Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the right diet for your body type and way of life?
Well, the good news is: you’re not alone. Most of us do and there’s tons of research about it. However, we’re not alike. In fact, each of us is unique and therefore comes with individual needs. Yet, there are some general guidelines worth knowing when starting the process of nutritional trial and error.
The intention beyond this blog post series (yes, stay tuned ’cause there’ll be a follow up) is to help you feel home within your own body by providing the essential information needed so you may eat and treat yourself well.
A healthy outside starts from the inside
Hippocrates (460 BC), a greek doctor, already considered food to be mankind’s medicine. And he’s absolutely right: The majority of diseases could be prevented and in case of illness be treated with good nutrition.
In order to stay healthy, the body mainly needs two things:
a) a proper amount of sleep in order to rest and
b) a nutrition which goes in line with one’s individual demands.
You are what you eat
By nourishing your body, you fuel yourself with necessary energy that your body needs in order to function properly. The cells of your body are built out of the material you deliver. So yes, you are what you eat.
Your body consists of everything you consume.
We could even take it a step further here: you heard me well. Out of everything you consume. This means it doesn’t end with nutrients – what you put into your brain (the movies you watch, the books you read, the music you’re listening to, the games you play, …) is equally important to what you put into your mouth. Though, for now let’s stick to nutrition.
Health is a daily practice, not a 14 day diet
Evolutionary, we could say that the human metabolism and digestive system haven’t seen a dramatic change within the last 100.000 years. Therefore, it might be clever to take a look back into mankind’s history and learn from our ancestors.
In Stone Age, the Homo Sapiens’ diet was mainly plant based, rich in variety, fresh and regional.
But just as important to what he ate, is how he ate. Throughout the day he was quite active, it’s been the time where he consumed the food he found. Whereas, throughout the night he took the time to rest and digest. Since there was no fridge or freezer in his cave, he often had to sit out longer periods of time without any sort of food intake until the next meal was prepared.
Nowadays, we call this sort of diet “intermittent fasting”. Amongst other things, one of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is that it enables the body to restore and repair cells by giving our digestive system a break during the fast. Instead of being busy digesting food all day, the body now has the time and the resources he needs to take care for restoration.
However, the real problem these days is not that we’ve got access to food pretty much 24/7. The problem is our own discipline and willpower. Additionally, we’re unable to distinguish between hunger and emotional eating. So once we start eating mindful again and live with self awareness, we reclaim the power over our subconscious eating habits and naturally start to crave the exact amount and sort of food our body and lifestyle demands.
This is not a process that can be picked up by a 14 day diet, it’s a daily practice.
Another issue is industrially processed food. Sugar and other artificial ingredients are added nearly everywhere, despite its well known toxic impact on our health. Human health decreases, while the revenue of the sick care system increases. “Excessive sugar intake is associated with adverse health conditions, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory diseases” yet it’s added to most of the industrially processed meals we consume. (Freeman et al., 2018)
Mindful eating practice
This was a game changer for me and I’d like to share this mindful eating practice with you:
Before eating your next meal, bless your food. Be grateful for the food you’ve been served. I usually like to close my eyes, put my hands above the food, feel its energy and speak or think some words of gratitude. It’s a very common practice done in every Ashram.
When eating, focus on enjoying your meal. No TV, no book, no phone. Just you and our meal. Tune in and as soon as your body signals that he’s not hungry anymore (and trust me, every body sends this signal, we just gotta learn to listen again), save the rest of the food for later. (Because yay – we got a fridge! ;))
Notice how you feel. Not too full, not hungry. Ready to keep thriving through the day.
If you liked this one, stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts.
With infinite love,