Nourishment is about so much more than eating. Nourishment is having just enough of the right thing to satisfy the authentic need you have not only for food but for support, connection, solitude, love, purpose, movement, sleep, etc. And for optimal benefit, we need reciprocity in both giving of ourselves to address the needs of others and receiving what life offers to meet our own needs.
Begin by transitioning to a diet of whole foods to give the body the nourishment it needs and then move on to explore more ways to nourish yourself and others in your life.
Whole food is food that has not been tinkered with and changed. The fat has not been removed; no sugar, vitamins, chemicals, preservatives, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been added. This is food in its original state, the way nature, in her wisdom, created it. When vegetables, healthy fats, clean protein, and some whole fruit make up at least 80% of your daily diet, you are creating the foundation for health. The first meal you eat sets the metabolic stage for the day. A balanced meal of whole foods enables you to concentrate, make good decisions, be mentally alert and motivated, and maintain stable energy and mood throughout the day.
There are many excuses for not eating well. Clients tell me they are not hungry, they do not have time, or nothing appeals to them. Having an appetite is actually a sign of health! Some think not eating will help them lose weight or keep them mentally alert so they suppress appetite with caffeinated drinks. This may work short-term, but eating the right foods for the first meal is actually the best way to stimulate metabolism and support cognitive function. Those who drink coffee on an empty stomach or eat yogurt, granola, orange juice, or bagels - foods high in simple carbohydrates (in other words, sugar) - get on the blood sugar roller coaster, scrambling to offset fluctuations in mood and energy with even more simple carbs and/or caffeine, for the rest of the day.
How to begin?
Transition to a diet that includes, lots of plants and veggies, some healthy fats and clean protein. Mostly cooked foods to aid digestion, some fresh and raw in warmer climates. Avoid sugar and simple carbs: white rice/bread/potatoes, and pasta, chips, cookies, bagels, etc. Include small portions of sweet potatoes or whole grains as needed. Avoid caffeine, especially on an empty stomach, and avoid the afternoon. For your first meal, try lentil or chicken soup, eggs with veggies or salad, cheese or hummus with celery or nuts, a protein smoothie with coconut oil and berries, or avocado whole-grain toast. Blend coconut oil or butter into your morning hot drink or bone broth. Eat a small amount of fat and protein or one teaspoon coconut oil in a hot drink every three hours to stabilize blood sugar, energy, mental focus, and mood.
Our own needs and those of the Earth are interconnected. Taking care of your body by nourishing yourself with the whole foods Mother Earth provides, is a way to practice gratitude for what is given and helps sustain you and our planet at the same time.