Have you seen those articles/posts about what you should eat instead of the junk food you normally go for? Or those articles that highlight restaurants worst menu items and then tell you what to eat instead? Or have you ever tried to look up an ingredient or some other food thing online to see if it’s healthy or not and 3 hours later you have a pile of research saying yes it is and no it will kill you?
It’s really frustrating, isn’t it?
Just the other day, I googled quinoa to look up the different varieties and was immediately met with headlines like: Quinoa: Is It The Next Superfood or Will It Destroy Your Gut? And: Quinoa Is The Seed The Acts Like A Grain And Could Be The Way To A Smaller Waistline. Don’t get me started on the back and forth over whether quinoa is “paleo” because that would take an entire day.
While I’m sort of used to nutrition research and know that for every study published stating the benefits of some food there is another one that says it’s horrible for you, I realized that people just starting out on their healthy journey probably feel overwhelmed and confused when trying to figure out if something is good or bad. I think that’s why I’ve started to move away from that idea. Food isn’t inherently evil nor is it undeniably good. It’s food and it either makes you feel your best or it doesn’t. It helps you meet your goals or it deters you.
So what if quinoa isn’t paleo? Does it make you feel good when you eat it? Can you perform your daily tasks without hindrance? Are you gorging yourself with only quinoa? No, hopefully you have a diet full of real foods like fruits and vegetables. If you are subsisting on a diet of only quinoa, I’m going to bet you have other things to worry about….
So here is my advice for you health newbies out there and this is something that I wish I had realized early on in my journey because it would have saved a lot of time and stress: Stop worrying so much. You can always find a reason something is bad or good. Start looking to yourself to see whether what you put in your mouth is helping you or hurting you. Start by cutting out processed food and move to whole foods and go from there. Try new things and if they work for you then that’s all that matters!
Your diet will never be perfect and that is quite alright. No one’s is. Not the Instagram stars, not the celebrities, not the fitness guru’s, and not mine. You aren’t striving for perfect, you’re striving for better than what you were.
Eat this OR eat that. As long as it works for you, don’t stress it!