Inclusion Vs Exclusion
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been studying coursework and materials or doing research. That’s how I get really excited by the cultural aspect of both food and fasting.
Which led me to reflect on all the women I have supported over those years who are living in fear of “unhealthy” food, who are in doubt about what is “healthy” food, and who are attached to their long lists of foods they must or should avoid.
Building health is about inclusion, not exclusion
30 years back and 20,000 km away, I spent my childhood between the streets of a busy town and the rows of carrots, tomatoes, or strawberries of my grandparents’ garden.
Having spent time gardening, picking, peeling, and preserving taught me to have great respect for the hard work involved in producing and preparing food, and the great pleasure of sharing fresh ripe vegetables and fruits.
I’ve never known about “bad” food or “good” food, only (whole)food. In the meantime, food has become marketing products, over scoring the quality of processed foods from “junk food”, “toxic food”, or “fast food” to “clean” food, ”superfood”, or “good” food. I get the confusion here.
This brings me to the point: Getting the “right” food in is more important than displacing the “wrong” food out.
When I facilitate the journey of women towards vibrant energy and the body they love, we focus on bringing stuff in instead of throwing some out. There are a number of reasons for this.
Imagine you start to include three times the amount of vegetables you are currently eating. I bet it will naturally push the other food out. And even if you keep the same processed foods into your diet, you get more nutrient-dense whole food anyway. With vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, you start to improve your mental clarity and you get the energy you need to approach your nutritional needs more clearly.
Quickly in our conversations, the fear of deprivation comes to the forefront like an uninvited guest. As most women have been dieting before or think that dieting is the only useful strategy, their brain immediately focuses on what is missing.
And guess what? They are naturally drawn to it. Much like when you are driving; if you focus on a tree, you will hit the tree.
Once we embrace inclusion, we invite sustainability. Following a step-by-step process makes it easy to create new habits, as well as slowly changing the perception and the pleasure of eating in itself. In memory of the great French winters, I call this ‘L’effet Boule de Neige’, what you would know as The Snowball Effect.”
And yes, as I said before, you will learn to love healthy foods! Check how below.
Awareness and support
Don’t get me wrong, I will suggest switching some foods for less processed or healthier versions. For example, Suzanne’s daily chocolate bar or Sonya’s nightly Destress Bottle of Wine are probably not habits to remain faithful to when pursuing healthy lifestyle changes. Some changes may be central and even urgent for them to get some results quickly and to stay motivated.
However, these changes are always supported. We always accost on the banks of mindfulness and breath because eating behaviors involve the brain and the nervous system.
So to start, I encourage you to look for the simple things you can include that will make a difference. Because if you do this, things will fall into place.
Please share with me your story about including or excluding food. Your stories are the inspiration for what I put in my blogs, posts, and newsletters.