(by diet I am referring to eating habits)
Are you expecting me to say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables? Or maybe a diet low in added sugars? No fast food? Eating habits that provide your requirements in vitamins and minerals?
Let me tell you that this isn’t an easy question to answer. Most “health” websites or books will tell you to eat a variety of foods, with emphasis on foods from all food groups, in “healthy” amounts. Suggested amounts based on the assumption that we all weigh the same, have the same appetite, enjoy the same foods, do the same amount of physical activity per day, etc. But I think we all know we’re not all the same. Are you a triathlete? You probably need more carbs? Have kidney disease? Watch out for too much protein. Celiac? No wheat for you. So are these guides reaaally tell us what healthy eating habits are?
You’ll also often hear to have everything in moderation. But what is moderation? Is it once a week or once a month? What if you eat donuts every day for a week and then don’t have any for 3 months. Is that considered moderation? Who knows.
To me, a healthy diet is one that includes food that nourish both body and soul. This means eating foods for the right reasons (hunger) as well finding pleasure from these foods. This could mean eating no vegetables for a day because you didn’t feel like having any that day. Or having chocolate after supper because you were still hungry and knew that chocolate would make you feel good physically (by filling you up) and mentally (because chocolate is delicious and makes you happy). Don’t be afraid of allowing yourself these foods, your body knows what it wants and needs. Food is delicious! Enjoy it!
So yes, getting some fruits and vegetables in as well as grains, fish, and legumes is part of a healthy diet, but what most people forget in the definition of a “healthy diet” are the foods that we enjoy, whether they are nutrient dense (high in nutrients for the amount of calories that food provides) or not (think pizza, poutine, burgers, cake, wine, etc.). So if you’re telling me that you “eat clean” or don’t allow yourself a certain food or food group and feel like crap/deprived/tired, well, I’m sorry to say, that is NOT healthy eating. Eating too healthy all the time to the point where it becomes an obsession (weighing foods, fear of going out to eat, etc.) can actually be an eating disorder*
So what can you do to make sure you are eating a healthy diet? There are a TON of tips and tricks (some already on my blog), but for now you can ask yourself these 2 questions:
- Do I want to eat this?
- Will I feel good (physically and mentally) if I eat this?
*If you think you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, please reach out for help. You can even take this screening tool.
For more info, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org