Pillars of Health: Nutrition
Food, Water & Digestion
"It's not just what you eat, it's how and why you eat"
It's no secret that food and water play key roles in determining health and performance, but the way in which they do so is often misinterpreted. We live in a society that is constantly chasing quick-fixes and fad diets, and this is one of the big reasons for the increasing rates of both obesity and chronic disease. Repeated bouts of extreme dietary restriction (fad diets) yo-yoed with extreme bouts of dietary bingeing (falling off the wagon) is hard on every system in the body and degrades health over time.
How do you go about making your daily food choices?
Nutrition isn't just about what you eat, it's also about how, why, and when you eat. The digestive system and brain are tightly connected which is both fascinating and frustrating: Eating a meal under calm, happy conditions can serve the body well while eating the exact same meal under stressful conditions can result in inflammation and digestive distress. The idea that there is a one-size-fits-all diet or an individual regime that you must follow for life would only make sense if humans were machines.
Do you regularly eat on the go or do you take time to eat without multitasking?
Nutrition is also very dependent on genetics: What serves one person can cause health problems in another. Perhaps the most debated point is that healthy nutrition isn't solely about arithmetic. Healthy nutrition is about listening to how foods truly serve your body and further prioritizing these choices based on your individual context and goals.
Are you making objective decisions about what foods serve your body best?
Our approach at Move Daily is not to offer meal plans or encourage fad diets but instead to educate and build awareness on what nutrition strategies serve each person best to achieve and maintain health. We coach our clients to make time for meals, to objectively listen to how foods react within their own bodies, and the how/why/when of certain nutrients to fit their needs. There's more to it than this, but when you can make intuitive food decisions based on what your body needs, you'll have an eating strategy that serves you for life.
How To Improve Your Nutrition
There is no one-size-fits-all diet or magic bullet for healthy eating habits. That said, if you're serious about eating a diet that serves your health and performance, here is a 3-step process to get you on the right track:
- Plan ahead. Set an eating schedule and know the how (many times in a day you will eat), the what (you will eat), and the where/when (you will eat). The "Why are you eating?" should have only one answer: It's mealtime and you're hungry.
- Make time for your meals. Don't eat while under stress, while rushed, or multitasking. Focus on what you're eating, how it tastes, then recognize how it's digesting and making you feel. Set a timer and see if you can make your meal last 15-20minutes.
- Eat whole foods (most of the time). Leave the B's (boxed, bagged, baked) for treats and special occasions. Note ahead of time (back to step #1), how many "special occasions" pop up in your week ahead.
If you simply start with the 3 steps above, you can make great success with your eating habits and be well on your way to better health.