This is not going to be yet another listing of what you should eat and what you shouldn’t. Because this type of post is flooding the internet already anyway – some of which are really good and others that are complete nonsense. And since I’m not a certified holistic nutritionist, I don’t want you take all I say here for pure gold (it’s only personal experience) – if you don’t feel sure about something, go do your own research and figure out in what way you might adjust the points I make to suit your lifestyle (or contact a professional). That being said, let’s dive right into it:
For me nutrition is one of the key points to my wellbeing – what I eat has such a massive impact on how I feel (not just in a mental way but physically), that I’ve developed a pretty good, general understanding of what benefits my body and what doesn’t. When I was still doing figure skating, I had a lot to do with certified nutritionists in order to get the right fuel I needed for my intense training. And I learnt quite a bit from them along the way. Since this topic still sparks a lot of interest on my side, over the years I’ve kept reading books (even studies), collecting ideas and learning a lot by doing. So, with the knowledge I’ve collected (and as a medical student), I believe in a moderate and balanced approach to diet (and exercise (nowadays) for that matter). That means I personally am not very fond of those crash diets and extreme cleanses, etc. Most of them are doing more harm than good by confusing your body in a way sometimes takes even longer for it to get back to normal than it would have taken you to reach your goal in a more defensive way. I feel that’s another important point to make: Nowadays we want results so fast – be it the newest kitchen tool, the latest fashion trends, the fanciest haircut, the cool new video game, that fancy nail polish or our dream body. But not like nail polish, a healthy body isn’t something you find on a shelf or in a bottle. Being healthy is a process – and it takes time.
There are so many things going on in your body right now, without you even noticing it – it’s amazing. Our bodies are very complex, strong and at the same time fragile structures. Our metabolisms are carefully balanced and diligently adjusted – much like perfectly aligned Swiss watch (oh, those stereotypes). So many bits and pieces working in harmony – and most if never even comes to our attention! I guess, that’s one of the main reasons I chose to study medicine to be honest – I’m so fascinated with the human body and its complexity!
But back to the topic: Knowing that our bodies are constantly balancing things out, makes it obvious (to me at least) that overburden it with extreme diets causes quite a chaos and ultimately leads to loads of things falling off track – because those systems are also all connected to some extent. Therefore, instead of working against it I’m more an advocate of team work – optimising the conditions for the system to function properly. There is always work for it to do – so, we never reach the ideal state anyway. But bedevilling things even further won’t be of any help.
All those things considered, I try to have a balanced and happy relationship with food. It’s something we need to survive but at the same time it can be fun too! There is no need to feel food-related pressure – because eating healthy isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Furthermore, the definition of “healthy” is very much in the eye of the observer. To me, healthy means drinking plenty of water and having a strong nutritious fundament (read: Plenty of vegetables, whole grains, some kind of protein sources, healthy fats (in moderation)). And occasional slip-ups aren’t the end of the world. I wouldn’t even call them slip-ups! See them as the occasional challenge for your system. If you feel like eating this bit of chocolate – go for it! It’s officially part of your healthy lifestyle. Because in order to obtain this lifestyle, you need to make it desirable (and cutting out all the unhealthy, fun things isn’t helpful in the end). Additionally, try to see this nutritious fundament as fun too – because you’re doing your body a great favour in indulging in useful food (things it can extract nutrients from and work with). The best thing is – it’ll pay you back ten times: You feel energised and strong, you don’t get ill as often, you handle stress better (in a physical way), it helps to prevent age-related diseases, you get that healthy glow, it might drastically reduce your acne, you might lose those extra pounds and helps you to even think clearer. Sounds convincing, doesn’t it?
So, I hope this post explains my approach to my health a little bit better and feel free to comment or send me a message to more specific questions – I’ll do my very best to further explain myself or body systemic issues. For detailed meal plans, etc. please consult a certified nutritionist – there are so many great ones out there!