What I’m Learning through Food

Chocolate 1

I have always understood that nutrition plays the major part in how we feel and function in our bodies.

My father was a foodie long before the term came along. I grew up eating clean, fresh whole food. I never ate pizza, macaroni and cheese, potato chips or tacos until I was out of the house at 18.

As an overweight teenager, I tried every diet I could find or think of. My mother once told me “you can diet on anything, even chocolate cake!”  Wow, was that not helpful.

Later, after I learned how to manage my weight, I went nuts in several different directions, first obsessively counting calories and fat until one day I realized that I hated everything I ate (there is nothing that can make low-fat cheese taste good) and manifested what my therapist called disordered eating. “Diets” (otherwise known as eating to lose weight) and scales dredged up obsessive behavior so I quit both. Somewhere in there exercise bulemia joined the party.

to   the  until a new friend brought me back.

I discovered junk food and struggled with figuring out how to eat as much as I wanted and not gain weight. Since I have always moved, I assumed I could just move more. Curiously that doesn’t always work.

When I went into fitness, I learned the dogma that is still around today:

red meat, butter, whole dairy and anything saturated is poison.

Low fat is the way to eat to live a long and healthy life.

To lose weight, portions have to be small.

I am coming to the end of a “30-Day Reset” (that will actually be a 44-day reset when it’s over) that challenged much of what I have come to believe and accept about nutrition.

When I began I told you that I have always understood how important nutrition is and that’s true. However, nutrition was never an aspect of fitness and wellness that drew my interest beyond the very basics. “Moderation” was my mantra. I never give nutritional advice – that would be like me giving advice on stock options!

There are thousands of ways to fuel the human body; some arguably better than others. Some downright stupid and some downright dangerous.

I’m not writing to tell you about this fabulous diet I found. I’m writing to suggest that you keep looking for ways to feed your body beyond what you have always done. Ways that are whole and fresh and don’t come in boxes and bags.

Nutrient dense food.

I’m suggesting that you let go of the “rules” and listen to your body.

I’m suggesting that you question what you know and what you think you know about nutrition and the human body – particularly your body.

What I’ve learned so far is that choosing not to eat sugar and gluten eases the chronic pain I have lived with almost all of my life.

I’ve learned that butter makes fresh, beautiful vegetable taste even better – and it doesn’t make me fat. Fats like butter, coconut oil, and avocados keep my blood sugar at an even level and gives me sustainable energy.

I’ve learned that white rice is the most benign grain,

though I love cabbage I will never be able to eat it comfortably.

Quick and easy is a lie – at least at first. It takes a little while to adjust to anything new. Adaptation can feel a bit uncomfortable or even disorienting, but that passes. What feels cumbersome and time-consuming in the beginning becomes a smooth process after a couple of weeks.

The best lesson I learned was to listen to my body.

One eating plan or diet does not fit all, and like a really good pair of jeans or that perfect dress, it takes a lot of ‘trying on’ to find the right one.

The time and effort is well worth it considering the potentially far-reaching effects.

Do some research, make some changes and surprise yourself!

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