This past weekend, my gym had a fabulous opportunity to listen to Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo and Dr. Brooke Kalanick talk about the roles of diet and stress with health. Dr. Brooke is my naturopath who diagnosed me with Hashimoto's, and I was happy to get to meet her in person (we Skype as she's based in NYC). I love Sarah's cookbooks and was excited to hear her as well.
Sorry for the craptastic picture. I was trying not to be “that girl.”
Something Sarah said during her talk really stuck with me multiple times per day this week. She said: “I eat what I want.”
Before you snicker and call her a skinny B, let me explain a little more. As someone who lives a paleo lifestyle, she doesn't eat many things like grain, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, soy…
In the past couple months, I'd been eating gluten free, but my grain intake (rice, quinoa) had gone up and my sugar intake had creeped up as well. Darn you gluten free brownies at Trader Joes (seriously, don't EVEN try them) and yummy greek yogurt. For so long, I always feel like, “man, I cut so much stuff out of my diet, why do I have to cut even more?!” It's always a deprivation reaction.
So when Sarah said “I eat what I want,” she went on to explain that eating what she wants is different from eating everything. It means she is choosing to eat foods that make her body feel best. She really is choosing to eat what she does. It's an active choice, and framed as a positive one.
Since Sunday, I've been tightening up some things in my diet that I know don't make me feel my best. I have always functioned much better without any gluten, grains, or sugar. Proteins and veggies are amazing fuel for my body. I can tolerate some dairy like cream in my coffee, but inhaling greek yogurt filled with sugar leaves me feeling sluggish. So every food choice I've been faced with since Sunday, I've said to myself: “I eat what I want.” And BOOM, I feel great about my choices.
Going from a feeling of deprivation to one of active empowerment and positive reinforcement is such a small, yet significant step.
No two people are alike, so we have to do what works for ourselves and our lifestyle. It's not feeling like you're giving up 80% of the food choices available in the Standard American Diet, it's feeling like you're making an active choice to feel your best.