I just finished eating the best dinner. A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have said that. Or made this dinner. Tonight I had my eyes closed for my last few bites of kale salad humming the um, um, ummmmm!! It was that good.
What exactly did I make for dinner?? It’s so simple that it blows my mind. And that’s why it’s so good—it consisted mostly of simple whole foods. Oh my God, I wish I was just sitting down to it again. My most amazing meal consisted of….roasted broccoli, kale salad, and scrambled free range organic eggs with smoked salmon and avocado. Does this sound exciting? Not really. But damn it was good!!
When I used to go mental over a dinner, typically it consisted of really rich foods thrown together with something floury. One of my favorites is a dense cheesy meaty lasagna with crusty bread and good butter on the side. Oh my God—fabulous!! There is nothing wrong with this but in my regular day to day eating I am concentrating on things that are not overly processed, and are nutrient dense and veggie heavy. There are good things in the lasagna and I will certainly keep it in my repertoire. But eating a dinner like I did tonight and still having the crazy loving every bite—that just makes me happy!!
For you folks who are vegan I know this meal doesn’t resonate, but eating lean protein, nuts, seeds, veggies, fruit, good fats and a little bit of whole grain is where I have landed right now for my 90% eating style. Everyone is different and you will all fall into your right eating style whether that be vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, raw, macrobiotic, ayervedic….the list goes on and on. The point is there is no right or perfect diet for everyone—we are all different human beings. But the common denominator is eating foods that are as whole and close to their natural state as possible. AND the other big piece to healthy living through food is to feel GOOD about what you eat….no matter what it is.
Ok, I am saying to eat all this good healthy food—mostly vegetables with fruits and some lean proteins and maybe some whole grains. Of course LOTS of fresh pressed vegetable juice (goes without saying doesn’t it??) and to feel good about it—why wouldn’t you?? But what about if you eat a hot dog on a white bun and a box of mac and cheese followed by a kick ass super sugary piece of birthday cake??? Yup, if you are going to eat it you have to feel good about that too.
Am I recommending a diet of hot dogs and cake? NO! But sometimes we are going to eat things that aren’t in the repertoire that we have decided is our healthy eating plan. And that’s ok. We won’t die. What is really important is that when we go beyond what we deem as our healthy eating plan that we don’t get obsessed over it, because that is where we get into trouble. Our thoughts about what we eat cause more damage than the actual food itself. Is a hot dog a great healthful food? Not so much. Does our guilt about eating it cause a lot more problems? Yes, definitely! Guilt causes stress and if we are stressed when we are eating our digestion basically shuts down. Also stress ultimately causes our bodies to hang on to excess weight.
My suggestion is eat as many whole non/less processed foods as you can with a heavy emphasis on vegetables. Then live your life. There are always going to be circumstances that come up that cause or compel you to eat outside of your plan, whatever that is. Unless of course you have diabetes or another medical condition that eating outside of your plan will cause medical emergencies, feel good about what you eat. Enjoy it. Be mindful while you are eating it. Savor whatever it is. And know that it will not throw you off track forever. Know that it is fine. It is not bad, you are not bad. You are just eating a piece of cake and it is fine. You are healthy. You are whole. You eat good food, and you feel good about what you eat.