I saw a post on social media that read, “If you’re wondering if you’re *allowed* to eat a full banana then you’re on the wrong diet.” This particular post caught my attention because I had just been realizing how many smoothie recipes and meal guided plans include a half banana. I was struck with a little surprise by this because who eats the other half? How do you save it from getting all brown and nasty before you are allowed to eat the other half? Seriously, what’s wrong with bananas anyway?
I love bananas. When I was low carb dieting I still ate them to help with leg cramps and because I love them. It was my “splurge” in the low sugar eating method I used at the time. There are reasons we may refrain from eating certain foods for a short time, like bananas, but I have to wonder why we would ever want to stop enjoying real foods; too many of us don’t eat enough of them as it is. As we are retraining our mind and body to see food differently why would we not enjoy the full banana?
There is a fundamental error I believe in our diet culture. Namely that it is supposed to be restrictive, inflexible and good for you at the same time. We must however endure being hungry, unsatisfied and manhandle our cravings with pure willpower to show we are worthy. I call bs on all this namely because I believe this is the top reason most of us fail at our diets. Then we feel like failures walking around beating ourselves up over it and soothing it over with a Krispy Kreme donut. Getting fit and losing weight have become a societal version of winning the lotto that only a few can actually ever achieve in their life.
I choose differently. I choose to not let the goal of losing weight or getting stronger be some far fetched dream driven by half eaten bananas and impossible amounts of burpees to try to do in my workouts. I’m quite frankly tired of feeling like a failure in accomplishing these goals and realize that is the result of measuring myself against someone else’s standards for how it gets done. The truth is it isn’t natural and it isn’t working for me or you most likely. So what do we do about it?
As I have journeyed deeper into what it means to live naturally I find too there are traps of these crazy ways of thinking people should lose weight and get fit. Some of that is simply carryover from mainstream thinking and marketing. Oh yes don’t be fooled, clever marketing has imbedded itself on the natural living landscape because they know people are gravitating there to find real solutions. We have to look past those gimmicks and get at the real stuff for figuring this out. Unfortunately, it is a buyer beware situation even here where it is colorful, fresh, feels good and has people doing yoga in cute outfits out in the park.
When you are really interested in finding a better way to eat it starts with what you already know. We have to first change how we think about food including where it comes from literally in the store, how it is made and what’s in it. This is about rebuilding our connection with natural foods. This is where we get a fresh start in finding things we like and that taste good to us while being natural. Really natural not just claiming to be simple ingredients because that’s where the clever marketing gets you again. We have to be curious about what things taste like and explore our grocery stores with renewed interest in every aisle.
Filling our cart with good ingredients then leads to the next step of actually figuring out how to cook, chop, season, saute and bake. It is using what you bought and loving the process of turning those ingredients into meals that are going to sustain you throughout your day. They are fuel and they bring energy, vibrancy, clear thinking, motivation and encouragement with every bite. There should not be a limit or restriction on things that make us feel that way. If you want more of it, eat it! If you’re still hungry after your salad, make another or have a protein! There is absolutely no reason any of us should be hungry and miserable on this journey. If we are then we are likely to not keep up with it.
I loved low carb and had lost a lot of weight at one point on it. I thought it was sustainable and for many years is was for me. Then life happened. We lost a baby, my job was going to shit and I was in grief. I packed on pounds with no way to stop because years followed with more bad jobs, more trauma, more drama and more of what I couldn’t control. I tried along the way to get back to low carb living but never found my momentum. Maybe it wasn’t goi