Food Freedom #2: Stop Forcing Sh*T and Let It Be!

You know those weeks, where you’re like, “Ok universe, cool it, I’ve had enough.” That’s been the past month or so for me, filled with an overwhelmingly amount of stress, anxiety and not getting enough time for myself. So the question is how do I balance it? Honestly guys, some weeks I don’t and that’s life. Some weeks, I bare down, grind it out and recognize that once in a while work/life balance isn’t always attainable. I used get emotionally overwhelmed when this happened, but now, if it’s something that will yield a proud result– I allow it, now and then, knowing that this is just a period of time.

Over the past month, this girl has gone a little nutty:

  • Rolled out the spring Menu at Impact Kitchen,
  • Proceeded with the full staff training
  • Put classes together for Natures Emporium Canada with a fellow Nutritionist
  • Gave some talks with the Darby Training System group
  • Attended multiple meetings outside of work hours
  • oh….did I mention I’m moving, so lets throw packing into the mix. Awesome.

Needless to say, I’ve had to modify almost every workout so I could get it done in my Condo gym – which is not my favourite place, but I can deal with it. I’ve eaten more meals at work, then I have at home, but since I created the menu, I never complain. I’ve also eaten some extra, not so healthy meals, this month.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my days of dealing with Adrenal Fatigue, a consistent work in progress, but a valid message regardless:

If you can’t listen to your body, especially during times of stress – how do ever expect to work with your body to provide it what it needs to help support your health. This is especially crucial regarding going to the gym and your diet.

Lets start with the gym or any training in general:

For years, I was the “5am gym girl” it worked with my past schedule and I felt great. However now, especially this month – I recognized how badly my body needed sleep. So instead of forcing myself out of bed, I allowed my body the rest it needed and went later in the day. There are also days, when my schedule is so packed and my days are too long that I have really question if forcing myself to get to the gym is honestly better then going home, eating dinner and having an hour actually relax. Fact guys: When we are under immense stress and dealing with exhaustion, intense workouts will not actually help. They only send your cortisol levels through the roof and increase internal stressors. This past week I only got to the gym twice, old Stephanie would have had a fit, but now, I’m grateful that my body doesn’t feel like it’s falling apart by the time Sunday night rolls around.

On to dieting:

Coming from a history of eating copious amount of tilapia, asparagus and egg whites – I can understand that sometimes we feel like we have to eat certain foods to attain a certain look or body composition. That does hold some truth to a certain extent, however, if you have to force yourself to eat 6 meals a day, or force yourself to eat that dry tilapia with steamed broccoli: then tell me how that’s actually beneficial. Here’s the take away: any time you have to force yourself to eat something “because it’s supposed to be healthy” or force yourself to follow a certain diet, your goals will actually become a further reality. With diet change: whether it’s for health, body composition or performance, you need to find a solution and method that not only works for your body but one you actually enjoy. Any time we make a shift in our diet and lifestyle, we need to allow ourselves time to adapt so we can find a way to make it sustainable, this way we stop forcing new habits and start enjoying.

Here’s been a pretty standard day, of what my diet looks during my crazy days (minus the chocolate – that’s not a daily thing)

Breakfast: Fat Fueled Smoothie, low sugar smoothie option so I don’t have a mid morning crash. I love it, it’s the best and most effective way for me to have a smoothie. (I’ll share the recipe here soon.)

Lunch: I usually pack a couple hard boiled eggs daily, so I threw them on some shredded kale and fennel. I used this almond butter thai dressing we make to marinate the greens. Added some hemp seeds and watermelon radish over top!

Dinner: I had the base of our Maverick Bowl with some blackened trout.

Snack: This day I had errands to run and was out in Burlington, so I stopped by my favourite coffee shop and grabbed an almond milk latte and some Soul Chocolate.

Eating this way, is my sanity. It helps keep my body nourished during times of stress, keeps my brain functioning and helps balance my extra serving of sweet potato fries I’ve had this month.

Anyways guys, I get it more than most people: so take it from me when I say, stop forcing your body to do certain things or eat certain things, when in that moment it may not be what you really need.

Happy Monday!

-Chef Steph xo

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