Sometimes it gets really confusing to know what to eat. There are so many trends including new and improved vitamins and supplements, anti-aging techniques, superfoods, etc. that threaten/I mean entice us into better eating habits and health. I only have to go through my email daily to feel totally overwhelmed and beleaguered by all the information that is being shared. Where do you start? This makes no sense to me and I am a nutritionist!
Behind all of this hype, it can feel like an obsession with gaining the perfect state of health and/or a hysterical stampede towards balance. In my experience, whenever there is a feeling of trying to get something – in this case, wellness – it just never seems to work for me. I’m talking about myself here – you can chime in if you like though. I’ve watched myself with so many themes in my life and whenever I TRY REAL HARD to do anything or get anything, it usually ends up with me feeling very crappy and frustrated.
What all of this has taught me is that whenever things feel too whatever – then it’s time to take a big breath and do something else – the faster the better!
Now one might ask "well how do we eat and take care of ourselves then?" I’m getting to that. I think when our emphasis is on getting it right – whether it be health, weight or diet – our focus is in the wrong place and it just doesn’t work. Or the effects are not sustainable.
How about switching our focus to how can we love ourselves more and support our body as graciously as possible? How about a gentler approach rather than straining, pushing or forcing ourselves into trends and fads, foods and vitamins that may not be the perfect fit for us as an individual. Maybe we have something much more valuable to give our bodies in terms of our attention of self-care and love.
What if it we unplug from all the hype and just make it our business to love ourselves by eating real food. By this I mean, fresh foods – you know the stick – vegetables and fruits, protein, fats, legumes and beans? I don't think I missed anything. And, more importantly, how about learning how to tune into our body, so that we start to develop an awareness of what foods work best for us. Maybe dairy doesn’t sit right; or perhaps a particular type of legume bothers you. It might be you feel tired or fatigued after eating some types of grains. I know that despite me loving the taste of coconut milk in a curry, my body only tolerates a very small amount before I suffer from pains in my gall bladder. Those pains are telling me that coconut milk is too rich for my digestion – it's actually more than a clue it's an out and out pain!
These are just small examples of how your body will tell you when a food does not agree with you. However, sometimes the clues may not be as straightforward as what I have described. That's why it is important to be present with ourselves and tuned in. There are many symptoms that you might not immediately attribute to diet; some examples might be: achy joints, swollen limbs, foggy thinking, runny nose, headaches, skin rashes; these are just a few of the ways our body speaks. If we have not learned how to pay attention, we may miss out on some valuable kernels of information.
There is a lot to be said for becoming tuned into ourselves at all levels – but, in this case as it relates to digestion and dietary choices. It really is worth trying; you might just become acquainted with one of the most wonderful creations on this planet – your own personal physical body! It really is a wonder to have such a marvelous mechanism at our disposal. Let’s take the time to really treat it with the love and respect that both it and we deserve!