I don’t know about you, but when my thoughts get rolling, I know I need to do some self-reflection. This morning I did a bit of cross training while listening to the No Meat Athlete podcast. The podcast was an interview with Dr. Michael Gregor who had just written a book called “How Not To Die”. Essentially, the book is about optimizing diet to live an optimal life. He believes that nutrition is key to a healthy, peaceful existence.
Some people believe that they would rather live shorter and eat what they want, rather than clean up their diet and leve longer. TBH I see both sides. Gregor argues that the existence in the last 10-20 years of someone who eats poorly will not be optimal at all and they will suffer from disease of affluence (heart disease, cancer diabetes) so that is not really living at all. Someone who eats properly however will have a functioning healthy body and enjoy the last 10-20 years.
My mind began the cyclic pattern it tends to partake in when I get nutrition information. The “shoulds” versus the “wants”. The “what’s right for me” versus the “what is right for the general population”. I have been dealing with bowel inconvenience lately and have been noticing patterns in my own diet which may be contributing. Quite honestly, it’s a pain to have to use the bathroom four times each morning. It is not fun to be sprinting to the local Burger King because I’m about to lose it on a casual run. I believe this problem may be due to the amount of fibrous veggies I eat (almost 6 cups per day).
Now, every nutrition book I have read claims that fibrous veggies and fruits are key to a healthy diet. I did not start eating so many veggies for any other reason than it was an easy way to eat more produce and get more vitamins and minerals. The vitamins and minerals in my diet are like the spark plugs for my running. They give me that extra edge I may need to hit workouts. I also take a vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplement for the same reason. I simply thought that adding more veggies to the amount of food I already eat would just help me that much more. While I do think the vitamins from the produce are great for some part of my life, they have been a limiting factor in my runs.
For me, Dr. Gregor’s advice does not work right now. While listening to this podcast, I wanted to go home and make breakfast with tons of veggies and other things that are nutritionally sound. My mind went back and forth between what I felt I “should” do versus what is “right for me”. RIght now, I need to take in more foods with less fiber, bananas, rice, pasta, juice. Things that do not cause me to use the bathroom. My body needs a rest. A break from the fiber.
It was so crazy how my mind was battling itself over something simple like what to eat for breakfast. Should I listen to my body or should I just blindly follow a nutrition expert? Well, I decided to listen to myself even though it was not “nutritionally optimal”. This was an important reminder that not every body is the same. While someone might need a good fibrous breakfast, I can thrive with something less so. What is healthy for one person is not healthy for others. Even though I know that, my mind wanted me to rebel. I still fall victim to the daemons of my thoughts. Even as a progress on my journey and learn about myself more and more, trusting my body and what I crave is something I still struggle with.
I am not perfect. I struggle every now and then. That does not make me incapable of living an optimal life, it just makes the journey that much more worth it.
What makes your thoughts get going?