Before i begin with this post, I want to thank everyone who shared blessings of comfort for me last week in the comments and on social media on the passing of my dog. It really did help as I made my way through the week. His energy is still everywhere, however, I can think of him with out tearing up every time. Time will continue to heal.
Those of you looking to heal your relationship food have to travel this world with all the conflicting and misleading claims about food being healthy or not. It's easy to want to compartmentalize food into "good" vs "bad" food in a way to make it easy to make a decision with our heads, hoping black and white food rules will keep away the food anxiety.
I get these emails from the University of Hawaii's Nutrition Department that inspired this post. It literally made me smile, as it depicts what you and I know (or that you are learning, wink).
That it matters more how you eat over the course of months, not one meal. It matters more from a health perspective your meal mix than one particular food being good or bad.
As writers at the U of Hawaii state:
"As we learn more about the mix of microorganisms living in our lower intestine, it grows increasingly evident that investigating the effect of the whole diet is more applicable than studying the effects of individual foods."
Consumer Related Article:
White bread helps boost some of the gut's 'good' microbes
Research Related Article:
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]TO LEARN MORE ON THIS TOPIC
What science cannot prove is how YOUR body utilizes the food you feel called to, for whatever reason. It is up to you to pay attention to what foods work for you and how much of certain ones don't .
If you have a diet of all white bread, I think we can all say you might be missing some nutrients right?
A diet of a mix of 2 slices of white bread a day, 5 days a week, with other grains with more fiber plus other fibers from fruit and vegetables sounds like a good mix of carbohydrates.
Now if you don't like white bread, no need to add it. There will be other occasions where you eat some luscious french bread or something more refined.
I also understand that if you have celiac, all kinds of wheat products aren't an option. So if you live with celiac, your meal mix will be different but still based on what gluten-free foods work for you.
If you are interested in learning more about this study on white bread go to:
"Scientists are now reporting that this much-maligned food seems to encourage the growth of some of our most helpful inhabitants - beneficial gut bacteria. In addition to this surprising find, their study in ACS'Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also revealed that when looking at effects of food on our "microbiomes," considering the whole diet, not just individual ingredients, is critical."
Here's to enjoying what foods work for you and realizing that it is not restriction to leave out foods that make your stomach hurt, leave you feeling bound up, make you feel lethargic or according to some medical testing aren't helping you manage a medical condition.
Please share the peace with eating love!
With a heavy heart, I mourn the loss of the first dog that I loved outside my dogs growing up. Little Hankie was a nervous, sweet little soul of a dog. He was given to me by my husband in 2004, to soothe my loneliness when my husband and I first moved to the Florida. During my husband's endless hours studying in law school and being alone in new state, in my first dietitian job that left me feeling overwhelmed, Hank gave me my first lessons in being less self-possessed of my own time and reminders of the humility of being unconditionally loved.
I have a large extended family and grew up with many animals living on a farm and have the experienced the cycle of life and death many times, but never have I felt the jolt of a sudden, one day everything-is-the-same, the next day, it's forever changed feelings of shock, sadness and doubt. There was not preparation for Hank's passing yesterday.
With this much intense emotion, it was a reminder that when food is an emotional management tool, it is very clear where you sense emotion in your body and how temporarily, eating past fullness, eating when not hungry or not eating when hungry can help us ignore it, push it down and soothe the pain.
15 years ago to deal with the sickening, hollow pit in my stomach, pounding of my head, aching, throbbing throat and heaviness from head to toe, I would have ignored my hunger. I would have blown off the hunger to eat food that best matched what appetite I did have. No way would I have reached out and talked about my sadness and ask for love, peace and comfort from others who I knew Hank and know how much we love him.
15 years ago my ED and diet voice would have made all of this "too much" to be a good reason to not eat or ignore when I knew that I was hungry, go to the gym when I had no desire to do so, eat half-baked cookies when I did eat and further push down my sadness with chores, perfectionism, work or whatever else would help me keep below the surface the aching and confusion.
It can be very difficult to stay right in the line of the wave of emotions as they come up. As I write this, I feel a wave of nausea that is sadness, which makes it difficult to sense the presence of or lack of hunger at this moment. But because I am going to feel it, tear up and allow it to come, the moment will pass and make room for more clarity all of my sensations.
I was grateful yesterday for being an attuned eater because allowing all the sadness and shock in the moment made my signals of hunger and fullness clear. It meant that when I thought of him as I ate a meal, I felt the tightness in my throat, took a breath, checked in at what hunger and fullness level I was and continued on with the meal with clarity. I could tell my interest in the food, even in the good food that I made a priority of providing us was less than usual. I ate to a fullness level that left me satisfied, not just a "get by" place that would not serve the grieving work that lay ahead.
Allowing all of our experience and needs can make the need for food just part of the moving forward during a difficult moment, not just an annoyance to ignore. The sadness deserves our attention, not the temporary placation of eating when not hungry, or constant running from the pain on a treadmill.
It's understandable if you find yourself there; I have in the past but with practice, you can learn to be in the moment with your experience without food being part of the equation other than to fuel the healing in your life.
If you have questions on how to handle food when life feels unbearably heavy, please share below and let's discuss how lasting comfort can be found.
Here's to one moment at a time
Please share for those who could benefit.
I have been a off the radar over a week now. Feeling the need to retreat from the online world a bit (still posting on facebook but less and taking a writing break), though thinking about you all who give me the priveledge of space in your inbox and heart.
I thought I would share several new articles for deeper thought and support. Please check these out!
This article discusses the danger of using BMI with children in schools. If you have or know of anyone who has children in school, you can use this article as support if you choose to bring the dangers of focusing on weight being a trigger for disordered eating and body image issues in children to the schools attention.
This video series will change the way you watch commercials forever!! No wonder we learn body hatred by osmosis, but if you watch these, not anymore.
My main focus in helping you learn to eat well is through listening to your body for signals of hunger and fullness. However, I like to present nutrition information neutrality, letting you try things out for yourself! Please share these on facebook!
Attuned Eating Tip Tuesday
Finally a little wisdom for the end of your week:
Inquiry helps you realize that everyone, even you, lives in safety under all circumstances, at all times. Proof? Ask, wait, listen. The enlightenment? Given. ~Byron Katie
Thanks for your patience with my absence and have a good end of the week.
Nutrition therapist and Attuned Eating Coach. Passionately spreading the word about the freedom of attuned eating (eating from hunger and fullness), joyful movement and calling out the culture's weight prejudice.