No more diet labels

one thing i struggle with when it comes to my diet, is everybody's reaction to my choices. i don't like labels. i'm not a vegan, a vegetarian, a macrobiotic, a raw foodie, etc...i'm just a girl who chooses to base my diet primarily around vegetables. but how does one clarify to the constantly curious, concerned people who can't wrap their head around this concept? i find it's easy to sum it up with stating that i eat a plant based diet. that usually works, but inevitably the following questions arise: where do you get your calcium? what about your protein? what do you eat? etc. etc. i'm usually happy to inform my fellow friends, but it can become exhausting, and it makes me want to avoid the subject all together.

really, we all have the power to heal ourselves. it is in our hands, our hearts, and our minds. the root of the word health is heal. (i just figured that out - duh) for me, i come alive when it comes to this topic. i thrive off of reading all the books and materials out there. i seek out a healing network of people, and thoroughly enjoy surrounding myself with like-minds. i am here to teach others what i know, so i can't shy away from these questions and concerns, but so many people out there just can't grasp the approach.

i say, just start easing in with one healthy choice a day.

don't worry about all the stuff you may not have again, or feel you'll be depriving yourself from. i personally don't feel deprived in any shape or form. certain foods just fall off the radar as you start making healthier choices. and nothing is forever - i would eat all types of food out there, in a respectful approach (ie: locally sourced, organic, grass fed, whole foods that are unprocessed etc.)if necessary.

the problem is that there are so many 'diets' that swear they have the magic answer. there's a place for each of them.

but what it really comes down to is just knowing the ingredients you're putting into your mouth, and how they are digested in the body.

don't worry about calories, carb content, fats, etc. but chew your food well and listen to your stomach when it's full. respect the digestive process - if you stuff yourself, that food cannot easily flow through your body.

also, pay close attention to what you're craving and when, and once you sink your teeth into whatever it is that strikes your fancy, know when enough is enough.

i'm amazed at myself lately when it comes to this mindfulness. for example, my idea of 'fun food' has always been a night out at a mexican restaurant. i am a nacho connoisseur, if i may, and since giving up dairy, i am lucky enough to scope out the dairy free kind, and still feel indulgent.

two weeks ago, i took on the whole plate for dinner and realized that honestly, i was really satisfied after maybe a handful of them, but i kept eating, thinking i would re-visit that initial satisfaction as i plowed through. needless to say, it never came about, and i almost felt more disappointment than satiated.

so, what did i do? the next week, i tried it again...much to my amazement, i had a couple chips and was sooo over it. my point here is to really pay close attention to what it is you are eating and how you are feeling- prior, during and after.

it may be helpful to start a 'food-mood journal' to notice what you're eating throughout the day and how you feel in relation to it.

it is so liberating to be able to have a good relationship with food. sans labels. it is very challenging though, i may say. i have gone through the extremes in order to find balance...

make one good food choice today.

the easiest way is to make a green smoothie: throw some kale, banana, handful of nuts, parsley, dairy free milk and maybe a dash of sweetener like dates, or agave (or some variation of the above) top it off with ice in a blender and voila, you'll feel full and satisfied.