In an ideal world:
- We would enjoy eating good-for-our-bodies food and not let the scale be a measure of self worth.
- Workouts would be motivated by a love of moving and being active, and not fueled by guilt because we indulged too much the day before.
- Our food decisions wouldn’t be based on whether something is ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but rather on what our body needs at the moment.
Living a healthier life is hard. And it’s confusing. One day fat is bad and red meat will will stop your heart, then the next day avocados are America’s sweetheart and our caveman ancestors had the right idea when it came to steak. There’s keto, veganism, gluten-free, low-fodmap – and more research coming out every day to tell us how we should be eating.
In my quest to find the perfect diet I’ve counted calories, cut carbs, amped up protein, said ‘adios’ to dairy, added fats, took them out again, and avoided gluten like the plague (this does not bode well when you have a blog called Daily Ciabatta). Wanna know what I’ve learned? There is no ideal diet.
It’s all about finding what works, which is easier said than done. I’ve spent the past year really learning how to listen to my body. I worked my way through Whole30, experimented with veganism, and finally came to the realization that dairy and I might not be as good for each other as I once thought.
Everybody is different. I believe it ultimately comes down to what makes us feel energized and happy. If you cut carbs and found that keto works for you, then keep it up! If you’ve said ‘goodbye’ to animal products and found veganism makes you feel your best, that’s fantastic.
Lately, what’s worked for me is filling my plate with less animal protein and basing my meals around fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I’m on a dairy-hiatus, but if you put a good manchego in front of me I won’t turn it down. I also found sugar gives me mood swings and save indulgences for birthdays and special occasions.
This smoothie is a good snap-shot of what makes me feel my best. Tons of fruits and veggies, healthy fats from the cashews, protein in the hemp seeds, and ginger for a little antioxidant boost.
Cucumber Melon Smoothie with Ginger and Hemp Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Sliced Cucumber
- 1/2 Cup Packed Kale
- 1 Cup Chopped Melon (Cantaloupe or Honeydew)
- 1/2 Banana
- 1/4 Cup Cashews
- 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 1 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1/2-1 Cup Almond Milk
- Handful of Ice
Add the cucumber, kale, melon, banana, cashews, hemp seeds, ginger, and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Blend on high until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Add a handful of ice to the blender and continue to blend until thick and creamy. Serve and enjoy!