Why am I writing about food and diet when my main focus is movement?
For a very practical reason: from my own professional and personal experience, from observing peoples progress (or struggle to progress), it has become evident that what we eat has an enormous impact on the ability to improve physical performance, manage pain or heal from trauma. What you eat has a deep and multifaceted impact on the quality of all your body tissues.
This should not be a surprise, your body responds to a series of environmental stimuli and what you eat is part of your environment.
“Food” is a huge topic and “diet” to me is a four letter word! I’d rather talk about “nutrition”, as ultimately food is to provide nourishment. Food is source of energy: we need energy to do all the things we need and want to be doing in the course of a day – I don’t know about you, but I need lots of it! We take that energy from food: simple? But not quite!
Do you feel very confused, indifferent or depressed/overwhelmed when facing the subject of nutrition? Well, if the answer is yes, don’t worry! You have every right to feel that way: there is such an incredible amount of information and misinformation out there.
It should be a pretty straight forward approach. Have you have seen a cow standing in the field and wondering whether she had too much grass for lunch or should drink more water to avoid dehydration under the sun? I don’t think so. In fact, it looks like there is an evolutionary explanation of why human food consumption can be rather complex – but that is for another time… My point here is: we all possess an innate ability to be well and to know exactly what is good for us, how much and when we need it. We simply have got out of the habit of listening to our very own body wisdom. The good news is: with a little patience and a bit of training you can tap into that source again.
Let me be bluntly honest: we all dream of someone to come along and give us the perfect diet that will make us feel and look in top form. This is not going to happen. There is no quick fix! Furthermore, there is no one diet fit for all. Thriving health is a journey that begins within us and what is really needed is the willingness to re-learn to listen to our own body wisdom.
Here are some simple suggestions to help you find that inner wisdom.
EAT REAL FOOD
- Choose high density, nutrient rich foods. Choose fresh, seasonal, local, organic or better still bio-dynamic food, eat as much wild food as you can find.
- Learn to love good fats.
- Eat a variety of foods as given to us by seasonal (and preferably local) availability.
- Stay away from any processed food and refined sugars.
- Cut out gluten – I know this is a tough one and whilst a healthy body can deal with small quantities of it, the majority of us don’t. Test it for yourself, see what happens without gluten in your diet, see what happens when you reintroduce it.
- Balance cooked, raw and fermented foods.
- Eat when you are hungry, as much as you need and don’t be afraid of skipping a meal.
- Stop counting calories!
- Be curious, don’t be afraid of experimenting and learning to listen to what your body needs.
- This is my favourite! Take pleasure from food. Learn to love choosing and preparing your food. Share meals with loved ones, discover new flavours, really take time to taste what you’re eating – after all God has invented chocolate for a good reason!
As much as food is nourishing, the way we approach food is equally nourishing and very much charged with psychological and emotional values. Learning to connect to those aspects is as important as taking time to choose good quality food.
How do you feel about the food that you eat? Which of the points above made you think “Yup, that’s me!”? Leave me a comment below to share your food thoughts with me.