Nourish Your Body + The Rest Will Follow
One of my favorite + most helpful tools I have developed over the years is to say yes only to the things that serve my highest intentions. Some days, I totally rock at this, others, not so much. BUT the key to this is constant check ins. To continuously listen to my body, my heart, and in turn....my gut. Not just the gut feeling or intuition, which is scientifically a real thing (get to that another time!), but how my gut physically responds to what I put in my body.
I am no expert when it comes to gut health, but what I do know and live by is that our body will always let us know how it feels, we just need to tune in and listen. More times than not, your diet has a large say in how you feel throughout the day or symptoms your body might be experiencing. But why do we continuously go against what our body wants, for what our brain thinks it does?
For example: I LOVE queso...until I realized I really don't. My taste buds love it, but my body can NOT stand it. After indulging in some queso dip a few weeks ago, my stomach started killing me as usual, and it was then that I was decided, this is ridiculous. My brain remembers the taste, but shuts out my body's response for a few minutes of "enjoyment" just for it to become shameful later when my gut is wrenching. When I realized what I was doing and how I was eating for the sake of eating, and not for my health, it changed everything.
It did not all of sudden become easy to say no to the things that I was use to indulging in, but I realized the mindset I was usually in when I did say yes was fueled by fatique, laziness, and lack of intention in what I was nourishing myself with.
Luckily, we have so many resources surrounding us for education on what our bodies want, all starting with ourselves. The world of health has become confusing in ways of what and how and when to eat; all the terms, trends, and price tags on "healthy" food makes it intimidating and seem restricting and rigorous. That is why listening to YOUR body is the best answer. It is not about becoming keto, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, paleo, gluten free, sugar free, fat free, carb free, yada yada. But what suits YOU, not only in the moments where it is easy and accessible, but what suits the way you want to feel.
So a few ways that I have made a change in my diet that feels right to me and accessible in the long run is to:
Set Yourself Up for Success
This is so important! Why make a change or shift a mindset if you are not going to follow through with the big picture. It takes more than just deciding something. I had to realize what was keeping me from making that change. I learned to plan my weekly meals around what I had time for and shopping appropriately so that it wasn't more convenient to just eat out or grab something quick on the go that wasn't up to par. I also told my partner to hold me accountable. If we were out to eat and I was tired and hangry and started to just go for the quickest, most unhealthy option, we created ways to sweetly encourage a different decision.
Set Intention Around Meals and How You Want to Feel
This is also huge. What we set ourselves up for is what we are going to get. When I began to eat according to my body and what I needed (not necessarily what I always wanted), I found I have more energy than I thought! I began to fuel for my day, my workouts, my brain power, rather than a 10 minute taste bud craze. This is where the real magic happens. Eat because it is nourishing and fueling the lifestyle you want to have outside of the meal, and you will still get that taste bud craze, just in a different way!
Surround Yourself with Great Resources
If something does not feel right in your body, I am sure you are not the first to experience that. Do some research and get curious! There is usually an answer or another option to try that feels better for you. Don't go against what you feel is right because it is less work. I have found some great books, websites, podcasts, and blogs that have become my go-to for recipes, insights, research, etc. Share in the comments different resources you use and I will write another post about mine!
Realize this is Not a Punishment or Restriction
I eat 90% plant based and this is what has felt the best to my body. It is by no means a restriction, something I HAVE to do because of outside factors, but because I want it and believe it is best for my body and the environment. And guess what-it is DELICIOUS! There is such an abundance of amazing, simple plant based recipes that make my meals feel so decadent. I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, and have found a new love for making dinner and meal prepping. Even if you are not a fan of cooking (see above for set yourself up for success), maybe batch meal prepping is easier for you or connecting to great resources for inspiration that are simple and quick. Eating FOR your body is not a punishment, it is a relationship with yourself based on curiosity, understanding, mutual benefit, and love. Treat it as such.
So what fuels YOU?
I would LOVE to hear how you nourish your body and what works for you. It is different for everyone, which is why I feel it is so fun to get to know that side of yourself.