I wonder how many people are thinking about food at this time of year? Lots, I expect!
As a doctor, I was often asked for a “diet sheet” but I never had such a thing. I thought that just as every patient was a unique individual so there was no standard diet which everyone should follow. We’d have a chat about food and I’d suggest a good start would be to become aware of what the person was eating and noting any specific effects they experienced. For example, I found that if I ate a sandwich at lunch time, my energy would drop within the next hour or so. It was better to have soup, or salad, or sushi. In fact, I found that after sushi I’d experience a rapid boost in energy and alertness. I don’t expect everyone would have the same experience.
So the first part of my advice about food would be to keep an eating journal for a couple of weeks, noting what you eat and drink, and also noting anything you experience in terms of energy, mood, alertness, any physical symptoms etc. In other words see if you can learn for yourself what the effects are of different food and drink.
The second part, though, was something I read about a number of years ago in a French magazine. It was that food has a place in our lives which is far greater than nutrients or food groups. It’s not all about carbohydrates, omega 3, or dairy products, for example. What’s also important is where we eat, and who we eat with. In other words, the contexts (physical and social) of eating are important. It’s really quite a different experience to eat a sandwich at your desk, than to enjoy a “croque monsieur” on a Parisian street corner! (see the photo above).
Seriously, give some thought not only to the foods you are eating, but to how eating fits into your life. I have a hunch that the more you enjoy the experience of your meal, the more you’ll find what you’ve eaten is good for you!