Many years’ ago I might not have had the healthiest relationship with food. It led to intolerances, IBS and a whole heap of other minefields.
This is no longer the case, because I have a very simplistic approach to what and how I eat.
Every day, I try to eat only when my body tells me it is hungry and in need of nourishment. In other situations, I try to be more mindful of what I am putting into my body.
Naturally, we are equipped with a super advanced way of knowing when we are hungry – that oh so familiar rumble in our tummies. A lot of us have lost this natural signal however because we have programmed ourselves to eat in certain ways.
We follow new diets every few months, and eat because a book tells us we should, rather than what our own body is trying to relay.
Rather than relying on others to tell us what the best time, food or product to eat is, listen to yourself. If you recognize your own hunger signs, be that a rumbling tummy, a drop in concentration or a loss of energy, then you should take this as a signal to eat.
By being mindful of what we are needing, we become far more aware of when we are eating because we need it, and eating for the sake of it.
I also eat what I like, when I like but with a few limitations.
I tried to avoid having sugar and sugar based products in the house, much to the annoyance of anyone who happens to come over and wants a sugar or two in their coffee.
I don’t eat dairy. Mainly because I am intolerant, but also because even if I do have it by accident it makes me feel sluggish, bloated and has a bad effect on my skin. My husband eats a huge amount less since we’ve lived together for the last five years and he’s noticed some brilliant benefits. In his own words ‘it’s made me feel just genuinely better’.
And most things processed or packaged I try to really limit. However I am human and can’t resist a bag of crisps and our weekly Chinese food treat every now and then.
Overall, before I eat anything I just ask myself ‘do I really want this, and do I want to put this in my body’. Nothing is strictly ‘off-limits’, I just make a conscious decision there and then about:
- Am I actually hungry?
- Do I really want to eat this and process it in my body?
- If I didn’t eat it now, would I regret it and eat more of it later? Is it better to just be aware that I am craving it and to eat a smaller amount now.
And with limitations comes inclusions
I love to fill my meals with fresh garlic, chilli and natural spices such as turmeric, cumin and paprika. I think they are good for your body, metabolism and flavour of the dish!
I try to ensure the bread I buy is freshly baked, or make it myself if we are going to eat it, and I seriously wish we had a garden like my in-laws with so much freshly grown vegetables.
However I try to make do by buying as organic and naturally as possible, even if that means getting a square carrot!
Food and your diet is incredibly important. But hydration takes the crown when it comes to properly supplying your body with the nutrients it needs.
I drink plenty of black coffee, water and herbal tea (I am truly addicted to Pukka’s Detox Tea) throughout the day. The only drink I outright tend to avoid is fruit juices, because of the high levels of sugar they contain.
I am no dietitian or expert, but what I do know is by listening to my body, eating mindfully and avoiding sugars I have felt a whole lot better over the last few years. I have remained at the same weight which is great for keeping a minimalist wardrobe, and I have a whole lot of energy to take on each and every day.
I think you should try the same for one week. Seven days of only eating when your body tells you it’s hungry. Reset your natural metabolism and go back to basics with food.*
*Unless of course you have specific dietary requirements or a condition which means you are to eat at regular periods. Please consult with an expert and not my blog if you’re not sure before starting the challenge!