Could your health ailments be healed with a glass of water and an apple?
We all have a basic instinct about food within us; what to eat, when to eat it and how much to eat. Instinct which has been clouded and distorted by fake foods and often less than helpful dietary advice.
As Michael Pollan pointed out in his book ‘In Defence of Food’ we are the only animal on the planet which waits for someone else to tell it what to eat. Other animals on the planet simply use their instincts and the skills passed down by their ancestors. They don’t need to be told what to eat, how much, or which packet to eat it from.
We used to use these instincts ourselves, although you wouldn’t believe it now.
So, what happened to us?
Scientists and the food industry have been telling us what to eat for years; conducting study after confusing study and bringing us high-tech, low fat ways of eating which are supposedly designed to help us lose weight and stay healthy.
Yet, as a recent report revealed, the humans who eat this way (mostly those of us in the Western world) are now more overweight than ever before.
So, does science really have the answers?
There has been a huge increase in the amount of people suffering with disordered eating patterns over recent years. Starving themselves from Monday to Friday, which then often leads immense over indulgence over the weekend through shear relief.
- The calorie counter going around your head.
- A relationship with the scales where the numbers can literally make or break your day.
- The binge eating, cupboard cleansing, food hiding, obsessive label reading, low fat, fake fat nightmare lifestyle.
- Standing in the confectionary aisle and deciding that the ‘fat free’ sweets are the better option, despite the fact they are loaded with sugar (which is actually helping to pile on the pounds).
- Hunger is your best friend and your worst enemy.
A whirl of confusion surrounds us when it comes to how and what we should eat, but what is the answer? The real and realistic answer?
It’s a sad fact that our relationship with food has been so bent out of shape that social pressure often dictates that people don’t stick to healthy regimes.
Many people think it’s weird, gross even, to eat natural food; worse still, many people don’t even recognise real food anymore.
The pain I have experienced with my own relationship with food eventually brought me to the realisation that I could actually never be well and gain true control of my weight by following the nutritional guidelines I had always tried to adhere to.
I was failing to maintain a diet that was basically designed for failure. I was eating foods that were ultimately designed to be addictive (millions of pounds are spent making sure that they are).
I see many others experiencing this pain each day; it breaks my heart when I watch someone reaching for their tracker to see if they are allowed to eat some deliciously healthy and nutritious avocado. It breaks my heart even more when I watch them put it down and instead eat a pack of low calorie crisps or a couple of diet yogurts because that fits in with their daily allowance.
I used to argue the case for switching to the man-made ‘wonder fats’ which were flooding the market. I truly believed that we needed to cut the fat from our meat, strip the skin from our chicken and put an end to adding butter to our vegetables.
Little did I know how wrong this is.
Those unnatural ‘alternatives’ are the very things that have us hooked, that are clogging up our bodies, lowering our natural energy levels, increasing our waistlines and disconnecting us ever further from our basic instinct about what and how we should eat to fuel our own unique bodies.
Fake fats and the push to the low fat diet have led us down a road of high sugar and additive consumption, along with fats that effectively corrupt our cells and leave us craving more.
I finally came to realise a few years ago that I was hooked on those fake foods, despite the fact that I loved vegetables and fruit. My body and mind craved the fake foods and the sugar, which rendered me incapable of keeping my intake in check.
My eating patterns were incredibly destructive.
The problem? I had lost the connection with my basic instinct; the instinct which lies within us all, guides us from within in terms of what, when and how much to eat.
So, how do we return to these basic instincts?
Going cold turkey on the ‘bad’ stuff?
It can work for some people, but in most cases this approach fails miserably and often leads to binges, erratic eating cycles and that horrid feeling of guilt, swiftly followed by thoughts of failure.
Cold turkey should be saved for Boxing Day.
What is truly required is a gradual awakening, an awakening which builds momentum over time, and brings you to a place where you feel like the most amazing you. This is an awakening of your basic instinct to survive and your basic knowledge of how to feed yourself in a way that truly works for a healthy you.
You don’t have to vow never to eat chocolate, cakes or bread again.
I bet you’ve done it all before and failed, maybe even a thousand times. So, why would now be any different?
Start with small steps
This process might start with something as simple as an apple and a glass of water and builds steadily but surely from there, increasing the number of nutrients being pumped into the body and brain, without ever the mention of foods being disallowed or banned.
Try adding different fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and a few wholegrains to your diet. Experiment, explore, and enjoy. Awaken your taste buds with a couple of simple meals each week cooked completely from scratch. Move towards adding veggies, salad and fruit to your meals and drink fresh water or water flavoured with lemon, lime or berries.
The more changes you make, the more your body and mind will wake up to tell you what it truly needs to be healthy. You will naturally begin to crave and seek out more nourishing over the foods that leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and powerless.
This isn’t all about weight loss, it is about finding yourself and regaining the power that has been handed over to the diet gurus and scientists who are constantly bombarding us with health ‘information’ about what we should and shouldn’t eat.
This is an exciting journey of discovery and wonder, which could take you to healthy highs you never knew existed. When you connect with your body and allow your basic instincts to surface, you are connecting with the very meaning of your life.
Take small steps each day to stay on your own path of awakening, it’s your path and it’s unique and amazing, just like you.
Carol Wildgoose is a Weight Loss Mangement Coach and supports her clients along the path from disordered eating and food addiction misery, to freedom, happiness and a love of food. Discover more of her delicious recipes at: www.loveyoulovefood.com – click the link above