How can there be so many different diets that contradict each other, with people swearing that their diet is the best and will heal EVERYTHING? Hmmm…perhaps because we are all individuals, with our own genetics, lifestyles and unique requirements? For some people one way of eating will be a cure while for someone else that very same way may bring them to breaking point.
I am not by any means an expert when it comes to nutrition. I have not gone to University to study, my knowledge comes from my own body, my past experimenting with how I eat, and a lot of reading. If you choose to listen to what I have to say here don’t take it as gospel as it is just one individuals opinion, but do go and learn about what your body needs right now, do listen to it’s signs and signals and do educate yourself around what a good way to eat is for you. For now here’s some of what I know about food.
Michael Pollen said it best “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Simple, easy and common sense.
So let’s start with eat FOOD. Food does not come out of a packet, food comes out of the ground, off the earth or out of the water as a once living creature. If you are opening a packet with a list of unpronounceable ingredients on the back of it, it is not food but a ‘food like substance’. It does not have to be difficult, eat fruit and vegetables, beans and unprocessed grains, nuts and seeds, honey and meat/fish if you wish. Don’t be too fixated on this though, if you occasionally eat something out of a packet, so be it, get over it, and make your next meal fresh.
Not too much. How much is too much? Only you can know that, just be honest and feel your body both before and after you eat. Stop and breathe before getting seconds. Stop and sit in the sunshine before standing at the cupboard to mung out on whatever you see first. We’ve all overeaten, and felt crap because of it. We know it. Again, of course you will overeat occasionally, get over it and don’t stress because the stress is much much worse for you than the overeating. In todays world we are just so bloody lucky that we don’t have to EVER be hungry, and think we are dying if we’ve missed a meal and feel a slight hunger pang. This is what it means to live a blessed life, but it also means we need to practice some self control as if we wanted to we could eat ourselves into an early grave, and some people do.
Mostly plants. If you choose to eat meat, go for it. If you choose not to, good work and thank you for helping our planet but don’t judge others for eating it. I was a vegetarian for the best part of 20 years, and ended up pretty unwell, far from the picture of health we envision, struggling between my morals and my health. There is absolutely no doubt that vegetables/plants are the healthiest foods you can eat. Any and every nutritionist, every diet, everyone will tell you to eat more veggies, but whether or not we should eat meat is a matter of opinion, beliefs and again, individual make up. You cannot tell me that every one can be a healthy vegetarian, because I proved that otherwise. You cannot say that you have to eat meat to be healthy as there are people out there who have been Vegetarians their whole lives who are healthy and happy. It is up to YOU.
A while ago I made a silent pack with myself that I would never follow any ‘diet’ or any way of eating that was dogmatic or had rules involved in it. From that moment I began to listen to how food made me feel, both physically and emotionally. It’s an ongoing process, but one that I love and thrive upon as I think there is nothing more important than what we put in ours and our families bodies, and there should be a conscious choice made every single time you eat something. Don’t take my word for it though, go out and explore for yourself, and enjoy the exploration as this is something that is in your control 100%.