I have been incredibly blessed by changing my semi-typical diet to a healthier, more nourishing meal plan. I love how it helps me feel energized from deep down, feel nourished, and helps me avoid problematic intolerances that were troubling my digestion.
I think that there is a lot of research (let alone the countless anecdotal stories out there) that back up the claim that what we eat makes a difference. And it is because I believe that, and because I find this way of eating so helpful to me and my family, and because I simply find it a delightful way to eat, I not only keep forging ahead in keeping my diet nourishing, but also am glad to share what I learn with others.
But sometimes that ideal of a perfectly nourishing diet meets reality and ideals can come tumbling down.
Here are a few realities that are common ones:
- Limited budget
- Limited time
- Limited energy
- Limited resources
- Illnesses or deaths in the family
- Morning sickness
- Work crisis
- Loss of job
- And many more
Helping make real food work for real people in real life is an important goal of this blog. I love to talk about how to make a healthy diet a practical reality for people. But I am sure that many of you have also gone through seasons where you were just trying to survive – and a diet that helped you thrive was simply not possible.
I know. I’ve been there.
For example, four years ago I had terrible morning sickness and that greatly affected not only what I could eat, but also how much cooking I could do for my family. We simply did what we could. My husband taught himself how to make some of my quick recipes. I ate a lot of organic cheese and whatever else I could tolerate, and we survived.
When we had the death of a close family member in our family, spending a lot of time in the kitchen simply wasn’t a priority. We relied on simple food at home, and also learned where in our city we could find frugal and healthy food when we needed to get a meal out.
Our diet has gone through stages of being almost religiously clean, to a mix-up of healthier prepared food, restaurant-fare and only the simplest food at home.
If you are in that “reality smashing ideals” stage right now, I want you to know that I’ve been there. It’s okay. Here are two thoughts I tell myself during that stage.
This is a season and it doesn’t have to last forever. Morning sickness feels like ten years, but it did pass, and I did fall in love with cooking nourishing food again. Many of our trials and realities will change in time. Look for that light at the end of the tunnel whenever you can.
I can only do my best. Yes, in an ideal world I would always be perfect in every way, including how I feed my family. In fact, in an ideal world, I would always have enough money to buy the best of the best, there wouldn’t be toxins around us, and my energy would soar and my time would always be well managed.
Since I don’t live in an ideal or perfect world, I find peace in knowing that I have limits, and I simply need to do the best that I can within those limits.
Yes, working towards an ideal diet is…ideal. But giving yourself a lot of grace on the road to your ideal, and giving yourself flexibility during times of stress is needed.