How to Develop a Sustainable Diet
To develop a sustainable diet, there are a few important steps to take which are directly aligned with the sixth truths listed in the previous article entitled, “RootedRVA’s Nutrition Philosophy.”
First, one must have access to healthy food. The best methods for attaining this food are typically farmer’s markets.
Second, one must know how to prepare and cook the food. And, have the equipment and space needed to do so.
Third, having an understanding of one’s optimal diet is important. This includes complete avoidance of all food allergens (e.g. peanuts causing anaphylaxis), but also includes avoiding foods that one is sensitive or intolerant to (e.g. gluten causing a skin rash or lactose in milk causing digestive discomfort), and eating foods that make an individual feel energized.
Fourth, a food plan is critical. Knowing when and where to shop, setting time to prepare the food, and having a plan of when to eat meals is vital because food is our energy source. No matter if we have a plan or not, we will need to eat because we tend to get hungry, tired, and agitated if we do not. So, if we do not have a healthy option, we will have to eat something else (e.g. fast food or a vending machine snack). Having a plan also prevents eating on the go which can significantly disrupt digestion. In this plan, it is important to recognize the importance of food not only as an energy source but also as a source of enjoyment and staple in celebratory occasions. Plan on feasting from time to time! It is not a failure to break your eating norms to enjoy a feast, but can be detrimental to feel guilt or remorse for eating food in abundance when celebrating.
Fifth, and just as importantly, balancing other areas of life is necessary. Factors such as consistently eating alone, sleep deprivation, among others will inevitably derail a goal of eating healthy.
And lastly, if you get off track, simply recognize it, laugh, and try again!