Even though the whole world seems to be on pause right now, there are certain things that can never be canceled and one of them is that you need to keep eating every day to nourish our body. But what is the best diet FOR YOU during the quarantine? I’m glad you asked!
It’s so interesting to observe the many different ways people are responding to the quarantine when it comes to food & nutrition.
- Some people are taking advantage of this time to learn how to bake or cook new recipes, which make others who aren’t doing that start comparing and shaming themselves.
- Some influencers on Instagram are pushing diets saying that now is the time to lose those last x pounds (argh, as if we needed another more pressure right now!).
- Some of us can fall into scarcity mentality and start hoarding and/or rationing food and/or later overeating / bingeing (which are actually common behaviors in anyone dieting by the way!).
- Many are spending way more time home close to their kitchen and notice how emotional eating, whether triggered by boredom or stress, is actually something that they may be struggling with.
- And other people have just lost all motivation to take care of themselves because of the uncertainty, because of heavy emotions, because what if this is the end of the world?
Wherever you’re at, just know that you are not alone. I’ve seen all of these things in my clients and those around me.
Step 1) understanding the root cause of your current relationship with food >>> to find the best diet
So, which one of the above are you? Perhaps a mix of many of them? Perhaps a hybrid? Perhaps something completely different?
As with so many things in life, awareness is the first step.
Let’s dig a little deeper because this will actually make it easier for you to find the best diet for you. >>> Skipping this step is what results in either feeling stuck, unmotivated, or self-sabotaging.
So take a moment to ask yourself these questions:
- on a scale of 0-5, how is my relationship with food these days?
(0= stressful, 2= not good, 3= neutral, 4 = pretty good, 5=loving)
- how is my relationship with my body these days?
(0= stressful, 2= not good, 3= neutral, 4 = pretty good, 5=loving)
- what 1-3 words would best describe how you feel about food and your body?
(examples: battle, worry, doubt, fear of scarcity, not trusting, betrayal, critical, hopeless, helpless, absent, disconnected, connected, peace, freedom, gratitude, reverence…)
There are no good or bad answers. However you feel is OK!
Your emotions towards food & your body will actually guide you towards finding the best diet for you during the quarantine.
Step 2) ancient body wisdom >>> going back to the pillars of nutrition & health
Nutrition has become overly complicated. I have been studying nutrition for over 20 years at this point, have tried so many different ways of eating / diets, and have seen every almost every food vilified and then made “healthy” again and vice versa.
Let’s go back to ancient body wisdom and the true pillars of nutrition & health because no matter how much I wish I could give you a list of foods to eat and avoid, it just doesn’t work that way. And also, eating in a way that is right for YOUR body is often not about the details, like the nitty gritty + numbers + superfoods + supplements, but about going back to the basics (even though most of my clients hate hearing it… and perhaps you do, too!!! lol 🤣).
The quarantine is causing ALL of us to feel uncertainty at a certain level and, whether you’re familiar with the chakra system or not, this is directly connected to your ROOT chakra.
Briefly, the chakras are simply an energy system within your body with 7 different energy centers along your spine. It starts with your root chakra at the bottom of your tailbone all the way up to the crown chakra located at the top of your head.
The root chakra is ALL about safety. Feeling safe. Feeling safe in your body. Feeling safe in your family/tribe. Feeling safe in the world. The chakras also correspond to different stages of life and the root chakra, being the first one, reminds us how important it is for us to feel safe when we come into the world as tiny, helpless, and 100% dependent little babies.
Unfortunately, many of us have had different things happen in our life that may have affected our root chakra and our ability to feel safe, in our body and in the world. This may not be totally conscious by the way, a lot of that can be subsconscious and hidden in the background as you life your “normal” life.
What does this all have to do with food and how to eat? EVERYTHING!
If you don’t feel safe in your body, how can you even know how to eat? That’s one of the reasons why it can become so confusing and why you may feel a lot of fear and uncertainty around food & your diet.
If you look at this from another angle, you can see that it also means that you can use food to help bring more safety + stability + groundedness to your root chakra + body + whole being.
How do I do that?!?
With the basics.
The pillars of nourishing nutrition (which is my way of saying nutrition that doesn’t deplete the mind, heart, & soul).
Here are some foods and eating habits for your root chakra that help cultivate >>> more safety & groundedness:
- regular meals: a flexible structure around your meals give a safe container for your body to know when to expect food and will help you keep your blood sugars & energy more stable. For most people, eating every 3-5 hours work best (but listen to your body’s cues to find the best flexible structure FOR YOU).
