Unlike other WIAW posts, I don’t actually have photos of a day of eating, I more like wanted to talk about finding the foods that work for YOU. I was recently giving a nutrition presentation and after coming back from a school health conference, it struck me how complicating “eating” has become.
How many grams of carbohydrates?
What ratio of fats to protein? When do I eat that?
6 small meals or 3 large meals?
Is coffee bad or good? Is chocolate healthy or not?
One “diet” I really admire is the Mediterranean diet. Not only because of the really balanced foods and emphasis on healthy fats and including small amounts of dark chocolate and alcohol and not being afraid of olive oil and nuts because of their high calorie count, but the reason I most admire the Mediterranean diet is the emphasis on LIFESTYLE. The MedDiet prides itself on walking, local markets, and fresh foods. It’s not about weighing exactly 6oz of chicken or measuring one ounce of almonds, it’s about enjoying those portions with family and friends. Counting smiles at the dinner table more than calories. Remembering the laughter of a meal with friends over the guilt of scarfing down food on the go.
I kind of got tired of taking photos of my daily eats for WIAW, first of all because I’m boring and there are only so many times you can take a photo of hummus and carrots, but also because most days when I forgot to take a photo it was because I was enjoying a lunch date with a friend or making dinner conversation with my family and I didn’t want to feel bad about that!
Sure, I’ve been tracking macros lately to keep an eye on my (vegetarian) protein intake to ensure it’s adequate for the amount of strength training I’m doing, but I’m also focusing on eating foods I enjoy and not stressing about eating while traveling and such. On the global scale of things I am definitely thankful I have CHOICE in the foods I eat and I live in a country that imports and produces any and every food choice and with the adequate socioeconomic status to enjoy those. I love the idea of food fuelling not only the fitness pursuits I enjoy but also laughter, time with people I love, relationships, and social gatherings.
If I gathered anything at the conference I was at it, it is that healthy living is NOT diet and exercise. Yes, it does include those two components but it also includes mental health, spiritual health, emotional wellbeing, and cultural connectedness. I admire that the MedDiet is not just food, but a healthy lifestyle, thriving on walking to the local market, taking time to prepare food, and enjoying seasonal meals.
Rant over. 😉