GOOD foods and BAD foods…should I eat THIS or THAT? I heard THIS was good for ___and THAT causes ____. These days we ‘re so bombarded with nutrition info that it can leave us feeling even more overwhelmed!
While I definitely appreciate all the knowledge I’ve learned over the past decade, I still always come back to these Three Fundamental Strategies when coaching my clients with that #1 Question:
“What Should I Eat??”
And of course, these longstanding navigational tools have absolutely nothing to do with counting calories, fat grams or macros but they DO offer ALL the WEIGHT MANAGEMENTand DEEP NUTRITION benefits that you’re looking for when it comes to creating your optimal health.
- Eat WHOLE FOODS – (not the store – LOL!) Eat foods that are closest to their original natural state when they were picked off a tree or plucked from the soil. They have all their edible parts intact and barely nothing else added or “fortified with”. Another way to think about a food choice: Would my grandmother recognize it and have it in her kitchen? Aim for the vast majority of your everyday foods to be whole foods.
- Eat HIGH ENERGY FOODS – (not Red Bull – LOL!) Like everything that exists, Food Is Energy – but not all FOODS are created equal. In the yoga tradition, we talk about UNIVERSAL LIFE FORCE ENERGY or “PRANA”. Prana is in the air we breathe as well as in the fruits and vegetable that come out of the ground. Adding more fresh (non-frozen, non-canned, unprocessed) fruits and veggies to your daily eating will give you an immediate energy boost. Organic (to avoid the chemicals and GMOs) and locally grown have even higher levels of Prana. Eating “dead” or “low Prana” foods taxes our digestive and metabolic function and creates fatigue and heaviness in the body.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY (not your MIND) – Learning to hear your body’s signals for when it needs nourishment and when it doesn’t, is the only way to ditch yo-yo dieting forever. Your body is talking to you all the time and it REALLY wants you to listen. When you resort to calorie restriction, “fighting hunger”, or become overly dependent on external gauges for “controlling your food”, your biology will always win. The goal should be to find your natural eating rhythm. Your body is wise and self-regulating. You just need to get reacquainted with the physical sensations of true stomach hunger and fullness. Of course, this also means observing and acknowledging your emotional eating triggers.
You can do a similar mindful pause the next time you are having a meal. Practice eating slowly and without distractions. Enjoy each bite and engage ALL your senses. And then AFTER you eat, Pause, Breathe and Feel again, listening for your Body’s (not your Mind’s) feedback.
Listening to your body is a process that takes patience, curiosity and compassion. There’s some trial and error involved, but I promise you that it will lead you to a healthier relationship with food, your body and yourself.