How you eat does not have to have a name
If you are confused about how to eat, don’t worry. You are NOT alone. Something that should be so simple and so basic has become so confusing, because there is just too much information out there and we don’t know how to apply it to ourselves. We don’t know how to listen to our own body’s wisdom and we actually don’t even trust it. I hear from new clients on a regular basis that they come to see me because they need to learn how to eat. It is not because we cannot intellectually understand how to eat, it is simply overwhelming to figure it out for ourselves.
So what is the matter?
We are disconnected from our bodies and with how food feeds and nourishes us. Food has become a relationship based on science and we cannot relate, because we don’t choose what we want to eat in that way. Food is an emotional choice, because we choose based on taste and how it makes us feel. Of course, it is possible to make choices based on good nutrition, but without feeling nourished, we are not happy.
When we understand how food affects us, we start creating a relationship with our nourishment, including good nutrition. In the 9-step online Path for Life Self-Nourishment course, I teach how each food group affects both our physical body and emotional wellbeing. Based on Chinese medicine, each food group affects an organ in the body, an energetic relationship, and our emotions. For example our liver loves green foods, especially bitter greens as they activate the liver. The liver represents our immune-system, hormones, metabolism, and energy. Emotionally it is connected with willpower, stamina, but also anger. So the imbalanced liver condition will show up as disease and emotional outbursts, and the balanced liver will show up as feeling emotionally strong and focused. Athletes for example have a strong liver balance.
It is important that we learn how to use food as both a tool for health and healing, and also how to nourish ourselves, and that is NOT a diet!
So what about the food?
We have preferences, of course, but they really should be yours based on your digestive system and your health and emotional landscape, not because a diet is hip and cool or because that is how we ate back when. Your digestive system might need to be retrained or healed, because of too many processed foods.
After that, the rest is up to balancing the proportions on your plate of the different food groups. If we eat mindlessly, it is really hard to be in touch with our digestive system and even know if we are hungry, satisfied, or full. In my book “EAT TO FEEL FULL and nourish yourself for good,” I talk about how we can learn to listen better to our bodies and learn to master our hunger and cravings. It is not about will power, though it is about willingness, and that comes from LOVE-power. Self-love really, (which is why I call it self-nourishment). The online program guides you how to “get to that.”
Your body will tell you if a food works for you or not, the point is to learn or rather re-learn how to listen and interpret the signals. Of course, you also want to make choices that matter to you. An essential part of mindful eating is to make mindful choices. Not choosing processed food is one aspect, but you might also want to consider if you are supporting factory farming, GMO, and other mass-production food resources with your choices.
Mindful eating, Mindful choices.
Your choices can nourish and heal not only yourself, but also the planet. With our choices, we take a stand. We support producers and we choose if that means factory farms or small growers. That affects not only your own health, but also our ecosystem. It is not about being vegan, macro, vegetarian, pescetarian, Paleo, or fruitarian because it is “the best diet.” It is about what works for your body, for you as the person you are, and for your life. And guess what? You don’t have to be just one thing if you don’t want to. If it helps you choose your meals AND it feels good in your body, then go for it. If your choices feel restricting and like you have to fit yourself to a “diet” then make other choices. If it helps you feel more at peace with how you eat, great, but if it causes you distress and anxiety about where and if you can find food, then don’t. Make choices that matter to you for the right reasons, and those reasons really are about you, your body, and your relationship with what surrounds you. That way you find your food-style, which essentially is a Path for Life rather than a diet.