Which Diet is Right for Me Right Now?
Which Diet is Right for Me & How Do I Know?
How to Know What Diet is Best for Me vs. You + 10 of My Favorite Meals
Generally, I get a lot of questions about which diet is right for me and how I eat in a typical day. And, from personal experience, I totally understand where these questions are coming from. For many years, I tried to figure out what diet is best for me based on how I saw other people eating. Or, based on diets or eating plans that were created by other people.
The truth is, all of these diets and food rules and ‘boxes’ that I was trying to fit into only confused me more! For me, letting go of food rules and boxes is what helped me to heal my relationship with food, by learning to let my inner wisdom guide me. Those rules and boxes were a form of judgment—which, as we’ve discussed, can’t exist in a moment of mindfulness.
I had to turn off the judgment that was coming from myself, and coming from others, to really find what resonated with my heart, body and mind. Mindful awareness has been essential to finding which diet is right for me personally, as I move in and out of different life stages. (Hint: there’s no one ‘right’ diet for me!)
Re: Part Time Vegetarian
Earlier in the course, I talked about how I have not settled on a fully vegetarian diet, but the more flexible concept of a part time vegetarian lifestyle really resonates with me. I do eat some animal protein most days (but not all), and my body feels best with that today. Still, I’ll have to keep tuning in to see how my body feels tomorrow, a year from now, and 10 years from now.
In today’s video, I’m sharing some easy, go-to recipes that are technically vegetarian. But, more than anything, they’re just so simple to prep—meals you can make in 10 minutes or less! Answering the question of what diet is best for me or what I eat in a day is tough. Truly, this relaxed, flexible, and simple way of eating is now my “normal” and how I approach most of my meals.
My 10 Go-To 10-Minute Meals
Keep in mind, which diet is right for me won’t necessarily be right for you. The meals that I like to eat won’t necessarily be the same meals that you like to eat. Tune in to your own body, loosen up on the recipes and rules, and have fun adjusting these meals to suit your tastes, preferences, and needs!
What “Works” Today, May Not Tomorrow
What I really want to talk about today is how important inner wisdom has been in finding which diet is right for me (or any of us). And, why mindfulness is an essential piece of the puzzle. Of course, there’s no one “right” way to eat! Also, when I talk about a “diet,” I’m really just talking about a way of eating. (Not a specific dietary lifestyle, or calorie count, etc.)
So many of us have tried out a specific diet, and it “works” for a while. Then, after a period of time, we’re frustrated to find it stops working. Also, many of us have done elimination diets to find out which foods we’re “sensitive to.” But, many of us then become attached to our findings—restricting and fearing those foods forevermore.
We must remember, dieting and food restriction lead to dysregulation in the body. And, that dysregulation can make it hard to tune into the inner wisdom of our bodily signals. On top of this, we also have to remember that we are organic, ever-changing beings.
Our Fuel & Nutrition Needs Change
We recognize that we need different types and amounts of fuel when we’re a baby, child, and adolescent. And, our fuel needs will continue to change in all of our succeeding stages of life! For both women and men, our stage of life, age, hormones, health, and more will impact our nutritional needs. Our activity levels including how much we move at work can impact our fuel needs.
But, it’s not just aging, or specific life stages like pregnancy or menopause that can affect us and our nutritional needs. Remember, the mind and body are connected. So, the overall balance of our physical, mental, and emotional health as a whole can impact our nutritional needs. This is the triangle of health we discussed earlier in the course!
Even within the same “stage” of life, our mental and emotional health can drastically change. If we experience a period of chronic stress, anxiety, or depression, our physiological health will be impacted. And, thanks to the mind body connection, these states can also affect how we absorb nutrients and metabolize food.
All in all, asking ourselves, “which diet is right for me?” is arguably an unanswerable question. The better question is, what diet is best for me right now? Or, in other words, when I tune into my body in the here and now, what does it need?
So, How Do I Know Which Diet is Right for Me?
I know, this can all start to feel complicated and overwhelming. But, really, it’s quite simple. There’s only oneway to know which diet is right for you right now, or which way of eating is best for you in this moment.
You must be able to tune in to your inner wisdom here and now, listen to the signals, and respond with mindfulness.
We must listen to how our body responds to the foods we eat (even healthy choices like veggies). We need to listen to how our body responds to the movement we engage in. And, we listen without any judgment—without thinking “it should/shouldn’t be this way.” We listen with awareness, seeing clearly in this present moment, and we determine: “Is this serving me?”
Yes, this is MUCH more challenging than following a predetermined diet or list of food rules, where thousands of other people claim, “it works.”
The truth is, every diet will work for someone. And it may work for some people at certain times or phases in life. But, no diet works for every human. And most ways of eating won’t work for every human forever, no matter what.
Trusting Your Inner Wisdom
If we cling to a diet because we think it worked for a period of time, we’ll inevitably change, age, and grow and our dietary needs will shift. We need the confidence and inner wisdom to navigate and adjust when our needs change. Otherwise, we’ll live our whole lives confused and in pain—wondering what was ‘wrong’ with us.’
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with us at all… We have been trained and conditioned to not listen to our bodies; to not tune in to what we’re feeling; to not trust ourselves. This is a journey of learning to listen to our bodies and to trust ourselves.
Today’s Journal Prompt:
How does what you eat regularly impact your physical body? What about your emotional or mental health?
- Reflect on any changes or symptoms that you notice (i.e., digestive changes, breakouts, bloating, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, impulsivity, etc.).
- Are any of these related to certain foods or patterns of eating?
- Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Vegetarian – Healthline
- Becoming a Vegetarian – Harvard Health
- How to Go Vegetarian or Vegan – The Spruce Eats