We’ve all been there – eating something that causes us to feel guilty, going onto over-restrictive diets and spending all of our energy on thinking about what we cannot eat. I know I’ve been there, and the tendencies to have these negative feelings to food can easily sneak back in if I don’t check myself. This is a big part about what I don’t like about diets – they are often over-restricting, use words such as “avoid,” “do not,” “allowed and not allowed foods,” all setting us up in the end with negative feelings towards foods.
Yes we need to be mindful and conscious about what and how much we are eating, but we must change these negative feelings towards foods and get out of the vicious cycles of on and off and on again dieting. We should shift our focus on what foods we should eat more of.
You could say that being a vegan is quite restrictive, which it is! However, the difference is that I do not miss eating animal products (thus I am not experiencing any mental restriction), it is well researched and can provide adequate nutrients, so instead of being on a diet, it is a sustainable lifestyle that I have chosen and am happy living. If there is a particular diet that you enjoy and can sustain for long term, as well as get proper nutrients for overall health, I am definitely going to support you!
Here are some important and positive points about food:
Food is Fuel. We need food for energy, to get through our workouts, to get through the work day etc…
Food is Life. We need good nutrition to survive, a proper balance of nutrients to thrive and promote disease-free aging.
Food is Art. Have you seen the amazing instagram feeds of drool-worthy foods? I’ve had someone even tell me they want to frame a picture of an avocado I took and hang it in their kitchen!
Food is Social. Food brings us together. I don’t know about you but most get-togethers I attend involve food in some way – going to a restaurant, sitting down for family suppers, potlucks, snacks and appies…
Food Connects Us with Other People from Around the World. I love experiencing other cultures and learning about their foods. I also see that my clients who are from different countries, really appreciate that I take interest in the foods from their home.
Food Tastes Amazing! Having something in my mouth that blows my taste buds away brings me so much joy
When working with clients, we focus more on re-balancing their eating, and incorporating more whole foods and less of the ones that provide no benefit to the body, or hold my client back from reaching their goal(s). I want you to stop feeling bad about having a treat, eating a cookie that you really enjoyed, because that one treat out of all of the rest of your meals, will not be the end all to your health.
My advice: Focus on eating quality wholesome ingredients that nourish your body. Have fun with food, open your mind, try new things, and don’t have anxiety about having a treat. There are many ways you can also make treats a bit healthier by packing them with nutrient dense ingredients such as these vegan gluten free donuts that I made by Minimalist Baker. Keep in mind they are still “treats,” so when I make them I have one and share with others!