As I explore my studies in Holistic Nutrition, I have been getting questions from friends and family about the best things to eat. So, here are my two cents:
As an individual you are an intuitive being. You all are smart and educated and know the basics of healthy eating. So, give yourself some credit! Forget about what every “expert” is saying on the internet and stay true to how you feel. Intuitive eating is sort of like dating – you kinda just know what works well with you! You know what you are willing to accept and you know when to throw in the towel and try something new.
Too much of a good thing cannot be good for you
You know how to eat a balanced diet. You know that fast food may be a good idea at the time and then a not so good idea once you polish it off. Tip: It is best to limit fast food or if you are in a grind (i.e. at a restaurant) choose the healthiest option on the menu. You and I both know you will get back to eating more balanced tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up about it and remember to be kind to yourself.
On the flip side, too much obsessive healthy eating (now coined Orthorexia) can be unhuman like. We all need a cheat meal here and there. Allow yourself a cheat meal at most once a week. If you are craving something often, it may be worth exploring. Are you giving into your craving by emotionally eating? Also, your body may be actually deficient in the food you are craving
For example, if you are craving dark chocolate, you could be deficient in magnesium. On a more spiritual basis, you could be feeling “deficient” in love and feeling lonely. Best to put down the chocolate and call a friend or family member for emotional support.
You do not have to be gluten free, dairy free, soy free, sugar free or even vegan for that matter to be in “good health”.
Use the 80/20 rule when eating. Try not to blindly hop on the Vegan train because so and so told you so. Veganism is a niche lifestyle and many people do it for a myriad of reasons. Some bodies feel amazing on this type of lifestyle and THRIVE!
On the flip side, some people fair well on an eating plan that includes animal products. Make your own decisions and if you do decide to include animal products, be sure to include organic and grass fed options…of course when your wallet can afford to.
Compile a lifestyle and food diary
For a two weeks straight write down how you feel after each snack and meal. Things to consider are: if you feel satisfied, still hungry, gassy, bloated or even irritated (in mood). Include the days that you exercise. How do you feel after these activities? It’s a wonderful thing when we can truly tune into our bodies.
It’s time we pause and eat the things that work with our bodies. I hope that these tips will help guide you in the right direction for what ultimately works for your body.