The philosophy in brief
In a society so influenced by diet culture, it's easy for the pursuit of health to become an overwhelming preoccupation - but it doesn't have to be this way. At Pick Up Limes, our slogan is "Nourish the cells and the soul", which is an approach that can boost our overall health and well-being. It involves making conscious choices that fuel our physical body, including our cells, while finding a balance that energizes our mental well-being, including our soul.
Ditching diet culture
Diet culture is a system of beliefs and behaviours surrounding food and body image that has the power to harm us all. It stems from valuing body appearance over health and well-being. Examples of diet culture include restrictive food rules, equating health with body size, and labelling foods as "clean," "good," "bad," or "guilt-free". While these practices may be common in our society, we don't have to buy into them. Embracing the philosophy of nourishing both our cells and soul offers a refreshing alternative to what health can look like. Let's take a closer look.
Nourish the cells
Nourishing the cells reflects the positive impact our food and behaviour choices have on our physical well-being. These choices include enjoying a variety of nutrient-rich foods, engaging in joyful movement, prioritizing enough rest, and managing stress. Nutrient-rich foods in particular provide the cells with building blocks like vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive. Colourful vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are examples of wholesome and nutritious options. We can embrace foods and practices that nourish the cells because they make us feel good rather than out of obligation. Some benefits of nourishing the cells include feeling energized, promoting optimal heart and bone health, and a strong immune system to fight inflammation.
Beware of getting caught in strict rules
Beware of getting caught in the numbers, the strict rules, and the 'good foods' vs. 'bad foods' mindset. The intentions behind these thoughts are often pure, but they can lead to a negative relationship with food and ultimately with ourselves. We may have feelings of guilt, shame, or that we're not enough in some way. We're all built differently, so each of our bodies has varying needs. We encourage trying to shift our perspective towards doing something because it makes us feel satisfied while it honours our health. In this process, we may discover that practices like restrictive diets or self-punishment actually do more us more harm than good.
Nourish the soul
As important as nourishing the cells is, it’s equally beneficial to nourish the soul. Nourishing the soul reflects our mental well-being and involves finding joy in food. It’s embracing food to connect with others, and making mindful, satisfying choices. We can pay attention to hunger cues and eat at times that feel right for us to honour the soul. Nourishing the soul can involve enjoying food as part of celebrations, connecting with loved ones or traditions, savouring food and using food to express creativity.
We can nourish the soul through activities such as occasionally having a treat because we simply feel like it, not as a form of reward or punishment. Having a meal out with friends because we enjoy spending time with them, even if the meal isn't considered the most nutritious.
Putting it into practice
The idea of nourishing the cells and the soul may appear effortless for some, while proving more challenging for others. Here are three tips to help put this philosophy into practice.
01 - Embrace imperfection
Part of what it means to nourish the cells and the soul involves acknowledging that we don't have to be at our best all the time. One meal can't make us unhealthy in the same way another meal can't automatically make us healthy. Embracing a balanced approach to health includes understanding that it's not all-or-nothing, but instead, a journey filled with progress and perfect imperfection.
Our aim can be to do our best based on the options and preferences available to us. By choosing foods that are accessible and aligned with our needs, engaging in movement that suits our capabilities, and carving out time for self-care along our journey, we take significant steps toward nourishing the body from the inside and out.
02 - Honour choices by making them conscious decisions
Each of us has a unique definition of what's nourishing, and taking the time to reflect on how we feel can be incredibly insightful.
After a food-related decision, we can reflect on how we feel. Consider the following questions:
- How did that food make me feel? There's no right answer, but some possibilities include being energized or tired.
- Are we satisfied with what we ate? Why or why not?
- If we had a craving, did food really solve the craving? If not, some other fuelers such as other food or drink options, emotional self-care, socialization, exercise, or rest may be helpful to explore.
03 - Consider social influences
In today's digital age, we frequently encounter food-related pressures, especially through the influence of social media. These platforms can significantly impact our efforts to nourish both the cells and the soul. To counteract this, one approach is to surround ourselves with messaging that makes us feel good. For example, we can unfollow any social media accounts that don't bring value, like accounts that promote dieting behaviours, or those that make us feel negative about ourselves. We can always replace these with accounts that share delicious recipes and body-positive messages to fill up our feed!
Our philosophy here at Pick Up Limes is "Nourish the cells and the soul". It helps us strive for a balanced approach that focuses on fueling our bodies with mindful choices.
The cells reflect our physical health. Nourishing the cells includes enjoying wholesome and nutritious foods that offer a variety of different nutrients.
The soul reflects our mental well-being. Nourishing the soul includes finding joy in food, embracing food to connect with others, and making mindful, satisfying choices.
Compassion is the best gift we can give to ourselves, including on our journey with food. It helps us foster a positive relationship with food and our body.