If I had a dollar to donate for every time I heard someone say to me :
“I eat well, but I still feel crappy”
There would be some happy charities in the world. And usually the biggest hurdle for the women telling me this is getting past the belief that if you eat ‘healthy foods’ - you’ll immediately feel and look amazing.
There is so much more to feeling good and very often it’s not the food you’re eating, but HOW you’re eating it. And, of course, this all comes back to self love.
I had a client last year who was doing everything right according to the laws of healthy eating. She ditched gluten, dairy and refined sugar. She started eating whole foods and focusing only on nutrients, no longer calories. She would follow food meal plans, pre prep her meals and keep a journal of what she was eating.
One session she came to me feeling like a failure because she thought she was eating too much fruit, having a banana in her morning smoothie and an apple as an afternoon snack sometimes. Her skin was starting to break out and she felt lousy.
She asked me “Is this happening because I’m eating too much fruit?”
OF COURSE NOT!
This was happening because of the guilt association she was having trouble dropping around food. The stress she was used to from constantly berating herself for overeating sweets and candy was gone so she was searching for another reason to put herself down, because that’s how her relationship with food had always been.
So we worked on some new strategies to change the way she looked at food. And because I know so many other women struggle with this same problem, I’m going to share them with you so that you too can flip the way you eat.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF ABOVE ALL
This is a pure rant on self care. If you get a naughty dessert when out with friends or have a stressful day and turn to the junk food machine for comfort - chill out! If this is happening occasionally and not daily, let yourself off for the little slips that happen now and then and simply focus on what you’re doing most of the time. Adding in a daily lemon water, cup of bone broth, extra serving of greens before you tuck into dinner is something you should be focusing on and putting your attention towards, not that one time that you ate a donut at the markets.
LOSE THE ‘FOOD REWARD’ MENTALITY
When we’re little, most of us would’ve been treated with a trip to the ice cream shop or a lolly when we were good and possibly the same if we fell and hurt ourselves or had a bad day (toddler life can be super tough). And of course these memories are amazing to grow up with! But the slight damage is done when we start to associate sugary treats with good behaviour OR as a way to comfort us. We grow up with a mentality that food can be used as a reward or a form of comfort and this puts us in a trap of searching for it when we really need a hug, sleep or some serious self care.
Start putting new rewards to your goals or achievements. A massage or acupuncture session, go for a float if you can, organise a hike with your bestie, see a romantic comedy alone with a container of home made bliss balls. Whatever it is that is a pure treat for you and makes you feel good, make that your reward! Instead of rewarding yourself with something that will make you feel pretty lousy afterwards.
MAKE YOUR PLATE PRETTY
Eating out of a container or packet is an awful idea. Firstly, you have no idea how much you are consuming until you’re suddenly out and you’ve downed a complete 7 servings. Plus you eat so mindlessly when you do this. The best thing I ever did for my health and food choices was making every single meal and snack beautiful. Even if I’m just having a banana, given I have the time, I’ll chop it up and put it on a plate. Then I think about it and decide to sprinkle over some chopped almonds, maybe some coconut flakes and I’ve got a gorgeous little plate that I’m ecstatic to eat. It helps to remind me to eat mindfully, with attention to the food I’m so lucky to have access to and enjoy every single bite!
It really is that simple. Because at the end of the day, if you're eating a nutrient dense diet, filling your plate with greens, good fats and some protein BUT you're doing it in a state of stress or rush - you're not going to feel half as good as if you take time to prep your meal, breathe between bites and use food to do exactly what it's mean to - to nourish your body and give you energy to be the absolute goddess that you are!