There are two kinds of nourishment: nourishment for your body, and nourishment for your soul. Lately, I've been trying to balance out the two because that is where I find the most freedom with my food choices. Nourishment is important to me...after all, it is why I became a dietitian! To help people learn how to love their bodies with the food they eat, instead of hurting themselves. I've been working with a lovely life coach and jamming on what nourishment means to me, and I thought I'd write up some random thoughts here to help out anyone else who may be struggling with what it truly means to live a "healthy" lifestyle.
Nourishment for the body: TONS of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats. Eating enough to get your metabolism going, revved up, and firing away all day. Stopping when you are full so that you are not uncomfortably stuffed for the rest of the day. Focusing on what you CAN eat instead of what you "can't" eat. Choosing to follow a plan that makes you feel your best, not only physically, but mentally. Health and nourishment start in the brain, so whatever gives you mental stress should be kicked off the island. Showing yourself love and self-worth by feeding yourself whole, natural foods that grow from the ground.
Nourishment for the soul: enjoying the food you are eating and loving every second of your meal. Having a care free night out with friends and ordering your favorite meal at a restaurant just because you want it. Splitting a dessert with your loved one so that you can both enjoy the bakery's specialty. Scarfing down a burger but also having a huge salad because you just love the burger but know your body is craving a salad too. Having a croissant every morning because you are in freakin FRANCE and you can (yea...that would be me). Ordering a pizza at 10pm because you had such a long day and didn't have dinner, and sometimes, you just need the pizza. Going to bed with a fully belly knowing that you were blessed with deliciousness, but also trusting yourself to get right back on track tomorrow to get your body feeling good.
For me, these two forms of eating have to be jiving in order to have a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain for days, months, and years to come. When your diet is 80-90% focused on vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, you are nourishing your body. That way, the rest of the nourishment can go straight to your soul with treats or vacations that you know are only for a limited time, and will not be a part of your regular, every day routine. I feel so much better when I indulged with others or on special occasions because I know that I am enjoying with a community of people I love, sharing good food and good times. That doesn't mean I make excuses, or a random Tuesday would be a special occasion for me! Because I love sugar and I love treats. But I know myself well enough now to know when I want to indulge, and when I'd just be happier and more at peace sticking to healthier food choices.
The best part about all this is YOU can decide what nourishment means to you, body and soul. Or you can enlist your friendly neighborhood dietitian to help you explore what kind of eating works best for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Eating can be so personal, so it is best to not compare yourself with other people and what they are doing. I'd love to work with you and find where your happy place is, a place where you can feel nourished and free, and not consumed by your food choices. Make sure to shoot me an email or click on the link above if you'd like to chat more about this topic! It's something I am so passionate about, so I'd absolutely love it!