Food Part 1: Creating a Unique Approach to Your Diet
By Dr. Molly Casey
There is so much information on food these days. What is healthy, what is not? What should we eat or should not eat? What should we stay away from or what should we readily bring into our diets? When it comes to the food we consume, it is hard to know which information to follow and which to let go by the wayside.
My approach is that we are humans who are here having an experience; I don’t believe we are supposed to be miserable and obsessively deprive ourselves in the name of “health.”
So how do we sift through all the information that’s out there? I believe we get clear on what we value with our body and health and then arm ourselves with knowledge about what makes up the food, how it’s created, and make wise choices based on values rather than vilifying food in and of itself.
Health is a journey. It is a process built on a series of successive decisions, one after the other. It is about choices. As long as you’re alive you will have choices about your food and your health with each choice building upon the last. Coming up with your own process of how you approach your food, body, and health allows you to relax by knowing you can make wise decisions that promote what you value instead of absorbing endless hours of noise about food and diet. Build your process based on what you value and create your guidelines from there.
What do you value about your body? Clarity in what you value about your body is important and can successfully guide you on your journey with food and health. Do you value feeling good in your body? For some this might be feeling strong or having energy; for others, it might be feeling good because you aren’t carrying around extra pounds.
Ask yourself some questions and be honest with yourself.
- How do you feel in your body, when do you feel good, and what do you value about that?
- What do you value about your body’s performance? Do you value the ability to make it through a long office day with energy and not being wiped out?
- Are you driven by getting in your endurance workouts during the week and performing great in classes at the gym?
Get clear on what you value performance wise. Let us not forget how your body looks -- do you value your body looking strong, curvy, fit, fitting well in your favorite pair of jeans? It is OK to value looking good in your body; get clear on what that is for you.
Create guidelines that are aligned with your values when it comes to food. The body is a machine. How well your machine functions/performs depends upon the quality of the fuel you put into it. It is not the only determining factor but it does matter. Food is fuel for the body and the quality of it matters. Based on what you value in how you feel, perform, and look, create some of your guidelines around your approach with food.
My personal guidelines are that anything that comes into my house is organic, clean, and unprocessed. I like home-cooked meals and enjoy high quality food. As long as I stay committed to my personal guidelines, 80 percent of the time I am eating organic, unprocessed, whole foods in their natural state. I then feel empowered in my relationship with food and my body and feel good about enjoying whatever else the world may present while at friend’s house or restaurant. This is about aligning my actions with my values in regard to my body and how I feel, function, and look.
In addition, there are some specific chemicals I choose to actively stay away from even when outside the home; I will go into those in Part 2.
Food is an integral part of your journey with your body and your health. Trying to evaluate each and every piece of food information that comes your way isn’t viable or realistic. However, you can go through the process of getting clear on your own values and creating guidelines for food and eating based on those values. This supports an empowered and active attitude and feeling toward health and your body. As long as you stick with your guidelines based on what you value, it is highly likely you’ll be happy with your results and/or clearly see the points where you may need some assistance to reach your results. You can be empowered and engaged with food and your body even in this age of overwhelming information.
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