Tag Archives: health

Coming Full Circle with Food

When I first started to study nutritional therapy, I was a tiny bit concerned that it might flare up some tendencies and habits around food that I had worked hard to move away from. I think it’s difficult when you study nutrition to not become slightly obsessed with food, and to create food rules, depending on what you have read/seen/been taught. I know from having talked to other students along the way, how hard it is to not get caught up in all of this and all of a sudden to find yourself developing some unhealthy habits and an unhealthy relationship with food.

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I’ve certainly been through ups and downs while studying, and there have been times where maybe I’ve had a lecture, done some research after, and decided I needed to avoid X/Y/Z. However, I can happily say that after 3 years of studying nutrition, I think I’m in a place where I’ve probably felt more freedom around food than I have at any other point over the course of the last 10 years.

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What I’ve discovered from seeing clients and observing cases, is there is no one size fits all case with nutrition, we are all unique, and thus what is going to work for us and suit us personally is going to be totally different from the next person. I think it can be trial and error, and you have to really be in touch with your body, and discover what does and doesn’t work for you.

What really really frustrates me, is when I see so called “wellness gurus” demonizing certain foods or food groups, and suggesting a blanket removal for everyone. Yes, certain foods might not suit some people, but I don’t believe that suggesting removing gluten/dairy etc is something that should be applied as a first port of call for every single person regardless of their symptoms or health issues. We want to create sustainable changes long term and creating restrictive rules around food is not the way to put that in place.

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Studying nutrition could have made me obsessive and restrictive, but it’s actually left me freer than I have ever been. I’ve reintroduced foods that I previously had avoided for a long time, and though it doesn’t mean I eat them all the time, I don’t feel guilty for having them when I want them. Let’s be honest being Vegan in certain places can be restrictive enough, without declaring that you don’t eat gluten/sugar/fruit/grains or whatever else is on trend. It’s not sustainable and I think it alienates us even more. It’s about embracing each and everything that is Vegan, whether that be a delicious raw cake, indulgent smoothie or massive pizza. Of course just because something is Vegan, doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy things that can nourish us and be healthy in other ways.

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So I guess my journey from here on out, is about how I can show how easy, balanced and accessible a Vegan diet is, and can be. Veganism is not something I see as restrictive. or a way of cutting things out of my diet. It’s a lifestyle, it’s how I define myself, and it’s about so much more than my food choices, and actually it’s about being part of something much bigger than myself. I could never eat animal products again, and that’s my choice, but it doesn’t mean that it would work for everybody, and I respect that too.

Definitely not paleo.

I think I’ve totally over-complicated health and my relationship to food over the last few years, so it feels so good, to actually eat in a really simple, affordable and nourishing way. Health to me has become about listening to my body, eating what I crave, eating food that’s not only good for my body but good for my soul. I’ve found my wellness, and it was actually in the place I least expected to discover it.

Value the Silence

I was about a mile into my run this morning, and as I turned away from the main road and onto the Thames Path, I stumbled upon utter silence. It was the perfect combination of Sunday morning earlyness and it being bloody freezing, which meant there was barely anyone else up and about. Aside from the odd seagull, or lapping of the Thames on the shore, there was total silence- just me and my sniffing, and feet pounding the ground.

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Silence is rare, especially in the city which is why it struck me so much on this run this morning, it was almost alarming, as it was so unexpected. I didn’t need to drown out the industrial or mechanical with a podcast or music, I could just be present in the moment, and simply be. It’s hard to escape the incessant noise and chatter that’s always in the background, whether traffic, people, or construction. You really have to make the most of those moments where you find it, because they are sadly fleeting in modern life.

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I now actively notice the silence when I leave London, whereas before I took it for granted. When I go back to visit my parents in Cardiff, I struggle to get over how utterly silent it is, and I always find it hard to readjust coming back into London- it’s like sensory overload, and my body and mind just reject it.

I’m an introvert, and I like spending time alone, so I crave moments like this morning more and more. I find silence to be calming, restorative and good for the soul and I just want to press pause and indulge in those moments of utter bliss. I feel like silence gives you so much time and space.

Everything in our society is fast-paced, we want everything on demand and we want it now, in a world dominated by constant background noise, you need to find those moments of serene silence and savour every second.

Favourite Reads of the Week #2

I absolutely loved this list of 22 habits of unhappy people. I like the way it twists it and rather suggesting things to boost your happiness, it tells you to avoid the bad habits and negative shit that can bring you down.

Possible my favourite Buzzfeed ever: If Malcolm Tucker’s sweary quotes were motivational posters. Oh how I love The Thick of it.

This article on Richard Parks, his battle with depression post Rugby and how he managed to turn it round. I’ve followed his adventures for the last few years, and I think it’s incredible what he has achieved, I never knew about his struggles with depression, but I think it’s an all too common thing post professional sport career.

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An area of health I am massively interested in is the microbiome, I really enjoyed this piece about the dynamism of  it, and why there is no one ‘healthy’ microbiome.

I love reading anything that Liz writes, perfect for when you need a bit of a kick up the arse, or just something to really get you thinking! Really enjoyed this piece about ‘being more you’.

Definitely not paleo.

Definitely not paleo.

Interested in how to do the paleo diet as a Vegan? It’s something I’ve thought about before, but to be honest I love grains, and I think they offer way too many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to miss out on. Here is a guide on how a Vegan paleo diet can be possible.

I loved Matt Frazier’s post about how to be more fearless. I have been thinking about signing up for something for the last few weeks and it’s consumed a lot of my time and thoughts lately, and it scares the hell out of me, but I think I just need to bite the bullet and do it! Embrace the fear!

Read anything interesting this week? Share below!