This article I wrote originally appeared on Mind, Body, Green July 27, 2013.
I had an article run on Mind, Body, Green a few weeks ago and had great response from readers. They changed my title to "10 Signs You're Eating Right for Your Body" but I still like mine better: "10 Side Effects of Eating Healthy."
In case you missed it, here is the full article:
Two years ago, I made it my mission to eat a healthy diet filled with whole foods and fresh vegetables. This wasn't just a personal decision, I did it for my family as well. (Back then, my idea of a veggie was fried okra or a red pepper slipping into my chicken fajita). Needless to say, it took me a while and lots of experimenting, but it was the best decision I've ever made (besides marrying my husband, of course)! Now that I know what foods work for me, I wanted to let you know what you can expect when you start to make fresh vegetables a staple of your diet.
1. You poop regularly.
Let's just get this one out of the way. So many people don’t talk about it, but going #2 is vital and you should be doing this every day. I know people for whom “normal” is once a week. That is so far from normal and I cannot even imagine
how uncomfortable that must be. Eating healthy means pooping regularly.
2. You maintain a healthy weight without stressing or obsessing.
Perhaps obvious, this is an amazing side effect! So many people struggle to reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you makeover your diet to real, whole foods, your weight will go down and stay down. No need to count calories, fat grams, weigh your food on a scale, or count points.
3. After dinner, you actually have the energy to go see a movie.
So often, my husband and I would go out for Mexican food planning to see a movie or get a drink afterward. But once we
walked out of the restaurant, we were both so bloated and full that all we wanted to do was go home and get on the couch. If you have a sensible dinner, you'll have all the energy in the world to dance til midnight if you choose.
4. Your clothes fit better.
This is true until they start to fall off. You'll find the first few weeks that your favorite jeans are a little baggy. And then one day you have to go buy a belt. Then you'll have to go buy a new pair of jeans. (I don’t know about you, but going into the Gap and picking out a smaller size was for me, a very good day.)
5. Your sex drive goes up.
Yep, this is true! When people feel and look better, they are more open with their bodies, which leads to you-know-what.
I've read quite a few stories from men who go meat-free for a month and have had amazing results in the bedroom.
6. You sleep better.
When I used to make a habit of eating things that were bad for me, I'd sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a horrible stomach ache. I used to assume I had a stomach virus, because I had no idea it because I was eating the wrong foods for my body. I now lay my head down, turn on my meditation app, and am in dream land in no time.
7. You're happier.
This is a pretty broad and bold statement, but when you feel better, you're generally happier. You will find yourself talking to strangers and maybe even giving advice to people at the grocery store. I find myself holding doors for people, letting a rushed driver cut in front of me and not even minding. Feeling healthy makes you happy, happy, happy.
8. Your friends think you're a little weird.
Expect this side effect at the beginning. When you go out and they order the usual high-calorie, fatty and greasy food, while you order an amazing salad, they're going to think you've lost your mind. Don’t worry, after time, they'll get used to it, but you'll have to listen to their justifications about how crazy you are for a while. Even better is going to a coffee shop and ordering hot tea or making a yummy smoothie in the break room at the office. This will make their head spin.
9. You stop taking over-the-counter meds.
I used to have major allergies that would turn into full blown sinus infections several times a year. I cringe when I think of how many rounds of antibiotics I used to take, or how I'd get ticked off if they didn’t give me a Z-Pak. I have not had any of these infections in well over a year now. Others completely reversed, (yes, reversed!) their Type 2 diabetes by doing
nothing other than changing what they eat. Could food be the miracle drug we're all looking for?
10. You want to tell the world your story.
This will happen as you slowly change your thinking and your habits. Once it's been a few months and you've experienced all the side effects above, you'll want to shout it to the world!
Go ahead, you might just save someone’s life.
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!