Are You Stuck In Your Comfort Zone?

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5AM. Waking up, the open window is blowing in cold air. Breathe in. Breathe out. Get up.

Why?

To get uncomfortable. To get out of your comfort zone. You see, within your comfort zone you can convince yourself that you’re less than what you actually are. Within your comfort zone you can convince yourself that life is unfair and you can be happy about not being this or that person. You can convince yourself to be happy with what you have and that making a change is too hard.

You may even feel like you don’t have a choice of getting up. That it’s not an option. But you do. And eventually you’ll figure out: Do I make the change or am I staying within my comfort zone. Am I getting up or am I sitting there complaining about my situation without actually doing something about it. What happens if i go for the change? How will it feel like?

Uncomfortable!

Embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable. Recognize how it feels like and rise above it. The difference between staying in your warm bed and pulling away the covers to get up is – feeling uncomfortable. Are you feeling cold? Tired? Weak? Sluggish? Demotivated? Uncomfortable? GOOD! It’s working!

Constant repetition

It’s your time to start stretching. It’s your time to start pushing yourself. Pushing yourself every single day will not only make you a stronger individual, it will help you creating a consistent progress of striving forward. Let’s strive for positive habits and one of them is pushing yourself through rough patches. Pushing yourself to go beyond your limits. And the repetition of this habit is important because it trains you to be an individual that has discipline. A person that has discipline is committed to do things even though it is not what they want to do or are reluctant to do.

“(…) There are some things in life you don’t need no degree for. There are some things in life you don’t need no money for, you don’t need no support for. There are some things in life you’ll get through when you tell yourself ‘I can get through this’.” – ET

Make up your mind

I empathize with over-thinkers. I know how hard it is to quiet the mind. But sometimes it is just about making up your mind. Making up your mind that you’ll not quit, that you’ll not give up. Making up your mind that it IS possible. Eliminate negative thoughts by not believing them. Decide not to believe the voice in your head that tells you you can’t do something, that you’re too weak or that you have no possibilities. Let those thoughts go and make space for more brighter and positive things. Try to develop your own set of affirmations that you can tell yourself especially when you’re feeling low.

Growing out of your comfort zone

As long as your being uncomfortable, striving forward and putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable you are on you’re way to get out of your comfort zone. You’re growing out of a place and state of mind that is holding you back from becoming the person you truly want to be.

“To get something you never had you have to do something you never did.” This is what being uncomfortable and growing out of your comfort zone is all about. It gives you the chance and enables you to grow out of whatever is holding you back. It enables you to strive for things that are not even present yet.

So the next time you turn down a task because you think it is too hard, decide not to go because you’re too nervous or decide to give in, I hope you remember those words:

“I don’t know what that dream is that you have. I don’t care how disappointing it might have been as you’ve been working towards that dream. That that dream that your holding in your mind. That it’s possible. That some of you already know that it’s hard. It’s not easy. It’s hard changing your life. That in the process of working on your dreams you are going to incur a lot of disappointment. A lot of failure. A lot of pain. There are moments when you are going to doubt yourself and say ‘God why? Why did this have to happen to me?’.  For those of you that experience some hardships. Don’t give up on your dream. There are rough times that are gonna come but they have not come to stay. They have come to pass!

It’s very important for you to believe that you’re the one! “

XO, Monalisa

Why Should I Consider Switching To A Whole-Foods And Plant-Based Diet?

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Because of my passion for nutrition I often find myself talking to people about why the standard western diet is detrimental to our health and how we can reverse the damage of excessive consumption of unhealthy and processed foods. At first, a whole-foods and plant-base diet can seem daunting, due to the flood tide of controversial information on the Internet telling people what to eat.

Switching to a whole-foods and plant-base diet is not a short term diet, it is not a quick fix for years of eating wrong and it is not meant to be a strict program that you’ll have to follow in order to be successful.

Transitioning into a whole foods and plant-based diet gives you the opportunity to:

  • get in touch with what you’re eating
  •  to change the relationship you have with food
  • be empowered, motivated and and ready to change your life in terms of mental, emotional and physical health
  • reset your body and fueling your body with foods that it deserves.
  • eat foods that won’t drag you down, slow you down or hold you back from reaching and maintaining a healthy body and mind
  • maintain a healthy weight without counting calories, following a strict diet or being forced to focus on only one type of food. No starvation, no jo-jo effect, no pills, and no weight-loss shakes, powders etc.
  • detoxify your body, ultimately helping you to a strong and lean body and clear skin
  • prevent/cure/lower risk of: diabetes, heart disease and stroke, hypertension, cancer, fatigue, nausea, eating disorders, depression etc.
  • maintain a healthy immune system
  • reduce your carbon footprint and help protecting our environment; 20 vegans can live off the same land required by one meat eater
  • live according to your personal values such as compassion and doing no harm, reducing suffering etc.
  • prolong your life and increase your life expectancy (!)

