Diet should be personalized to fit you! There are so many factors that can alter a diet: taste preferences, access to food, ethical & environmental concerns, medical conditions, culture, geography and so much more.
Traveling has shown me endless approaches to food and dietary habits. I’ll adopt them while I’m in the country and if I like it, I’ll work it into my own personal approach to food.
For example, I noticed in Italy how they used way less cheese on their pasta or pizza than we do in the States, and to be honest, I was shocked at how little cheese was used! A part of me wanted to say, “that’s it?!” But I have to admit, I noticed other ingredients like the sauce and herbs more with less cheese. Since I dug this concept, I decided to incorporate it into my own approach to food when I got back home.
But there are also approaches I don’t adopt…….like how seafood and cheese are an absolute no go in Italy. My friend asked for cheese to be grated over her pasta with shrimp and our waitress was horrified! It’s like Italian law you don’t mix the two together – never! Personally, I think shrimp and parmesan were made for each other, so I’m gonna break that Italian law. Rules are meant to be broken, right!
Speaking of rules that need to be broken, another common belief I think needs broken is that food is only fuel; food is so much more than just fuel. While it does power our bodies, food also provides a sense of comfort and community. Food unites us in good and bad times. It creates traditions that get passed down from generation to generation. The memories and feelings associated with a meal can be cherished for years. Your diet, whatever it may consist of, should not feel restrictive or ridden with guilt. Food should taste satisfying and delicious! I hope to encourage you to redefine your relationship with food to one of abundance.
My goal with this blog is that you find the joy and love for food that we inherently have but often lose living in a society obsessed with perfection and diet trends. I hope the content I share reminds you to not put faith in shakes, juice cleanses, and fad diets and start instilling trust in yourself. We know our bodies best, and it tells us what we need. The problem is we struggle to tune into our body: our hunger cues, satiety cues, emotional well-being, mental health, sleep cues, etc. But we can change these habits by starting with a greater awareness of ourselves.
If you want to make sustainable dietary improvements but don’t know where to begin, consider meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist. Besides nutrition, there are other components of health and well-being such as mental and emotional health, sleep patterns, level of stress, spiritual health, physical activity, financial well-being, etc. Nutrition is important, but it’s not the end all be all. Cheers to enjoying both fresh veggies and hummus & warm chocolate chip cookies!