What I’m Not Giving Up in 2018

What day is it even? Where are we?

It’s okay, I got your back.

It’s December 30th which means we have two more days until the new year. Yippee! Time to either get things done !!!…..or do absolutely nothing because I have zero motivation. But really though, this past week has felt SO weird…..because let’s face it, the period of time between Christmas and New Years can be just that. WEIRD. It’s like WHO am I and what am I doing with my life? While at the same time thinking “damn I did a lot in 2017, I’m such a bad ass”. Apparently, it’s a balance

I’m excited for 2018, yet still finding closure with 2017. I’m motivated to do a lot of things and at the same time don’t really feel like doing anything. But really though, can I just do yoga, watch greys anatomy, eat, sleep, repeat? That’d be lovely.

What’s also felt weird is how much diet talk we’re all of a sudden surrounded by. I turn on the radio, and it’s all “diet this” “cleanse that” “new body, new you”. I read facebook and I see the same thing. From ads, from friends, from random people. I’m at the point where I’m really turned off by social media because of it. I’m all about health and in full support of lifestyle changes to help people become healthier BUT I think we so easily forget that health does not just boil down to “how clean or unprocessed” we can eat or how many food groups we’ll be cutting out in 2018.

Now, I get it, it’s the culture we live in. It’s pretty diet heavy (no pun intended). But c’mon, if even a furniture store is trying to tie diets into selling furniture….maybe we should start re-looking at how we’re planning on starting off the year.

Diets sell. They’re attractive. They make false yet tempting promises of somehow changing our entire life for the better. They tell us that a new you means a thinner, more fit, “clean eating”  you. All of a sudden, if we start cutting out ______, which was apparently killing us this whole time, we’ll be a more clear-headed, more energetic, confident, attractive, successful, and more prefect human being.

Let’s think about that for a second?

I believe that the way we eat and take care of our body ABSOLUTELY makes a difference. BUT I do not believe that simply by changing our diet, we will all of a sudden solve all of our life issues. It just does not happen that way. It takes more than what foods we are putting into our mouth to shift our life in a way that shifts everything.

It takes acting in a way that supports our morals and beliefs. It takes making scary, yet needed risks for the things we want. It takes prioritizing our time and our life so that it lines up with our goals.

Okay…so Back To DIEts

It is crazy to me how many diets and eating options are out there to choose from. Years back, it was all about low fat, then it went to low carb, then high protein, then low sugar, and now we’re at “clean eating”. Which, honestly, is simply a made up way to make everyone feel immortal and immaculate about what they are eating. Each person I ask has a completely different definition of clean eating. I’m pretty sure the stress, fear, and anxiety that’s instilled about eating “unclean foods” is more detrimental to your health than actually eating them.

Also, what happens when you stop eating “clean”, are you now eating dirty? Are you going to feel bad about that? That’s just so weird to me.

Something I am clear on is this : If a diet or “healthy eating pattern” is making you more neurotic, stressed, and fearful of food then it is not good for you. It goes against our biology and the way our brain works. We were never meant to be stressed out about nourishing our bodies. Our bodies are all about survival and will even metabolically adapt when we’re at risk. Following a diet that cuts out so many food groups is not beneficial for your mental health nor your physical health. We are living in a society where food is abundant, do we really need to be restricting half of what’s available out  there?

Now, I’m not telling you to go out there and nourish your body with only cheesecake, cheese puffs, and chocolate BUT I don’t feel like what I need to tell is that you  need to eat more fruits and vegetables either.

We already know this. Even my patients who come in and are eating three meals at McDonald’s a day  tell me “I know exactly what you are going to say….eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water”.

Great! Looks like we got it down. This is why I think it’s important to come on here and say that when you are looking at the way you eat, maybe look at what is missing in your diet. If it’s fruits and vegetables, great. Add those in. But if that’s all your eating —> consider that maybe there’s other foods you could add in.

Is there a food you’re scared of? Is there a food you would NEVER ever eat? Do you ever get stressed or anxious around food? If so, maybe its worth exploring. Maybe it’s worth sitting down with a dietitian over.

So in my efforts to tune out this “new year, new cleanse, new diet” shenanigans….I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I am not giving up this year in my diet.

Things I am not giving up in 2018

1. Sugar and Desserts/Sweets

I enjoy cookies with real sugar. I enjoy real ice-cream. I enjoy desserts. I just don’t live off of them.

2. Alcohol

I rarely ever drink but do occasionally enjoy a glass of wine. I know how much and what kinds feel good in my body and I’m great with that.

3. Grains

I love oats, bread, bulgur, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. They will definitely continue to be in my diet. I’m a happier person with them. They provide me with good energy that keep my meals balanced, my stomach happy, and my mind working properly.

4. Legumes

I love beans [black, pinto, kidney, white, chickpeas (hello hummus!)], lentils, and peanuts (PEANUT BUTTER people…peanut butter). These are all delicious. Some are even great sources of dietary fiber and of non-animal protein.

5. Dairy

I love milk in my coffee. I love yogurt and ice-cream and CHEESE. I mean, let’s be real, I add cheese to everything. Yup, these are definitely staying.

6. Anything else that I really enjoy eating.

Because not eating these things would be torture and simply not realistic for me.

So yes, the only things I’ll really be “cutting out of my diet” or just simply continuing to not eat are things I don’t like or things that don’t necessarily agree with me, which in reality are very few.

Food sensitivities are real and so are food allergies. But, before you self-diagnose yourself with one —> consider that actually finding out if you have one is a crucial step.

So here’s to 2018! A year where I will continue to experience food for its different and new flavors, the connections and special memories it provides for me, and the overall joy and thankfulness I have around having the resources and ability to eat a variety of delicious foods.

Here’s to not following a food plan that was not even made for my body.

Here’s to not restricting, but instead discovering and enjoying.

Here’s to expanding my diet, not cutting things out.

If this inspires you to re-look at how you’ll be approaching 2018, please share.

And if you’re choosing to follow a new way of eating in 2018, I’d also love to hear about your experience.

Now go out and enjoy your last two days of 2017 🙂

 

From my belly to yours,

Lucia

 

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