NOURISHING CHOICES OVER PERFECTIONISM
I encourage and support my clients to make healthy food choices as much as possible.
What is not helpful (and I advise against) is striving for the ‘perfect’ healthy diet.
- drives anxiety, fear and overwhelm around food choices
- is not real life
- is unsustainable
- sucks the enjoyment and pleasure out of eating and drinking
- is the enemy of progress
- gives you another reason to berate yourself
When you are going through cancer treatment, there are days when eating/drinking anything at all can feel like a huge victory!
One of the most effective ways to overcome perfectionism is to replace self-critical or perfectionistic thoughts with more realistic and helpful statements, for example, ‘how can I make this more nourishing’?
On days when heating a ready meal takes all the energy you have, or the only thing you fancy eating is your favourite comfort food, there is ALWAYS something you can ADD to make the dish more nourishing. Here are just a few examples I share with my clients:
Ready meals - add a handful of salad leaves, baby spinach, or a serving of fresh/ frozen vegetables
Ice cream – add some fresh/ frozen berries and a sprinkle of nuts/seeds. Whizzing up frozen bananas and any fruit you like makes a brilliant ‘soft scoop’ ice cream! Recipe inspiration here https://www.thecancerdietitian.com/post/banana-ice-cream-9-recipes-by-chocolate-covered-katie
Pizza – add some extra slices of tomato and veggie toppings. Wholemeal pitta makes a super healthy pizza. Recipe inspiration here https://www.thecancerdietitian.com/post/rainbow-pitta-pizzas-by-healthy-little-foodies)
Pasta – add some carrot or courgette spirals (you can just use a potato peeler) - stir through before serving or try a legume-based pasta such as red lentil or chickpea. Legume pasta is higher in protein and fibre than standard pasta
Chocolate – take a clean jar and make your own trail mix by adding any combination of nuts, seeds, a little dried fruit, coconut curls and a few squares of chocolate or chocolate chips
I hope you find these ideas useful and remember, doing your best is MORE than good enough.