e3ac5bf6-3a14-413d-bfdc-e0bc52ee213c--ZI4A3873Hello, hello! Fall always gets me in the mood for new goals & healthy changes. I don’t know what it is, but every year at this time, I make a vow to eat better & live a more healthy life all around. Thankfully the lovely Natalie Canizares (our Health & Wellness Contributor) reads minds and totally understood what I needed to hear & hopefully you as well! Read on, friends – xoxo, LK

Last weekend I had the most incredible apple cider doughnuts at the farmers market. I’m not going to lie, apple cider doughnuts are probably one of my favorite things about the fall.

While I was strolling through the market I ran into an old friend. We chatted for a few minutes, caught up a bit, and before we parted ways she commented on how surprised she was to see me eating doughnuts. I was a little bit taken aback. I guess because I lead a healthy life people might think I don’t indulge in decadent foods, but that’s absolutely not the case.

ZI4A3829To be honest, there was a time where I was extremely strict about what I ate and it really wasn’t fun. Thankfully, I realized that being healthy means being happy and doing what feels best for YOU is what’s most important. 

Being healthy is not a black and white affair. Health and deprivation don’t have to go hand in hand. 

Nowhere does it say to live a healthy, balanced life that you need to follow a set of predetermined guidelines. It’s totally possible to be a healthy gal and still enjoy chocolate croissants.  

The key is utilizing the power of choice. Learning to say ’No’ when we mean no and ‘Yes’ when we mean yes is so important. When we make active choices as opposed following a set of rules we experience true freedom; and there is nothing healthier than that.

ZI4A3852 1. Ask yourself, “Is this really what I want?”

It seems simple but it’s a question we tend to forget to ask ourselves. Instead of eating that piece of cake at your friend’s party just because it’s there, pause and ask yourself that question. You’ll be surprised just how often you don’t actually want to indulge in “junk” food. Then, when you do really want that piece of cake you can consciously choose to eat it. That way you don’t have any rules to follow or break, therefore no guilt to be felt, because indulging in a dessert will be coming from a place of pure choice.

2. Notice how you feel after meals.

A lot of times we are so busy thinking about other things that we don’t realize how we feel after we eat.  If you take a moment after a meal to notice how you feel it can be extremely informative. This will allow you to make choices in the future based on feeling rather than guidelines that you follow. You will know that after you three slices of pizza you feel bloated and tired and after you eat a salad with salmon and avocado you feel satiated and energized. Therefore the next time you are presented with the opportunity to choose what you want to eat you can remember how you felt after you ate that specific thing. Making a decision is a lot easier when it comes from a place of feeling as opposed to from remembering what’s on your list of “yes” foods and “no” foods. Not to mention you don’t have to feel like you’re depriving yourself the opportunity to eat what you want, when you want.

3. Eat when you’re hungry.

It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when you aren’t starving. When we skip meals and end up drooling at a restaurant, it’s hard not to choose the heaviest thing on the menu. Instead of waiting until the last minute to eat, feed yourself when you start getting hungry. Making good choices when you are moderately hungry is a lot easier than when you’re totally famished.

4. Remind yourself that food isn’t going anywhere.

For some reason it’s common for us to think we need to eat whatever is in front of us because we feel like may never have the opportunity to eat that thing again. While that may very well be true in some cases, it certainly isn’t true in most. So remind yourself that if you don’t feel like eating whatever is placed in front of you in that moment, it certainly isn’t the last opportunity for you to experience it. Saying “no” will feel a lot easier when you aren’t afraid of missing out.


Photography & Apple Cider Donut Recipe by Food52natalie button