THERE are many ways to eat with so many diets and food choices in the world today. Regardless of whether you are “dieting” to lose weight or eating a specific “diet” for health and performance reasons, in essence everyone is on a diet.
I myself have tried all sorts of diets. As a kid, I ate your standard meat and potatoes for dinner and all sorts of packaged, processed food type substances like; wagon wheels, twinkies, chips, pop and candy. Looking back, I’m surprised my brain, bones and body developed without the essential nutrients required to be a healthy human being.
Now skip ahead to high school where the trendy diet was “carbo loading” which was supposed to help athletes sustain energy throughout their performance. I’m Italian so, having a heaping plate of rigatoni for dinner before my rugby game the next day was awesome. This carbo loading diet came to a screeching halt when I lived in Whistler and wanted to be super thin to do promotions as a representative for multiple well known liquor companies. At that time I also did some modelling which was on or around the time the “Atkins” diet hit the mainstream and became popular. I followed that diet for quite a few years, and it served me well when combined with working out rigorously, I was successful in lowering my body fat to 11 per cent.
So, there I was, fit, lean, muscular and mean.
I was mean! I was hungry and angry, which when you blend the words equals hangry. A lot of my time was spent pre-planning, preparing and presuming that if I were to slip and fall off of this precarious fit position, it would be a slippery slope.
So, before I was a married mother, I made the majority of my meals in advance because I had time. I had time to shop, organize ideas, and pre-cook a lot of meals. Now that life is so busy and moving at such a rapid rate, I’m lucky if I have a chance to soak some rice before I throw it in the rice cooker. The point that I am trying to get to is this. Stop trying to follow all these new fad diets. I find it interesting how one diet can completely and diametrically oppose another diet yet both diets can be accepted as “a healthy way to eat”.
With all this confusion surrounding diets, vitamins and supplements, nutrition can seem overwhelming. I say let’s go back in time and get grassroots about meal times. Let’s go back to nature and eat what is grown organically and ethically. Which for me is a plant based diet. I make the effort to spend time and money on local and organic foods that sustain my body and brain and when I eat at home with my family, we eat together. We don’t sit in front of the TV and unconsciously shovel prepackaged processed food down our throats. We prepare our meals together. My son participates by shredding a carrot and the occasional finger.
So, we prepare our meals together with many colourful options, set the table, sit down together, and then we offer our gratitude by saying a prayer before we eat. During our mealtime we talk about what is going on in our lives and we look into each other’s eyes and connect.
We make an effort to do this ritual every single day as I believe, eating whole nutritious food at home, with your family every single day, keeps the doctor away.