It is a lifestyle that will slowly but surely spread through not only your eating behavior but also your general behavior in terms of conscious living and finding your place in the world as a human being.

Writing for this blog, I hope to inspire you to make conscious food choices and find joy in taking active steps towards a healthy body and mind. Switching to a whole foods and plant-based diet absolutely transformed my life and I’m so happy I get to share my experience with you!

XO, Monalisa

Healthy Eating On A Budget

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The most common concern when switching to a whole foods plant-based diet is the following:

“I really want to eat better but it is so expensive and I cannot afford it.”

Sounds familiar? Then this post is for you. I’ll break down how to make good food choices while shopping on a budget so that you too can follow a whole foods and plant-based diet.

1. Setting priorities

Setting priorities is extremely important when eating on a budget. Setting priorities means that you stick to the basis of your diet even though you are tempted to do otherwise. To figure out what to cut in your diet to save expenses, start a food journal or mentally go through a week and see on what foods/drinks you spend your money on. You might come to the conclusion: No more Starbucks coffee on my way home, no more bought snacks and no more second drink when going out. Cha-ching! More money to spend wisely on proper food choices.

2. Quality over quantity

Yes, organic fruits and vegetables tend to cost more. But checking the list of the “dirty dozen” (http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214) will ensure that you won’t ingest harsh chemicals and buy foods that truly help nourish your body so that you feel satisfied. Quality over quantity also means not being afraid of buying 3 onions and 2 tomatoes if that is what you need for a meal. You don’t always have to buy large quantities if the chances are high that most of it will go to waste.

3. Buying in bulk

Local farmer’s markets and sometimes even supermarkets offer the possibility to buy in bulk. (See blog post “Bulk up” to learn how and get all the info you need). While it is wise to carefully select some foods and buy a decent amount that you will use for sure, food staples that you eat everyday are best to buy in bulk. It will save you a significant amount of money and your kitchen is stocked up.

4. Eating clean = Eating simple

The easier the better. The best thing when eating on a budget is to create a very simplistic basis of your diet. So that when more money is available you can stock up your kitchen (with spices for example or superfoods) but in general you can rely on not tapping into unhealthy eating habits when money is short. Eating simple means also buying fresh ingredients instead of products. Rather than paying packaged foods you opt for foods that won’t come with a list of ingredients you don’t even know and give you the possibility to create your own delicious meals. Good food staples to keep in mind:

  • Tomatoes, Apples and Bananas (buy in bulk! choose ripe bananas as they are better for your health and markets/supermarkets give them away cheaper most of the times),
  • Quinoa, rice and beans (if the selection at your supermarket is still pricey try ordering large quantities online, rice: preferably brown rice)
  • Onions (onions make hearty dishes and soups and not only help regulating your blood sugar but also keep your heart healthy)
  • Garlic and ginger (there is a great variety in using both and they add great flavor to your diet)

5. Monitoring and planning ahead

We fall off of our initial plan to eat healthy most likely when we’re starving or coming home after a long day of work. Also being active during the day, not being able to eat at home makes up for many possibilities to make poor food choices and spend money on snacks, drinks and meals that could be avoided. Spending an extra hour in the kitchen on Sunday to pre-cook all your lunch meals for the week can save you not only money but also ensures that you successfully stay on your path. What I found extremely useful is also keeping foods in the fridge or freezer that can be easily combined with other/fresh ingredients for a proper and quick meal. An example could be a container of pre-cooked quinoa that you can heat up and eat with veggies or toss in your salad.

6. Check Locavori for recipes 😉

Here on Locavori you can find many recipes that are easy to re-create. Hearty dishes are excellent for cooking ahead and storing in the fridge so that you can pull out quick and delicious meals out of the fridge all week long. All recipes allow many variations so that you can always use what you have on hand.

I hope this little post helped you on your journey! If you have questions or comments please leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook. 🙂

XO Monalisa