“Teags, what’s the best way to eat?”
What ever suits your individual biochemistry, lifestyle, ethics, morals and taste buds.
It’s not usually what people want to hear. Humans want the short cut. We expect to hear a fad diet. The latest trend. Sorry not from this health coach.
Let’s go over a few things.
- Knowledge is constantly evolving. The health and fitness is quite a young industry compared to others.
- What I eat may not necessarily feel amazing in your body. There is no one way approach to nutrition.
- The basics of fad ‘diets’ are to stick to whole foods, include a lot of vegetables and to manage your proportions. They aren’t all bad news.
- You will have to trial and error for a bit until you find what suits you best.
About 6 years ago I was eating a lot of meat. I was living in Holland with a family while I worked as Au pair (a live in nanny) and the family ate meat in most meals. In a few months, I started to feel crappy. I went through a spout of an eating disorder and then started to educate myself on where meat was coming from and the purpose and role nutrition plays in our body. It all started to make sense for me.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there. You can preach to eat vegan until the cows come home (pardon the pun), and you’re still going to have information out there that supports eating meat. On the internet – you can always find the answer you want.
Is meat bad – yes. Good? – yes.
Is love good – yes. Love bad? – yes.
Prove me wrong otherwise haha! There is a lot of sh!t on the internet. Simply googling ‘What’s the best way to eat’, you’ll find a plethora of information.
Aside from all the information – I don’t care what it all says. Because I know what feels good in my body and what doesn’t. That’s the story. I don’t care what you eat. Personally, I only care that you feel really freakin’ good. I do care that you educate yourself with the right sources too. Actually there are a few things I care about but you get the point.
There’s one thing I learnt about going through two eating disorders (one at school and one in my early 20s), is going hard or going home isn’t the best approach. Restriction isn’t good for anyone. Tell someone they can’t eat bread. Watch them eat none for 4 days and then eat 6 slices with Nutella and banana on the fifth day and then fall off the ‘band wagon’ for 2 months. I watch it on replay.
You must take the time for yourself to discover what feels good and what doesn’t. If veganism is too hard because you’re a mum of two fussy kids. Going hard or going home is just not going to work. If you want the best diet to lose weight and you heard it’s low carb – don’t starve yourself of your favourite chocolate, it isn’t maintainable. Think keto is the only way to lose fat and gain muscle – you lose it and then try come back to ‘normal eating’ then notice the weight is coming back on.
You don’t have to put yourself into a box. There is no reason to have an extreme diet. You don’t have to live life stressing what you’re going to eat next. Eating well is easy – as easy as you make it.
Go out there and trial what feels good
- If you almost shit your pants every time you eat dairy – it’s probably a sure clue that you’re intolerant.
- You bloat after grains – there’s a high chance you’re having an inflammatory reaction.
- If you feel heavy after a rib eye steak, have a go at trialing another protein.
- Eczema or dermatitis that you can’t seem to put a finger on – trial out cutting different things from your diet like those inflammatory foods; dairy and grains.
- If you don’t mind the slight belly ache every now and then, then bloody enjoy it every now and then.
You don’t have to LABEL yourself.
You don’t have to lock yourself into one box just because it’s on trend. The question, ‘what’s the best way to eat’ shouldn’t be asked as trends change. It should change as our bodies change and what they require. If you’re training harder increase certain foods. If you’re going through menopause, our diets likely change.
You can be plant based and the eat an egg every now and then. If you want to eat Sunday roast with the family every month – do it.
We aren’t here to judge you and your food choices. It’s no ones business except for your dieticians, trainer or other health professionals you work with.
People often think I am going to tell them to eat plant based. And I can say, hand on heart that I have never. I also never plan to.
People that I knew while I ate meat prepare themselves for me to preach to them about veganism. They almost want to cause an argument because they heard some cool facts about meat they want to flaunt. So, I’m sorry I never let you have that heated discussion. Also, I’m sorry for walking away when you tried to force it down my throat. We are individuals who are entitled to eat as we wish. As a coach and a friend I only want you to feel amazing – that’s all. If you want to research all the benefits of being plant based – do that, I will be stoked for you educating yourself. If you don’t – no worries.
