Besides being a Beachbody coach and a gluten free advocate (wouldn’t that make a good blog name?), I am also a musician. I’ve used the word “repertoire” as soon as I started studying music in college. While it sounds like a very pretentious word (and I suppose it is), “repertoire” is simply a word that describes a person’s library of musical pieces that he or she has learned so far in their lives. Ideally, the musician should be able to play these pieces with little notice, but with practice and time, a musician should be able to perform a piece from their repertoire at some point. Repertoire also reflects a musician’s experience in their field; for example, if you are a pianist who plays cocktail hour at weddings every week, you pick the same type of music from your repertoire that you know everyone will love. It is with this experience that you know what songs work best; you cannot learn this part in music school! (I guess that you could call it “music street smarts”.)
As humans, we have accumulated a “repertoire” of foods we tend to eat by habit. However, the majority of the population pays little attention as to how a lot of foods make them feel. For example, I recently met a woman who has gone gluten-free by requirement of her doctor. When I asked her why she had to start eating gluten-free, she replied, “my stomachaches were getting too severe. I have suffered from stomachaches for years and thought it was just a chronic problem of mine that couldn’t be solved!”. We know how our heart feels when we eat things that aren’t good for us (like that monster-sized portion of chocolate, you glutton!), but we never correlate how our body feels after eating them. It was only after I started to drink Shakeology that I realized my fatigue was directly connected to my lack of basic nutrition. Had I been eating poorly? No. Were there holes in my nutrition, simply from the superfoods that I might not eat daily? Yes. After drinking Shakeology for three days, I did not find myself clawing for my coffee mug with a vengeance. My energy became elevated, and I began to find a ripple effect in other aspects of my life: I was happier! I became less stressed about certain topics. I wanted to continue to eat healthily all day because of how I know I would feel.
Establishing a “food repertoire” is a great way to make your healthy eats into habits and realizing how your body reacts from them. My first recommendation? If you haven’t tried yet, try going gluten-free. I now know two people on my team who have gone gluten-free and realized how much better they feel without it. (That’s how I knew I had a gluten intolerance.) You don’t have to have Celiac’s Disease to have a gluten issue, people!
My second recommendation? Cut sodas out of your diet. That alone is such an easy way to eliminate something that is so toxic out of your system. Buy yourself a nice Nalgene bottle and tote that sucker around.
My third recommendation? Buy in bulk. If you have plenty of healthy options surrounding you and no healthy options within plain sight, you are more likely to reach for those healthy choices. Did you know? You can buy a case of something from most stores. For example: I love Whole Foods’s canned, no salt added garbanzo beans. (Read the labels, folks- a lot of sodium lurks in canned chickpeas!) They are 89 cents per can at the local store. (The local competitor is $1.) If you ask to buy a case of these canned chickpeas, you can special order 24 cans of delicious, no salt added garbanzo beans at the .89 cents a price AND they give you an additional 10% discount for buying in bulk. I mean, seriously, I don’t have to struggle with finding healthy options when I discover things like this. It makes it SO affordable and easy!
My fourth recommendation? Make it easy on yourself. Don’t go for a super gourmet, complicated gluten-free meal for dinner when you just walked in the door from work and feel like your stomach is eating itself. My favorite summer staple: 1/ 2 of a can of rinsed/dried chickpeas (hello, Whole Foods!) with one diced plum tomato, some feta on top, and maybe some garlic powder because I love all things garlic. Boom. Five minutes, and I have a delicious, healthy meal. It takes that long just to decide what you’re ordering from the local pizza shop.
My fifth recommendation? Go slowly. I have met people who go on gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, salt-free (life-free?) diets so they can cleanse themselves. And then they go back to their old ways in about ten days’ time. Being healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. If you can only handle eliminating your afternoon Red Bull, then that’s all you can do for now. Success is a series of small steps.
And lastly, I must warn you: establishing a healthy food repertoire might be really hard at first. We are chemically dependent upon processed foods, and mentally accepting that you will accept more fruits and veggies as your foods will take time. But once you do, you will find that shopping is IMMENSELY easier than before. You WILL save money (I swear). And your body will feel so much better.
With these tips in mind, what will you do to establish your food repertoire in a healthier way?