Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Before starting this article, I’d like to openly say that I’m not a Dietician (medical professional), nor am I a Registered Nutritionist in the UK (which requires a Nutritionist BSc) and therefore am not qualified to address specific eating disorders or medical conditions that require specific dietary requirements and/or therapy. I took a level 3 course to be a Plant Based Nutritionist in 2019, but most of my nutrition education is self taught, both from my own experience, conversations with other movement professionals and students, and through endless reading and research. A section of my graduate thesis at Le Verseau in Belgium (2012) was on the impact of nutrition and different cooking methods on Longevity, and my own personal interest in reading about Nutrition has continued since then. If you want to do your own research and read some of the authors that continue to be central to my understanding of nutrition, I highly recommend Kevin Currell’s “Performance Nutrition”, Cryan and Dinan’s “Psychobiotic Revolution” and Vanbergen Wintle’s “Metabolism and Nutrition”.
With that said, onto my own ramblings.
I first became fascinated by nutrition in 2011-2012 when I was researching the ageing process and natural methods for improving the health-span for my graduate thesis at Le Verseau. I found it fascinating how foods reacted to cooking at different temperatures, and had a different chemical compounds within the food we choose to eat impacts our own in a systems. The science behind all this is too much content for this blog post, but I highly recommend you read more into the processes of oxidation, inflammation and glycation if you would like to find out more!
From then on I started my own personal exploration into food. This is the one recommendation I will give to everyone: take the time to explore different foods and diets, there is no perfect diet or universal healthy eating plan that works for everyone. And it’s more complicated than just weight loss, body fat percentage or muscle mass development.
Finding the right diet for you is about your energy levels, it’s about your personal tastes and preferences as well as how it impacts your muscles, skin, brain and chemical system. It’s about the way that food makes you feel while you’re eating it, the hours after you’ve eaten it, the rest of the day and the days after. Getting the right food can completely change your mood and emotional state. Eating right can make you motivated to train or feel exhausted and sluggish.
In many ways, eating healthy can be very intuitive and obvious: most of us have some idea of what we “should” be eating. However, it’s really important to balance what we should be eating with what we want to eat, to find a way to enjoy every aspect of food and to develop a relationship with food that allows us to want the foods that make us feel good.
I’ve never been diagnosed with any eating disorders, nor have I ever been particularly underweight or overweight (I can thank my genetics for that) so I can only speak from a relatively privileged and grateful place. I’ve definitely been through phases where my self-worth was very attached to my body image though, and my diet has reflected that! I’ve been very obsessive and sometimes restrictive in my eating habits: I’ve been on extremely low carb diets, tried a carnivore diet, and was paid to trial a liquid meal replacement diet. I’ve tried intermittent fasting and fasting for several days at a time. I’ve been on and off vegetarian and vegan for 6-7 years.
Currently I’m a lot more relaxed about what I eat and when I eat it. For the last 2 years, 95% of my diet is plant based/vegan. In other words, I eat eggs once every couple of weeks, and don’t grill my friends for an ingredients list when they offer me cake or invite me over for dinner (boy, I’ve missed that over COVID!) but otherwise all my meals are based on legumes, nuts, fruit and veg. I’ve found the types of food that I enjoy and also make me feel good, so I look forwards to all my meals, and eating them fuels my training.
My journey through nutrition has been fundamental to the progress and development that I’ve made in my movement practice, but it’s also been very much tied in to my emotional and mindfulness work, and it has a huge impact on my life. I haven’t talked much about nutrition on my blog or social media before - but as I’ve been reflecting on how important it’s been to me, I’d like to open up this topic for more conversations over coming months.
In particular in following posts I’ll talk more about mindful/ethical consumption and how the food you eat (and when you eat it!) fuels or thwarts your movement practice.
I’d also love these newsletters to have more back and forth! If you’d like to share your own nutritional journey with me, please write it back to email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more!
If you’re interested in exploring improvisational games, and getting to know your body with a greater level of awareness and sensitivity, please do join me on my Thursday evening classes with London Movement Group, where we will be exploring just that!
"Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom." - Jack Lallane
Tuesday 8th, Floorwork Class @ Localmotion, 7:00pm book here
Wednesday 9th, Climbing Social @ Ravenswall, 6:00pm book here
Thursday 10th, Sensitivity & Awareness @ Hyde Park, 7:00pm book here
Saturday 12th, Move & Play @ Hyde Park, 2:00pm book here book here
1-1 sessions available