Sunday, August 25, 2013

Check In With Yourself

How do you feel right now in this moment? Are you hungry? Do you feel bloated? Weak? Lethargic? Energized? Strong?  

Food is the backbone of how we feel, both in the moment and overall.  What's serving you now might not serve you down the road and what served you in the past might not serve you in the present.  It's about adapting to the changes life (and your body) throws at you.

So ask yourself how you're feeling and what, if anything, you might need to change about your current eating habits to improve how you feel.  Maybe there's nothing you need to change, and that's great! Keep in mind, though, that as we change and evolve, so too do our food needs.  Even if you are feeling great now and everything you're eating is serving you, know that they may not always.  Honor your ever-changing body and listen to what it needs right here, right now, regardless of what it needed yesterday!

To use myself as an example, I've been vegan for nearly two years.  Since moving to the Bay Area, though, and basically adopting an entirely new life in an entirely new environment, I started to not feel as great, physically.  I attributed this to stress in a new place and I experimented with different food in an effort to resolve some of the issues I was encountering.  I cut back on gluten then I cut back on grains then I limited fat but I realized I was restricting too much on an already somewhat restricted diet and I knew I needed more nutrition! 

I decided to re-evaluate my entire vegan dietary approach and why I had chosen it and if it was serving me.  After a lot of soul searching and introspection, I decided I would be okay with trying pasture raised, organic, local eggs, purchased from the farmers market.  So I went one Saturday to buy a half dozen, and that very evening I cooked two up (over easy) to have for dinner.  Guess what? 

My body loved them.

And with this modification to my diet, I felt stronger and more energized.  Eggs were not a part of my diet for two years because, for whatever reason, they did not serve me...then.  Now they do and I continue to eat them several times throughout the week.

I say all this to say that what may once serve you--like my 100% vegan diet--may no longer, and that's okay!  But for this reason, it is SO important to check in with yourself and do a scan of how you're feeling now.

There are many conflicting dietary theories out there, which makes the task of figuring out what's right for YOU all the more challenging. There are valid claims for raw, vegetarian, Paleo, vegan, macrobiotic and other diets that make it difficult to figure out what's "right."  Fortunately (or unfortunately), there is no one "right" diet.  

You just need to find the foods that work for you

In closing, I encourage you to do a self-scan and assess your current well being.  Be open-minded to trying new foods and see if they improve your overall health.  Please do not pigeon-hole yourself into one way of eating and think you must adhere to it 100%.  Each one of us is unique and requires different foods for our own unique health and happiness.  Finding what works for us will be a journey of exploration and self discovery!

With love, light and happiness,