If I told you exactly what to eat, it would be based on the current research and information available. Have you noticed what tends to happen with nutrition information? It’s constantly changing. So, is red wine good or bad for you? How about coffee? How many times have you heard new studies showing it was good and then a little while later a new study comes out saying it’s not good for your health. It feels like you can’t win. You’re trying to do your best and follow the advice but your effort feels wasted.
There are certain things that we know won’t change much, such as fruits and vegetables being better for you than cakes and donuts. But I always feel like there’s this missing piece, this gray area. It’s in the execution and all the elements involved besides the food going in the mouth. The message can often be translated into, “ok, so fruit and vegetables are good and cakes and donuts are bad. Got it.” Which is not exactly true but when the time comes to try and make changes to be healthier, people sometimes go to the extreme. “Ok, I’m going to just eat fruits and vegetables” (I’m obviously oversimplifying this). Then when the craving strikes for cakes and donuts, we don’t allow ourselves which makes it all the more enticing. Eventually we cave and feel like a failure. “Why did I do that? I can never stick to eating healthy”. But what if we allow cakes and donuts along with our fruit and vegetables? We can turn our mindset upside down and allow it and know that it actually can be beneficial to eat the cakes and donuts. Food is fuel but also pleasure. Who wants to live a life void of pleasurable foods that you enjoy? As long as our body is being fueled, we should also enjoy the pleasures of food that brings us joy.
This is why I don’t tell people what to eat. I don’t know what foods bring them joy but I can show them how to let food bring them joy again rather than guilt. I can’t prescribe you the perfect diet and if I did, it may change again. The importance is less on the what to eat and more on the why, when and how.
The one thing that we can work on is your mindset around foods, ways to be skeptical/critical of marketing efforts around current trending words, pushing back against the messaging we’re being given around toxic diet culture and body image and give ourself peace in our imperfect efforts to find out unique way to healthy living.