I think that I should eat less sugar, but it is so hard to find food that doesn’t have it, especially because I’m always on the go. Is it that bad, or should I just not worry about it? Is coffee really that bad for you? I always feel like I should be cutting back on caffeine or switching to tea, but I love my coffee in the morning. I always hear I should eat more whole grains, but why?
You bring up some really great questions–we’re told all of these things, but why? While some of the concepts you mention are true for many individuals, they most typically represent the “shoulds,” which are simply social expectations that say we should all operate in a specific way. Notice, these rules or “shoulds” change often–last year coffee was bad for us, but this year it’s good. Same with wine or chocolate. That’s why paying attention to your own body and letting it lead the way is the smartest health choice you can make for yourself.
With Western medicine, we are given many absolutes, and our health is looked at in black and white terms (do this not that or this is a “normal” hormone range, this is not). What we don’t often take time to think about is that every individual possesses a very unique body; no two are the same. Literally. Just like snowflakes, you will never find two individual’s with the same DNA; that’s how unique our bodies are.
So, when it comes to food, it’s important to face what feels best for your body, not what the media tells us is good or bad.
Follow some of these guidelines to discover the best for your body:
-Keep a food journal for 2 weeks. Document everything you eat and how much. Then, be sure to jot down a few notes on how you felt after you ate each meal. How did it affect your digestion? Mood? Energy level? This will help you get clear on what types of food your body responds best to.
-Cut out foods that seem to aggravate your body. (If any of these foods are wheat/dairy/refined sugar, check out my blog for recipes and product recommendations: http://www.heatherstrang.com/blog/wheat-free/) Note how you feel for 2 weeks while these foods are no longer in your system. Lighter? More energy? Weight loss? It’s important to become an observer of your body and then, give it what it needs, not what the media says it should need.
-Sit for five minutes every day in total silence. Ask your body what it wants. If you listen, it will tell you.
-Check out the book Vibrant Living by Sally Kravich (http://www.sallykravich.com/naturally/sk_book.html). It contains one of the most comprehensive and non-preachy approaches to uncovering your path to ideal health in nutrition, exercise and healing work.
Bottom line–if you take time to connect with your body, all of the other hoopla about what to eat and what not to eat will go away, leaving you with exactly what you need for your total health.
Much love & blessings, Heather
Have a question about this topic or any other? Next month we’ll focus on the should’s surrounding parenting. Send your questions to: [email protected].