My number one food tip for simplifying your diet.
By Amy Crawford
It's a shame isn't it, that for so many of us it takes significant health issues to REALLY take control of our health and wellbeing. I guess if we feel we are 'getting away with it' we've more reason to believe it's okay to keep on reaching for the lesser alternatives, whether that be staying on the couch instead of moving our bodies, saying yes to more grog, choosing processed junk over whole food or running a million miles an hour with no rest.
For many it may simply be a case of not understanding how good they WOULD feel if they did start to make better choices. I acknowledge too that knowing where to start is such an overwhelming prospect for some, it probably feels easiest to do nothing at all.
In many respects I see my health challenges as a blessing - in the end I was given no choice but to overhaul my life in every area, or face the prospect of remaining terribly unwell. So transform I did, and I am thankful in hindsight that there was no other option.
Which takes me onto the real purpose of this post and that is to share with you the very best tip my Doctor could ever have given me.
Back in 2010, when my health was continuing to decline, I remember this particular monthly Doctors appointment very vividly. We'd received some test results that told us in no uncertain terms that I needed to detoxify my life, not just my diet but the products I put on my skin, used in my kitchen, bathroom and kitchen.
Overwhelming? You betcha. But then he used these simple words:
You need to eat as though you are eating out of your backyard. If the food you are eating can't be grown in your backyard, then don't eat it.
You're probably thinking "That's it?" Yep, that's it.
Ultimately what my Doctor was saying was that I could only eat food that was DESIGNED to heal my body, whole foods, exactly as nature intended; not food that had been processed in laboratory, or that came in a packet. Foods that were as unadulterated as possible.
I will never forget those words. Not only did they totally limit and then simplify my food choices but they reduced an awful lot of overwhelm in the process. Every food purchasing decision settled on those words. I was well and truly restricted to the perimeter of a supermarket, or to a farmers market, for example.
Now I know what you're most likely thinking "but you can't grow salmon in your suburban backyard Amy, nor a cow.." but you get my drift. I COULD live by the sea and catch my fish, and milk a cow or a goat. There were other exceptions of course, like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, for a start.
The point is to choose foods in their natural state and then to maximise their use through the use of kitchen equipment (your food processor or blender, for example). So, blending almonds to make a pizza base, processing greens to make pesto etc.
Bare in mind my diet overhaul needed to be very strict - I had to eat food that was easily digestible and highly nutrient dense in order to get well, so yes, these days there is a little more leniency.
How does the idea of this food tip make you feel? Does it create more or less overwhelm for you?