Healthy eating, what does it mean?

Some people look amazing don’t they? Toned and tanned, lean and muscular, tons of energy and always on the go! All that working out in the gym and eating chicken and asparagus really seems to pay off. Or how about the super chilled yogis who never look cross or flustered, float along looking serene and never swear or say horrid things. Clean eating, vegan food, organic living, meditating at 4 am, sounds like hard work doesn’t it?

We can look at these people and feel intimated, I know I do at times, especially when I am looking at somebody ordering a gluten free sugar free something or other and I know I have my gigantic piece of chocolate cake from Pauline’s at home waiting for me that is full of lovely normalness. But then I think about the clients I see that, for all their super healthy eating, are far from super healthy. I see clients who are very careful about every single thing that they eat or drink. They know exactly what they have eaten each day and what is in each food. They read the labels, they buy organic produce and they spend a small fortune each week on supplements that promise them perfect health. So why have they come to see me? Why, if they are so healthy, do they suffer from stomach problems, why does their skin flare up on a regular basis, why do they suffer from insomnia, why do they lack energy? They are puzzled and frustrated very often and I don’t blame them, I would be if I were making all of that effort and still felt lousy!

My belief is that many of the clients who come to see me are paying far too much attention to what they are eating and their attitude is almost one of fear. I ask them to list the foods that they are eating daily and this rings the first alarm bell for me when I see how small the list is. The fact that they know exactly what, where it came from and what it consisted of also concerns me as this shows a bit of an obsession over food.

I don’t believe that obsessing over food is healthy eating; healthy eating is about having a good attitude to food, eating a variety of all sorts of foods and most importantly, loving food. When we eat this way, our bodies will be nourished so much more because our digestion is balanced. If we eat in a state of stress, guilt or worry, our digestion will be weakened and the food we eat will not be broken down sufficiently.

So I tell my clients that in my opinion it is better to sit peacefully and eat burger and chips, than to eat mung beans and brown rice in a state of stress. It’s all about moderation. Sometimes I sprout beans and drink green things, other times I eat Pauline’s chocolate cake and cheesy chips. In a world where today, still people are starving to death, I think it’s nice to feel grateful and enjoy the variety and abundance of the beautiful food we have all around us.