For a blog about nutrition this title sounds, to say the least a little weird, although it may sound very appropriate, if we think about all the things that have been happening in the world. Let us put the problems of the world just for a moment aside and talk about a relationship. Not any relationship, but the one between you and what you eat, you and your nutrition. It may not seem like a relationship, but it really is, if you think about it. We chose what we eat (at least that’s how it should be), and what we eat can release all kinds of feelings and emotions. Happiness, sadness, comfort, discomfort, joy, boredom, pleasure, guilt, satisfaction, anxiety, remind you of people, places, times, the list goes on and on. Food is with you in good times and in bad times, in sickness and in health. But why do some people have more successful relationships with their food and eating than others? The answer to this question is very complex, is above all individual and it dependes on many things. This post doesn't have the pretension to answer this, but only to make an analogy that may help you see your relationship to food differently and, maybe, who knows, help things between you two.
Remember when your friends told you to end things with that guy that didn’t give a damn about you? Or remember the dead silence from your friends over your big hopes and dreams with someone you had nothing in common with? Your friends wanted only what’s best for you, but you were blind and “in love”, ignored their advice and got screwed over. Probably many times. Somewhere down the road we learn that a good relationship, a relationship where there’s love, makes you feel good, it has it’s ups and downs for sure, but it also has a lot of “middles”, because it’s balanced, because it brings you peace, because it’s not supposed to last only a couple weeks, it’s supposed to last ideally forever, isn’t it? With food and eating is not different. To have a hot affair with your food is just not sustainable, at least not for your health, because it’s not love, it is obsession. I find it very interesting to think of your relationship to food and eating as if it was a marriage. There are the moments to do laundry and talk about the bills to pay, the moments to celebrate your anniversary at your favourite restaurant, moments to fall asleep together in front of the TV, to go to the concert of that band that plays your song. And yes, it’s work. But it’ love. And love is good for you. It can be the same way with food and eating. There are the days to go crazy on junk food & co, but most days should be normal and most of what you eat should be food that does you good. Please, don’t mistake what I’m saying for “marriage and eating have to be boring”, on the contrary. But where there is love, there is balance.
Our hunger and eating habits are not controlled through our stomach, but through our brain. That’s why love in terms of eating means to find balance and peace, eat with awareness of what you are eating, feeling pleasure and with no distractions, it means to listen to your body, listen to your hunger as well as your satisfaction sensations, it’s also to sleep well and enough and to chew your food properly. It’s eating fruits and vegetables, sources of protein, energy and fat, it’s eating on celebrations with friends, family and colleagues, it’s to try and cook your own meals whenever possible, it's trying to eat food as little processed as possible. For those who haven’t found that love and balance with food and eating yet, pregnancy is a great time to try. A lot of moms end up doing it for theirs babies, which is great, but it’s even better if you also do it for yourself.
Mamachouchou wish you all a Merry Christmas and a New Year with much more love, please.
P.s.: if you are interested in the subject of how our brain controls our hunger, I have a great book for you, but available only in Portuguese I’m afraid: O peso das dietas, Autora Sophie Deram.
We can be and we must be
The first generation without these problems.
Nobody can do it alone, but together we might have a shot.
It's our world, it's our responsibility.
What can you do about it? What will you do about it?
Let's get to work, let's make it happen.
Our body makes everything possible to guarantee our baby’s health. If something is missing from our diet our body reserves will be used, until a certain extent, of course, to compensate for a possible lack of nutrients, like taking calcium from your bones for instance, which is something pretty amazing. We are mothers even before our babies are born, we sacrifice our health for that of our children. This can give you some relief, but it’s very important to take care of your health too, in order to take better care of your baby, to help your body grow, to avoid the appearance of certain pregnancy complications, to make sure your reserves don’t need to be mobilised, after all, you will need to have a lot of energy and be healthy yourself once the baby comes.
The benefits of a healthy diet during pregnancy are:
• gaining weight in a healthy way and without freaking out about it, please :)
• providing iron: you need tons of iron during pregnancy, which is not an easy task. Iron is needed for oxygen transportation from our lungs to the rest of our body, it affects our energy metabolism. Specially if you are vegetarian or vegan you need to choose your food carefully and eat good vitamin C sources, since it helps the absorption of iron.
• providing calcium: this mineral is not only for your bone health essential, but also for muscle contraction, for nerve impulse transmission, amongst other functions.
• providing omega 3: this fat is very important for your baby’s neural development and you need to ensure you are getting enough of it, specially on the 3rd trimester.
• Vitamin D is very important too, specially if you have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes in the family. Vitamin D plays a very important role on bone health and on the immune system. Your vitamin D status depends mostly on your sun exposure and on your oily fish intake. A lot of people have vitamin D deficiency worldwide and it's important to check out your Vitamin D levels.
• providing you fiber: moms that have a high fiber consumption have a lower risk of developing pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Fiber and water work as a team, so don't forget to hydrate yourself.
• providing you antioxidants: the extra blood volume and the changes we go through during pregnancy elevate the oxidative stress, so we need to guarantee the presence of these protectors in our diet to support these changes. Translation: eat more fruits and vegetables, preferably season ones.
• and much more :)
Eating healthy is easy for some people, but for others it’s a constant struggle for many reasons. Partly because of lack of time, partly because of the amount of different choices on food products and places to eat, partly because of conflicting information concerning certain foods, partly because we are humans and don’t always resist the many temptations out there.
Nutrition is very important for your health, but let’s not forget it’s one of many aspects of your health and one of the many important aspects of this beautiful time. It’s important to feel loved, in peace, to enjoy this time, to feel safe, to have all kinds of support that you consider important, to feel good about your choices.
If you are having troubles or doubts concerning eating “extra healthy” during your pregnancy, it’s advisable to seek a nutrition counsel with a professional. If you are just interested in themes concerning nutrition, this blog is here for you :)
“And I pray, oh my God, do I pray,
I pray every single day for a FOOD REVOLUTION”
This is a beautiful project from Jamie Oliver to force governments across the world to promise and commit to teach every child how to grow and cook fresh nutritious food at school. The amount of children suffering from food related diseases is enormous and we could change this horrible scenario through food education.