I woke up this morning and walked into the kitchen for the morning routine and noticed some steam rising from the stove top. It was Karen making pancakes for the girls. I stopped for a moment and thought, and then asked Karen, “Is it Friday already?”
You see, Karen makes pancakes for the girls on Friday mornings. I know what you’re thinking. Pancakes?! At the home of Mr. Nutrition? You’re right. I am definitely not the biggest fan of pancakes (for a number of reasons), but we came up with a recipe and some ingredients that I am ‘somewhat OK with’ for them to have once a week.
So, back to this morning. As I was asking this question, Kady came into the kitchen and said, “Oh, it is Heritage Food Day at school tomorrow.” Still a little confused, I was still not quite clear on how Heritage Food Day would be a cause for us to have pancakes on Thursday instead of Friday. Kady proceeded to say, “Because we do not get lunch until after 1 pm.” Then it hit me!
Kady is so in tune with her body that she knows pancakes (even healthier ones) are not going to provide her the fuel she will need to sustain herself until the later lunch break. So she asked Karen to make pancakes today (Thursday) instead. She also went on to say that she thought it would also be important to have a “good” breakfast on Friday because not only will she be eating later, but she will not be eating her normal healthy lunch and figures she needs to fuel up on good food before a day of eating random stuff for Heritage Food Day.
Wow, sometimes my kids impress me (even more than normal).
The point is that it is important to be in touch with your body and know what it is telling you. Kady has figured out which breakfast foods give her constant energy and fuel for her day at school and which ones do not. This is a lesson we should all learn from.
So how do you get that in tune with your body? The steps are simple:
1) Remove the bad stuff - You have to remove the items in your diet that are blocking or muffling the feedback signals your body is ALWAYS sending you. When your body is full of highly processed foods, it alters your signal feedback system.
2) Add more of the good stuff - giving your body the things it is expecting (and wanting) will make sure you understand what it feels like to feel good again. Many of us have forgotten what it really feels like to feel good. We tend to cover up the fact that we feel bad with more bad things. So what is the good stuff? Whole foods, mainly vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, beans, and whole grain foods. The closer your food is to the way it was found in nature the better.
3) Pay attention - our bodies are constantly giving us feedback signals. When you eat something, pay attention to how you feel directly after and for the next few hours. If you do not feel great all the time, then there is something wrong. Your body is telling you something is not right. And, most often you’ll find it is what you are eating.
Your body is always giving you feedback. If you are not listening, cannot hear it, or you are ignoring it, your body will start to send stronger signals, possibly even in the form of health issues.
Everyone has a perfect diet, the right balance of types of food that work perfectly for them. The trick is finding that perfect balance. Just add the good, dump the bad, and listen!