How's your New Year going? Have you made big resolutions to improve your diet? If so, how's that been working out for you?
I've had many talks with clients, coworkers, friends and family over the course of this last week in regards to diet, which were mainly brought about from the recent article, 'What Tom Brady Eats".
Why we are fascinated with what Tom Brady eats, is another story all together, but this article brought up some very strong feelings I have on the subject that I'd like to share with you.
First off, if you haven't been following my blog for awhile, you might not know that I followed a vegan, plant based, Macrobiotic diet for 4 years. You can read a sample of what a 10 day plan looked like for me. During that time, I cleaned up my diet and health and felt more vibrant than ever before! I, essentially was Tom Brady's chef, and ate what Tom Brady eats, on the daily for 4 years!
It was a challenging, exciting, inspiring, enlightening, and adventurous journey to say the least. But one that ultimately took on a life of its own. I now refer to it as my 'Macro Mania' phase. I went through so many shifts in my life during that time - some great, but some so intense that I lost myself in the process.
I was living my life meditating for 2 hours a day, and cooking and eating Macrobiotic all day long, so you would think that was a good thing, right? But too much of a good thing is not always good for you, as they say. After all, I did have to live in the real world.
Because I was eating super clean, my body didn't know what to do with a foreign object. For instance, I was in the midst of my 'mania' when I was at a family reunion a few years ago.
We had a clambake, so I thought I would have a bite of the shrimp cocktail, instead of being that 'weirdo' who brought her quinoa to the party. Immediately after having a bite of the shrimp cocktail, my tongue developed a huge blood blister on it the size of a kidney bean, which lasted about a week. It was the cocktail sauce, which was too acidic and heating to my body, that triggered this annoying monster on my tongue.
While it is pretty amazing that my body was so clean that it responded so quickly, it was frustrating and kind of sad that I couldn't eat 'normal' food. It is important for our bodies to be able to assimilate, and be accustomed to a little bit of everything so that it doesn't get de-railed and out of whack in such an instance.
I started to realize that I couldn't live in my own contained bubble - that's no way to live!
I am so grateful to have found Ayurveda to ease me out of my 'mania', and into a more balanced lifestyle. Now that I've been practicing this middle path for the past few years, I realize that my previously controlled eating habits were born out of fear.
I was afraid of letting any aspect of my Macrobiotic practices go, because what would happen? Would my health suffer? Would I gain weight? What would I have left to focus on? This rigid approach to eating super clean and healthy may have been benefiting my physical body at the time, but what was it doing to my mind and spirit? Read more about that fear, here.
My step sister shared an amazing article which reminded me of me back then, and how eating healthy can manifest itself in the form of an eating disorder. While I think it's wonderful that we have the resources and are waking up to practicing eating clean food in our society, it can be a slippery slope.
Health is achieved when our body, mind, and spirit are in complete harmony. If our diet is creating fear based subconscious thinking patterns about food in our mind, then how is that doing us any good? Because what then happens is we get so disconnected from our spirit body, that we can't even hear our inner guide. Not to mention that fear based thinking manifests itself in the form of disease.
While I do believe that self care practices bring us deeper into our soul, I also think that grace and ease, ebb and flow, and simplicity is the key to optimal health.
A plant based diet, is undoubtedly an impeccable way to eat! Greens and whole grains without sugar, flour or dairy is the best approach to staying alkaline, lean, vibrant and healthy, but it's okay to eat other things in moderation too!
Moderation really is key. When it comes to New Year's resolutions, people always make such grand intentions of a complete overhaul, with their diet, but a good extreme and a bad extreme can be seen in much the same way.
What I'm saying is, don't get fixated on a 'diet'. Instead, cultivate a daily practice of developing a healthy relationship with food. Follow these rules of thumb and you'll be on the right track:
- Do your best to eat whole foods at least one time each day.
- Don't beat yourself up if you eat something not healthy - just focus on your next healthy dish
- Nightshade vegetables may be inflammatory, but they're vegetables for goodness sake! They have beneficial factors, so eat them, but in moderation! Variety is key!
- Cookies and ice cream may not have beneficial factors, but eat them in moderation to bring you joy, and be mindful to the ingredients. Choose cookies that are homemade with quality ingredients rather than mass produced, preservative filled, white flour ingredients!
- Get as close to the food source as possible to receive the vital life force energy. When you know your ingredients and you know where they come from, you'll be in great shape! The easiest way to do this is by shopping locally - farmer's market's, CSA's, organic markets, or your own garden / farm, which allows you to eat in season! Farm to Table eating styles are ideal!
If you're worried about getting sick, work on your negative subconscious thought patterns that are born out of fear, control and perfectionism! I can help you do that with my energy healing sessions.
And realize that one size does not fit all. Ayurveda is a great preventative health care system designed to cater to your unique constitution, as well as The Blood Type Diet, which helps you customize your diet and lifestyle at a cellular level.