If you’re like me, over the course of your life you’ve tried just about every diet fad out there. Some of them worked (for a little while) and others were just silly (souping, anyone?). But over the last few years I’ve really come to understand that weightloss and being healthy is a life-long change, not something you do for a few weeks. It’s a serious commitment, and it takes a lot of time and discipline. Especially when you’re like me and your kryptonite is donuts.
Ever since I was diagnosed with PCOS, I try to stick as close to a low GI diet as possible. Essentially you eat to maintain even blood sugar levels. PCOS messes with your hormones, especially insulin (it’s why we’re more likely to get diabetes). By eating the right kinds of foods, you help keep your levels in a more balanced place and in turn cut down PCOS symptoms. Sick and tired of the unfortunate weight that settles in your gut? Low GI can help with that.
When making a permanent lifestyle change, I think the 80/20 rule is a great one to follow. You can’t be perfect 100% of the time, and if you want cake, eat the goddamn cake! Life is short, my friend. Treat yourself.
But 80% of the time, I stick to clean eating. They say you can’t outrun a bad diet, which is true. Most weightloss comes from what you eat, rather than how much you work out. Personally, I try to keep all forms of junk food out of my house. Out of sight, out of mind, right? And if I’m really craving something, I’ll wait a full 24 hours. If I still want it, then I can go get it. Here’s a really great chart to consult when you’re feeling those hunger pains! It’s about what your body needs, not what you want to put in it.
In terms of what I eat on a normal day, I stick as close to this list as possible. While it’s not the be-all-end-all of lists, it’s a really great starting place and helps to keep me on track when browsing the aisles at the grocery store.
My go-to recipes are usually:
- Sriracha turkey burgers (or meatballs) with sweet potato noodles and cashew alfredo sauce
- A re-creation of Sweetgreen’s harvest bowl
- Turkey quinoa meatloaf
- Vegan quinoa mac ‘n cheese
- Avocado toast + eggs
- Rotisserie chicken and veggies (usually brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and broccoli)
- Oatmeal with sunflower seed butter, honey, and a few chocolate chips
- Anything from HungryRoot when I’m pressed for time
When I’m feeling peckish and need a snack, I’ll usually reach for:
- Cottage cheese (full fat)
- Greek yogurt (loooove Chobani flips)
- Toast with sunflower seed butter and honey
- Yogurt covered almonds
- Cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
- Carrots and hummus
- Roasted chickpeas
- Arctic Zero ice cream (we all have those days)
I know that none of it is very exciting, and my actual meals are pretty basic. If it comes from the ground or an animal, I’ll eat it. I try to make my own sauces as often as I can, or just use basics like EVOO or balsamic. With low GI, simpler is always better.
Eating out can be a challenge sometimes, but a quick look at the menu ahead of time can be really helpful. Luckily New York is full of options, from full on vegan to gluten-free to 500% fattening deliciousness. But I know some of you are more limited in your options, so always check out the menu first. Another great trick someone told me is to ask for a to-go bag as soon as your food arrives and automatically put half of it away for later. So even if your meal isn’t necessarily great for you, you won’t be eating it all at once.