Understand that what we put into our bodies creates what we are.
If you eat take out 3-4 times a week – expect your energy to be low, skin to break out, belly will bloat, digestion will be difficult and your brain clarity isn’t going to be new windscreen clean.
If you eat a wide variety of plants, loads of water and minimal processed foods – except your energy to be high, digestion smooth and brain clarity at its peak.
What you eat is what you are.
We have really started to become extremely oblivious about the FACT that food is our bodies fuel source.
Fiber is for your digestion. SO if you aren’t pooping – look at your daily fiber intake.
Skin conditions – look at your inflammatory foods.
Clogged Sinuses – again look into the foods you’re eating.
Brain fog – look deep into your nutrition.
We have almost normalized these bodily movements/conditions.
You don’t have to live with constant belly aches, anxiety, rashes, irregular bowel movements, brain fog, heaviness in the belly or constant wheezing. See your local dietician – they are the best person to help.
The next time you’re curious of ‘what’s the right way to eat’ – ask yourself what you want to look like and feel like.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
The relation between our diet and our anxiety.
I firstly want to say that anxiety is caused by a lot more than just our diet. But it is a contributing factor so it’s important to look into your nutrition.
When asking, “What’s the right thing to eat?”, we often don’t think about the repercussions of certain foods/drinks. Things like alcohol, caffeine and highly processed foods are messing with some of your serious body mechanisms. These substances in the body are only agitating other systems.
Alcohol does more that makes you feel ‘relaxed’. It is more numbing you. So, 2 wines deep you may feel super relaxed (trust me I know the feeling) – but its really your brain that’s numbing you. If you want that same relaxed feeling – give meditation and breathing techniques a go and really surrender to it. Also if you feel you need to relax that much – perhaps look into the aspects of your life that are causing this. Does your hang over include ‘hang-xiety’?
Well you aren’t alone. It is more common than you think. Alcohol also takes something like 1 year to completely stop affecting your systems. Now this isn’t me telling you to stop drinking. It’s purely education. If you have anxiety – give those wines a second thought. At least now you’re aware of what goes on while drinking.
Well if you’re already a high strung person – you’ll know that it doesn’t help your stress factor. Or if you get a fast heart – you already know the effect it can have.
If you think you need it to wake up – how about getting an earlier night. A coffee to wake up is no different to a Panadol to a headache or a Band-Aid to a broken leg. There is an underlying issue. Need coffee – get a good sleep. Headache – You’re probably dehydrated, stressed or maybe even hungry (there are loads of reasons for headaches). Band-Aid on the broken leg – yea you get the point now hey?
Having a coffee (or two) a day isn’t going to do much damage – in fact there are actually some great benefits of caffeine. But 4,5,10,12 coffees (or red bulls) a day is highly likely affecting your adrenals and your stress system. When I stopped drinking coffee it took a couple of months for me to feel like I could fully function without it.
If your diet consist of more processed foods than whole foods. Your body will be in a slight fight or flight mode. It is trying to survive off chemical compounds, artificial colours and preservative numbers. Hence the anxiety. I’m stressed just reading that. As I mentioned, anxiety is very real and there are many reasons behind it. Food is only part of the puzzle. You can be super healthy while still having anxiety.
Our bodies are very smart and they can adapt to everything. If you feed it 6 coffees a day. You’ll start to notice that coffee doesn’t give you that affect anymore. Am I right? If it didn’t adapt you’d have a heart attack from caffeine over load. Same goes for alcohol. When you first started drinking 2 UDL’s would have been enough to send you tipsy. Now, 20 years on as a seasoned drinker, 2 cans washes down a meal.
You’re body is so smart.
The message I want to give you is that you have power to take control of your life. Eat what feels best. Educate yourself on what works and what doesn’t. Acknowledge that we are all different and entitled to eat as we wish without any judgement.
At the end of the day, “what’s the right way to eat?” – this is YOUR LIFE. Live it at your optimal, feeling so damn good that you want to shout it from the mountains and so people ask why you’re glowing. Take control and live life having educated yourself on what works best for you. This is YOUR LIFE.
Sending you all loads of Love + Peace
Teags Lee xx