When it comes to eating well, we all have our own personal (and usually quite long) lists of foods that we avoid because of various reasons. We’re told by both the media and professionals that certain foods are harmful and we need to QUIT them, pronto.
Unfortunately, when we focus on quitting certain foods the same scenario often happens. When we tell someone they can’t have something that they love, more often than not, they will begin to crave that food more. This will lead to despair, to eventually giving up and overindulging, which is followed by guilt and shame and the cycle continues. As I’ve said before, too often people are confusing healthy eating with “all or nothing”, which ultimately leads to this cycle of restriction/deprivation- surrender then guilt, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
What if, we looked at things a bit differently. What if, instead of thinking about which foods you think you have to give up, we start to focus on what nourishing foods we can add in?
Crowding-in simply means changing your focus from avoiding foods to looking at how you can get more of the foods that make you feel great. Focus on increasing ‘feel good foods’ so that eventually there is less room or cravings for the ones that don’t. Even if the rest of your diet doesn’t completely change – you’re still going to get more nutrients and eating more healthy foods, and I believe that eventually, you’ll begin to change your taste buds and start to crave foods that nourish you.
What does crowding-in look like? It’s is about serving more veggies at dinner, adding spinach to your scrambled eggs, or drinking more water. It’s’ about being creative and asking yourself: “How can I crowd- in more veggies with this meal?” Or “What might oil be better for cooking”?
This approach, which focuses on taking small daily steps and increasing healthy food rather than avoiding indulgences creates a much more positive framework for implementing lasting change and has been shown over and over again to lead to more lasting results with our health goals. When you add in wholesome nutrient-dense ingredients, your health is going to immediately benefit from the extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you’re consuming and it can be as simple as adding blueberries to your porridge!
While we’re at it, why not crowd in a little self-care as well!?
Focus on the good and you’ll attract more of the same.
Your body and mind will thank you!