People like lists. Rules of “to dos” and “not to dos” seem clear and easy. With nutrition, rules come in the form of good and bad foods, when to eat, what to eat together and what to eat separately, and the meal plan.
I am not a fan of nutrition rules. I do not think it is helpful to tell you exactly what to eat and when. I think freedom is the most valuable aspect of a healthy relationship with food, and a pre-requisite of intuitive eating. With my clients, I do everything I can, so that they feel capable of making food choices in all circumstances that are right for them.
That being said, for those who said pretty please, I have a rule for you!
The 3 Foods You Should Never Eat
1) Foods You Do Not Like
Let me begin with a disclaimer that if you eat absolutely no veggies or fruits, because of your particularly picky preferences, then this does not apply to you. For the rest of you, listen up!
If you do not like cauliflower, why force yourself to eat it? I used to feel upset that I did not like bitter melon. Though good for health, I hated eating it! I definitely did not like myself while I was shoving that bitter vegetable down my throat, but it was all in the name of health! Bad reason.
There are plenty of foods that are good for the body and have nutritional benefits. I do not have to stress out over the one (or handful) of healthy foods that I personally do not enjoy eating. And you should not either!
2) Foods That Make You Feel Bad
Even if you have not gotten ill from a food, certain foods do not sit well with your stomach or just make you feel uncomfortable.
- Some people say, they like burgers but do not like the way they feel tired or heavy afterwards.
- My husband and his friends were trekking in China and were cautious about not getting sick eating the street food. They instead chose to eat at a famous fast food restaurant chain, but ended up getting the worst food poisoning ever. To this day, my husband cannot eat chicken without feeling sick to his stomach.
- I personally can get a headache from foods that are too sweet, like sorbet, which I wish I could eat, but I know will make me feel rotten for hours afterwards.
Changing Your Beliefs About Food
The tricky part of this one comes with the foods that make you feel bad emotionally. Guilt, shame, and self-bashing come when you have dessert or chips or some food that is “bad” or not on your diet. This is exception number two, where I would challenge you to make peace with food.
Easier said than done, I know! A first step towards changing your beliefs about food would be to remove all labels that you have assigned, such as “healthy, indulgent, clean, sinful, cheat food, etc.” Food is just food!
3) Foods You Are Allergic Or Sensitive To
The Woes Of Sensitivity
As a Certified Leap Therapist, I work with people who have food sensitivities. These sensitivities mean, a lot of inflammation in the body that can express itself in myriad ways, with migraines, GI distress, mood and energy complaints, all being common.
Using the Mediator Release Test, I can see what foods a particular client’s body is sensitive to. Some of those foods, if moderately reactive, can eventually be re-tested to see if the body can handle them in small quantities. The high reactive foods, however are best left alone.
For example, in case of gluten sensitivity, is it really worth the return of all those symptoms just to have a piece of bread?
Allergies – Things Not To Ignore
Allergies are a much more serious matter. Though not everyone reacts to an allergen with anaphylaxis, one should avoid the foods they are allergic to without exception. Hives, wheezing, and swelling, may not be life threatening, but they are signals from your body that mean “Please do not eat that!”
The tough part here comes with saying goodbye to favorite foods. It is a total and complete bummer when you find that you are sensitive to cocoa or vanilla or wheat or your favorite fruit. It may sound silly, but it is alright to have trouble with saying bye to a food, and knowing you will never eat it again.
So there you have it – the 3 foods you should never eat. I hope you are happy to notice that this leaves you with a ton of food choices, and hopefully most of your favorite foods. Here is to eating the food that you love, food that makes you feel good, and food that your body likes too!