Flexibility in the Kitchen

I know eating healthy can be hard and it often comes last on the list for most people. Opting for the convenient thing is, well...convenient, and convenience doesn't always equal health. Being flexible with your eating can support you in finding more variety, ease and balance when it comes to your diet.


The way you fuel your body and brain has just as much to do with your physical and emotional health as how you think and move.


Look, you've probably heard me mention (more than once) that my eating habits growing up were less than stellar. When I was a kid, we ate whatever was advertised on TV, which meant Ding Dongs, Twinkies, Ho-Ho's, sugary cereal, Entenmann's donuts (man those were good), you get the idea. If it was junky, I loved it. I was addicted to sugar, salt and fat, and it showed.


I often suffered from depression and fatigue. By first period in school, my head was on the desk and I was drooling. I had zero brain and body fuel to keep me focused and awake.


Eating healthy was something that didn't matter much to me back then. Even after I moved to Sunny SoCal, I continued down the junky path. At this point, I was exercising all the time, so I thought it didn't matter what I put in my body, as long as I was moving it. NOT!


After a run-in with a huge, greasy burger from one of my favorite local restaurants, I experienced the icky's. I felt so sick to my stomach that I knew something needed to change.


I began to get serious about researching food. I began to read labels. I went to seminars and hung out with people who knew better -- nutritionists, fitness enthusiasts and healthy foodies who showed me that there is another way, and that eating for nourishment and fuel was the way to go. Not only that, but I learned how eating healthy would help prevent a myriad of diseases.


I went down the vegetarian road for a long time. It suited me for over 15 years. I began to miss eating fish and quality meats in small amounts and it became increasingly hard to find healthy vegetarian food when I traveled, so I added them back in. I wanted to stay flexible with my diet and not be so rigid. I wanted to listen to my body and not follow some diet that was the current fad.  Our body is the the best nutrition advisor. As cues presented themselves, I took them.


Because I was open to being flexible with my eating, it helped me to find the diet that works for me. I do my best to avoid caffeine, white sugar, gluten, alcohol, artificial sweeteners and too many saturated fats because they don't feel good in my body, and cause inflammation.


Flexibility doesn't only have to do with you, it has to do with others too. Remember, your way might be the best way for you, but that doesn't mean it's the right way for everyone else or the person next to you. Being flexible helps you to cultivate resilience in your life and adapt your perspective so you can take information in from others without judgment. You know your body best, so the cleaner you eat, the more you will be able to read its cues. Remember, the body never lies!