Diet, woah! One word you never thought I would use, huh? What I am referring to is the selection of foods you choose in terms of quality and composition. Nowhere in that definition is there any mention of removing an entire food group or limiting the amount of food you consume. In fact, I promote the opposite. Eat all you want, when you want, because that is what your body is commanding you to do!
Your body is greedy AF, it wants everything. When you give it nutrients, it takes them and makes use of them. When you give it fat, salt, and sugar, it takes those and stores them away to be enjoyed at a later date. So, no matter what you consume, your body will keep on working and doing its thing of being unstoppable at keeping you alive. You may be alive, but what about your quality of life? Now we both know that you can get by just living, or you can choose to focus a bit more on your diet and thrive!
What is the best way to thrive? Eat real, whole foods. Ignore all the scaremongering that is out there about carbs, fat, and whatever else you have heard. You have no need to be afraid of any kind of food. I have encountered clients who are fearful of eating just about everything because at some point in their life either a person, a TV show, or a book told them it was “bad.”
Fear and guilt are some of the strongest emotions you can experience. If you have an association of fear or guilt with a specific food, you may have a physical as well as a mental reaction when you are presented with that choice at a dinner party. It may sound ridiculous to some, but to many it is an everyday struggle. Do not fear food! Embrace it, love it! Food is fuel, it is delicious, and it is fun! Thriving in life involves not only eating real foods, but enjoying them along the way.
Ideally, we would always follow this motto penned by Michael Pollan, “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” I try to stay away from packaged products as much as possible, but I am no robot. Life happens and so do dinners consisting exclusively of crackers and cheese (and wine of course.) But, for the most part, I make it a priority to eat well and be curious about where my food comes from and I encourage you to do the same.
The take home message is this: make the best choices given your situation. You can only do your best each time you are given an opportunity. Every day, every minute, your best will be different. It is ever-changing with the landscape of life. Don’t hum and haw over whether or not you should eat a conventionally grown apple versus nothing at all. Eat the apple! Rinse it in vinegar and water and munch on it.
By incorporating more plants and less packaged food into your life, you will feel the shift from simply surviving your days to thriving through each one!