MUSINGS ON ‘DIET’… and a yummy cacao smoothie!
Now, I’m not really into ‘diets’. That probably seems like a bizarre comment from a yoga teacher and holistic health counsellor in training… But what I mean is, I don’t specifically follow a plan or regime that limits what I can and can’t eat. I’m not good with restrictions. So instead, I just go with ‘healthy’ whenever I can and listen to what my body needs… with enough slack for a little indulgence and flexibility.
Over the years there have been a few particular concepts in the health space that have hit a nerve – mostly positive … sometimes not so much. From the huge variety of diets (or should I say methods of eating/living) I have cherry-picked elements that make sense to me, read up on them and then slowly incorporated them into my lifestyle. For example, I aim to eat seasonal, local produce as much as possible – the concept of eating what the earth provides each season just seems right, doesn’t it? And local produce limits the amount of time your fruit/veg is in transport (often picked unripe, lacking nutrients!)
From Ayurveda, I’ve worked more grounding, warming foods into my diet – especially in winter, or when I’m feeling a little strung out and anxious. Weston A. Price gave me confidence to eat good fats like coconut oil, milk and butter and of course meat all from high quality sources – knowing that my body and brain needs fat (as does yours!) is refreshing instead of giving into the ‘anti-fat’ campaign!
David Woolfe and the Raw Food movement introduced me to SuperFood smoothies (click here for my recipe!) packed with Chia seeds, Raw Cacao, Spirulina, Blueberries and more, which are busting with anti-oxidants, protein and minerals. From macrobiotics I’ve embraced whole foods – particularly whole grains and am going to try out more sea vegetables too.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit there… and it’s forever evolving. As I discover something new (that most likely has been around for centuries!) I trial it out and see how it works. Nothing will ever become a part of my lifestyle/diet if I don’t like the taste, it doesn’t make sense, or I can’t find a way of working it into a meal/smoothie – sometimes it’s just too difficult.
Studying at IIN there are a few things I’ve learnt that have really stuck like glue. One of the biggest take outs for me has been coming to the understanding that people will not stick to a healthy habit/ingredient/meal and make it permanent if it just doesn’t work for them. Take, for example, a person that has an unbreakable bond with meat, of any kind, will just feel miserable trying to follow a strict vegetarian diet. A vegan would probably feel dirty trying to eat raw full cream milk whilst a raw foodie would probably weep over the dead enzymes cooked out of fresh produce.
Every single person is unique. Each person not only looks different, but also thinks differently and reacts differently. So how can there ever be one diet that is right for everyone? It’s impossible. What is possible is finding health and balance within the framework and lifestyle that makes the individual feel alive, happy and content. Something that doesn’t mess with the way they see things. That’s not to say that sometimes people just need a little help and education to show them that, say, a kebab everyday is probably not the best option.
Whilst studying at IIN I have learnt all about Bio-Individuality. The concept of bio-individuality is that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison. Makes sense doesn’t it? And it’s comforting to know that I had been living my own life in this way and will soon be able to help other people do the same!
Another diet concept that I connect with is the Acid/Alkaline diet – I’ll be doing a little spotlight on this soon. So check in again because it’s a fascinating one.
And just because I like to share, here is another delicious smoothie recipe. A perfect example of how easy it is to enjoy a delicious yet incredibly nutritious diet! This little gem is actually from a fellow Integrative Nutrition student – Scott Mathias. He is in QLD so if anyone up that way is seeking an amazing health counsellor with a wealth of knowledge and a heap of great foodie ideas then get in touch!
Dairy free, Sugar free, Cacao Superfood Smoothie:
· Chocolate Milk: 500 ml of filtered/spring
· 1/2 tbsp tahini (I used black unhulled tahini)
· 5-6 mejool dates (or ordinary dates soaked overnight)
· 3-4 tbsp raw cacao
· Small handful of walnuts
· 2 tbsp of chia seeds (soak in a little water first)
· Blend ingredients together
Enjoy the yumminess!
*Image from Scott Mathias
I took Scott’s recipe and changed it up slightly – so you can do the same. It is so delish it’s hard to believe it’s not only healthy but bursting with vitality and goodness!
So tell me, how has your diet evolved? Or do you stick to one particular regime and rarely deviate? Tell me what works for you or what you are hoping to change?
Signing off with an exhale.
*Food images kindly borrowed from the Integrative Nutrition