People like lists. Rules of “to dos” and “not to dos” seem clear and easy. With nutrition, rules come in the form of good and bad foods, when to eat, what to eat together and what to eat separate, and the meal plan.
I’m not a fan of nutrition rules. I don’t think it’s helpful to tell you exactly what to eat and when. I think freedom is the most valuable aspect of a healthy relationship with food and a pre-requisite of Intuitive Eating. With my clients, I do everything I can so that they feel capable of making food choices in all circumstances that are right for them.
That being said, for those who said pretty please, I have a rule for you!
I guess I should begin with a disclaimer that if you eat absolutely no veggies or fruit because of your particularly picky preferences, then this doesn’t apply to you. For the rest of you, listen up!
If you don’t like cauliflower, why force yourself to eat it? I used to feel upset that I didn’t like bitter melon. It’s “good for you” and has all these benefits, but I hated eating it and would make myself eat it nonetheless. I definitely didn’t like myself while I was shoving that bitter vegetable down my throat, but it was all in the name of health! BAD reason.
There are plenty of foods that are good for the body and have nutritional benefits. I don’t have to stress out over the one (or handful) of healthy foods that I personally don’t enjoy eating. And you shouldn’t either!
P.S. There’s also more ways to build character than eating natto ;)
Funny story. Not funny ha-ha. Funny uh-oh. My husband was traveling in China and was about to set off on a weekend mountain trek. He and his friends knew that they’d be away from civilization and needed to make sure they didn’t get sick. They decided it was safer to eat at McDonalds than get street food (I’ll tell you the snail story some other time!) and got some chicken burgers and fries. My dear man and his crew got the worst food poisoning and to this day he can’t eat chicken without feeling sick to his stomach. It did make for a memorable trip, though!
Even if you haven’t gotten ill from a food, certain foods don’t sit well with your tummy o r just make you feel yucky or uncomfortable. Some people say they like burgers but don’t like the way they feel tired or heavy afterwards. My brother enjoys ice cream, but gets a wrenching stomach ache afterwards that makes it not worth it. I personally can get a headache from foods that are too sweet like sorbet, which I wish I could eat but I know will make me feel rotten for hours afterwards.
The tricky part of this one comes with the foods that make you feel bad emotionally. Guilt, shame, and self-bashing come when you have dessert or chips or some food that is “bad” or not on your diet. This is exception number two where I would challenge you to make peace with food. Easier said than done, I know! A first step towards changing your beliefs about food would be to remove all labels that you’ve assigned, such as “healthy, indulgent, clean, sinful, cheat food, etc.”. Food is just food. You can find more posts I’ve written on this topic here, here and here.
As a Certified Leap Therapist, I work with people who have food sensitivities. These sensitivities mean a lot of inflammation in the body that can express itself in a myriad of ways, with migraines, GI distress, mood and energy complaints all being common. Using the Mediator Release Test, I can see what foods a particular client’s body is sensitive to. Some of those foods, if moderately reactive, can eventually be re-tested to see if the body can handle them in small quantities. The red, high reactive foods, however are best left alone.
The same is true for a gluten sensitivity. Is it really worth the return of all those symptoms just to have a piece of bread? Ask yourself that question before you have toasted the bagel, spread it with cream cheese and have it en route to your mouth.
Allergies are a much more serious matter. Though not everyone reacts to an allergen with anaphylaxis, one should avoid the foods they are allergic to without exception. Hives, wheezing, and swelling may not be life threatening but they are signals from your body that mean “Please don’t eat that!”
The tough part here comes with saying goodbye to favorite foods. It’s a total and complete bummer when you find that you’re sensitive to cocoa or vanilla or wheat or your favorite fruit. Developing an allergy to eggs when you eat them for breakfast, bake with them, and have been perfecting your omelet skills is life changing. It may sound silly, but it’s ok to have trouble with saying bye to a food and knowing you’ll never eat it again. I know I’d be in a foul mood for a while if I had to give up my favorite eats.
So there you have it – the 3 foods you should never eat. I hope you’re happy to notice that this leaves you with a ton of food choices and hopefully most of your favorite foods. Here’s to eating food that you love, food that makes you feel good, and food that your body likes too!
And one more laugh from my favorite childhood comic