Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Eating On Purpose, With Purpose

I'm going to do something scary again. (Share ANOTHER part of me!)

Why do I keep doing this, you might wonder? Because I know I'm not alone where I am. I hope that by sharing all my quirks and imperfections and trials and errors I give someone else permission to feel less alone, less weird, and more empowered to just BE THEIR TRUE SELF. To think about, who am I and what do I stand for? And to stand a little taller in that.

Trust me, it's one of the most challenging things I've been doing with my life, showing up as just myself. As good and worthy enough, just as I am, not having to dull down or hold back. And the rewards are endlessly expanding when I do so. Even as some people get turned off, or judge, or reject, or disconnect because they just don't get me anymore (some of my worst fears!) I trust that the people who DO get me and love me and support me are the people who I really want and desire to have around anyway. I surround myself with the people who lift me up.

I've found that the more honest, specific, and selective I am about what and who I bring into my life and put my energy (time, money, emotion) toward, the more I am able to create the conditions for the experiences I want to be living.

Which is why I'm going to share how and why I am selective with my eating today. I've spent a lot of time talking with a lot of you about food. It's been a big part of my journey. I've gone through times of unhealthy controlling and manipulating of my diet and my body. That's not what this is about.

This is about eating with purpose, in alignment with my life and my values, to support how I want to feel in my body and my life. Yes, it's definitely deeper than kale & quinoa, and I think you're here because you feel that for yourself already.

Being selective is about making choices. I practice respect for other people's choices and always trust that we are all always trying to make the best possible choice for ourselves that we know how to make. (Even when it looks like we're self-sabotaging. I know that whole experience very well.)

Here is what and why I choose to eat:

  • I choose to eat mostly organic vegetables and lots of greens because they make me feel good, have less chemical residue, and are dramatically healthier for the environment.
  • I choose to buy most of my produce from farmers' markets because it's most fresh, affordable, environmentally friendly, supportive of the local economy and downright delicious.
  • I choose to buy most of my packaged goods from heath food stores/cooperatives and Whole Foods, where I know I can find the quality I want, with no added chemical ingredients,  preservatives, flavors or sugars.
  • I choose to stay away from large amounts of sugar, caffeine and white flour/rice which all have drug-like effects in our body, and throw me on some serious energy roller coasters, give me break outs and make me irritable and moody. No fun for anyone.
  • I choose mostly whole grain products that have been soaked or sprouted because it's what my body best digests and uses. I plan ahead and make my own when I'm at home.
  • I choose all organic and free-range meat, eggs, dairy and animal products whenever possible, usually from farmers' markets where I can know exactly what their treatment, feed, lives and impacts on the environment are. If I don't know where my animal foods are from when I'm out to eat, I choose not to partake.
  • I choose to have meat only a few times a week and try to make it a side portion of my meal. I know my body loves getting the animal protein, but I also know it doesn't need a lot to be happy and healthy.
  • I choose to drink mostly purified water and gallons of it.
  • I choose to eat home-cooked, simple food as much as possible because I know what I'm eating and what the quality of the ingredients are.

I don't obsess about being perfect. Perfection is not possible, without feeling limited, deprived or anxious.

I do my best to stick to my values, even when I'm eating with people who I worry about offending or who I worry will judge me. I don't usually explain my food choices, unless asked, and then I don't defend myself, I just tell them it's what I'm choosing "because it makes me feel good." No one yet has been able to argue with me wanting to feel good. And I respect other people's choices and consciousness wherever they are. Talking about piglets and CAFO operations over dinner hardly ever helps to change someone's mind... but giving a genuine "I feel great!" after my meal I figure has to count for something :)

Awareness is where it all begins. Notice what and how you choose to eat and why. I share all of this because I find there is so much power in grounding and anchoring my choices in my core values and beliefs. In the idea that I am CREATING the state and the reality I want (whether in my body, or out in the world through what I'm supporting) rather than REACTING to the state I'm in. And then forgiving myself for reacting. And applauding that I noticed. Baby steps. It's all an evolution.