As working moms, sometimes it’s difficult to focus on our own health, in particular, what we eat. And if we’re honest, even what our kids eat. Have you ever given your child something to eat that you would normally not want them to have, but did so out of convenience and because that happened to be the only thing they would eat at the time?
I know I have. Sometimes I feel like I have the pickiest child in the world, so I’m just glad that he will eat something! I’m sure you have said that from time to time about your little one too.
What’s important though is what we do most of the time.
So if your most of the time isn’t what you want it to be, then it’s up to you to do something about it. Don’t think though that this has to be all or nothing or some quick fix. I highly recommend against that actually and wanted to share my food philosophy with you. There are a lot of different diets out there and pros and cons to each, so the ideal “diet”, for lack of a better word, is the one that fits your lifestyle and one that you will stick too.
Let’s be honest, you have a general idea of what foods are healthy versus not, but somehow there is confusion around foods that you thought were healthy. Like fruit, too much sugar? As compared to what, I ask, a doughnut? Coffee yes or no? Are you drinking one cup in the morning with ghee or coconut oil or instead all day with cream and some artificial “sugar-free” syrup?
You see the pattern? So what do I eat then, Dr. Cori?
Here’s my food philosophy:
I avoid added sugar. Notice I said “added”, which does not mean fruit. If you are trying to detox from sugar, excluding fruit for awhile is probably a good idea. I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl when it comes to sweets. I love a good Bananas Foster and a nice slice of vegan Lavender cake, but I’m usually kinda sick after or my skin breaks out (acne at 40 is not cute). So for me, I always try to avoid added sugar and I don’t see anything in the scientific literature that supports eating added sugar, so that works for me. It took some time for me to know that about myself. Part of creating your own food philosophy is learning how food affects your body. You have to slow down and start paying attention.
I drink protein shakes. Now, this is particular to my lifestyle. When I’m at home, I order prepared meals from a local vegan chef if I’m not preparing my own. But most of the time, I am in an airport or at some large corporate meeting. For that reason, I love vegan protein powders I can mix with water, can’t always find the best non-dairy milk in hotels or even at the airport. Protein shakes allow me to have a minimally processed nutritious meal. And it helps me get my daily water intake in. Look for powders with a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates (mostly from fiber) so that you can mimic an actual meal.
I don’t eat meat. I don’t process meat well and again paying attention to your body will help you to recognize whether or not this is true for you. There is research though to support that most people, in general, don’t process meat well. Tests are available to help you determine if you are a protein or carbohydrate metabolizer, but you can also figure this out on your own too.
I also believe meat affects women’s hormones. The stressors of being a working mom are enough by itself to wreak havoc on our hormones, so I don’t need to take on the effects of an animal’s hormones too. I can personally attest to balancing my hormones by switching to a plant-based diet. Eating a plant-based diet also helps you focus on eating whole foods that are not refined, which eliminates the need for calorie counting. There’s also a whole other argument about the sustainability of eating meat, remember meat does come from animals, no matter how much we forget that.
I don’t eat dairy. And I used to LOVE cheese! My closest friends know my meal of choice used to be nachos! Yes, I used to think nachos were a meal. Dairy is another food that can worsen hormonal imbalances in women. Not only that, it also causes inflammation, promotes mucus production, and can stifle weight loss. You can usually see a diet high in dairy on your skin (acne rears its ugly head again), lack of muscle tone (hello saddlebags), and even on your tongue. Yes, your tongue! I study Ayurveda and the tongue gives significant insight into your diet. Dairy can show up on the tongue like a white coating or what looks like teeth marks around the perimeter.
And there you have it! My food philosophy…
What about you? Do you have a food philosophy? Love to hear other perspectives….