Aesthetics vs. Health

Weight loss or striving for a certain aesthetic aren’t things I encourage myself or my clients to solely focus on. When my clients adopt a whole food, plant-based diet natural weight loss is an outcome. But I really want my clients and myself to look at the whole picture when in comes to health. It’s important to learn about our bodies and why practicing a healthy, sustainable lifestyle is important to prevent and reverse disease and other health issues.

Not only that but focusing only on getting to a certain look or size are so heavily emphasized in the media already which has many negative side-effects on our mental health. Focusing solely on weight loss doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term health.

If the main focus becomes being a certain size or looking a particular way, too often health gets thrown out the window or gets confused with true healthy habits. For example, one can lose weight by restricting calories, not eating at all, over-exercising (especially when already tired), exercising to “undo” a particular meal that was eaten, weight loss pills, appetite suppressors (in the form of cigarettes, supplements, and even appetite suppressing lollipops), going from one trendy diet to the next, or using cocaine; that took a turn, didn’t it? None of these are good ideas, beneficial, or sustainable in the long run. If we only want to lose weight or look a certain way, we may be persuaded into adopting unhealthy habits to achieve that.

Instead, I work to help my client’s focus more on what’s going on inside our bodies. Is there perhaps an underlying condition that has led to weight gain or that may be making it hard to lose weight such as blood sugar handling issues? Is there metabolic damage from years of undereating. By helping client’s to instead address the root cause by making healthy lifestyle and diet changes, weight loss will be a side-effect among many other benefits.

It is not wrong to want to lose weight or achieve a certain look. I would never shame someone for wanting those things. We all want to look our best! But I do want to encourage people to reframe their mindset around those ideas. We should be focused on our inside health first. Our outside health will then follow. Together we can continue to move the conversation from weight and image to gaining health, vitality, and energy that will be sustainable and last us a lifetime.

It can be a challenge to not want to change our bodies to fit a (fake) ideal. Just open up your Instagram account or grab a mainstream magazine off the store shelf. You will likely be bombarded with tanned and toned bodies with words that make us believe these people are healthy. And maybe some of them are leading a healthy lifestyle that plays a role in how they look. But I know many are also using unhealthy tactics to achieve that look. They may not be eating anything before the photo is taken. They utilize photoshop or filters or taper their water consumption to appear more cut. Many are over-exercising and under-eating and using certain angles when taking photos. When putting the focus on aesthetics we may get caught in a cycle of unhealthy patterns to manipulate our body into looking a certain way instead of focusing on overall health, both in our body and mind.

I spent about 5 years over-exercising and undereating to get myΒ body to look a certain way. While I did lose (too much) weight and appeared “toned”, I was not healthy. I suffered from poor mental health in the form of major mood swings, anxiety, and depression. I dealt with digestive issues daily, sleep issues, and my fingernails were super flimsy. I thought protein powder was a health food; it’s not. I thought I had to “earn” my carbs through a workout; I didn’t and you don’t.Β  I also didn’t menstruate for 4 years because I didn’t have enough body fat which is a big deal. My body was telling me point blank that I was not healthy. It’s important for women to maintain at least a bit of body fat to have a healthy menstrual cycle, good brain function, healthy skin and nails, and body temperature regulation.

I was putting aesthetics over physical and mental health but not anymore! I healed myself of all of those things through a plant-based diet and am more comfortable in my skin than I ever was at a smaller size.

I’ll finish with these final thoughts.

Health works from the inside out. You can not base someone’s health by their outside image. You can be lean, small, toned, or skinny and be unhealthy or healthy. You can be larger, curvy, overweight and be healthy or unhealthy. My point is health comes from the inside out. If you are consistent with following a healthy lifestyle that includes mostly whole plant-based foods, your body will follow naturally. Your body will land at a naturallyΒ healthy weight and be able to prevent and reverse many health issues.

A long life doesn’t come from looking a certain way. It comes from living in a way that makes you feel good, gives you energy, helps you sleep well, provides good brain function and even moods. It comes from eating right so you can have a healthy heart, a healthy mind, and good blood sugar regulation, just to name a few.

Being healthy is in.

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Sour cream belongs on tacos in my opinion and this tofu sour cream is so easy to whip up and tastes kind of perfect as a sub for dairy sour cream. ...
Recipe: 
1 package of tofu (any will do - I usually buy firm)
~ 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
~ 1Tbsp Apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Combine and blend all ingredients into a blender until smooth and creamy. 
NOTE: I like to start with about half of the lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and then blend, taste, and adjust flavors as I go until I get the right sour creamy flavor. 
2. Chill and enjoy!
  • Kinda diggin' this new almond milk sweetened with banana puree. It's like a grown up version of the Nesquik banana milk and I'm here for that.
  • HELLOOO EVERYONE!! πŸ’•
Dang, it's been awhile since I've posted consistently on here. I'd like to change that. To be honest, I struggle with allowing my true personality to show up on here which makes it difficult for me to want to be on here much. I sometimes worry about what others might think of the things I share so I end up not sharing anything! But I don't want to do that. I find joy in being able to help motivate and educate people on taking charge of their own health and eating their dang fruits and veggies. While I do that in my real day to day life, I'd like to bring that work on here a bit too because I generally enjoy the people I connect with on this platform. .
TL;DR - Hello again. Instagram is weird. But I like it anyway and plan to be better about posting consistently about plantbased eating and the evidence behind it and a little bit more about me. βœŒπŸ’œ
  • @thedomramirez and I had some fun making some banana sushi for dessert. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ Simply cover banana in nut butter and roll in toppings of choice.
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We are freezing some for those times we want a sweet snack.
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I bet these would be a lot of fun to make with kids, too.
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  • Wise words from Roots!
#Repost @rootszerowastemarket
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There's no room for single use! Literally, there's NO MORE ROOM on our planet for single use. .
If you have to take on packaging, make sure you are reusing those containers! Just because the product is gone doesn't mean the value is. You not only bought yourself food but also a re-usable container..so get your money's worth! .
Our recycling system is broken but you can be the solution...every day you #reuse and #refill. .
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#goingzerowaste #upcycle #reuserevolution #getyourmoneysworth #savethelandfill #savetheplanet #savetheoceans #refillrevolution #singleuse #consciousconsumer #getmoreforless #wasteless #livelighter #zerowastegoals #zerowaste #zerowastejourney #lovetheearth
  • No need to complicate healthy eating. Leftovers make lunches a snap. Today's lunch was a bowl of leftover steamed veggies and roasted potatoes with salsa on top. On the side, I had two seaweed brown rice cakes with mashed avocado, hummus, salsa, sauerkraut, and warmed refried beans from a can. Easy and ready in 5 minutes and full of fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
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