The Nutrition Answer You Need (But No One Tells You About..)
Dear answer seekers,
I’m simply going to cut to the chase with this one–because there’s a very important point that needs to be made when it comes to completing your personal puzzle of good health, balanced nutrition, and long-term happiness.
If you’re looking to make a change related to your health, odds are you’re out there searching for black and white answers. Things like…
- Eat *this* many calories and lose the weight.
- Exercise according to *this* exact schedule and in 2 months, you’ll look exactly how you’ve always wanted.
- Cut out *these* foods from your diet and you’ll be successful.
- Take *this* supplement and you’ll look exactly like that fitness model on Instagram.
- Order a side salad instead of fries to stay “on track” while eating out.
I could continue for days…but you get the idea.
The REAL answers…
What do all of these recommendations have in common? They all offer an exact solution to a very specific problem you’re trying to solve. That’s why these answers are widely searched for and accepted. That’s why these answers SELL.
But I’m not convinced (far from it, actually)–and I don’t want you to be, either. There’s way more to true health and happiness than that…but this probably isn’t want you want to hear.
You probably want the fast, simple, “give me the results ASAP-Rocky” kind of answers–and I mean, I can’t blame you. Sources of instant gratification are all around–so it only makes sense that that same sense of instant gratification should apply to health goals, right?
WRONG. I mean, you can definitely engage in certain diets, fads, and workout plans to bring you instant gratification when it comes to your health, but these aren’t results that will last. Ever been on a diet that seemed amazeballs one week and the next you were out searching for a new one? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
So, I’m here with another answer for your health, wellness, and nutrition queries.
I believe you want the answers to be as black and white as the ones offered in bulleted form above, but they’re not. I know you probably don’t want the answer to be mindfulness, but it is.
I also know what you may think when you hear the word “mindfulness.” “Oh..here she goes again talking that woo-woo, hippie nonsense. Darn it, Claire, give me an ACTUAL piece of nutrition advice or I’m going to stop reading your blog.” ….If you’re laughing right now, it’s because you know I’m not wrong. (Dietitian AND mind-reader?! Amazing).
But here’s just one example to demonstrate that developing a greater sense of mindfulness in your daily life IS an actual tip. It’s not woo-woo, and there’s actual science behind it…
The science behind mindfulness
You have two parts to your nervous system:
- The sympathetic nervous system: This is your fight, flight or freeze response. This side of your nervous system increases your heart and breathing rate, triggers your liver to release stored glucose (sugar!), and halts digestion (because blood flow has to be directed to your heart & limbs to help you flee danger!!)
- The parasympathetic nervous system: This is your rest and digest mechanism. This side of your nervous system calms your heart rate, increases intestinal secretions, and relaxes your digestive muscles (yay better digestion!)
Without attention to mindfulness in your everyday life, your body is stuck in constant state of “go-go-go, stress-stress-stress, must do ALL the things.” Sound familiar?
When you’re stuck in this state, the sympathetic nervous system dominates, thus leading to poor digestion, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of stress hormones within the body. Over time, this can be a long-term drain on the body and a huge source of physical + mental wear and tear.
Not so woo-woo after all, huh? Don’t underestimate the power of mindfulness. No, it’s not a quick fix and it’s definitely not a black and white answer. It takes time, practice, and a lot of patience. The journey looks different for everyone.
I know it’s sometimes difficult to see through the mess of content that’s put out in the media these days, but the developing a mindfulness practice is fundamental to achieving your balanced picture of health and wellness.
How to learn mindfulness
Looking for a place to start? I got you, friend. Feel free to use any of the posts linked below as a starting place for growing and nurturing mindfulness in your daily life:
- Creating space for mindfulness through breath and restorative yoga
- Eating: you’re doing it wrong.
- Mindfulness through self-care
- Barefoot mindfulness
And if you’re an action-taker who’s ready to start implementing mindfulness AND gentle nutrition to transform your life for long-term happiness and health, click here to get connected with me. Shoot me a message telling me your takeaway from this blog post and I’ll email you back with a special offer for personalized gentle nutrition coaching (ongoing offer with no expiration date for those who choose to take action & reach out). This path isn’t paved with black & white answers–it’s paved with YOUR answers. I’m simply here to help you find them (& ditch diets for good because nobody needs that negativity in their life).
And lastly…just remember:
- You are so much more than just a body.
- Food is more than calories and you are more than a number on a scale.
- You are so worthy (& so is everyone else).
P.S. That pumpkin loaf that you see in the first photo above? It traveled 250 miles with me yesterday. Here’s a photo for proof. Talk about the best shotgun rider, huh??