. It’s a very intensive type of yoga that squeezes your internal organs in order to detox so you really feel any unhelpful products in your body, be it food or alcohol. Feeling this helps me to manage what kinds of food I’m eating in the day and when. It is a great for detoxing and it fills you with energy. I totally advocate it to those that can stand high heat environments.
Don’t subscribe to calorie counting
Your relationship with food should be deeper than seeing it in terms of calories only. What we eat is a holistic practice, as it has knock-on effects for your hormones, mood, productivity, ability to fight illness *and* physicality.
If you eat a treat don’t punish yourself by denying yourself a proper meal
I also don’t think it’s very healthy to say things like ‘I ate this much cake so I need to run this far’. Cake is not going to sustain you to fulfil that kind of exercise or allow your muscles to heal successfully after. I definitely believe in eating cake and treats, but not as a substitute for a good solid meal that is packed with minerals and vitamins and sustainable energy. In fact if you are going to exercise and eat cake it is even more important to eat an actual meal full of protein and sustainable energy as well!
A treat should be that; a treat on top of real nutritious food, not a replacement for it. Having said that, I am a lot more encouraged to get out and go for a nice long walk, hike or cycle if I know I have had a particularly indulgent weekend. This is mostly because I know it will emotionally make me feel better, not because I am punishing myself.
Listen to your body’s reactions to treats
Although I like sweet treats, when they’re too sweet they burn my throat, give me a headache and crash my energy levels. I like well-balanced sweet treats that offer more to enjoy than just pure sugar. Things like flavoured creams, spices and subtly sweetened treats.
If you’re going to eat treats make sure they are made of good ingredients
I only consume whole (full fat) versions of products because if they’re taking naturally occurring stuff out they’re probably putting other stuff in! I try avoid high acidity foods and foods that have emulsifiers and chemical preservatives (such as sulphur dioxide). I don’t touch anything made from/with margarine, artificial sweeteners, anything that is stored for a long while in plastic or food that never goes off.
You can still eat bread, promise
For health reasons I try avoid commercially made white bread. I REALLY love toast though so when I eat it (almost every day) I make sure it’s sourdough or ciabatta made from organic wheat.
Learn what works best for your unique body
It’s important to note all our bodies work with different systems and react differently to foods. Becoming sensitised to the way my body reacts mood-wise, emotionally, physically and energy-wise to food has become the most important guide on my journey to nourish and treat it in a way that works best for me. I have found my own ‘superfoods’ that always make me feel 100% energised such as pawpaws, brown rice, cauliflower, chickpeas, goat’s milk kefir and caoao. I can pretty much eat these any time and feel good.
I think the only advice I could give is that when you treat yourself, concentrate on how you feel. Is it really making you feel good after eating it? If so, lekker! If not, maybe try other forms. Dark chocolate for me is my number one treat and always picks my mood up, especially when that time of the month comes around.
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