My understanding of nutrition has evolved over time. Our bodies require key nutrients as building blocks, power sources and essential elements of our biochemistry. Our bodies have an innate wisdom to ask for what they need. This is how we know to seek water when we are thirsty, and food when we are hungry, and even specific nutrients that we need. Our society in general has strayed pretty far from listening to our body’s needs. We are choosing foods for the immediate stimulant effect, instant gratification, and ignoring toxicities. With these changes has come a idea of returning to health by eating a “healthy diet.” But there are oh so many different versions of what this might be! And this “guidance” often comes outside of our (wise) bodies, from someone outside of us. How can someone outside of us know what is best for us to eat? We each have different physiologies, and our needs vary with our activity levels, emotional states, seasons and times of day. Further, there is sometimes an attempt is to seek health by eating an exactingly perfect diet (and therefore engendering all sorts negative emotions about food). An uncomfortable result of this has grown the tendency to “eat oneself into a corner,” where the diet consists of a limited number of super-foods.
Now there is clearly benefit to limiting toxins and reactive foods, and replacing missing nutrients. And, it is easier to change one’s diet than one’s ‘habit of thought.’ Ideally though, alignment of self is the highest priority. Listening to one’s own body, both what it is asking for, and how it responds to the same is simply a the happy way to support our body. This has been referred to as Intuitive Eating. If you’d like to read more, I recommend the book One Bowl Diet.