The hidden joys of not dieting
Last week, I encouraged you to stop dieting and view food as nourishment.
This week, I found some evidence that people are craving this new perspective on food: There seems to be increasing interest in the Blue Zones diet (or, as one company worded it to avoid the term diet, “bluetrition.”) A report by a British meal kit company even predicts that “bluetrition nutrition” – adopting diets consumed in places known for longevity and quality of life, known as Blue Zones -- will be the biggest new food trend in the United Kingdom. Author and explorer Dan Buettner popularized this method based on the nutritional habits of people in Blue Zones areas, including far flung places like Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Ikaria in Greece.
“Our findings show that we’re currently in the midst of a seismic shift,” concludes the meal kit company. “A transformative, post-pandemic UK population are on a mission to better themselves both physically and mentally.”
Ok, I’m not convinced there’s a “seismic shift” happening anywhere just yet, but I do think people are realizing that they don’t want to spend their lives on restrictive diets. And while the Blue Zones diet can be defined by the actual food you eat -- whole grains, greens, tubers, beans, fish, a small amount of meat and cheese, very little added sugars and no processed food – the Blue Zones philosophy is not about dieting at all. It’s about nourishing our bodies with foods we want to eat and that give us joy. Joy in the most comprehensive definition – joy because we feel well; joy because we are mentally sharp; joy because we don’t need to take a lot of medications; joy because we have energy to spare.
We all know that eating healthy, nutritious food fosters longevity. But so does social connection, exercise and mental health. And that’s what the Blue Zones teach us: Health ultimately comes from a complex interplay of our connections to food, movement, and each other.
But that’s all highly aspirational and much easier said than done in a world like ours. Most of us don’t have time to cook beautiful meals from scratch every day. Nor do we live in an environment that enables us to effortlessly consume the right levels of the right nutrients every day. (And cooking most definitely doesn’t bring everyone joy!)
One of the reasons I created Step One Foods was make it easier to get the food part right so you can stop dieting and focus your energies elsewhere. And whether that's hiking up a mountain, enjoying your favorite hobby, or FaceTiming with a grandchild, my hope is that eating Step One Foods allows you to spend more time on the things that truly bring you joy.
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