My beautiful naturally thin cousin was looking more radiant than ever at our family Christmas gathering. As we filled our dinner plates, she commented that she was ravenous. “I can’t even remember if I ate lunch,” she said. I laughed out loud in my mind. See, I can tell you what I had for lunch the past 7 days, maybe even the past 14.
I envied the women that could miss a meal without remembering. The women or men who have very minimal focus on food. Those who eat food for mostly nourishment and some pleasure, but not the other way around. How are we all so different?
Let me start by asking, do you have a food plan? In other words, do you have general guidelines that you follow? If so, how did you pick these guidelines? Are you happy with them? Are they sustainable? Remember, some people do not have a specific plan and this is actually a plan. So, we all have a plan. This idea should eliminate the thought that we are the unlucky ones that require a plan. It could be that our plan is just more emphasized.
How does our food plan get created? This can not be answered easily, so I will use myself as an example. We often eat the foods that we believe are beneficial to us. I can’t ignore the fact that our early caregivers may have instilled some of our beliefs. My mom is very health conscious. She is of Mediterranean decent and by default eats a whole lot of EVOO. Guess what is stocked in my pantry?
Navigating the nutrition scene can feel impossible. What plan is best? Keto, Zone, Gundry, Intermittent Fasting, The Blood Type Diet? This is where our work begins. Our plan should provide us good nutrition, help us maintain a healthy weight, allow us to be flexible, it must be sustainable, enhance our energy and mood, and convenience never hurts. Is any of this even possible?
Over the years, I have paid great attention to the different styles of eating. At this point, I believe that if you feel great energy, good digestion, and an elevated mood, then you are probably on the right track. When I started to eat in a life enhancing way, my food plan in no way felt like a diet. I craved eating in a certain way because of the way it made me feel physically and emotionally.
So where should you start? How do you create a forever plan? It will take some trial and error, but it is doable. I want you to start noticing how different foods feel in your body. There is even genetic testing that can help you identify foods to include and foods to avoid. Plan to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel comfortably full. Be present when you are eating and enjoy the whole ritual from start to finish.
You will be tempted to try the latest diet fad from time to time. And that is ok! It’s always ok to experiment with styles of eating that could improve your food plan. No fad diet can compare with your own personalized plan that you have successfully created. This is food freedom at its finest. So maybe you had to consciously formulate your personal plan, maybe you had to cut back on dairy because of your newly identified intolerance, and maybe your plan today will change tomorrow. Admire others for the efforts they put into eating well, embrace your self love through thoughtful nutrition, and please know that it is totally fine if you never forget to eat lunch.