What you should (not) be eating – part 1

You should eat breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day. However, you should also not eat breakfast because intermittent fasting is really good for you. You shouldn’t eat carbohydrates, and lots of fat. And also: you shouldn’t eat fat because it’s not good for your heart and you need carbs for energy. You should only eat green food on Mondays and purple on Tuesdays.
Oh, and it’s also good to not eat at all so you’re not burdening your body with impurities, not to mention the benefit of loosing weight.

Can we just stop telling each other what we should be doing? 

Of course, I love to hear what works for other people. I like to read suggestions, as it may give me some good ideas. However, it may not work for me or for other people.

We need to learn to listen to our own body! 

There are days when it indeed feels good to skip breakfast and I wait till lunchtime to have my first meal. And other days, like today, I wake up so hungry it doesn’t make any sense to wait till noon to eat. Yes, I love the idea of eating greens and lots of other fruits and vegetables. But it causes bloating and belly discomfort, so I actually feel better when I don’t eat too much of it and also add carbs to my diet. I also know that what and how I eat changes with the seasons, as a cold smoothie may taste good in summer but not so much on a cold winter morning (more about that in part 2 of this blog, and read here about how to adapt to the fall season in general).
At times I get swept up in the craze of the “nutrition police”, which only feeds into my history of eating disorder. And that’s definitely not healthy. I’ve learned that when I listen to my body it tells me exactly what it needs. I just need to pause and become still, so I can actually hear it.

Learning to listen to your body, how do you do that?

I know; it’s easy to say and harder to do. The difficulty is in the simplicity, though. It is not so much a matter of trying really hard to do something (i.e. listening). When you try hard you will likely contract and then you actually won’t hear anything. You need to do the opposite: can you let go of doing? Of trying? Of getting to a result? Can you become so still that the only thing there is to hear is the soft whisper of your own body?

How do you become still? 

Meditation may be the obvious practice of choice. However, if you’re new to meditation, this practice is actually very loud! You will begin to notice the incessant chatter of your mind, and you may feel discouraged. If that is the case for you, yoga may be a better choice. The practice of yoga constantly invites you to listen to your body. (So no, it is not about mastering handstands or touching your toes!) The more you become used to listening to your body on your yoga mat, the easier it will become to do the same when you’re ready for your next meal and wonder what you should eat, or debating whether you should go to bed or watch another episode of Ozark on Netflix… Your body will tell you!

Need some guidance? You can find my online yoga classes here and here.