When it comes to health, stop majoring in minor details.
That right there might be the most important thing I want anyone I work with to take home and apply to their life.
With the plethora of diet information out there, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and strictness of it all.
Some of these details include:
>>counting carbs or fats
>>avoiding any and all sugar, salt, and oil
Or, the ideas like these:
>>never eat anything from a can
>> everything must be made fresh
>>never use a microwave
>>eat 6 small meals a day
>>no, wait. 2 meals a day is better
>>don’t eat after 8 pm; or is it 9?
>>never consume non-organic produce because of GMOs and pesticides
>>cooked food will kill you, raw food is best!
I could go on and on.
While some of the many diet details may have some merit, none of these details are more important than your sanity. Diet rules change from season to season. They come and go. It’s generally best not to keep up with them.
All the minor details are often what hold many people back from changing their eating habits. It can all seem too overwhelming. That is not how eating should be. It should be as simple as the following:
>>Eat whole foods, mostly plants, most of the time.
This includes eating lots of:
>>vegetables and fruits
>>dark leafy greens
But it also means enjoying some chocolate, movie popcorn, cake, fill in the blank, once in a while. The overall pattern of your diet is what’s most important. What you are eating most of the time.
Let me break it down.
Let’s say, for example, you don’t consume oils for health reasons. You get invited to a friends house or out to a restaurant for dinner where at either place there is bound to be some oil used. You could stress out about the oil (in the otherwise fabulous dish) the whole time you’re eating. Or, you could skip eating out and just stay home instead. Neither is a great option.
First of all, when we are panicking on the inside over something we are eating-no matter what that food is-the stress and negative thoughts we are focusing on are much worse for our bodies than the food we are eating. Eating in a stressed-out state can halt proper digestion. Instead, choose to enjoy that food, enjoy the company you are with, enjoy the moment. This is one meal (or maybe it’s several) out of about 90 that we eat in a month.
Remember it’s not about eating perfectly all the time. It’s the overall pattern of our diet that is important. Not all the little details.
It’s okay if you eat more canned beans than dried beans. (Just eat the beans!)
It’s okay to not count calories, carbs, fats, proteins, etc. (It’s more sustainable to eat intuitively and follow your hunger cues. Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.)
It’s okay to eat frozen fruits and veggies instead of fresh all the time. (This can sometimes be cheaper anyway)
It’s okay to eat conventionally grown produce instead of organic. (Eating any piece of fruit or vegetable is better than not eating it at all.)
It’s okay to not like kale. (At least try it a few different ways! Luckily, there are a number of other greens to eat if you don’t like kale.)
It’s okay to eat at night. (Maybe you worked late and didn’t get dinner or you’re just legitimately hungry. Or you’re out with your friends or family enjoying yourself or you are breastfeeding or…should I go on?)
The bottom line is don’t be so rigid with the details that you can’t enjoy yourself. And, don’t have so many rules that you forget how and what you are supposed to eat! You can absolutely reach your health goals by keeping it simple. Remember, for most people, it’s as simple as Eat whole foods, mostly plants, most of the time.
Is eating healthy whole foods important and worth it? Yes. But other things are also important such as your job, your creativity, your kids, your significant other, laughing, and having new experiences. Throwing out a bunch of food rules that occupy too much brain space is a smart choice. Life is too short not to!
I find I’ve felt my best (and so have my clients) when we put the focus on eating whole, plant-based foods most of the time.
Give it a try.
Drop any comments or questions you have below.
Or, if you are ready to make a healthy change, reach out to me. I’d love to help.