Let's face it. There's a boatload of dietary info out there. But don't worry! I'm not about dive too deep into all the directions one can be pulled when looking for an accessible, sustainable way to feel better from the inside out, but rest assured we can all safely say the info is out there. And it's plentiful, and (maybe just a little) overwhelming. I know many of you (me included) have tapped into what generally works for us by now, and from time to time might need to re-connnect with a few of our 'tried and true' personal truths.
I'll be the first to admit that though I eat well, exercise regularly, and generally strive to live a balanced healthy lifestyle, there are times when I need to re-set. Part of my re-set structure is already built in to my everyday life. I fast regularly and do my best to avoid eating when I'm not hungry (as a rule).
But I've got to be truthful here. Food blogging gets the juices flowing in more ways than one - starting from the creative brain and ending with our well-fed and contented bellies (lucky us). From creating recipes and planning them and shopping for them, to actually making them, photographing them, editing them, and then consuming them means this blogger has a lot of time to think about food. And that is a very, very good thing!
But as I strive to stay balanced and moderate (a hard thing for a self-confessed obsessive like me), I must keep myself honest by knowing when I've had enough of a good thing. So it's time for a gentle springtime re-set. It won't be long, but it will be good. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic and whether you are a spring cleaner or not.
Here's what I've been doing:
1. Eating Clean
I know I know, this sounds
weird borderline crazy. 'But all she eats is kale!' you are thinking. It's true, I eat a lot of kale. But with that kale comes yummy homemade salad dressings, roasted nuts, maybe dried cranberries or currants. It also sometimes comes with cooked grains and hard-boiled eggs (my favourite). I think food should taste good, and always choose less of something tasty than more of something bland. Unless my body craves bland like it is now. So I've been drastically reducing & sometimes cutting out salt, oil, dairy, or anything sweet other than gentle fruits like apples and pears. Just to give my system a little rest. The hardcore chocoholic in me can get a little (well, a lot depending on the day) pouty when I do this, but it's just for a short time. If it hits really hard, I'll still have some, but just the tiniest bit.
2. Leaning Buddhist
Of all the things I love to eat but have to avoid, garlic ranks in the top. As a teen, I read a lot of books on Buddhist teachings, and know that some believe garlic & onions to be 'un-pure' foods to the system and they are believed to cause fiery tempers when eaten raw. Crazy, crazy, crazy, I know as garlic is a super health food and an immune booster! Then you might find it crazy that my body doesn't like it, and though I sneak some in here and there, I really feel better, clearer, and less cloudy when I steer clear. Anyone else out there with a similar sensitivity?
3. Steaming Rules
In the winter, nothing pleases me more than pulling out a pan of hot roasted potatoes, or a wonderful tray of mixed veggies with rosemary and olive oil. On the other side of that coin, is my love for raw salads. As I said earlier though, a typical meal salad consists of usually a few tasty additions and truthfully sometimes I just need a break not only from the actual eating of it but also the thought process that goes into it. So my fave way to reset is by getting back to basics in the most straight-forward way I know. Simple steamed veggies with nothing added. Tasting the food for what it is. Squash, kale, zucchini, sweet potatoes, bok choy. They are all so different and so gentle and nourishing on their own. It re-connects me to the food and reminds me that nourishment is easily at our fingertips without over-thinking or over-doing. And yes, I have steamed vegetables for breakfast sometimes too.It's okay, I know it's a bit odd ; )
4. Being Mindful of Food Combinations
Now, of course, this is a touchy one, and certainly not something I do religiously. In fact, I rarely practice what might be considered proper food combining. But if any of you have ever studied this very interesting topic, you might be with me in accepting its validity. Such popular and nourishing foods such as avocado, for instance, are believed best when eaten without proteins, and the one rule I do tend to follow always is no fruit after a meal. For a fantastic post on food combining explained beautifully, check out Sarah's post over at My New Roots. Also be sure to check out Natalia Rose and her raw food philosophy - you'll be glad you did. So for a while, it's few foods together, in 'good' combinations. Easy, seamless digestion.
5. Upping The Healthy Liquid Intake
Now really, this is one should be easy, yes?! How many of you get enough clean water in your system every day? It seems crazy that we can so easily ignore our body's cries for water. Just ate but feel hungry? Drink water. Feeling tired? Drink water! For some reason, there are times when the last thing I reach for is water when I'm struggling, which is
crazy downright silly. Water is energizing, cleansing works as an appetite suppressant, lubricates our digestive tracts, and is free. Free! In addition to making a concerted effort to take in liquids, I've cut back the coffee to 2 a day in the morning (hey I work for an amazing coffee roaster and that's a big cut) and have increased the herbal teas, green tea, hot water with a squeeze of lemon, a green juice, and always never-ending ginger tea.
Of course, there are other things I'll be doing too and maintaining daily physical activity is a given, but these are my top 5 for an easy transition to increasing overall water consumption, upping intake of gently cooked hydrating vegetables, and consuming foods that are simple and easy for my body to recognize and assimilate.
I'm a huge fan of the re-set, or as the French refer to theirs - a re-casting - just like our blankets need a shake-out, and the corners of our rooms need a sweep, every once in a while I've got to let my body dig deep into the corners. Open those windows wide and let the fresh air in!