Food as Fuel

GIRLS. Lena Dunham's show on HBO is one of my major guilty pleasures. I love it.

In a recent episode, Adam said, "I use food for my fuel and nothing else."  

With the rise in Health Coaches and Nutrition specialists in recent years, there is so much information on the internet that can lead to brain overload for many of you. Thus, you resort to your normal habits, or maybe you do a cleanse because a friend suggests it, but nothing you learn ever sticks. When I heard Adam say, "Food is Fuel," it stuck and resonated. 

This is what I know about burnout:

  • It friggin' sucks
  • Burnout comes from a build-up of not making vital, daily commitments to yourself such as getting enough sleep, eating the right diet for your body, getting enough exercise, etc...
  • Your diet is critical to avoid burnout
  • Eating a real, clean, anti-inflammatory diet is the way to guide yourself out of burnout and start walking back to health

Unfortunately, burnout comes with a bunch of other life-stressors. When you're on the road to burnout:

  • Your relationships suffer
  • Your sex drive decreases
  • You think of exercise as a chore, not something that improves your vitality
  • Your adrenals (energy hub of your body) and amygdala (safety, confidence, and support hub of your brain) go into slow-motion and don't operate to their fullest function...basically, because you're burning out, they start protecting themselves and go into their own hiding (or physiologically begin to fail)

But wait...Don't get freaked out, because it's really easy to start nurturing all this stuff with your food. Take Adam's advice, which I know might be hard for some of you avid GIRLS addicts, because some of his actions are absurd to say the least.

Use your food as fuel. 

I have spent the last year cleaning up my diet. Why? Because I felt like shit after years of Midwifery, losing sleep, providing care in clinic and in the middle of the night, always "being on," exercising less than I love to, not being regular with my spiritual practices and not having enough time to connect with the people I love most. 

Cleaning up my diet laid the foundation of bringing the rest back to life (and moving forward with my career in Maternal Health and away from the practice of Midwifery helped too). My most challenging lesson: letting go of sugar. Since this is a women's health information source, I will be honest to say that too much sugar in my body pretty makes me feel like I have fire coming out of my perineum. It is the most uncomfortable thing in the world. 

When the clients I work with tell me, "I eat like shit," or, "I eat one real meal a day," all while they are running businesses, mothering, loving their partners, and being a friend and active community member - my brain screams out, "burnout...burnout...stop doing this!"

If this is speaking to you today, here are 2 things you can do this week to start using your food as fuel:

1. I want you to do a 7 day diet diary of everything you eat. Take note, you're just collecting information with this diet diary. Don't judge yourself, but if you finding yourself saying, "I eat like shit," start to consider how you can improve your diet.

2. Get familiar with these blogs for really yummy, healthy, real eating: HappyolksGreen Kitchen StoriesThe Chalkboard, and Wildcrafted Way. All these are incredible recipe resources and will help you get started to eating for fuel, rather than for burnout.

Now it's your turn. In the comments, share with us one diet change you'll make this week to use your food as fuel and how you hope it will make you feel.  

I hope you start using your food for fuel, like Adam and I, for so many reasons but the most important is so you feel good in your body, rock your sweet self, and live a healthy life. All my love, as always, and thank you for showing up.