There is a torrent of advice about nutrition everywhere. Instagram is exploding with photos of food, bloggers are clamouring to tell you about what to eat and what diet will lead to a happier, shinier you.
So, what should we eat?
I love Michael Pollan’s quote: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
That sums it up pretty well for me. And I’m not a vegetarian. All my meals, most days, revolve around vegetables, some good quality protein, some good fats and some fruit. I enjoy pulses and some grains and the sourdough from the bakery around the corner. I also love cake. Natch.
So, let’s ditch the D word. I hate the idea of diets – counting calories, denying yourself a food you really want, supposedly forever, is miserable. So is being hungry. And I don’t know about you, but if I’m told I can’t eat a food I’ll lie awake at night wanting it more.
Now, full disclosure, I may well advise my clients to stop eating certain foods for a while, but in the context of finding the foods that best nourish them. By watching the impact of certain foods on our well-being, we can explore whether certain health problems are being exacerbated by something we’re eating. Sometimes it will be for a few weeks, sometimes a few months – sometimes that process reveals that there are foods that affect how you feel and you might choose to pass on them as much as you can. And sometimes we can put right underlying issues that mean you can bring those foods back into your diet with no ill effects.
We need to see food as nourishment. Everything you eat or drink should be about making you feel well, energised, happy. Food is not just fuel, food is joy. Eating should be something we do with pleasure. I find the ‘clean eating’ movement unsettling because it cannot foster a healthy relationship with what we eat. For some people it can lead to disordered eating and obsessiveness around food that is unhealthy and can be dangerous. Of course, there are foods that we know are unhealthy. High sugar, high fat, highly processed, junk. Fast food should mean it took us 10 minutes to prepare in the kitchen from scratch, not we bought it through the window of our car. I love cake so I bake myself which means I can keep the ingredients to a handful, and keep the sugar content low.
My heritage is Greek and Greek Cypriot and like many other cultures, for the Greeks, food is love. My most treasured memories of both my grandmothers involve food and the kitchen. My mum’s mum was the most amazing baker. Her kitchen was always warm and smelt wonderful. She showed love through food because I believe she instinctively wanted to fill us with goodness. My dad’s mum used to make the best spinopita (spinach and feta pie) and my love of lemon/salty salads comes from her.
I totally get why women get stressed about what they eat. I don’t think that’s new – I grew up in a house of the Scarsdale diet and my auntie loved a good cabbage soup diet – but social media has made it much worse.
If you’re stressing about what you eat, I can help you take steps to address that.
Call for your free discovery call on 07939 516512.
Let’s make a pact. No food is good, no food is bad. No superfoods or evil masterminds. There’s just choice.