When did food become so complicated? When did choosing what we should be eating become a full time job? Where has the joy of eating gone? I hear the same thing from clients all the time… You need a nutrition qualification to decipher all of the information out there.
Are carbs good or bad?
Is fat good or bad?
Should I be eating sugar?
What about Paleo?
It has come to a point where I want to scream STOP! ENOUGH!
There is so much pressure on people to look a certain way, act a certain way, and conform to certain standards. It is a topic I could talk about for hours, but right now I want to address the food issue.
Not only are we under pressure to diet, but with a new diet hitting the media every week, where do people even begin. There is pressure to fit into a certain model. God forbid you were following the Paleo diet and ate some cheese, or you’re off sugar and decided to have a piece of cake at a birthday.
There are so many diets or lifestyles out there: Mediterannean, Paleo, Sugar Free, South Beach, Vegetarian, Vegan, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Ornish, Raw Food, and many others.
The main issue we have, is that while most of these diets have their merit, many people can follow them and still be unhealthy. You can be a strict vegan and still be incredibly unhealthy, if you have a diet filled with processed food. Or follow the Paleo diet and not eat enough veges. Or follow the Sugar Free path, and eat a diet filled with healthy, refined-sugar free treats. There are grey areas in every diet. And you can always find a loop hole.
Many of my clients ask me what diet I follow. Everyone needs to fit into a box, nice and neat. While I have tried many diets, I don’t fit into any category. Firstly, I don’t like having labels placed on me, and secondly, I don’t believe there is a diet out there that suits everyone. Well, that is, until now.
I got so tired of people asking me what diet I follow and what I think of the Paleo and the I Quit Sugar camps, I decided to create my own diet, or at least label my diet.
While I generally stick to what some would call the anti-inflammatory diet and a wholefood diet, I believe that everyone should be flexible in their dietary needs.
There is only one rule I follow all the time, and that is Gluten Free. I have diagnosed Coeliac Disease, and severe at that. So gluten is always a non-negotiable for me. But otherwise I have finally decided to drop all of the ‘diets’ and follow this one rule instead.
I am calling it the Love Diet. And it is simple. Everyone can do it.
Love yourself enough to feed your body nourishing whole foods.
Love yourself enough to not berate yourself if you have a treat.
Love yourself enough to not indulge in the foods that you know are bad for you.
Love yourself enough to choose nourishing and healthy drinks, over highly processed drinks.
Love yourself enough to limit the amount of processed food you eat.
Love yourself enough to stop eating when you are full.
Love yourself enough to not eat to fill an emotional void.
Does this mean you can eat what you want? No, as the first rule is choose food that nourishes you. You are what you eat, literally. The food we eat makes up our cells, fuels our life and impacts our health.
But you are allowed to have a treat and not feel guilt over it. When was the last time you ate something ‘naughty’ and didn’t feel guilty? Eat it, enjoy it, savour it, but don’t over indulge. When we stop the feelings of deprivation and make the conscious choice to fill ourselves with wholesome nourishing foods, we begin to stop craving unhealthy foods.
Food should be a joy to eat. It should not evoke feelings of hatred, anger, guilt. We need to drop the negative association we have with food, and instead nourish ourselves from the inside out. Nourish our body, mind and soul. Fill it with the best possible foods, drinks, thoughts, feelings, images. Food is a gift to nourish the body and fuel your life.
It isn’t always easy. You have to practice the art of loving yourself enough to make those healthy choices.
I don’t want to live a dogmatic life, controlled by the media or the latest fads. I know enough about nutrition to know what I should and shouldn’t eat. So I chose to nourish myself.
I want people to get back to a place of joy when they eat. Get back to what our ancestors did. They respected where their food came from, processed it minimally if at all, and ate with gratitude.
Embrace the Love Diet. Fuel your body with nourishing foods. Forget about all of the noise and eat with intuition.