The Non Diet Diet

I feel grateful not to ‘need’ a diet. Blame it on my genes. Or that’s what I thought. However slim doesn’t necessarily mean more healthy than large. I decided to extend my knowledge in nutrition and find out how to have a healthy diet without dieting. My reasons are simple. I want to improve my overall energy level, boost my immune system, get healthier looking skin (I’m over 40) and relieve gut issues. What I found out is that a balanced nutrition and a good mindset does all the above, and more!

Knowing that ‘we are what we eat’ brings everything important for health and beauty to our plate. It’s includes weight control, it stabilizes emotions, influences skin and hair condition, gives an overall sense of wellbeing and a feeling of empowerment.

What the balanced diet does among many things, is that it stabilizes our blood sugar which helps control feelings of hunger and controls emotions. The healthy diet plan is pretty much common sense. Lead a balanced diet, like Mimi Thorisson says in her interview, eat slowly, don’t multi task while eating… Also, as always, knowledge is power so know your stuff: what nutritional properties do we need, where we get it from, how much is enough, how does it make me feel, everyone’s different so listen to your body and be kind to yourself. Putting food into our body that makes us feel discomfort, tired, agitated or other is adding unnecessary stress to our body, and to our life. Caring for your self is like caring for your best friend. Something I had to learn when my health could not be ignored anymore. The fun part is that there are rules, and rules are meant to be broken. At least from time to time. This reminds me, why would we call ‘having fun’ anything that doesn’t do us good? like alcohol, cake, chocolate…why can’t we have fun and reward ourselves (and our kids) with healthy things and still consider it fun?

For a healthy diet, we have basic needs of Vitamins : Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folacin, Vitamin N12, Vitamin D… and all sorts of Minerals: Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Zinc…to name a few. There is a great list in the book I just read by Andy Puddicomb called “Mindful Eating”.

Another thing I learnt from Puddicomb’s book is that mindful eating is mindful living. If we can discern our feelings, or like Brene Brown says, name emotions, we add a layer of understanding. Stress triggers can then be observed, and calmed down, because we can recognize them and name them. Taking a moment to breathe rather than react, decreases overall stress also and stress affects our gut. When we see advertisements, smell freshly baked yummies…take a moment, breath, and decide consciously and mindfully what you want to do with this information you just received. How will it take you to where you want to be, to how you want to feel or look?

‘What feels good, does good’ is as much true as ‘what feels good doesn’t do good’. It depends if its good physically or emotionally. The moment we take charge of deciding, we take charge of life. I think it feels pretty good to be an empowered decision maker!

Know yourself.

To simplify things and avoid distractions, I can recommend things that work for me:

  • Create rituals. Like John Dryden wrote : “first we make our habits then our habits make us”. In other words, incorporate what you want in your routine.

  • When heading to the grocer:

    -Keep in mind how you want to feel, how you want to look, what feeds your body and what feeds your soul: intention, knowledge, action.

    -The planned grocery visit reduces stress. Be in charge.

    -Bring your shopping list based on what you will cook, it will help avoid distractions and wasting your time, and it reduces waste too. For example, leftovers in the fridge or in things sitting in the pantry.

    -I try to bring paper bags from previous market visits and cotton bags to avoid coming home with single use plastic bags.

  • Have fun, enjoy your food, eat slowly: It takes your stomach 20’ to tell your brain that it’s full.

  • Breathe! do breath work and meditate regularly to see clearer, focus and feel good. Puddicomb suggests 10’/day.

When it comes to seeking help, I go to people I trust know their stuff. As we go to the dentist for our teeth, or to the the beautician for our nails…I seek advice from a certified nutritionist for gut issues, energy level, body weight and skin condition. This is how important food is. I was lucky to meet and interview someone I can highly recommend. August Hergescheimer knows what he is talking about and can proof it by representing how it works on himself . He offers online courses for a perfect personalized diet plan. Nothing fancy, very realistic and achievable.

As for keeping up my cooking skills, aligned with newly acquired information on nutrition, I love to let chefs inspire me, particularly these ones. All easy enough for an everyday family meal plan, healthy and delicious.

  • Jamie Oliver has proven his skills in the kitchen, with recipes supporting a healthy life through nutrition more than enough to trust his ways.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at Goop are wellness prevailers. Recipes shared from Mothers to Mothers. What’s not to trust?

  • Deliciously Ella teaches vegan skills in a way that anyone can achieve a healthy meatless scrumptious diet plan.

Food is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. A balance for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and a lot of spices!