PALEO, GLUTEN FREE, RAW, SUGAR FREE, SUPERFOODS, ORGANIC.. Anybody feel confused and overwhelmed??
Being a Nutritionist, even for myself, sometimes it can simply be all too much! Working in the industry where there is a new superfood, diet, protocols (anti-candida etc) , popping up monthly, it becomes overwhelming and also contradicting. However, I have definitely had my time trying and testing these diets and fads out (given my job, I have to right?). Yes I have tried some to see if they can heal my body, have an impact on weight-loss or increase my energy levels. BUT, it generally isn’t realistic, sustainable and is way too hard to stick to whilst trying to get on with and enjoying life.
We live a rather social and fast paced life (which I love and wouldn’t change for anything) but it is hard to enjoy the small things whilst being; paleo, vegan, gaps, raw, organic, sugar free, alcohol free..yadda yadda yadda. Often, it has the opposite effect, and it ends in bingeing, feeling hard on yourself, getting down and enduring a sense of failure, which is in no means healthy or any good for ourselves.
Anything in excess isn’t healthy and can cause unnecessary stress on our bodies whilst we are trying to stick to a certain protocol or lifestyle. Guilt has worse effects on the body than eating something you “think” you shouldn’t. Dr Mark David from the ‘Institute for the Psychology of Eating’ states that “one of the most fundamental building blocks of nutritional metabolism is neither vitamin, mineral, nor molecule. It’s our relationship with food. It’s the sum total of our innermost thoughts and feelings about what we eat. The relationship with food is as deep and revealing as any we might ever have”.
Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and filled with love, laughter and happiness. For me, personally I love my food and sharing these precious times with family and friends. These times will usually revolve around delicious food in some degree. SO, bottom line, I try to find balance…clichè yes, but it really does all come back to balance. I will share my little tips on how to get that balancing stick on cue…
How do we find that balance? The balance to not be overly consumed about what I can/ can’t eat, should/shouldn’t drink… easier said than done. It is difficult and challenging especially for those that have been programmed for some many years thanks to media manipulation, lifestyles and general society. Don’t get me wrong, I am a passionate nutritionist and I truly believe in healthy food choices, nutrient dense and wholesome foods and being sensible, but, again it comes down to finding the happy medium and this is what I advise me clients.
Here’s what I personally do and also advise my clients…
1. Listen to your body
Eat foods to make you feel good and happy. No I don’t mean Mcdonalds every day but don’t deprive yourself as it initiates a vicious cycle. The best diet is the one that makes you the happiest and healthiest. If you strive on a meat free diet or high protein or raw, listen to your body and give it what it needs. Not everybody works well with the same diet.
2. 80/20 or 70/30
It’s about being good 70-80% of the time and enjoying yourself (guilt free) the rest of the time. I know that if I have been great all week then I can enjoy that Friday afternoon (fave day of the week, ooh and perhaps Sunday too) glass of organic red or gin, lemon & soda with some homemade dip and veggie sticks. I always make sure I have a cold pressed organic green juice, (which my body actually loves and craves) at least 5 days a week but then I love my organic chockie too (yes I have numerous sweet teeth, not just a sweet tooth). See, that’s my balance..hehe. I also try and eat organic food when possible but I follow the ‘Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen’ list (check out EWG dirty dozen list here http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/).
It’s vital to move that body. Do something you enjoy; walking, yoga, aerobics class, group fitness. It’s excellent for the mind and the body but make sure it’s enjoyable and not something you dread.
4. Be optimistic
Negative thought patterns can be more detrimental to our health than what we put in our mouths sometimes. Positive mind, positive body (again this takes practice).
Surround yourself with love, beautiful friends and family. It really does have a huge impact on your life.
6. Be kind to yourself
It’s empowering when we succeed or make ourselves feel good from getting in some hard work. Get rid of that self sabotaging, self conscience (that usually accompanies the guilt when we “slip off the wagon” etc). If you be honest with yourself and notice areas that need some extra TLC you can nourish these areas in a healthy manner.
7. Be prepared
My husband always says “preparation prevents poor performance”, and it’s rather true. If I need to find my 70/30 balance for the week I still need to be prepared. Green juice on my Monday morning is vital for me, otherwise my week may start off on the wrong foot.
Switch that phone on aeroplane mode when you can (minimises the EMFs too) and take a time out for yourself. I love having some podcasts on the Ipod or my meditation and hypnotherapy playlists to rebalance the mind.
9. Don’t fight the inevitable
If you’re at a friends birthday and the cake comes out, enjoy! If you’re with the girls and red wine and cocktails are on the cards, enjoy! Romantic dinner with the husband and a stop via the gelati shop on the way home, perfect end to the evening, get there stat..and enjoy!
Balance means you are free from having to control or handle anything. Putting small changes into practice and shifting your focus can be the start of getting this ball rolling in the right direction..
That’s all from me. Try to adapt these little tips into your life to assist with finding that beautiful Balance..