“Flexitarian is defined as a person who eats a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish” according to Google dictionary. I love this approach because it takes away the rigidity of being one way or another (takes away any labeling), it gives you room to make adjustments no matter where you are in life and no matter what life is throwing your way, you have freedom to make choices (social events, restaurants, new recipes you may want to try) and it offers this wonderful opportunity to tune into your body and listen to what it needs. Get clarity with questions so that you can learn how to interpret what exactly your body is telling you and then create a road map to healing.
I have tried every single way of eating – vegan, raw food, vegetarian, paleo, low carb/no carb and even a little bit of keto. I used to be to so rigid in my mindset that it never occurred to me to tune into my body and ask what it needed! I was always looking for “DIETS” – ways to lose weight vs. Feeling good in my body and satisfied by the foods I was eating (eating mindlessly). Also lacking was the joy around food, not only can it fuel my body but there’s a social aspect – sharing and experiencing food with others. Following a “Flexitarian Approach”, I have learned to tune in to my body and its messages (also what is creating stress/chaos in my life and in body – all connected), change what I have the power to change, and be more flexible in mind and body so I can give my body what it needs to heal.
Being Rigid vs. Being Flexible
Years ago I went on a raw food diet (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds & nothing cooked over 112 degrees Fahrenheit). It was a massive learning experience – I taught myself how to “cook” (awesome!) and I loved tasting these amazing combinations of foods (my first step on my journey to appreciating and loving food). However, my husband at the time was not thrilled with having to eat a raw food diet 100% of the time and it was difficult for me to support especially in the winter when my body would crave warming foods. I had a rigid mindset vs. A flexible one. Instead of seeing how I could incorporate “some” raw food meals into my diet, I gave it up completely. If I were not going to be a 100% Raw Foodie, then I would not be one at all. A flexible mindset gives you freedom to incorporate all types of foods as well as the freedom to explore and experiment. Is your mindset RIGID or FLEXIBLE?
Tuning into your body – listening to its messages
Your body is always transmitting information to you – emotionally and physically. We feel our emotions – sadness, happiness, depression, anger, joy, love, peace etc. Your body also talks to you physically – aches and pains, high blood pressure, excess weight, low energy, diarrhea, mood swings etc. Speaking from personal experience, my body at one point was speaking to me loud and clear however I did not know how interpret the messages. My interpretation was – I was exercising too much, eating the wrong foods and drinking too much wine. However, unknowingly and in hindsight, I was in a constant state of contraction/stress – diarrhea, severe aches and pains, constant soreness – ALL due to stress that I was internalizing. My body was totally out of balance and there I was reacting to the stress -working it out with exercise then trying to relax with wine. I did not know how to interpret nor connect what was happening in my body to what was happening in my life.
Ask questions and get clarity. Interpret the messages from your body
What is my stress level (be honest with yourself) on a scale of 1-10, 10 being high, 1 being low. How am I handling my stress? What needs to change? What do I have the power to change? Do I need more love and nurturing? Am I eating or drinking out of loneliness? Is my work stressing me out? How is my relationship with my significant other – healthy/strained/challenging? Do I feel a lack of purpose and or fulfillment? Get creative and come up with your own questions.
These are a few examples of questions you can ask to get clarity. Hopefully these will also inspire you to come up with other questions – ones that pertain to you and your life. I hope they inspire clarity as well as exploration so that you can figure which direction to go in or where a good place for you to begin would be. That way you can lay out a road map to move forward and give you and your body the healing it wants and needs.
Tune in to Part 2 of a Flexitarian Approach to eating
- After I get clarity and fully understand what is going on with my body, where do I begin? Let’s create a road map to healing. Exploration. Action Steps.
- Ways you can deal with stress
- Have fun with food again – let’s play! We can play while we heal!