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Don’t flog me for saying this, but it’s been on my mind for a real long while. Being honest, open and raw I believe is part of me not only being truthful to you, my reader, but also to myself. So here goes. I feel like many of us are unknowingly spending our days with a form of an eating hang up – much like a form of an eating disorder. In no way am I making light of women with issues like anorexia or bulimia – it’s a serious illness that is nothing short of torturous. Helping women overcome their once poor relationship with food and their bodies is one of the toughest things I face as a practitioner – but something that is so equally rewarding when we can repair the wounds. But it seems we’ve kicked things up a real fast notch in the whole food, organic, paleo, vegan, vego, IQS world and I feel that for many of us, it’s actually becoming our undoing.
Don’t get me wrong, I too am on that same path – I eat predominantly organic, whole foods where possible. I avoid processed foods for the most part and heaven forbid before ‘that time of the month’ I might crave junky foods, or sometimes I’m on planes for an entire day and if I’ve been city hopping, at times the pack of ghastly nuts are my only option before I keel over. I’m not healing from cancer or needing to fix my thyroid (generally), my body is mostly happy. If I were in a serious health rut or experiencing life threatening illness, then absolutely I may need to change my tactic. But for most of us, we are using food as nourishment and to support our wellbeing. When eating becomes stressful, no matter what the circumstances, the benefits may be counterproductive.
Last week, I enjoyed the week off from cooking – a whole weeks worth of Eat Fit Food meals, ready made, on my doorstep every morning. My goodness. It was fabulous. I posted several images of the delights that landed on my door on social media and was immediately prodded with questions “is it organic? But I thought you avoided grains? Don’t you avoid sugar?” and so on as if I was committing a big fat crime. Truth be told, I was having one hell of a week and my saviour of getting any nourishment whatsoever were these meals every night, ready to go. Were they organic? No. Did that bother me? Not for the short term. Do I eat grains? No – it bloats the freaking bajoongers out of my gut. So what did I do? I passed on the rice. Life goes on.
With risk of sounding rude – where’s the common sense gone in all of this? Nourishment and feeding our bodies isn’t meant to be stressful. Sure, we totally need to be mindful around what we eat and understand the benefits of providing our bodies with the best food we can afford. However, it isn’t supposed to consume our every waking thought – that is, as far as I’m concerned, a form of an eating problem. Absolutely, I choose where possible to eat organic because I know that’s what’s best for me. And yes, I do avoid sugar for the most part, but I’m not suffering from a thyroid problem and so at times, it might be served up and sporadically it gets eaten. And then I move on.
Mindful eating is what counts the most. Tuning into what your body needs means that this is forever changing. Being stuck in a diet funk can be a disaster, not to mention you might actually miss the special little calls by way of cravings your body is ever so cleverly asking for.
Are you suffering from whole food hang ups? I believe many of us are. To get so stressed out because we can’t find the organic butter or to pass on the non filtered tap water when you’re keeling over from dehydration is madness. What happens when you go a long time without any form of nourishment? Unkind symptoms. It upsets your hormone balance, your body goes into famine mode and most of all, your cortisol levels sky rocket, not necessarily for any other reason than you’re stressed about finding your next paleo meal.
Of course it’s all about being mindful and most of all life enjoyment. Sometimes we’ve just got to chill out, let go and accept we can’t control everything. To surrender. To control what we can and let the rest go. It doesn’t mean you’re going to eat non organic food every night of the week, it may mean on the odd occasion where it can’t be helped you eat whats in front of you and move on. Life is all about the living – living to be the happiest version of you (cough cough – debunking stress) is much more important than feeling guilty about your last mouthful. I encourage you to practice mindful eating and move away from unkind thoughts that actually don’t serve us at all.