The Fine Art of Diet Discernment
By Samantha Doyle
One thing that is SUPER important to learn in order to develop your body intelligence, and choose a path that is right for you and your unique circumstances, is to learn discernment.
It's easy to follow trends and get swept up in the hype of the latest health info. I know what it's like – it's exciting! The Raw Food diet is amazing! Enzymes have incredible benefits! Juice fasts and fasting is sooo good for you!
Is Raw Food good for everyone?
Can everyone afford Enzymes and organics?
Should someone who has a history of eating disordered behaviours go on a fast/juice feast?
And maybe, our choices are not black and white.
And maybe things are not always mutually exclusive.
I know, I know...actually having to think, decide and integrate takes effort.
But it's worth it yeah?
Especially if it means freedom from body confusion, contorted beliefs and inner shame around not being able to 'keep up' with social ideals.
Drop Dogmatic Thinking
So, how can we drop dogmatic thinking around health?
One of the foundations of Ayurveda is that you make lifestyle choices that are sincere and logical. It's way more likely to stick as a behaviour if it's founded in knowledge and understanding versus 'following a plan' without really understanding why you're doing what you're doing.
I'm an Ayurveda fan girl, and I still ask all my clients to make their own decisions around what feels right for them.
We talk it through, I present all the information...and then we reflect.
Does this way of living make practical sense to me?
Do I need to apply ALL the concepts being presented?
Can I implement the concepts of Ayurveda alongside/in conjunction with my current lifestyle beliefs and practices?
When we stop and reflect like this, it allows us take the reins in our journey.
Of course, sometimes (a lot of the time!) we need assistance and guidance. But ideally, we will develop our own sense of discernment that allows us to play an active role in choosing a health care regime that works for us.
AND!...The cool thing is, once we develop our intelligence in this way, it makes it easier to be flexible when life changes occur that result in us HAVING to make changes in our health regime.
So, anytime you come into contact with new information, make sure to read and apply, then decide from direct experience if it works for you.
I like to encourage people to start with the things they like and can manage, then, as they grow, learn and feel more comfortable with their new lifestyle additions, they can take on more of the applications when and if they are ready.
My simple guidelines?
Do what you can, with what you have.
Make conscious, sensible choices as often as possible.
No more feeling guilty that you aren't 100% raw; 100% organic, 100% subscribed to X-Y-Z.
And more focus on trusting what works for you, is what's right for you.
Words by Samantha Doyle
Coach, Yoga Teacher, Ayurveda expert