‘Normal’ Eating

2 Jul

Have you ever wondered what ‘normal‘ eating is?  Yeah.  Me too.

This question comes to my mind a lot both as yoga teacher and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.  What is ‘normal’ eating?  What is nourishment?  Can eating and nourishment be (de)coupled?

Registered dietitian Ellyn Satter is quoted in the NYtimes for her definition of normal eating.  Below are some exerts:

  • Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.
  • Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life

I appreciate these.  There is not a carb or -ism or rule to be found.

And, yet, is it really THAT simple?

Is ‘normal’ eating really about listening to our needs in the moment and honoring them with compassion?  The yoga of eating if you will…  (<—READ IT! :P)

Having spent time investigating my own nutrient needs (in good times and bad), I’m quite certain that there no STANDARD PRESCRIPTIVE DIET for ‘normal’ eating.  But, what does exist is a ‘normal,’ or better said, nourishing eating for every individual person.

Because my needs (raspberries please!) are uniquely my own, what is normal to me most certainly will not look or feel normal to you.  

And, why should they?!  

But.  

We can practice making nourishing choices in our daily diets and then ‘normal’-ize these choices.  

The question then begs:  How do you find your nourishing choices?  What do you listen to?  And, how do these choices manifest in your (normal) eating?

Let me know!

With a little (LOT) help from my friends…

19 Apr

When I’m having a rough day, I try to remind myself to ‘let it go or be John Lennon…

Today, I’m changing that to ‘let it go or be RINGO!

Yes.  Today, I’m honoring the sheepish Beatle who sings “with a little help from my friends.”  Because I get SO much from them.


For instance, HONESTY.  I love my friends for their honesty.  And, for the latent permission it allows me.  Isn’t that a rub?!

We walk around with such (unfair!) super-human expectations of ourselves and then BAM!  A friend.  A beloved friend comes in and blesses us with vulnerability.  What a gift.

Seriously though.  It is a gift.

Realness.

It goes something like this:  ‘How are you doing?‘  Answer:  SINCERITY.  Truthfully, the answer doesn’t really matter.  It is a conduit.  It is a conduit for listening.  For connections.  For life.

Translation:  It’s probably not– “Okay.” Or, “Fine.”

It is our humanity not our (feigned) ‘normalcy’ that unites us.

What I LOVE about my friends is their bravery.  It inspires me to be real.  Honest.

I’m beginning to think that the point is not to have it ‘together’ but to have the courage to have the life you have.  OUT LOUD.

And, I have my friends to thank for that 🙂