For a while there was a very big movement to eat intuitively, meaning, that if you listen to your body, your body will tell you what to eat. I think that’s actually a really nice idea because it changes the focus from concentrating on weight to concentrating on how foods make you feel. However, the trouble with that is, just like the notion of the pregnant woman sending her husband out to buy pickles and ice cream because she has a craving, if your internal balance is off then how can you follow your bodies wisdom?
I think the hardest thing for people to figure out is what to eat. Just like my grandmother thinking that only eating Weetabix was a good source of nutrients for the day, what she really didn’t understand was, that it wasn’t. It sounds healthy enough, but the intention was to restrict eating to the point of having a simple one choice, with no other options.
There has been a big push of many different simple directives; don’t eat meat, or don’t eat specifically red meat, no dairy, no fish, only eat fish, only eat foods from the outside isles of the store, only eat local, etc.
All of these “only’s” get lost in translation and are indicative of people trying to make simple rules to answer a complex problem.
Simply, foods are loaded with beneficial nutrients. Fish is rich with omega-3 fatty acids which is extremely beneficial. Hamburger meat is packed with iron.
Yet, it is really important to recognize that too much of anything can become bad. Have you ever eaten too many oranges and gotten a mouth soar? Well the same applies to eating too much fish because fish also contains a lot of mercury. There was an actress (Hillary Swank) that only ate tuna from a can and she gave herself mercury poisoning. Or just like that movie ‘Supersize Me’, eating hamburgers and similar foods without any variety will put you at risk for health complications.
Food intake depends on what your intentions are on the most basic level, the point of food is to provide nourishment. But we cannot survive on just eating carrots, for example, even though carrots are really good for us and are carotenoids, vitamin A, and functions as an antioxidant, yet can also turn you orange. As much as it is that the emotionally intelligent eating program is about restricting carbohydrates we still need to eat some carbohydrates, because food is our energy source!
There are seven major minerals essential to life, as well as 14 other trace minerals, separate from the vitamins that we talked about earlier. Vitamins and minerals interact with each other and are a part of the bodies structure. Calcium, for example, is a primary building block, so eating sources of calcium such as dairy, salmon, and tofu, are extremely important. Magnesium is also a major mineral and is important in regards to bones, the function of our metabolism and muscles, sources include green veggies, almonds, chocolate, spinach, fish, and peanut butter.
Food is good for you, within reason. And we need to listen to our bodies and our emotions to be able to stay within reason. Restricting to the point of pain is not helpful. Variety is the stuff of life!
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