- protein at every meal: protein foods are KEY to keep your root chakra be healthy. I notice how big of a difference it makes for me and it’s also a very smart way to keep your blood sugars & energy levels more stable throughout the day. And stability = safety. Examples of protein foods include eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts & nut butter, and legumes.
- root vegetables: root vegetbales, root chakra… make sense, no? lol 🤣 Your root chakra loves anything that connects you to the Earth. Experiment with different types of potatoes, sweet potatoes, yucca, parsnip, turnip, carrots, beets, onion, garlic… I love roasting a big batch of root vegetables with butter or olive oil.
- red foods: the root chakra is associated with the colour red so red foods are a good idea. Examples include strawberries, raspberries, beets, pomegranates, tomatoes, watermelon, etc.
- hot beverages: there’s something incredibly comforting about a hot beverage. Coffee (be reasonable and avoid if it makes you jittery because then it has the opposite effect!), cacao (I like my hot cacao with a little bit of honey and cinnamon) and roots like ginger (infuse the peeled and freshly grated root if you can) are all very nourishing for your root chakra.
- chocolate: mmm! here’s your permission slip if you needed one! I eat chocolate daily. I’m not talking about candy bars here though. I suggest choosing fair-trade & organic if you can and with 70% cacao or more (too much sugar can make your blood sugars fluctuate and that would have the opposite effect on your root chakra).
Now that we’ve talked about the pillars of how to better nourish your root chakra so that you feel safer in your body and in the world in these intense times during which fear & uncertainty is the biggest energy in the collective, let’s move on to step 3.
Step 3) the BIG reveal >>> the best diet FOR YOU during the quarantine
Take a deep breath.
Notice how that feels? Take another 1-2 more deep breaths if that feels good. Deep breaths with a longer exhale (compared to the inhale) are very calming for the nervous system and help shift away from the sympathetic mode (fight-or-flight-or-freeze). Your breath is very powerful, healing, calming, grounding, and NOURISHING! Just a little side note here because I couldn’t help myself. 😉💖
Now you’re ready for the BIG reveal!
What I want you to do now is go back to step one and come back here with the word(s) you identified best describe your current relationship with food and your body.
Let me use some examples to show you how to do your own big reveal.
Let’s say your words were worry, disconnected, and critical. Now the next question to ask yourself is how would I like to feel INSTEAD? The answer can simply be the opposite, like trusting, connected, and compassionate, or it may be something else. And the last step is to ask yourself what are 2-3 simple things I can do this week to cultivate more of these feelings within me.
Ok, ok. I can hear what’s going on in your mind now all the way from here. You may have thoughts saying that this is ridiculous, that this won’t work for you, that you need a better answer than this, that this doesn’t even make sense, that this is overly simplistic, or perhaps even that I’m completely crazy. lol 😮
It’s okay, just notice.
Just because you’re thinking these things in your mind doesn’t mean it’s true. Go deeper. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself going down, down, down deeper into the very center of your body. Now ask this question to your body “does this make sense to you?“
Listen / feel the answer. Any sense of contraction in your body would mean no and any sense of expansion / relief is a yes.
I trust the ancient wisdom of my body more than my thoughts. And perhaps you can practice this exercise of asking your body to see what you learn from this connection. After all, the mind is only one part of you. And there are things in this world that will always be beyond what the mind can ever comprehend. You are not your mind. You have a mind. And you have a body, a heart, and a soul, too. You’re neither of these parts AND all of them. 🤯
So coming back to the word(s) you chose, see how you can flip them around. See the word(s) you identified as breadcrumbs on your path pointing you in the right direction. See these emotions/ feelings as a little flag being waved to help you see what needs are currently UNmet within you. See these unmet needs are clues to help you meet those needs, feeling more deeply nourished, and feeling more whOle!
Going back to the example of worry, disconnected, and critical pointing us in the direction of wanting to cultivate more >>> trust, connectedness, and compassion, this is how it could look like:
- implementing some of the tips in step 2 above
- looking at your self-talk more closely and trying to bring more neutrality (compassion)
- using mantra like “I am safe in my body” (trust & safety)
- practicing connecting with yourself by taking 2-3 deep breaths, dropping deeper into your body, and connecting with your ancient body wisdom (connection)
Now I want to hear from you. What words did you get at step 2 and what are they pointing you to? Comment below and I’ll be sure to give you a little tip if you need one.
As you can see, true & deep, holistic nourishment goes beyond the foods we actually put in our body and also includes what happens in our mind (thoughts), in our heart (emotions), and in our soul (alignment).
Wishing you and your loved ones to be safe & healthy during the quarantine & beyond and sending you so much love,