My food philosophy can most simply be defined as: Food is Fuel.
I’m a strong believer that the food we put into our body has a direct impact on our daily performance in life.
How does what we eat, when we eat, and how we eat affect how we feel, perform, and act?
Before you roll your eyes and think, great- another uptight nutrition professional who thinks I should only look at food as fuel, hear me out.
Each activity, person, situation, and mood may have a different fueling goal, which leads us to different food choices.
Let’s use Swedish fish as an example. Swedish fish get the axe on most nutrition plans, amiright? But, perhaps these little swimmers are your fuel of choice during a marathon. This choice is completely appropriate for the goal of fueling endurance performance- quick access to simple carbohydrates to fuel our muscles. Swedish fish fueling a Netflix marathon on the couch? Perhaps not the best fuel. It’s all about the context with which we are using the food as fuel.
Think about what the goal of your food is for any given situation. What’s the goal of breakfast M-F for a 9-5er? I’d venture to guess for the majority of the population it is (or should be) to provide long lasting energy and focus. Swedish fish wouldn’t be the most awesome choice for this situation, but some Greek yogurt with berries, chia seeds, and almonds would do the trick. Protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates provide the lasting energy and staying power to drive us through the morning and keep the cranky, hangries at bay.
We’re out celebrating a big birthday. How are we going to fuel this? Please have some cake. I beg you. Celebrate with the foods that you love. Don’t love cake? Enjoy what you do love. Using food to fuel a certain mood is okay. It is okay as long as it isn’t our only coping mechanism. But one mechanism can certainly be fueling that mood with food, whether the mood is celebratory, mourning, happiness, sadness… you get the idea. But the next day, lets refocus and choose the food that fuels our new day. If we’re still feeling that mood in the morning, let’s try eating to modulate the mood we want. More on this in another post…
Food is a pretty magical thing. Everybody loves it. Everybody enjoys it daily. And, it has the magical powers to make our lives healthier.
How are you using Food as Fuel today?