I have written many times on food, eating and diets. And it seems the same ‘diets’ keep popping up, with new names and new-catch phrases, all with the guise to get you to buy in. Most of these programs are fads. Many were booed under a different name, but are now embraced because of endorsement by this one or that. And yet, we buy in hoping to achieve new results, QUICKLY.
Recently, I went round and round, seemingly chasing my own tail, with someone who clearly did not understand nutrition trying to push an agenda on me. Simply because I encouraged reducing processed foods, I mean because in that statement I clearly said ‘follow-this diet’. It is seemingly logical that if you want to improve your health, the simplest thing to do is reduce the amount of processed food consumed. Dont buy it; dont bring it home. It eliminates the temptation to eat it. And in saying this, someone was trying to convince me that this is plan X, or diet Y, instead of solid eating advice.
Because of this thought process, I feel the ‘diets’ are winning.
Truly it is simpler to buy into a ‘plan’ than finding the balance in your life.
Take a walk through your bookstore. There is a whole section devoted to diets. You can find everything under the sun. And every day, more and more fitness coaches are promoting the diet du jour, and the diet companies have coaches for it as well. Without the sound of reason, they are pushing a FAD, under the guise of health, all in hope that you buy in. And many are so restricitng, so off-balance, it is no wonder you fall off the wagon and feel absolutely helpless and frustrated. Others will create a weight-loss, amd when you return to your regularly scheduled lifestyle, you gain the weight back and then some, leaving you utterly overwhelmed.
I mean, it was supposed to work, wasn’t it?
Stepping forward, I want you to think about Balance. Many eating habits and programs are not LIFESTYLE CHOICES, so I want you to begin now about balancing your food. Think of DIET as a habit, as a lifestyle, the way you incorporate food into your daily existence. It is not a FAD, it is what you do every single day. It is how you fuel to perform, how you socialize, how you comfort, relax, and BE. (You forgot food did all that?) An eating program that does not provide balance will be tossed aside rapidly.
Consider also the BALANCE on your plate. Are you representing the. colors of the rainbow? Do you include fruits and vegetables into your meals? If no, why not? Fruits and veggies provide us with many vitamins and minerals that we might not be getting otherwise. They provide fiber, which aids in digestion, feelings of fullness and passing our wastes.
Oh, but you heard CARBS are bad.
Or you should not eat SUGAR.
Does that include your fruits or veggies?
I am still confused how we can label a food bad. The reality is— we may have intolerances to different foods because of the processing, or our genetic makeups, or because of pharmeceuticals we are taking or other allergies we may have. It does not make the food BAD. It makes it not a good choice for us. Making that individual.
I know you are thinking oh, it must be easy for her……. Honestly, it isnt. I have great days, and days I don’t eat enough or I run down the rabbit hole and eat a WHOLE BAG of popcorn, or box of cookies. But I know, that regardless of what happens now, I am one meal away from correcting the error. I do not play the game of I can eat this and workout twice as long tomorrow. Nor do I believe that eliminating a food group is a solution. But I also know increasing my protein and reducing my carbs can increase my fat loss, just as increasing my leafy vegetables can.
How do I eat? I get asked this a lot, especially now that I am a Nutrition Coach. Truthfully, I eat a predominantly plant-based diet. And let me explain, since it can mean many things. It means, I fill my plate first with fruits and vegetables. And then I garnish it with fish or seafood, or meat. I eat cheese. I have cream in my coffee. Yes, real cream. I eat grains with veggies. I eat fruit. I eat omelettes, with tons of veggies. I eat popcorn, and ice cream, and occassionally chips.
I evaluate how I react to foods. Do I feel energized, or sluggish after eating these? Do they help me recover? Do they cause me to feel bloated or poofy? Do I need to cycle these out and reintroduce later? How are these foods influencing what is happening within me physiologically?
I evaluate the level of processing. I keep getting told that if it has less than five ingrediants or has all-natural ingrediants, it must be good for you. Granted all-natural and low-ingredient count is definitely better than ingredients that I cannot pronounce, BUT….. if it is in a box-like-that, it is processed. I can guarantee that if I bought it in a store (not a farmer’s market) a machine made it. It is processed. And so I consider what is the level, and how much processed food I am willing to consume? It’s a challenge since I do not live on a farm, but in a city. So I need to find the balance, amd what I am willing to accept and what I am willing to compromise.
My cousin described it as eating like a gorilla. Lots of veggies, with some ‘bugs’. I think it is a great description.
How would you describe how you eat?