Being healthy, or a ‘clean eater’ is certainly getting some press (good and bad!) . From celebrities doing juice fasts/ booking into health retreats/ raving about their latest slim down diet/ to releasing cook books, to well known chefs passionately preaching their own health opinions, to equally passionate foodies writing about and releasing their opinions in the form of apps/ cookbooks and ebooks….wow!
We are bound to get pretty confused getting in amongst this right? I sense some heads nods. And that’s ok. Let’s continue.
Everyone certainly wants a piece of the healthy pie. And who wouldn’t when people promise that their way of eating will make you feel amazing, that you will have more energy, great skin and loose that stubborn weight. In this search to feel amazing, to sleeping better and to feeling happier, just where do you begin? And furthermore to my lovely tribe with children, when you do finally find your way through the sea of confusion, how the heck do you get your family (aka picky eaters!) on the bandwagon? Sigh.
Saying it straight up: I’m writing this post because I work with many people- and – talk to many people – and – read posts on social media from many people who are confused and anxious: all of whom have truly lost their ability to make nourishing food choices for their unique body.
…..I should know: I was one of these people who feared a banana at one stage (get away sugar) and eat a piece of bread? Hell no: that wouldn’t cross my lips in a million years… unless (‘of course’) it was home made, gluten free and vegan…preferably raw too. Cringe.
What’s scary is this anxiety, confusion and ability to tune out from the messages our bodies are giving us is all filtering down to our chidlren. Our anxieties, our experiments, our clinging onto diet, after diet after diet. It’s sending very mixed signals to our children. And that worries me..a lot!
I’ve personally tried MANY diets/ fads and ‘the like’ with varying degrees of results. And I take an interest in following many approaches out there to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s ‘happening’, trending, going to become our next ‘issue’. Reading, getting involved in forums, asking questions and reviewing literature to help my clients is something I am committed to and see as part of being a responsible, diligent and damn-good health coach. In doing this, I have become armed with a bunch of knowledge and some ‘go there with caution’ pieces of advice.
First up I want to start by saying that following any sort of nutritional program that has not been catered by a professional who understands your health issues, your goals, has a grasp on where the gaps might be in your diet and has assessed your lifestyle to determine how an array of ‘other’ areas in your life might be contributing to your concerns, is potentially asking for trouble. It might be evident in the short term, but watch out because the number of clients I work with who become unwell after 6-12 months is astonishingly high.
Ask yourself these questions for instance when reviewing a diet from a blogger, chef, celeb etc:
+ Do they know that you may or may not have an underlying issue with your weight because of low self esteem or poor self worth, which could make this diet a risky choice?
+ Do they know if sugar, meat or dairy is actually the cause of some of your concerns or do they just think this because it helped ‘them’ (and a handful of others?).
+ Is this diet ok for your children too? Really? (I should make clear that children’s health is a speciality and one that needs to be provided with care and a good understanding of child development and children’s health).
+ Do they understand that this ‘cleanse’ or ‘way of eating’ may exist in amongst a stressful job, in the midst of a divorce or during another potentially stressful time, where the body may therefore respond negatively to such changes (which may be very harmful for your overall health)?
We are not robots. We all require a different approach. At the end of the day people need to be seen as individual people. Just because one protocol works for one person (or a select group) does not mean that it is going to work for the masses. And because something might work for you, doesn’t mean it will work for your children either.
My point here is that YES, there are general principles which are on the whole agreed by many in the world of health, wellness and nutrition to promote better health. And that is what you will find here at Practise Glow. Ways to eat more green leafy vegetables, ways to cut down on refined sugar, ideas for gluten and dairy free options should this be applicable for you and your children..to name a few! But I am very careful to start raving about what you should do, because frankly if I don’t know you or your child I’m doing you a disservice.
In my general information I will:
+ Help you to work out what serves you best
+ Provide you with recipes which have options (GF, DF, sugarfree etc), so you can make your own choice about how to cook in conjunction with your body.
+ Provide you with ways to eat more leafy greens, which no one will argue is bad for your health!
+ Discuss possible culprits to digestive issues, attention and fatigue concerns along with ways to tune into your body to help you on your path to wellness.
+ Empower you to listen to your body. To use your senses and to feel what is truly right for you. Simply: Less head and more intuition (the type A personalities might be tuning out about now with anxiety!).
Of course my coaching goes deeper. You have my 100% support and attention. Because I get to know you and your body well I can truly tailor a wellness pathway especially for you.
And at the end of the day my passion is for the children of today and of the future generation. I am frightened that if we don’t start to sort out our anxieties and concerns as parents, that we are breeding a culture of ‘fear based eating’. Tuning out of our bodies and tuning up the voice in our head that over thinks, that is overly preoccupied with status quo / body image etc. I don’t want to see your child to petrify your child so that they are too afraid to eat or narrow down what they do eat to a ‘safe’ area, which commonly includes certain foods, particular brands or food from select restaurants (if eating out doesn’t frighten them to tears).
So here’s some advice……
Get your Glow on: Considerations For Mindful eating
1. Get clear on why you’re riding the nutrition confusion. Sit down and think about what your reasons are for ‘seeking’ all the nutrition knowledge you can.
+ Are you fearful of gaining weight?
+ Are you genuinely trying to heal your body? If so why are you resisting support from a trained professional?
+ Do you honestly feel well? Do you feel energised? Is your skin radiant? Do you health checks support your lifestyle/ diet?
2. Start to understand your body. Many of my clients have a lot of success by keeping a food diary. But the power here is in writing down how you feel after you have eaten a meal. I like to encourage my clients to also write a few notes about the environment in which they were eating and how they felt before sitting down to eat. Children can do this too and there is power in using intuition.
3. Up your intake of vegetables. Eat eat eat your greens especially. Experiment with smoothies, steaming, frying, pureeing. Season them with different seasoning. Eat then raw or cooked.
4. Buy the best quality food you can afford but don’t worry if you can’t eat seasonally, locally or organic. Really: It’s all about mindset shifts here. I teach my clients to breathe and use a variety of different techniques to tune into the voice that is causing them to worry, panic, to be fearful and to underestimate their power and right for choice. Mantra: You are doing a great job for yourself and or your family.
5. Food is one way of nurturing a healthy body, mind and spirit. Ensure other areas of your life like your job, relationships, finances and exercise/ leisure are nurtured. For children this includes school, friendships, sleep and play.
6. Commit to a social media detox. Yes! Un follow those accounts that don’t serve you or who’s philosophies you just don’t quite gel with (you will know right off the cuff those people who you think might be a little too ‘weird and wild’). Or try limit viewing those accounts which you know ‘hum’ to you and entice you.
7. If you are an emotional eater- whether you binge or restrict- it is essential that you get this sorted with professional support. To truly listen to your body you need to be able to listen without too much ‘noise’. I strongly encourage this as it will drastically change your relationship with food and the choices you make thereafter.
8. Know when to seek support. You are not worthless, self indulgent or silly for seeking support. You don’t need to go at everything in life alone. Know where to draw a line in the sand and hold yourself accountable to that (preferably not at crisis point!).
I hope this post resonated with you in some way. I would love to know what your opinions are. Please share this article so we together help people to start to eat intuitively for better health and wellness….and to support our children’s health and wellness.