Whole grains were good. And then they were bad. Fat was bad, and then it was good. Smoothies were the most recent rage and today I just read an article on why we should stop drinking them. All these nutrition shoulds and shouldn’ts are just so confusing and sometimes these contradictions make me want to flip a table. Kidding, but seriously though.
Over the past couple of years I have been struggling quite a bit with my diet. I was keeping up with and following all of these healthy food rules but I actually just kept feeling worse and experienced more discomfort in my stomach. I constantly felt bloated and couldn’t understand why.
I wanted to eat well because I knew that nourishing my body properly would not only have an impact on my physical health, it would also influence my mind, level of happiness, productiveness and general performance. I realized that nutritious food is the best tool to propel my life in every aspect and therefore the best investment I can make.
So, I embarked on a health food journey. I jumped on the whole grains bandwagon, the digestive enzymes, probiotics, flax, juice cleanses, smoothies, coconut oil, and more. Some of these trends worked out great for me while others caused more harm than good. To give you one example, at one point I contracted oral thrush (I know, ew), which at the time I thought, might have been caused by some type of stress. I later learned that it was an allergic reaction to the digestive enzymes I had been taking. (I can assure you, the enzymes were the best on the market; organic, vegan, allergen free, you name it). Thus, this so-called digestive helper was no help to me!
I was born with a number of food allergies and sensitivities so maybe I should’ve known better than to jump into these fads full throttle. However, what I’ve learned is that these food rules may work fabulously for some people, but they are certainly not going to be the magic health elixir for everyone.
I’m still learning about nutrition and expect to be for many years to come. It’s so interesting to learn what nourishes my particular body and what doesn’t. By paying attention to what my body fuels off of I’m constantly evolving into a better version of myself. One book in particular that helped me embrace this concept was Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles. Just as the title suggests, Tara explains the importance of listening to your own body and making your own “diet” rules accordingly. When we follow someone else’s rules without being attuned to our own needs and desires we are restricting ourselves.
At the end of the day, I do think it is a good idea to explore and read up on health trends and new research. Just take the information that you read with a grain of salt, remembering that sometimes what is perceived as fact can still have an opposing truth. The best way to maintain your healthiest self is to listen to your body and stay present to how certain foods make you feel. And above all, always honour and love your body no matter what it's going through, after all, it is the greatest instrument you will ever own.
“The body is a sacred garment: it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour, and with joy and with fear as well. But always, though, with blessing” ~ Martha Graham
Do you have your own rules or go-to’s that energize and fuel your body?